Two goals apiece from Barry Middleton and Sam Ward gave England a 4-1 win over Ireland in their third match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Needing the win after an opening defeat to Australia and a draw with India, England took the lead at the end for the first quarter, Barry Middleton converting a penalty corner.

Sam Ward doubled England’s lead from open play in the 37th minute, only for Julian Dale to keep Ireland in the game with a penalty corner conversion two minutes later.

Ward and Middleton both struck in the fourth quarter to seal England’s first victory in the competition, Ward scoring in the 51st minute and Middleton in the final minute.

Surbiton’s David Goodfield was unlucky not to break the deadlock in the first quarter after his deflected shot was saved by Irish goalkeeper, Jamie Carr. Brendan Creed was lightning fast when sprinting from the goal-line when defending Irish penalty corners and Harry Gibson rotated with George Pinner in the English goal, taking over in the second and fourth quarters.

James Gall also forced a couple of saves from Carr.

Creed and Goodfield were both in the England starting line-up with Gall coming on as a sixth minute substitute.

England next face Argentina at 1005 GMT on Wednesday.

More information about the tournament can be found at the FIH Altius website

The England Hockey match report can be found here