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Jackson double secure England victory over Ireland

April 10, 2014 23:32 pm

Ashley Jackson's double inspired England to a commanding victory over Ireland in hockey's NOW: Pensions Nations Cup, in a match that marked the 100th encounter between the sides.

Jackson converted a 29th minute penalty corner to break the deadlock and Harry Martin added another from a set-piece just two minutes later.

And with the match marking the start of Bobby Crutchley’s sides build-up to the forthcoming World Cup, Jackson completed the scoring in the final minute from another penalty corner.

“We got the result which was the important thing and I thought we played well in parts, but it was also clear that we haven’t played in many competitive matches since the World League Final in January," said captain Barry Middleton. 

"This game is the start of our build up to the World Cup and I’m pleased with how we performed, especially in the second half where we dominated play."

Meanwhile, Martin paid tribute to the influential Jackson, a former young world player of the year.

“Ashley is so key for us, he's a world-class player and he's exciting to play with and to watch. As a team we all play off it and it's a real pleasure and privilege to play alongside him," he said. 

“I think we started off a bit rusty, it's our first game back for a while as a team, but we’re definitely pleased to get the result. We wanted to play our game rather than worry about what Ireland were doing, we knew they were going to be physical and they gave us a good battle. 

"We tried a few different things tactically in the second half and I think that worked well for us, mixing up the formation slightly and using the opportunity to try a few new things.”

© Sportsbeat 2014