Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: England beaten by Australia in final

India squandered the lead on two occasions to go down 2-3 against Ireland

India ended their campaign at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament with a 4-1 academic win over Ireland to finish fifth in the final standings on Saturday.

Ben Palmer opened their account and Dane Ward scored twice - one from open play and the other a penalty stroke -with John Watson getting their fourth.

India lost the first match 3-2 against Argentina and then went on to draw 1-1 against England.

Now India is in fifth position with four points. It was an infringement on Ireland's part when Simranjeet Singh was attempting a shot on goal that resulted in the penalty corner.

The second quarter saw India up their energy and constantly attacked the Irish circle. But Malaysia pulled level, thanks to goals from Joel van Huizen (34th) Faizal Saari (27th).

India's next goal came off Gurjant in the 37th minute.

The Irish dominated ball possession while their goalkeeper Jamie Carr came up with some brilliant saves to keep India under pressure. India denied Ireland their first penalty corner of a match with a decision for video referral that was ruled in India's favour. Varun seemed to have found his mojo in this match as he pumped a brilliantly struck dragflick past Carr to take India's lead to a comfortable 3-0.

Bobby Crutchley's team then enjoyed a prolonged spell of possession as they tried to force an equaliser and it nearly came in the 44th minute as Chris Griffiths did well to control a terrific Mark Gleghorne pass, but his bullet strike rippled the netting on the wrong side of the post.

Both teams reached the final with confidence with Australia unbeaten in the five prelimnary matches, while England were riding high after thrashing Malaysia 7-2 prior to yesterday's showdown.

Australia won their game against Ireland with some ease and were 2-0 up after just 14 minutes with Jake Whetton scoring from play and Daniel Beale extending the lead three minutes later.

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