Ireland men earn 2-1 win over England in Four Nations opener in Valencia

Mitch Darling hit Ireland's second goal in Valencia
Mitch Darling and his Ireland team-mates will be up against hosts Spain on Tuesday

Goals from Daragh Walsh and Michael Darling earned Ireland a 2-1 win over England in their Four Nations Tournament opener in Valencia.

Luke Taylor pulled one back for England from a penalty corner but the Irish held firm in the closing stages to secure the victory.

Both teams are using the tournament to prepare for the World Cup, which starts in India on 28 November.

On Tuesday, England face the Netherlands with Ireland playing Spain.

In Monday's game, the best effort during the opening quarter came from an Irish penalty corner but Shane O'Donoghue fired his flick wide.

Ireland again went close to taking the lead in the second quarter but O'Donoghue's penalty stroke was saved by George Pinner.

However, the Irish did take the lead three minutes after half-time as Walsh fired home on the reverse.

Darling doubled Ireland's advantage just before the end of the third quarter but Taylor's penalty corner kept England in touch as the sides entered the final 15 minutes.

Ireland's Alan Sothern was yellow-carded with 10 minutes to go as England pressed for an equaliser but the Irish held on to claim the victory.

Spain beat the Dutch 2-1 in Monday's other game.

The four teams are competing in a round-robin group before semi-finals and finals, including a third-fourth place match, this weekend.

England are ranked seventh in the world - three places ahead of the Irish.

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