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Hot shot Iroquois put on first-half show to beat England

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Iroquois put together a 12-goal blitz of attacking lacrosse in a 20-minute first-half period to record a victory over England on Matchday 2 at the World Championships.

England led 3-0 in the early stages but a devastating response from the Nationals flipped the game on its head with the unanswered streak taking the contest away from England.

Ryan Hunns was in good form once again leading the English charge with three goals and Hal Dwobeng made 10 saves in 49:20 at 53%.

England set a positive tone from the off, after the defence cleared the opening Iroquois attack, Ryan Sweetman drove from inside his own half right through the heart of the opposing defence and as it opened up, finished the chance with conviction.

The attacking unit were determined to make the most of their early controlled possessions, drawing a couple of stall calls from the officials but making the right decisions, and twice getting Ryan Hunns free for him to fizz the ball past the ‘keeper for the 3-0 lead.

Up to this point, Iroquois had had limited ball and chance to attack but a five-minute period changed that and with some inventive offensive play making defending tricky work, the advantage was extinguished.

And another two in two minutes at the end of the first quarter was a real sucker punch to the English cause with the Nationals beginning to fire.

The relentless attack continued after the break as some deadly accurate shooting, combined with extra space on a couple of man-up opportunities had Iroquois racing into a 12-3 advantage.

Brothers Austin and Randy Staats were particularly impressive, finishing with five and three goals respectively.

After his early goals, Hunns was always keen to take on the shot at any opportunity with 12 in total for the game and secured his hat-trick just before half-time to make it 4-12 at the interval.

After the frantic goal scoring of Q2, the third quarter got off to a fairly sedate start.

Hal Dwobeng, who subbed on for Will Baxter at 31:40, with Baxter possibly feeling the effects of an earlier late hit, put in a performance of note, making a couple of saves early in the second-half, and reaching double figures in saves overall for the game.

And after the good defensive work, Christian Scarpello got the first goal of the half, followed by a double for Iroquois in a low-scoring third to make it 4-15.

The overall shot count for the game was only 39-31 in favour of Iroquois and level across three quarters, excluding the Iroquois’ big Q2 outshooting 11-3, showing that Team England did create their fair share of chances.

Pete Hayes managed to make the most of his chance, picking up on an assist from Jimmy Yanes, but Iroquois hit back with a four-goal streak at the other end to reinforce their dominance.

England would close the scoring for the match, Tom Bracegirdle snatching a clean face-off, bringing it forward and feeding Alex Russell to score his first goal at the championships and finish the tie 7-18.

Next up for Team England today is a crunch battle against Scotland (3.15pm UK Time) with both sides 0-2 and needing a win to remain in contention for a top four spot in the pool.

England Points: Ryan Hunns (3,0), Ryan Sweetman (1,0), Christian Scarpello (1,0), Pete Hayes (1,0), Alex Russell (1,0), Jimmy Yanes (0,1), Tom Bracegirdle (0,1)

Iroquois Points: Randy Staats (5,0), Lyle Thompson (2,3), Randy Staats (3,0), Ty Thompson (2,1), Miles Thompson (1,1), Brendan Bomberry (1,1) Kyle Jackson (1,0), Tehoka Nanticoke (1,0), Scanlan Chase (1,0), Frankie Brown (1,0), John Ron (0,1)