International Rules 1st Test – Ireland 57 Australia 35

Ireland Finish Strongly to Seal First Test Win

Report from the GAA.ie web site

Irish Daily Mail International Rules First Test: Ireland 57 (2-12-9) Australia 35 (1-7-8)

Ireland will take a 22-point lead into next weekend’s second Test at Croke Park after comfortably beating Australia in the series opener at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday night. Ireland dominated the first half and were 29-9 ahead at the long break. The hosts extended that advantage to 24 points when Zach Tuohy hit the back of the net in the 47th minute before the Australians mounted a spirited comeback and had the gap down to eight (39-31) a minute into the fourth quarter.

Jake Neade’s goal three minutes from the end of the third quarter was the start of a super purple patch for the visitors, who hit 14 points in a row to make a real game of it. However, Ireland snaffled a second six-pointer, through Mayo’s Kevin McLoughlin, 14 minutes into the final quarter to seal the win. Ireland had much the better of the first 18-minute period and were 17-4 ahead at the first hooter. Ross Munnelly, who kicked two excellent overs and set up another for Loais team-mate Colm Begley, was the outstanding player on show.

Michael Murphy opened the scoring with a well-taken over before the impressive Steven Motlop hit back for the visitors. However, Mick O’Loughlin’s side struggled in the opening half and failed to pose any real danger for the home defence. The first real goal chance of a one-sided first half came in the 28th minute when Jack McCaffrey punched a hole in the Aussies’ defence with a searing run, but Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty was forced wide when he had the goal at his mercy.

Australia’s $10 (AUS) man Lance Franklin showed flashes of his ability and hit an over and a behind to reduce the gap, but when Seán Cavanagh, winning his 11th international cap, drove over his first over of the game, Ireland led by 29-9 at the break. Paul Flynn and Motlop traded overs at the start of the third quarter, before Ireland had another goal chance, but Cavanagh was denied by a fine save from Australian goalkeeper Ashley McGrath. Ireland found a way through on 47 minutes, when Colm Boyle found Tuohy and the Laois man, who plays for Carlton in the AFL, powered through the visitors’ defence and drove a shot beyond the hapless McGrath. At that stage, Paul Earley’s side were 39-14 ahead and coasting.

The tourists then came to life, hitting 13 points without reply in the final three minutes of the third quarter. Eddie Betts did the damage for their goal, using his pace to find space on the endline before popping a pass to Jake Neade, who rolled the ball to the back of Paddy O’Rourke’s net. Lewis Jetta and Alwyn Davey then added further overs to the Australians’ tally, before Franklin knocked over a behind almost two minutes into third quarter added time to leave the score at the three-quarter marker Ireland 39 Australia 27.

Dominic Barry pulled another point back for the tourists, but they should have added a second goal five minutes into the final quarter when their star player, Motlop, was played clear on goal but blazed a shot off the bar when it seemed harder to miss. Ireland breathed a huge sigh of relief but were under severe pressure. Ciarán Sheehan eased that pressure when he hit a crucial over six minutes from the end, curling the ball over after Conor McManus flicked the ball into his path. Four minutes later, Ireland had a second goal when Kevin McLoughlin won a loose ball and placed a shot past McGrath to put his side 49-32 ahead. Colm Boyle and Conor McManus added further overs in the closing stages for the Irish, who will take a 22-point lead into next Saturday’s second Test.

Scorers for Australia: S Motlop 8 (0-2-2), J Neade 6 (1-0-0), L Franklin 6 (0-1-3), L Jetta 6 (0-2-0), M Stokes 3 (0-1-0), Alwyn Davey 3 (0-1-0), D Barry 1 (0-0-1), Aaron Davey 1 (0-0-1), D Wells 1 (0-0-1).

Scorers for Ireland: R Munnelly 9 (0-2-3), M Murphy 7 (0-2-1), Z Tuohy 6 (1-0-0), K McLoughlin 6 (1-0-0), C McManus 5 (0-1-2), C Sheehan 4 (0-1-1), C Byrne 4 (0-1-1), C Begley 3 (0-1-0), C Boyle 3 (0-1-0), A O’Shea 3 (0-1-0), S Cavanagh 3 (0-1-0), P Flynn 3 (0-1-0), J McCaffrey 1 (0-0-1).

Australia: A McGrath; C Yarran, T Armstrong, C Ellis-Yollman; J Harbrow, N Lovett-Murray, Lewis Jetta; D Wells, L Franklin; M Stokes, J Hill, Aaron Davey; S Motlop, L Thomas, E Betts.

Interchange Players: Leroy Jetta, S Welligham, S Edwards, Alwyn Davey, J Neade, D Batty.

Ireland: P O’Rourke; N McGee, F Hanley, C McKaigue; L Keegan, Z Tuohy, J McCaffrey; A Walsh, S Cavanagh; P Flynn, C Byrne, C Sheehan; P McBrearty, M Murphy, R Munnelly.

Interchange Players: C Begley, C Boyle, P Conroy, C Kilkenny, K McLoughlin, C MacManus, A O’Shea, M Shields.

Referees: Maurice Deegan (Ireland), Matt Stevic (Australia).

Attendance: 17,657

Munster Senior Ladies Football Final – The Banner (Clare) 1-13 St Val’s (Cork) 1-12

Munster Senior Ladies Final

Banner roar to life

The Banner 1-13 St Val’s 1-12

When Caoimhe Creedon stood, up to take a last minute free from the 35 Metre line it looked as if St. Val’s were going to take another late victory but cruelly for Creedon her effort drop short and was cleared by the Banner. A minute later Katie Cahill scored a point that will be long remembered in Clare as it was going to be the difference between two sides who really just went for it all day.

The Banner made the better start and were 1-4 to 0-0 to the good by the eighth minute, before St. Val’s even woke from their slumber. In truth, it could have been more were it not for a terrific save by the Val’s custodian Jean O’Sullivan. Val’s finally got back on top of affairs and with a vital Jean Lucey goal in the 12th minute; they began to close the gap. However, this was to become a Niamh O’Dea and Caoimhe Creedon battle as both carried their teams largely for scores. O’Dea would finish the day with 1-6 while Creedon would have a personal tally of 0-8.

The sides went to the break with the Banner just two ahead 1-7 to 1-5. Val’s needed to kick on early in the second half and while they managed to disrupt a lot of ball heading to the Banner forward line they were unable to close the gap. With 8 minutes to go, there was still two points between them. It was in the last ten minutes that Val’s found the gear they needed and Creedon kicked the equaliser on the 60th minute it looked as if both sides would have another day. However, Creedon’s final free did not have the distance and Katie Cahill ensured that the Michael Ryan Cup would head back to the Banner for the first time since 1996 winners ironically defeated a Michael Ryan trained Ballymacarby of Waterford.

Niamh O’Dea collect both cup and player of the game award on the day of her birthday. This was possibly one of the greatest finals in recent years at this grade. The Banner had stars all over the field. Laura Ryan and Louise Woods were immense in the backline while veterans Louise Hency and Niamh Keane battled all day. In the forward line, it would be easy to talk about the wonderful Niamh O’Dea but a lot of the good work was done by her forward teammates whose off the ball running and support play opened a lot of space when it was needed.

It was cruel on St Val’s who after a slow start got back to level right on full time. Jean O’Sullivan made a number of telling saves in the Val’s goal and after a shaky start, Eva Dunne and Claire Ambrose got on top of things. Breige Corkery’s normal rampaging was curtailed somewhat as she ended up marking O’Dea but Fiona Crowley caught the eye when introduced with Jean Lucey and Louise Cohalan always dangerous.

The Banner: E O’Driscoll, E O’Dea, L Ryan, N Cavanagh, L Woods, S Quinn, O Lynch 0-2, L Hencey, N Keane, G Nolan 0-1, A Malone 0-1, N Carroll, K Cahill 0-1, N O’Dea 1-6 (2F) S Higgins. Subs: A Keane 0-1 for S Higgins (32M), K Roche 0-1 for N Carroll (45M)

St. Val’s: J O’Sullivan, S Cotter, M Ambrose, Liz Coholan, E Dunne, C Ambrosse, V Foley, Louise Coholan 0-1, N Canty, C Byrne, J Lucey 1-1, B Corkery, M Corkery 0-1, C Creedon 0-8 (4F), A Plunkett 0-1, Subs: F Crowley for N Canty (35M), B Hennigan for C Byrne (35M)

Referee: Keith Delahunty (Tipperary)

Banner Ladies, Clare

St. Val’s (Cork)