SHORT SUMMARY: Ireland have narrowly defeated Australia in their opening International Rules match
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Ireland have narrowly defeated Australia in their opening International Rules match
Just a single point gave Ireland the first victory fo the renewed International Rules series played in Perth Australia this morning.
IRELAND survived a fierce final-quarter comeback from Australia to post a thrilling 45-44 victory in the series opening International Rules clash at Subiaco Oval.
In front of 35,153 fans, Ireland looked to have the game sewn up when they shot out to a 17-point lead four minutes into the final quarter.
Five unanswered overs saw Australia claw to within one point of the visitors but it wasn't enough, with Ireland holding their nerve in the dying minutes to win 3.6.9 (45) to 0.12.8 (44).
Ireland lead 9-1 after the first quarter, with just 1 over and 6 behinds for Ireland - not great target shooting for Gaelic Footballers used to finding the target.
The 2nd Quarter, Australia scored an over, 4-9,
then Ireland fire over, to make it 4-12,
another behind for Australia.
Then Glenn scored a goal for ireland,
The score was 18-5 to Ireland.
The next 20 minutes belonged to the Aussies, going ahead 19-18, and a behind for Ireland on the stroke of half time put the sides level, at the interval.
An Over and a Goal by Kieran Donaghy put Ireland in the driving seat again, 29-20.
Overs by Cavanagh and Donagh for Ireland, and Harvey for Australia.
A chance for an open goal for Ireland was squandered when Cavanagh opted for an over.
Harvey again for Australia reduced the margin with the the scores 23-32 in favour of Ireland.
Another goal for Ireland by McDonnell, and they stretch to a 13 point lead 41 to 28, at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Ahead 45-35, Australia claw back, with 14 men, to 44 points.
Trailing by 1, Australia get a '45' in the dying seconds and have a chance to clinch the match by 2 points, if they point it over, or at least draw for a behind.
But the kick drops short into Ireland's goalkeeper David Gallagher's hands.
The final whistle sounded, Ireland have won. 45-44.
A few contraversial or talking points would be a crunching tackle on Ireland's Hanley by Australia's Campbell Brown - who seemed to escape with just a Yellow Card and a sin-bin. Fortunately Hanley from Galway is OK.
Also 1 minute into injury time, as Ireland led by just 1 point, Ireland's Paddy Bradley is put through on goal, but is dragged to the ground illegally by an Australian, but escapes without a caution or a free to Ireland, which would have put the match more secure for the Irish.
A 1 point margin is better than nothing or a loss, heading into the next duel on the 31st live from Melbourne.
Ireland: David Gallagher; Aidan O’Mahony, Finian Hanley, John Keane; Bryan Cullen, Kevin Reilly, Ciarán McKeever; Graham Canty, Colm Begley; Enda McGinley, Seán Cavanagh (capt), Joe McMahon; Steven McDonnell; Kieran Donaghy, Benny Coulter.
Interchange Players: Aaron Kernan, Tom Parsons, Michael Meehan, John Miskella, Pearse O’Neill, Paddy Bradley, Justin McMahon, Leighton Glynn, Ciarán Lyng.
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