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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 October 2006, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Ireland 48-40 Australia
Australia's Barry Hall is tackled by Aidan O'Mahoney and Kieran McGeeney
Barry Hall is tackled by Aidan O'Mahoney and Kieran McGeeney
Ireland snatched a dramatic win against Australia in the first International Rules Test and will take an eight-point lead into the decisive second match.

Sean Boylan's Irish side enjoyed a 16-4 lead after the first quarter but a goal from Ryan O'Keefe helped put Australia 33-29 up by the end of the third.

An over by Steven McDonnell and a goal from Joe Bergin in the last minute gave Ireland the victory in Galway

The second game is on 5 November with aggregate scores deciding the series.

That will be played a Croke Park, but Saturday's opener was staged outside Dublin for the first time.

And the full house at the Pearse Stadium saw Ireland take early control with Armagh's Steven McDonnell contributing four points.

Australia, holders of the Cormac McAnallen Cup after a 163-42 success on home soil in 2005, clawed their way back in the second quarter and won it 10-5 to be just 21-14 in arrears at the halfway point.

Ireland, who had missed a good goal chance through Sean Cavanagh in the second quarter, saw another slip away when McDonnell's close-range shot was blocked by Australia's Dustin Fletcher.

The opening goal came on 52 minutes with Australia opening up the Irish defence for Nick Davis to feed O'Keefe who scored with keeper Alan Quirke stranded.

It looked as if the strength of the full-time Australians was going to tell but Ireland's battling qualities saw them take the final quarter by 19 points to seven.

O'Keefe was Australia's top scorer with 18 points while Ireland's McDonnell finished with 16 points.

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