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Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Ireland clinch series win at MCG

Ireland captain Sean Cavanagh raises the Cormac McAnallen Cup
Ireland captain Sean Cavanagh raises the Cormac McAnallen Cup

Ireland regained the Cormac McAnallen Cup with a five-point series victory over Australia after Friday's 57-53 win in the second Test in Melbourne.

The Aussies led 15-12 after the first quarter but Kieran Donaghy and Enda McGinley netted as the Irish hit back to lead 36-21 at half-time.

Down's Bennie Coulter scored a goal to make it 50-33 after the third quarter.

Shaun Burgoyne's goal narrowed the gap but Coulter netted again while a Drew Petrie goal couldn't deny the Irish.

Ireland started the second Test nervously as they sought to protect their one-point advantage gained in last Friday's 45-44 win in Perth.

However, Irish captain Sean Cavanagh led by example as he hit over nine points in the opening quarter.

The game and series was effectively won by Ireland in the second quarter as they rattled up 24 points.

Paul Finlay added an over before Kerry forward Donaghy fired into the net after a poor kick-out from Aussie keeper Michael Firrito.

Overs from Cavanagh and Coulter increased the advantage before Tyrone midfielder McGinley blasted past Firrito for a six-pointer.

Marc Murphy reduced the gap to six after flicking the ball in during a goalmouth scramble.

Ireland responded again and Coulter slid the ball past Firrito after being put through by Michael Meehan.

A final-quarter onslaught from the Aussie was expected and the comeback was on after Burgoyne rifled into the top corner to make it 51-47.

But the gap was back to 10 just seconds later after Coulter punched the ball into the net from close range.

Petrie hammered home in stoppage time but Ireland had done enough to claim a Test and series victory.

Australia: Michael Firrito; Roger Hayden, Nathan Bock, Campbell Brown; Ryan Crowley, Drew Petrie, Adam Selwood; Brent Harvey, Daniel Wells; Marc Murphy, Jared Brennan, David Rodan; Michael Osborne, Shaun Burgoyne, Matt Campbell.
Interchange players: Matthew Boyd, Nathan Foley, Josh Hunt, Leigh Montagna, Daniel Motlop, Scott Pendlebury, Brad Sewell, Kade Simpson, Dale Thomas.

Ireland: David Gallagher; Aidan O'Mahony, Finian Hanley, John Keane; Bryan Cullen, Kevin Reilly, Ciarán McKeever; Graham Canty, Colm Begley; Enda McGinley, Seán Cavanagh, Joe McMahon; Steven McDonnell, Kieran Donaghy, Leighton Glynn.
Interchange players: Paddy Bradley, Benny Coulter, Aaron Kernan, Killian Young, Justin McMahon, Michael Meehan, John Miskella, Paul Finlay, Marty McGrath.

see also
Cavanagh savours Ireland triumph
31 Oct 08 |  Gaelic Games
Irish edge out Aussies in Perth
24 Oct 08 |  Gaelic Games
Cavanagh rejects Harte Rules jibe
22 Oct 08 |  Gaelic Games
Cavanagh named player of the year
17 Oct 08 |  Gaelic Games
Cavanagh to captain rules squad
29 Sep 08 |  Gaelic Games
Clarke to miss Australia series
23 Sep 08 |  Gaelic Games
International Rules games return
29 May 08 |  Gaelic Games

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