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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

FIRST GAME

TEAM
BACK: Michael Firrito (North Melbourne), Brad Sewell (Hawthorn), Campbell Brown (Hawthorn)

HALF BACK: Ryan Crowley (Fremantle), Drew Petrie (North Melbourne), Adam Selwood (West Coast)

CENTER: Brent Harvey (North Melbourne), Scott Thompson (Adelaide)

HALF FORWARD: Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Daniel Motlop (Port Adelaide), David Rodan (Port
Adelaide)

FORWARD: Michael Osborne (Hawthorn), Shaun Burgoyne (Port Adelaide), Matt Campbell (North
Melbourne)

INTERCHANGE: (nine of 10 to play): Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs), Jared Brennan (Brisbane Lions), Roger Hayden (Fremantle), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), Marc Murphy (Carlton), Max Rooke (Geelong Cats), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Dale Thomas (Collingwood), Daniel Wells (North Melbourne)


IRE  0.1.6   1.2.7   3.5.8  3.6.9  (45) 
AUS  0.0.1   0.5.4   0.7.7  0.12.8 (44)

GOALS (6 points): AUS - 0; IRE - Glynn, Cavanagh, McDonnell

OVERS (3 points): AUS - Murphy 4, Campbell 2, Thompson 2, Harvey, Rodan, Osborne, Montagna;  IRE - Cavanagh 2, Bradley, Donaghy, Lyng, Glynn

BEST: AUS - Murphy, Selwood, Harvey, Simpson, Thomas, Osborne; IRE - Glynn, Cavanagh, Gallagher, Joe McMahon, McKeever, Canty, Hanley

REPORTS: AUS - Campbell Brown (yellow card)

UMPIRES: Steve McBurney (Australia), Pat McEnaney (Ireland)

CROWD: 35,153 at Subiaco Oval

As in years past, the Australians attacked both man and ball. While the Australians tackled hard, they couldn't match the Irish in skill with the ball. Irish star Cavanaugh scored first with a 3 point over. North Melbourne's Campbell earned a free kick within scoring range, but the kick was intercepted by the Irish goalkeeper. The Irish attack continued strongly throughout the first term but all they could manage was six more points. It was enough with Australia's only score coming from Port Adelaide's Daniel Motlop. It was only a point and the Irish had an eight point lead at 1/4 time.

The Irish continued to score heavily in the early stages of the second term and when Irish player Glynn slammed through a goal, the Irish team were out to an 18 point lead. Australia rallied with two overs to Adelaide's Scott Thompson and one each to Carlton's Marc Murphy and Kangaroo Matt Campbell. An excellent save from Irish goalkeeper Gallagher denied Australia a goal and it appeared that Australia would lead by a point. However, a scoring adjustment had the scores tied at 1/2 time.

The Irish blitzed the Aussies in the third term with an over to Donoghy and a goal to Cavanaugh. Kangaroo Brent Harvey put through an over for Australia but Fremantle's Roger Hayden fumbled the ball in defense and Ireland pounced on the error with McDonnell scoring another goal for Ireland. Ireland added two more overs but Australia's Marc Murphy scored a late over to cut Ireland's lead to 13 points at 3/4 time.

The lead became 17 points in Ireland's favor with an over to McGinley. Port's Shaun Burgoyne then set up Saint Leigh Montagna for an over and Hawthorn's Michael Osborne kicked another to keep Australia in the game. Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury set up Murphy for another over. When Rodan scored an over, Australia was within a point. By this time, Australia was playing one man short with Campbell Brown yellow-carded to the bench for fierce hit on an Irish opponent. With Gallagher outstanding in defense, Ireland prevented Australia from scoring again and hung to win a thriller.

SECOND GAME

GOAL KEEPER: Michael Firrito (North Melbourne)
BACKS: Roger Hayden (Fremantle), Nathan Bock (Adelaide), Campbell Brown (Hawthorn)
HALF BACKS: Ryan Crowley (Fremantle), Drew Petrie (North Melbourne), Adam Selwood (West Coast)
MIDFIELD: Brent Harvey (North Melbourne), Daniel Wells (North Melbourne)
HALF FORWARDS: Marc Murphy (Carlton), Jared Brennan (Brisbane Lions), David Rodan (Port Adelaide)
FORWARDS: Michael Osborne (Hawthorn), Shaun Burgoyne (Port Adelaide), Matt Campbell (North Melbourne)
INTERCHANGE: Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs), Nathan Foley (Richmond), Josh Hunt (Geelong Cats), Leigh Montagna (St Kilda), Daniel Motlop (Port Adelaide), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood), Brad Sewell (Hawthorn), Kade Simpson (Carlton), Dale Thomas (Collingwood).

IN: Josh Hunt
OUT: Scott Thompson (calf) 


IRE  0.3.3   2.6.6   3.8.8  4.8.9  (57) 
AUS  0.4.3   0.5.6   1.6.9  3.8.11 (53)

GOALS: IRE - Coulter 2, Donaghy, McGinley;
AUS - Burgoyne, Murphy, Petrie;

OVERS: IRE - Cavanagh 4, Bradley, Coulter, Donaghy, Finlay; AUS - Petrie 2, Wells 2, Brennan, Brown, Burgoyne, Osborne

BEST: IRE - Canty, Coulter, Cavanagh, Glynn, Bradley; AUS - Simpson, Crowley, Boyd, Harvey, Petrie

JIM STYNES MEDAL: Kade Simpson (Carlton)

UMPIRES: Stephen McBurney (AUS), Pat McEnaney (IRE)

CROWD: 42,823 at the MCG

Light rain fell throughout much of the first term, but the Australians still managed to grab an early lead with 3-point overs to Burgoyne and Wells. Campbell then set up Brown for another over and it was Australia by nine points. Australia scored another over, but the Irish hit back with three overs with Cavanaugh's late shot putting Ireland within three points at 1/4 time.

The rain became heavier in the second term and Ireland handled the wet slippery conditions better than the home team. They played soccer-style, often kicking the ball off the ground and often finding a teammate. Firrito conceded goals to Irish players Donaghy and McGinley and the Irish were 18 points in front.. Another over to Cavanaugh extended Ireland's lead. The term was interrupted by two streakers whose dash across the ground had the crowd cheering. Security quickly apprehended the culprits and Hawthorn's Osborne was shifted forward with immediate results for Australia. He scored an over late in the term and a great save by Bock prevented another Irish score, but Ireland still led by 15 points at 1/ time.

Ireland's Paddy Bradley put through an over to start the third term, but Australia fought back. Brennan scored an over and the Australians continued to attack hard and fast but managed only a few points. Finally, it was left to Murphy to secure Australia's first goal to cut Ireland's lead to just six points. Ireland stormed back with a goal to Coulter and an over to Donaghy giving them a 17 point lead at 3/4 time.

Petrie had been well contained for most of the game, bur finally broke clear to score a pair of overs to cut Ireland's lead. A goal to Burgoyne put Australia within reach of victory before another goal to Ireland's Coulter late in the match. With just a few minutes remaining, Petrie charged through the middle and scored another goal to have the Aussies within four points. From there, the Irish held out the Aussies and hung on for a narrow victory to take out the series.

The win by Ireland levels the series at seven wins each.

Source: Melbourne Age & afl.com.au

Article last changed on Sunday, November 16, 2008 - 9:35 PM EST


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