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Teenager Nelson bags first senior Ireland goals in draw with Spain

By Graham Hamilton

Lisnagarvey's teenage striker Matthew Nelson scored his first two goals as a senior international as Ireland held Spain to a 3-3 draw in the Tri-Nations series in Benalmadena yesterday.

Nelson, who helped Wallace High to school honours just two years ago, was one of a handful of young players given the chance to prove themselves ahead of the World League 2 series in Belfast next month, and his predatory instincts haven't gone unnoticed.

The Irish started well with Neal Glassey coming close but it was Nelson who opened the scoring when he deflected home at the back post following great work by Eugene Magee.

Ricardo Santana levelled but Nelson got his second when he tucked home a rebound off the keeper to restore the Irish lead.

When Shane O'Donoghue converted a penalty corner won by Johnny McKee it seemed Craig Fulton's experimental squad would pull off a rare win over Spain but the prolific Xavi Lleonart pulled one back from a penalty corner and then levelled matters with just minutes to go.

Ireland: J Carr, M Bell, J Bell, C Harte, P Gleghorne, N Glassey, S O'Donoghue, C Cargo, J McKee, J Dale, M Nelson. Subs: E Magee, S Murray, L Cole, J Duncan, B Walker, S O'Connor.

Belfast Telegraph

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