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Ireland shocked by late goal as France snatch a thrilling draw

 

By John Flack

Ireland's men had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw against France in last night's international at a rain-sodden Lisnagarvey as both teams continued their preparations for the first stage of Olympic qualifying in Le Touquet this month.

The hosts looked to have a morale-boosting victory in the bag after Shane O'Donoghue's second-half goal, but France levelled with the last play of the game after forcing seven consecutive penalty corners.

Both teams had difficulty coping with the underfoot conditions in the first half, which was virtually devoid of chances bar an effort from Ulsterman Sean Murray which hit the post on the half-hour mark.

Play opened up after the break and O'Donoghue was denied by the French keeper in the 40th minute after good work by Banbridge man Eugene Magee and Murray.

Two minutes later, the Dubliner broke the deadlock when he scored from Ireland's only set-piece of the game, his low drag flick taking a deflection off a French player's stick before entering the net.

However, the French snatched a draw when Hugo Genestet fired high into the net after that barrage of corners.

The teams meet again tomorrow at the same venue (12noon).

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