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Irish milestones for Gleghorne and O'Donoghue

 

By Graham Hamilton

It's going to be a big day for Paul Gleghorne and Shane O'Donoghue as both reach major milestones when Ireland take on World No.5 Germany in Dublin on Friday.

Lisnagarvey defender Gleghorne will join the exclusive 200 club when he lines out against the Germans at Pembroke's Serpentine Avenue ground in Dublin (7pm) while Glenanne midfielder O'Donoghue will win his 150th cap in the same game.

The Green Machine are playing the Rio Olympic bronze medallists twice over the weekend as they continue preparations for the World Cup finals in India later in the year.

The second game will also be at Pembroke, on Saturday afternoon (5pm).

Coach Craig Fulton has named a strong squad, with Ulster supplying nine of the 20, almost half.

Back into the frame are experienced players like Ulsterman John Jackson and Leinster duo David Fitzgerald and Mitch Darling, although goalkeeper David Harte is unavailable, as is the most-capped player, Banbridge's Eugene Magee.

Eugene's younger brother Owen gets a call-up, though, but also missing are Lisnagarvey duo Sean Murray and Neal Glassey and Banbridge's Johnny McKee.

Lisnagarvey defender Jonathan Bell captains the side while Ulster colleague Chris Cargo is vice-captain and they will be doing their utmost to conjure up a win to complete Gleghorne and O'Donoghue's big day.

Meanwhile, the domestic season ends tomorrow evening when Kilkeel and Instonians meet in the Anderson Cup final at Queen's Upper Malone ground (8pm).

But the Mourne side will be missing their joint top scorer David Rae, who flies out the next morning with the Irish Under-21 squad for a six-game series in New York.

Nevertheless, the Ulster Premier League champions have sufficient other firepower to cause rivals Instonians some concern.

It has been 23 years since Inst last won the trophy, something they aim to put right as they bid to end the season with some silverware.

Kilkeel, though, were beaten finalists last year and also won it the year before.

And they want to end a memorable season on a high note by completing a treble, having already bagged the league title and the Kirk Cup.

Belfast Telegraph

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