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Tumilty has platform to build on as Ireland pass first French exam

Mark Tumilty
Mark Tumilty

Mark Tumilty made a winning start to his reign as interim head coach of the national men's team as Ireland defeated France 2-1 in the first of the two-match series in Bordeaux last night.

Ulster players Sean Murray and Matthew Nelson, with a late winner, got the goals as preparations continued for the Olympic qualifiers against Canada in Vancouver at the end of the month.

Tumilty said: "The results of the two games aren't important but, having said that, it was good for the guys to experience a winning feeling again.

"I was pleased with the way they played, although there are still a few things we have to work on and I would have liked to have seen us retain the ball better at times but, overall, it was a good display."

Former Lisnagarvey man Murray, now playing in Holland, opened the scoring with a fine solo effort in the eighth minute.

France levelled through Blaise Rogeau's penalty corner in the 43rd minute before Nelson, who plies his trade in Germany, hammered home a loose ball in the circle for a spectacular winner with two minutes remaining.

Today: France v Ireland (Bordeaux, 4.30pm)

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