Meath and Skryne footballer Paddy O’Rourke starred for Ireland as the hosts defeated Australia 57 - 35 in the opening test of the International Rules series at Breffni Park on Saturday evening in front of more than 17,500 spectators.
Ireland were dominant throughout the first-half, but they only had one goal threat from Paddy McBrearty who was pushed out over the line before he could get his shot away.
However, Ireland were ahead by 17-4 at the end of the first-quarter and by 28 - 9 (0-8-4) to (0-2-3) at the interval.
Ireland remained in the ascendancy although the lead was reduced substantially at one stage (39-27) before they eased away again in the closing stages.
The second test will take place next Saturday at Croke Park.
Ireland - P O’Rourke, C McKaigue, F Hanley, N McGee, L Keegan, Z Tuohy (1-0-0), J McCaffrey (0-0-1), A Walsh, S Cavanagh (0-1-0), P Flynn (0-1-1), C Byrne (0-1-1), C Sheehan (0-1-0), P McBrearty, M Murphy (0-2-1), R Munnelly (0-2-2). Subs - C Begley (0-1-0), A O’Shea (0-1-0), C Boyle (0-1-0), K McLoughlin (1-0-0), C McManus (0-1-1), C Kilkenny (0-0-1), M Shields, P Conroy.
Australia - A McGrath, C Yarran, T Armstrong, C Ellis-Yolmen, J Harbrow,, N Lovett-Murray, Lewis Jetta (0-1-0), D Wells (0-0-1), L Franklin (0-1-4), M Stokes (0-1-0), J Hill, Alwyn Davey (0-1-0), S Motlop (0-2-2), L Thomas, E Betts. Subs - S Edwards, S Wellingham, Leroy Jetta (0-1-0), J Neade (1-0-0), D Barry, Aaron Davey (0-0-1).
Referees: Maurice Deegan (Ireland) and Matt Stevic (Australia).
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