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Ireland vs. Austrailia

1st test of compromise rules Ostpark, Munich.
Saturday 8th September 2001, 5pm.

The ticket touts were in full force last Saturday at Ostpark. Tickets were changing hands for 3 or 4 times face value allegedly!, for the first test between München Colmcilles and Munich Kangaroos, in a compromise match of Gaelic football and Australian Rules football. The Ossies limbered up for the game with a rigourous warm up. Colmcilles in the traditional GAA manner lots of catching and kicking with a pre-match huddle before kick off. Players took their positions sizing up their opponents. I don't know if David versus Goliath is a fair description David being the Irish Kerry man McKenna and Greg Langley the Aussie Goliath. Well if you think the Ozzies can jump and Mark from a high, you ain't seen nuthin yet. Noel McKenna - definitely Mick O' Connells blood in his veins. The ball is thrown in! This Milltown man, for all those uneducated, thats the heart of Kerry, gave an exhibition of high fielding, high catching, showed the Ozzies, whatever you have in Melbourne, we have in Ireland too.

But don't forget the tenacious tackling by the Cavan star Daire Keivlehan was reminicent of great John Joe (O' Reilly). Right from the goal keeper, Owain O' Leary, making his debut for the Colmcilles lads, (showed that he may be worthy of a place on the Colmcilles side in the Hague) , or might even make the Irish national compromise rulse againest Austrailia.

Unfortunately young O' Connell, ruined in his prime, a former county star with the rebels, was taken out after 15 minutes. He played the length and breath of the park, and scored a few incredible points, that only Jimmy Barry Murphy would have attempted. His replacement was Crossmaglen man Paul Larkin, just back from an injury sustained in the Luxembourg tournament. anybodies ball!

Now you may think that we're just Irish playing abroad. You've heard of Pele, Eusebio, Michael Jordan and all the rest. But it just so happens that the Colmcilles have their own foreign stars too. Alex Stojcevic, the Yugoslav - watch this name - and Peirre Rey Emmaneulle, the Franco, a defender the same. They have both adapted to the Gaelic game - must have relatives in Corofin, or somewhere the same.

For the first 5 minutes of the game we thought we'd have an uphill struggle due to the height of the opposition. Shane O'Niells' fitness made a huge difference in the sway of the game no more so than that he caught a great ball in the first half and did a one-two with Dan The man who put him in a great position from where he took a powerful strike of the ball that racked the right top corner of the net. Goal of the season.

The Colmcilles had many problems competing in the air for the ball due to the prowess of Ozzie Grag Langley. To put it simply, brave Langley lorded midfield for the full 60 minutes. Dan the man Galavan from Wexford played at full forward, and if the Rackards had played football then Dan was one of them.

Colmcilles have been lucky to find such a solid defender as Aidan O' Sullivan. Munich are victorious I don't know what it is about playing for your country, about wearing the green white and gold, about the passion that gives us, that burning fire, but this friendly challenge with the Australians within minutes became the duel of nations, Northern hemisphere against Southern hemisphere. The Australians and the Irish cancelled each other out, the Australians surprisingly adapting to the round ball, at the break, were only in a rears by 5 points. Unfortunately or fortunately for the Irish, the rain at half time made conditions hazardous. The second half with that egg shaped ball made tackles late, kicks wayward, and the number of Marks reduced to single digits. The Australians closed the gap and all looked lost. However, 10 minutes into the second half, the Irish adapted well to the 'odd' shaped ball, and balance was restored.

Its hard to say really how Ireland snatched victory. Some would say it was that rugged style of the goalkeeper. Others would attribute it to the fierce tackling of the halfbacks. And for a David vs. Goliath display in midfield between Langley of Australia the 6ft 10 and McKenna of Kerry, you would swear he was playing against Cork. Maybe Ireland kicked twice as many wides as Australia with the Oval ball, but thats because they had twice as much possession. But maybe it was the bit of guts and determination, the pride in the jersey, the same stuff that makes a great game at home, galvanized that Irish steel and secured victory with the last kick of the game.

Ireland be wary ! the Ozzies will be back for revenge on Saturday 29th Sept, 2001.

Final score: Ireland 2-15 Australia 4-8

Man of the match - Dan Galavan, Ireland (München Colmcilles)

Ireland (Muenchen Colmcilles)

1. Eoin O' Leary
2. Daire Kivlehan
3. Aidan O' Sullivan
4. Alex Stojcevic
5. Martin O'Connell
6. Pierre Rey Emanuelle
7. Noel McKenna
8. Niall McCorley
9. Shane O'Niell
10. Pat Collins
11. Dan Galavan

Subs:
Paul Larkin (for O'Connell, 15 min)
Niall Barrett (Stojcevic, 43 min)
John Mallon (O'Niell, 50 min)
Austrailia (Munich Kangaroos)

1. Cameron Ashmead
2. Antony Carlton
3. Kevin Barvin
4. John Desousa
5. Phil Empey
6. Michael Dixon
7. Craig Freer
8. Greg 'Jezza' Langley
9. Jeffrey Korn
10. Greg Luskey
11. Nilss Lode

Subs:
John Skelly (Carlton, 35 min)
Michael Southgate (Korn, 36 min)
Paul McGree (Lode, 56 min)
Marc Eisler Murray Coles

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