Sothern on the double as Ireland see off France

Men’s Senior International Test Match
Ireland 3 (Alan Sothern 2, Chris Cargo) France 1 (Gaspard Baumgarten)

An Alan Sothern double saw Ireland come from a goal down at half-time to defeat France 3-1 in the second of their three game series at Grange Road on Thursday evening.

Ten changes were made to the Irish panel from Tuesday with David Fitzgerald, Kirk Shimmins, Mitch Darling, Peter Caruth, Bruce McCandless, Steven Dowds, Chris Cargo, Sothern, Eugene Magee and Drew Carlisle coming into the side.

The Irish men's team prior to test number two against France Pic: Adrian Boehm

The Irish men’s team prior to test number two against France Pic: Adrian Boehm

France settled the quicker in the first quarter but there was little goal mouth action at either end and the game remained scoreless. In the second quarter, Ireland upped the tempo, with a great strike from Peter Caruth saved by Edgar Reynaud and, a minute later, Kyle Good had a great opportunity to give Ireland the lead but his shot went over the cross bar from close range.

Just before half time, though, Ireland were turned over and the cross into the circle was turned in by Gaspard Baumgarten after good advantage by umpire Kris Cholewa.

Fitzgerald saved the first corner of the match just after half-time while Ireland forced two consecutive corners of their own but, each time, they failed to trap and the danger was cleared.

But they were back on terms in the 43rd minute from another set-piece, this time worked to perfection for Alan Sothern to slot home. A minute later, after lovely interplay between Magee and Darling, the French keeper had to be at his best to keep Sothern’s touch out, keeping it 1-1 going into the final quarter.

And Ireland turned the game in the latter stages. Two minutes into the final quarter, a great ball by Shane O’Donoghue found Dowds who won PC number four.

This time, O’Donoghue’s strike was deflected in by the stick of Cargo and the lead for Ireland. Fitzgerald in the Irish goal was called on to make some fine saves but it was Ireland who extended the lead in the 54th minute when Good set up Sothern for an easy finish and a win for Ireland by 3-1.

Ireland play France in the final of the three test series tomorrow Friday at Grange Road at 7pm.

Ireland: D Fitzgerald, J Bell, L Cole, P Gleghorne (capt), S O’Donoghue, K Shimmins, M Darling, P Caruth, B McCandless, S Dowds, C Cargo.
Subs: A Sothern, E Magee, J Lorimer, M Bell, D Carlisle, K Good,

France: E Reynaud, C Peters-Deutz, J-L Kieffer, T Genestet, H Genestet , C Masson, V Charlet, A Coisne, G Baumgarten, G Deront, F Scheefer,
Subs: F Goyet, S Martin-Brisac, O Sanchez, J-B Forgues, R Lyon, G Samson

Umpires: A Groves, K Cholewa

Partners of The Hook