Ireland overwhelm Australia to take series by 101 points
Conor McManus grabs 24 points as home side score six goals in Croke Park rout
Conor McManus scores his Ireland’s first goal during the second Test against Australia at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
IRELAND 116 (6-22-14), AUSTRALIA 37 (2-7-4) – Ireland win the series 173-72: If tonight’s second test of the international rules series proves to be the last, it went out with a whimper, as Ireland overwhelmed Australia at Croke Park to win by 79 points and record a record series win of 101 points on aggregate.
Unlike in Cavan last week, the visiting AFL team never had any period of momentum and Ireland ran in six goals while assembling their total of 116, another record, before a crowd of 28,526.
Ireland played well but there was virtually no opposition, as the visitors continued to struggle with all aspects of the international game.
Conor McManus was named the TG4 Man of the Match with a total of 24 points but he received excellent support from team captain Michael Murphy who took a series of excellent marks and ran a rampant attack.
The first goal came in 12 minutes for McManus, assisted by Murphy. Just before the end of the first quarter Murphy and McManus again combined to set Jack McCaffrey up for the second goal and a 19-point lead, 27-8.
That pattern continued and after just half an hour Seán Cavanagh, who fittingly – as Ireland’s greatest international player of the past 10 years – scored the over that broke the 100 points barrier in the final quarter, did well to stop a ball going dead and chipped it to Ciarán Kilkenny, who drove in the third goal.
Australia didn’t manage to score for nearly 20 minutes in the middle of the match and Ireland continued to pile on scores. Again Murphy created an opening for Colm Begley to send in McManus for his second and Ireland’s fourth.
Paddy McBreaty added the fifth and although Australia grabbed two of their own in quick succession after the hour, the first some sort of reward for Eddie Betts’s hard work over two tests and the second for last week’s goal scorer Jake Neade.
Galway’s Paul Conroy added the sixth with a shot from distance that escaped Australian goalkeeper Ashley McGrath – with some help from Murphy’s challenge.
SCORERS – Ireland: McManus (2-4-0) 24, Murphy (0-4-0) 12, McBrearty (1-1-2), Keegan (0-3-2) 11 each, Sheehan, Munnelly (0-3-1) 10 each, Kilkenny (1-1-0) 9, Conroy (1-0-1) 7, McCaffrey (1-0-0) 6, Flynn (0-1-2) 5, Cavanagh (0-1-1) 4, McKeague (0-1-0) 3, Doyle, Walsh, Begley, Shields (0-0-1) 1 each. Australia: Betts (1-1-0) 9, Neade (1-0-1) 7, Lewis Jetta (0-2-0) 6, Hill (0-1-1) 4, Wellingham, Alwyn Davey, Thomas (0-1-0) 3 each, Harbrow, Stokes (0-0-1) 1 each.
IRELAND: 1. P O’Rourke (Meath); 17. N McGee (Donegal), 26. M Shields (Cork), 18. C McKaigue (Derry); 12. L Keegan (Mayo), 27. Z Touhy (Carlton and Laois), 15. J McCaffrey (Dublin); 28. A Walsh (Cork), 5. S Cavanagh (Tyrone); 8. P Flynn (Dublin), 4. C Byrne (Louth), 25. C Sheehan (Cork); 22. R Munnelly (Laois), 23. M Murphy (Donegal; capt), 21. C McManus (Monaghan). Inter-change: 2. C Begley (Laois), 3. C Boyle (Mayo), 6. P Conroy (Galway), 7. J Doyle (Kildare), 9. P Conroy (Galway), 13. C Kilkenny (Dublin), 14. P McBrearty (Donegal), 19. C McKeever (Armagh), 20. K McLaughlin (Mayo).
AUSTRALIA: 9. A McGrath (Brisbane); 5. J Harbrow (Gold Coast), 13. C Yarran (Carlton), 14. T Armstrong (Sydney Swans); 21. S Wellingham (West Coast), 22. S Edwards (GWS), 42. N Lovett-Murray (Essendon); 8. D Wells (North Melbourne), 28. C Ellis-Yolmen (Adelaide); 27. M Stokes (Geelong, 1), 3. S Motlop, (Geelong ), 36. Aaron Davey (Melbourne); 32. J Neade (Port Adelaide), 15. Lewis Jetta (Sydney Swans); 19. E Betts (Adelaide). Inter-change: 7. Leroy Jetta (Essendon), 12. L Thomas (North Melbourne), 29. Alwyn Davey (Essendon), 33. J Hill (West Coast), 34. D Barry (Melbourne).