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Irish Defence Forces suffer friendly loss as Military Games preparation continues

The Boys in Green were beaten 2-1 by the UK Armed Forces.

Derek Walsh of Irish Defence Forces.
Derek Walsh of Irish Defence Forces.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

THE IRISH DEFENCE Forces suffered a 2-1 defeat to the UK Armed Forces as the Boys in Green continue their preparation for the CISM World Military Games later this year.

St Patrick’s Athletic home ground Richmond Park played host to this afternoon’s game, settled early in the second half after Sam Atkinson’s spot kick.

The visitors took the lead through an Aidan Friel own goal before David O’Riordan drew the home side level from the spot on 40 minutes.

Ireland’s Paul Sheehan thought he had given the Defence Forces the lead after just two minutes but his effort was adjudged to be offside.

Sheehan, not to be discouraged, then rattled Luke Cairney’s post with a header but still couldn’t find a breakthrough.

pjimage (1) Dave O'Riordan (right) celebrates scoring with team-mates Ben O'Donoghue (left) and Adrian Rafferty. Source: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

“I’m devastated, I felt we should have had the game won by half-time and our performance in that half was exceptional,” said manager Richie Barber.

But we didn’t take our chances and that’s what it comes down to. They had one chance in the first half and they took it – they forced us into the mistake for the own goal.

“We got the penalty and I thought we’d kick on from there but it wasn’t to be.

“The lads gave everything on the pitch and I couldn’t be prouder of them. We’ll go away, iron out the mistakes and learn that you should be winning those games where you’re playing better – that’s going to be the biggest lesson we take forward.”

The CISM Military World Games take place in China in October. Ireland secured their qualification for the Games last December after their draw with France in the Netherlands.  

Irish Defence Forces: Gavin Mulreaney (Ken Deegan 75), Aidan Friel, David Long, Scott Delaney (Craig Doran 26), Lee Delaney, Chris Kenny, Ben O’Donoughue (Stephen Fisher 75), Dave O’Riordan, (Tony Smith 80), Paul Sheehan, Adrian Rafferty, Derek Walsh (Ray McCann 60).

Substitutes: Craig Doran, Jody Dillon, Ross McCarthy, Joe Breslin, Gavin Dillon, Shane O’Doherty, Lee Scanlon.

United Kingdom Armed Forces: Luke Cairney, Michael Cushion, Sam Rawlings, Sam Atkinson, Carl Evans, Ryan Paddock, Daniel Earl, Alex Woodhouse, Dan Kerr, Andrew Todd, Michael Campbell.

Substitutes: Matthew Cape, Kyle Willis, David Parker, Brodie Gray, Lewis Cooper, Alan Sneddon, Mike Atkinson.

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.

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