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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019
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Full-time: Australia 29 Ireland 50 – Ireland win the series by a record 65 points.

Good morning from a sunny Brisba… well, no we’re back at base. Maybe next time.

But we’re very much looking forward to this showdown anyway.

Manager Anthony Tohill says Ireland are ready for an expected increased level of physicality. You just know this will get nasty if the Aussies fail to claw back some or all of that 44-point deficit. Strap yourselves in, we’re currently at the anthems.

Let’s have your predictions in the meantime…

And we’re up and running. Hopefully we’ll make it out the other side with an improved grasp of the Irish language, the cup and everyone intact.

Donegal sharp-shooter Michael Murphy was impressive last time out and he’s started the day for Ireland with a behind. Robinson replied for the Aussies with one of his own before Murphy clatters into another AFL player, head-high almost.

This is going to be a bruiser.

Tadhg Kennelly forced a save from the Aussie ‘keeper Suckling when he might have hopes to do better, then it all kicked off between Robinson and McKeever again and in the meantime, skipper Brad Green has tacked on another three points.

Ireland need to get going soon.

Unbelievable mark from Donaghy right on the edge of the square – if that’s what we’re calling it -  after a high ball in from Murphy. The Kerry man knocks it over for the three.

Lovely stuff. Emmet Bolton darts down the line and floats a nice pass towards Stevie McDonnell. The Armagh takes the mark gratefully, turns and puts it over for the three.

And that’s the last real action of the first quarter. The aggregate score is now 48 points, fact fans.

Joe McMahon extends the Irish lead and starts the second quarter with a straightforward behind. Skipper Brad Green responds in kind for the hosts though.

TG4 lost the feed from Oz for a moment – no doubt dingo-related technical difficulties Down Under. We’re back though.

Before the screen went worryingly blank, McKeever took another imrpessive mark in from of Stephen Cluxton’s posts with a prone Aussie at his feet.

As I type though Green has tacked on another point for the hosts. He’s playing the captain’s role, in fairness.

Michael Murphy scores an over, prompting the Cranberries’ Zombie to blare from the PA. In a Pavlovian response kind of way, he might be less inclined to score for the rest of the game.

Stevie McDonnell then went one better with a wonderful kick after he was close-lined by the panto villain Wood in front of the Irish bench. Anthony Tohill asks what the ref is doing about it.

Again though, Brad Green kicks a response for Australia.

Ah that’s lovely. Glynn was played in with a lovely ball, he soled a fake shot to himself, went around the ‘keeper and sent a little tickler over the line.

Zach Smith responds for Australia with a neat over.

Tommy Walsh rampages forward and kicks a nice over after a crisp move up the pitch from Ireland. A goal might have been on though.

Deary me. Zach Smith kicked a three-pointer and Jack Trengove looked like he’d do the same moments later but he skewed – somehow – his effort behind for one.

HALF-TIME

The last action of the half is Tadhg Kennelly kicking an over.

“It’s a great contest, it’s fantastic. If they had another week, they’d be well ahead of us with the kicking. But it’s great to see how the Australians are so professional about everything,” says the Kerryman moments later.

Donaghy gets Ireland up-and-running again with an over. Someone’s gonna start a fight here in a sec.

Donaghy’s fellow Kerryman adds another three after he combines well with Cork youngster and his namesake Aidan.

Tommy Walsh seems to be ready to come back on after he hobbled off earlier. There’s some tough tackling, off-the-ball stuff and good defending at the moment.

As I type Hanley is sent to the sin bin for some messing on the ground with Monfries. It’s getting niggly, if it wasn’t already.

Brad Green attempts the over but lands a behind. The Aussie will be happy to have slowed the game right down though, having stopped the Irish from earning any momentum.

Still 16 points in it this morning and 60 overall.

The niggle has been turned up to 11. The Irish had the ball in the net after a lovely move: Donaghy patted down a long ball down for McDonnell and he ‘soccered’ it home. The play was called back for more off-the-ball stuff though.

And as I type, McKeever is off after a little kick on an Aussie as he was pushed. He joins Hanley in the sin bin.

All in! Joe McMahon took a nasty knee to the back as he tried to make the mark in the air.

He’s still on the ground and looks winded, understandably. His team-mates were straight in to make their case though no real punches were thrown. Yet.

And the hooter.. eh.. hoots.. signalling the end of the third quarter. This tie is – to state the obvious – all over bar the fighting.

We’ve thrown in on the fourth quarter of the series, and possible the last for some time. Ireland are sensibly just holding onto the ball and – with a 61-point advantage – are happy to see out the clock.

As in the third term, Michael Murphy kicks the first points – an over – for Ireland in the final quarter. Tommy Walsh took the mark, fed it into the Donegal man, and he did the rest.

Tommy Walsh shanked an over attempt well wide moments ago but almost immediately afterwards he made amends with a three-pointer. The Kerryman was dragged down when following up on work from Donaghy in front of the posts.

Seven minutes left.

Lovely score from Callaghan to make it double scores. Blow it up, ref.

McGlynn gives the Gold Coast crowd something to cheer about. Badly needed.

IRELAND WIN THE SERIES

That’s the hooter – and the Irish will bring home the cup – after a superb effort.

As the cliche goes, they can only beat what’s in front of them. And despite the paucity of Aussie effort and skill at times, they’ve done that.

Thanks for your company. We’ll have reaction and images from the Gold Coast later in the morning.

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