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January 12, 2005

Irish excelling at Deaflympics Down Under

From: RTE Interactive, Ireland - Jan 12, 2005

Ireland's deaf soccer team are through to the semi-finals of the Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia.

Two goals in the final 16 minutes from Joe Watson ensured a dramatic and hard-earned 4-3 victory over Italy in their last eight match yesterday.

The Irish now face Iran in Thursday's semi-final, with Germany and Great Britain, who beat Ireland 2-0 in the group stages, competing for the other final berth.

The Italians took the lead in the first minute, however, 13 minutes later Ireland were on level terms when Derek Jordan rounded the goalkeeper to slot home.

A 35-yard pile-driver from Noel O'Donnell put Ireland in front in the 24th minute, but just five minutes later a mix-up in the Irish defence gifted Italy an equaliser.

More slack defending in the 41st minute was responsible for Italy's third, as Geoffrey Foy's troops went in trailing 3-2 at the interval.

Ireland, however, dominated in the second half and they got their just rewards when Watson struck from an acute left angle to equalise in the 74th minute, before heading home the winner from a Jordan cross ten minutes later.

Irish swimmers have also enjoyed considerable success Down Under.

David McIlroy, John Kealy, Alan Turner and Eoin Nolan took bronze in the final of the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Kealy, from Arklow, won silver in the 100m butterfly,while Lisburn man McIlroy finished fourth in the 50m breaststroke.

© RTÉ 2005