Irish Colleges claim first victory over French
Two first half goals from Georgie Poynton and Darragh Gibbons proved enough to give the Irish Colleges and Universities their first ever win over the French Universities in an international friendly at City Calling Stadium, Longford yesterday.
Dundalk's Poynton fired the home side in front on 35 minutes with a firmly struck 25 yard free kick that hit the top corner of the French net with the helpless 'keeper Alexandre Lefebre rooted to his goal line.
Two minutes later the Irish had doubled the lead and it was defender Darragh Gibbons who had replaced the injured Conor Kane just over ten minutes earlier who touched home a Poynton free-kick at the near post. The goals brightened up a first half that was a niggly affair riddled with numerous fouls and referee Declan Tolan was a busy man dishing out four yellow cards to the feisty French.
The visitors made ten changes at the break with skipper Mathie Blasco the only player to remain on and for a while they did threaten to claw back the deficit.
Ryan Ebene Talia should have got a touch on a well-delivered Blasco free but he allowed the ball to go past him and out over the back line.
The Irish might have increased their advantage and Poynton set up Shane Elworthy but he was unlucky to slice a volley just past the post.
Later Conor Keeley saw his header well saved by substitute 'keeper Bastien Rempp and Carlton Ubaezuonu missed the target with another headed chance.
The French managed a late consolation when Tanguy Guerineau availed of a slip by substitute goalkeeper Cathal O'Hanlon to tap the ball home.
A well deserved first time win over the French side ranked second in the world at this level for Greg Yelverton's charges after three previous meetings had failed to see the Irish come out on top.