Irish hopes marred by French loss

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The Independent Online

Ireland's hopes of qualification for next year's World Cup in Australia took a dip last night in Amiens when they went down 1-0 to France in a game which was marred by poor umpiring.

Ireland's hopes of qualification for next year's World Cup in Australia took a dip last night in Amiens when they went down 1-0 to France in a game which was marred by poor umpiring.

The Irish, who had played so well when they were beaten by a powerful England side 2-0 on Saturday, ran out of luck against the French. With both sides concentrating on defence in the opening exchanges the game came to life just before the interval following temporary suspensions to Ireland's Claire McMahon and France's Peguy Bergere.

Indeed it was quite an evening for Bergere. She scored the only goal following a dubious penalty corner award in the 56th minute and was then sent off for a second time in the closing minutes. It might all have been so different if Laura Lee's stunning shot early in the first half had not gone just wide and the Irish had not failed from seven penalty corners attempts.

After just two weeks of the Premier Division of the men's National League, only the defending champions, Reading, and second-placed Teddington are on maximum points. New Zealander Ken Robinson scored his second brace of the season in Reading's 3-2 win at Surbiton, while another Kiwi, Teddington's player-coach Grant Edwards, scored their winner in their 2-1 win at Cannock.

Player-coach Jason Lee opened the scoring for Loughborough Students with the summer signing Paul Wicken scoring their second.

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