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Ireland Second At Rome Nations Cup Today

AGAINST ALL THE PREDICTIONS, Ireland's last-minute team of four took Second place at the prestigious Rome Nations Cup in Italy today (Friday).

Lt. David O'Brien's withdrawal earlier in the week caused Lt. Shane Carey to be hurriedly flown out with his Grand Prix horses, and the team, under Chef d’Equipe Lt. Col. Gerry Mullins, had only days to prepare for the daunting competition.

However, a magnificent double clear from anchorman Kevin Babington today, making his 2003 European debut, and a clear and a four-fault round from Mayo's Cameron Hanley, catapulted Ireland over the heads of heavily-fancied Britain and Germany to finish on a total score of 24 faults.

France, winners at La Baule Nations Cup two weeks ago, once again proved too much for the opposition and glided into First position on a total score of just 17 faults.

However, Ireland's Second today is a big improvement on La Baule's equal Fourth finish, and gives them a much-needed seven points in the Samsung Super League, now bringing a total of 10.5 points after two competitions. Babington's double clear was the only one of the Nations Cup at Rome today.

The scoring for the Irish was as follows:

1) JEROME: Cameron Hanley 4/0
2) LISMAKIN: Lt. Shane Carey 8/12
3) WINDGATES KING KOAL: Conor Swail 12/12
4) CARLING KING: Kevin Babington 0/0

The final scores were:
Friday May 23, 2003

1) FRANCE 17 Faults
2) IRELAND 24 Faults
3) GT. BRITAIN 25 Faults
=4) BELGIUM 28 Faults
=4) GERMANY 28 Faults
6) SWEDEN 37 Faults
7) NETHERLANDS 51 Faults
8) ITALY 53 Faults


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