Three clear rounds helped the Irish team to a fourth place finish in the Croatian Nations' Cup in Zagreb on Friday.

France, who are trying to accumulate enough points in the Nations' Cup series to ensure re-admittance to the 2009 Super League, for which Ireland have already qualified, fielded a very strong team that incurred just eight faults over two rounds.

Italy claimed second place, with Switzerland third.

Twenty year-old David Simpson, who finished second at the Drammen Grand Prix in Norway earlier this year, recorded Ireland's first clear on the grey Cruising mare Cruise with Me, and made just a single mistake in the second round.

Alex Duffy on Courtown also left all the poles standing on his first attempt, but had an unfortunate second round, with four fences down.

Trevor Breen and James Costigan's Irish-bred gelding Always Cullohill made three mistakes in their opening round, but staged a great recovery, and ended the final round on a zero score.

Tom Davin, meanwhile, had two fences down with Querido VH Costersveld, and did not jump for the team's second round.

Ireland's final score under Chef d'Equipe Tommy Brennan was 28 faults.