Ireland defeated Wales by 3-1 in the first of the two test series against their Celtic neighbours. 

Wales started the sharper of the two sides winning the first penalty corner of the game in the seventh minute but the chance was well saved by David Fitzgerald.

Ireland took the lead two minutes later when good work by Paul Gleghorne gave Michael Watt the easiest of tap ins. 

Ireland forced three penalty corners of their own in the first half, one saved by Kettle and the other two off target from the stick of O’Donoghue.

The second half started with great work by O Donoghue but his shot from play went just wide. 

Wales equalised after 44 minutes when a diving Peter Swainson beat Fitzgerald from five yards. 

Ireland won penalty corner number four a minute later - this time Conor Harte low drag was saved. Another penalty corner followed but O’Donoghue’s shot was cleared. 

Ireland continued to dominate and from their sixth penalty corner O’Donoghue fired over. 

Ireland were working very hard up front with Maurice Elliott dispossessing the Welsh defence to give David Carson the simplest of finishes to put the Irish into a deserved 2-1 lead.  

On the hooter a series of three penalty corners resulted in a low drag from Shane O Donoghue finding the bottom corner to give Ireland a 3-1 victory.

Irish Coach Craig Fulton said he was happy with the result. 

"We created a lot of chances but were wasteful in front of goal," he said.

"We are trying new things in which we have progressed.  I am sure tomorrow’s game will be exciting and we are looking forward to the encounter”

Ireland will play Wales tomorrow with a 3pm start at the National Hockey Stadium in UCD.

Ireland: David Fitzgerald (GK), Michael Watt, Maurice Elliott, Bruce McCandless, Drew Carlisle, Michael darling, Timothy Cockram, Kyle Good, Paul Gleghorne, Conor Harte, Shane O Donoghue.

Subs Used: John Jackson, Jonathan Bell, Kirk Shimmins Michael Robson, Stuart Loughrey, David Carson.