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'We learned lessons' says boss Ronan

SOCCER: Republic of Ireland Women's National Team manager Sue Ronan was happy with the performance as her team lost 3-1 to Norway in a training game at their Winter Training Camp in La Manga yesterday.

Norway scored at the beginning of each half through Ada Stolsmo Hegerberg and again in the final ten minutes from Gry Tofte Ims while Fiona O'Sullivan got Ireland's only goal just before half-time.

"The game was never going to be about the result given that it was the first time this year that our players had played a match," said Ronan.

"Overall I am pleased with the performance. All the players were ring rusty, some more than others, but there were also some good individual displays which was encouraging.

"We would be unhappy with the three goals we conceded so we will take lessons from the game, but overall it wasn't a bad start to the year against a very strong Norway side that is going to be one of the major contenders at this summer's World Cup in Canada."

Ronan gave underage stars Rianna Jarrett and Katie McCabe their first taste of senior international football but unfortunately Jarrett's experience only lasted a few minutes. She sustained a heavy fall and was taken off with a knee injury with Fiona O'Sullivan coming on to replace her.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Emma Byrne (Arsenal); Aine O'Gorman (UCD Waves), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Sophie Perry (Brighton & Hove Albion); Niamh Fahey (Chelsea), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsnes), Denise O'Sullivan (Glasgow City), Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves), Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths Women's AFC), Katie McCabe (Raheny United). Subs: Fiona O'Sullivan (Notts County) for Jarrett, Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United) for Byrne, Emma Beckett (Unattached) for Quinn, Rachel Graham (Raheny United) for Campbell, Stephanie Roche (ASPTT Albi) for McCabe, Lauren Dwyer (Raheny United) for F O'Sullivan, Carol Breen (Wexford Youths Women's AFC) for O'Gorman.

Murray set for Dubai

TENNIS: Britain's Andy Murray will play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, the organisers of the February tournament said yesterday.

Murray will join a field including world number one Novak Djokovic and 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer.

The Scot, ranked six in the world, has had mixed fortunes in Dubai, finishing runner-up to Federer in 2012 but suffering quarter-final defeats in two of his three other visits. Djokovic and Federer have won the Dubai title 10 times between them, including the last six titles.

The women's event, which begins on February 15, a week before the men's, features eight of the world's top 10, including Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova.


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