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Cathal Brugha's Johnny Donnelly leads Ireland into water polo action in Singapore

Gerry O'Neill

Water Polo

The Ireland men's water polo team heads off on a journey into the unknown next week, when they make a first ever visit to Singapore to compete in the Challenger's Cup, writes Gerry O'Neill.

This is a competition for developing international sides that is being organised by the National Federation of Singapore with backing from the world governing body Federation Internationale de Natation (Fina).

Ireland are drawn in a group with Philippines, Zimbabwe and hosts Singapore, who are using this tournament as part of their preparation for the South East Asian Games which they have won 27 times.

The teams in the other group are Austria, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Malaysia,

Ireland are captained by Belfast Cathal Brugha, Belfast's Johnny Donnelly who is joined on the team by his club colleagues Stio McMahon and the Hanna brothers, Adrian and Matthew.

The rest of the team is Eoin Doyle (Sandycove), Mark Moran, Adam Caulfield, Ciaran Walshe (Corrib), Eoin Bridgeman, Cillian Colvin, Eoin Nolan, Shane O'Brien (St Vincent's) and Steve Nolan (North Dublin).

Galway-based Croatian, Goran Sablic is head coach, Cara Mulcahy is therapist and Eamon Caulfield is overall manager.

Meanwhile, the new season has just started and most of the players have had a couple of much needed games.

Brugha beat Half Moon 22-14, but were held to an 8-8 draw by Sandycove.

St Vincent's did a double with comfortable wins over Half Moon and Corrib.

Clonard, with a very young side, lost to both Cu Chulainn and North Dublin.

In the women's league Brugha got their season off to a winning start with a 14-10 victory over Diamonds in front of a big crowd at the Laganvalley Leisure Centre on Sunday evening.

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