Enniskillen's Nick Finlay gained his first international cap for the Ireland A Wolfhounds side in their narrow 28-26 defeat to Wales A Dragonhearts in the Amateur Four Nations Rugby League Championships.
Finlay played the full 80 minutes, kicking one conversion from one, and despite the defeat he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
"It was a really fantastic experience to be involved in the Irish team, the guys gelled really well and I think we were very unfortunate to lose out in a game we should have won. The game was very intense and played at a high pace but it was a really enjoyable game to be involved in. It was a surreal feeling standing for the anthem and its great to get an international cap," said Finlay.
Finlay played for the local Fermanagh Redskins team which came second in the Ulster finals to Ballynahinch Rabbitohs and he then played his part for Ulster as they clinched the Inter-Provincials title by defeating Munster and Leinster. His performances during the Inter-Provincials earned Finlay a call up to the Ireland A training camp and subsequently he was selected to start the game against Wales.
The contest took part at Bonymaen RFC in Swansea and was a close affair with the sides level at the break. And the deadlock remained with five minutes left when Wales landed a penalty to push them two points clear to secure the victory for the home side.
Next up is Ireland vs England on August 11 in Limerick which will be a tougher game with the English defeating the Welsh in their encounter earlier in the tournament.