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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 22 November, 2014

49,000 fans watch on as Notre Dame cruise to victory in Aviva

It is expected that today’s Emerald Isle Classic will be worth in the region of €100m to the Irish economy.

Notre Dame's running back Theo Riddick scores the opening touchdown despite Keegan Wetzel and Chris Ferguson of the Navy.
Notre Dame's running back Theo Riddick scores the opening touchdown despite Keegan Wetzel and Chris Ferguson of the Navy.

NOTRE DAME SCORED touchdowns on its first three possessions and defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned a fumble 77 yards for another TD as the Fighting Irish routed Navy 50-10 in Saturday’s season opener in Ireland.

A crowd of 49,000 filled Dublin’s Aviva Stadium for the first US college game in Ireland since 1996 in a game that will reportedly be worth around €100m overall to the Irish economy.

Theo Riddick and George Atkinson ran for first-quarter touchdowns, and tight end Tyler Eifert caught a 5-yard TD pass.

Tuitt scooped up quarterback Trey Miller’s fumble and rumbled to the end zone to put the Irish up 27-0 in the second quarter.

Navy kicked a 26-yard field goal before halftime and opened the second half with a three-pass drive capped by Shawn Lynch’s 25-yard grab to make it 27-10. Atkinson and Riddick replied with two of Notre Dame’s three second-half touchdowns.

Speaking ahead of the game, Minister for Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar had said the occasion was a huge success and estimated that the short-term dividend for the event was approximately €60m.

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

Read: In pictures: The ‘Emerald Isle Classic’ at the Aviva Stadium>

Read: Paralympics: Disappointment for Irish athletes in field, track>

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