Ireland defeated by Scotland in Senior Hurling-Shinty International
Senior Hurling-Shinty International
SCOTLAND 1-11 IRELAND 1-9
A stirring second-half comeback from Scotland saw them overcome an eight-point deficit to defeat Ireland in the Senior Hurling-Shinty International series at Bught Park, Inverness for the fourth year in succession.
It was a highly competitive, full-blooded contest throughout that eventually swung Scotland’s way when they scored 1-4 without reply down the home stretch.
Ireland had a strong wind in the first half and were very much the dominant force in those 40 minutes.
Much of their early endeavour though was undone by rash shooting, as they accumulated three wides in the first four minutes.
They finally opened the scoring after five minutes with a nicely taken point from Danny Cullen and shortly afterwards Tyrone’s Damien Casey doubled Ireland’s advantage.
The Ireland game-plan was becoming apparent. As much as possible they were trying to pick their up the field with accurate short-passing and support running.
That’s not easy to execute because under the compromise rules of this international series you’re not allowed to handle the ball.
But as the half progressed Ireland’s interplay became slicker and they were finding players in space who had the time to control the ball on their hurley before getting a shot off.
Westmeath’s Darragh Clinton was especially influential in this period of the match and two points from him had Ireland four to the good by the 14th minute.
Further points followed from Kildare’s Brian Byrne and Cullen again before Ireland really took a grip on the contest when the ball was bundled to the back of the Scotland net from close range.
Scotland finally got off the mark after 33 minutes and there was a touch of misfortune to the score from an Ireland point of view.
Bryan Murphy’s hurley was broken when contesting a ball and he instinctively kicked the ball which is a foul under the international rules.
Kevin Bartlett converted the free for Scotland, and because he struck the it off the ground he earned his team two-points.
The impressive David McInerney scored the last point of the half to give Ireland a commanding 1-7 to 0-2 half-time lead, but Scotland would have a strong wind at their backs for the second-half.
An early two-pointer free from Bartlett gave the home team some early momentum and when he followed it up with another shortly afterwards there were suddenly just four points between the teams.
Ireland goalkeeper Enda Rowland briefly stemmed Scotland’s growing momentum when he landed a monster free from long-range, but because he rose the ball to strike it he earned his team just one point rather the two Bartlett was scoring with his frees off the ground.
Andrew MacCuish narrowed the gap again for Scotland before Jason Forde scored the best point of the match to briefly restore Ireland’s five-point lead.
While running at full pelt across the pitch he controlled the ball beautifully on his hurley and then fired it over the bar in one smooth motion.
That would Ireland’s last score of the match and a few minutes later Scotland struck a decisive blow when Glen Mackintosh scrambled the ball to the net from close-range.
Now there was just two points between the teams, and Scotland had the bit between their teeth.
Two points in quick succession from Roddy MacDonald drew Scotland level, and then they hit the front for the first time in the match a minute from the end of normal time when Bartlett knocked over another close-range free for two-points.
Ireland thought they had won it in injury-time when a long-range Enda Rowland free went all the way to the Scottish net, but the umpires ruled an Irish player was off-side and it was disallowed.
Having led for most of the match this was a tough game for Ireland to lose, but credit to Scotland for snatching the victory with such a spirited comeback.
Ireland panel: 1: Enda Rowland (Laois), 2: Brian Byrne (Kildare), 3: Damian Casey (Tyrone), 4: John Casey (Longford), 5: Darragh Clinton (Westmeath), 6: Noel Connors (Waterford), 7: Danny Cullen (Donegal), 8: Tommy Doyle (Westmeath), 9: Darragh Egerton (Westmeath), 10: David English (Carlow), 11: Jason Forde (Tipperary), 12: Damien Healy (Meath), 13: Gerard O’Kelly Lynch (Sligo), 14: Gavin McGowan (Meath), 15: Dave McInerney (Clare), 16: Bryan Murphy (Kerry), 17: John Michael Nolan (Carlow), 18: Stephen Roche (Waterford), 19: James Toher (Meath), 20: Sean Weir (Kerry)
Scotland panel: 1: Stuart MacDonald, 2: Rory Kennedy, 3: Andy MacKintosh, 4: Daniel Grieve, 5: Conor Cormack, 6: Mark MacDonald, 7: Michael Russell, 8: Finlay MacRae, 9: Steven MacDonald, 10: Shaun Nicolson, 11: Grant Irvine, 12: Kevin Bartlett, 13: Greg Matheson, 14: Roddy MacDonald, 15: Lorne Dickie, 16: John MacRae, 17: Glen Mackintosh, 18: Andrew MacCuish, 19: Evan Menzies, 20: Arran MacPhee.