Scotland victorious in hurling international

Scotland 1-10 Ireland 1-09, Nowlan Park

A 74th-minute penalty goal from Westmeath's Brendan Murtagh failed to dent Scotland's quest for a four-in-a-row success at Nowlan Park today as Fraser MacKenzie's charges stood firm to register victory in the senior Hurling/Shinty International.

Strong displays by Hector Whitelaw and John Stewart provided the foundations for this Scotland win in a contest which was played in mixed weather conditions, but provided excellent entertainment for an estimated attendance of 1,000 supporters.

Following wins for both countries early in the day, as Ireland took U21 honours and the Scottish women bagged the Shinty/Camogie title for the first time, it was down to the last game of the day to see who would have ultimate bragging rights.

In the senior encounter, the sides were level on three occasions in the opening half, despite Ireland starting sluggishly.

Both teams found it hard to reach the target in the opening minutes, but Scotland held a 0-02 to 0-00 lead after 12 minutes thanks to quick points from Whitelaw and Stewart.

Ireland opened their account with a 20th-minute point from Down's Brendan McGourty. This kickstarted a bright spell for Lester Ryan's men who landed the next three points to build up a 0-04 to 0-02 lead after 22-and-a-half minutes, with Kilkenny duo Eddie Brennan (0-02) and Derek Lyng both on target.

Brennan and Tommy Walsh, fresh from picking up All-Star awards last night, were in superb form - as were the other Liam McCarthy tier players on show, Cork's Sean Og O'hAilpín and Cats star Lyng.

Further scores from Lyng and Brendan Murtagh gave Ireland a 0-06 to

0-04 buffer on 27 minutes, but Scotland were strongest before the break as a Kenny Ross two-pointer - from a sideline cut before the interval - edged Scotland into an 0-8 to 0-7 half-time lead.

Ireland kept in touch thanks to good work by Murtagh, who top scored with 1-03.

However a 50th-minute goal from John Stewart paved the way to victory for the visitors, when the unmarked Kilmallie player slotted a low ball past Ireland goalkeeper, Down's Graham Clarke.

Although Ireland continued to pile on pressure late in the contest, forcing late 65s with Armagh's Declan Coulter trying hard, Murtagh's late penalty goal proved little consolation as they were unable to topple the Scots, who secured their fourth title in succession.

Scorers - Ireland: B Murtagh 1-03 (1-00pen), D Lyng 0-03, E Brennan 0-02, B McGourty 0-01

Scotland: H Whitelaw 0-06 (0-02f), J Stewart 1-01, K Ross 0-02 (0-01sl), E Tembo 0-01

IRELAND: G Clarke; D Shaw, E Coady; T Walsh, S Kavanagh, G Bermingham; D Clarke, S Og O'hAilpín, D Lyng; P Branniff, M Burke, E Brennan; B McGourty, B Murtagh.

Subs used: J Shaw for McGourty (47 mins), J Glancy for Branniff, S Kelly for D Clarke (both 70).

SCOTLAND: S MacNeil; J Barr, S Campbell; A Mackenzie, I MacDonald, S Nicholson; N Robertson, K Ross, F MacRae; G Innes, N MacPhee, J Stewart; H Whitelaw, A Corrigan.

Subs used: R Graham for Nicholson (43 mins), E Tembo for Stewart (61), R Graham for Whitelaw (70).

Referee: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary)

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