Ireland 25 Scotland 19
Cork's Patrick Horgan stole the show as Ireland claimed a six-point win in the first test of the Marine Harvest Senior International Hurling-Shinty Series at Bught Park, Inverness this afternoon.
Horgan bagged 22 points in a game which Ireland lead from the fourth minute, once the Glen Rovers clubman snatched his first goal.
Horgan claimed all bar one point of Ireland's first half total, with Offaly's Shane Dooley claiming their last score of the half as the visitors led by 16-6 at the interval.
Scotland weren't without their chances with John Stewart through for a goal opportunity in the eighth minute, but goalkeeper Bernard Rochford pulled off a superb save.
The Kerry custodian was again on hand in the ninth minute to pull off a save after a Keith MacRae effort.
A third Horgan point pushed Ireland 8-2 clear after 12 minutes, before he followed up with a second goal.
The hosts kept in touch thanks to the efforts of Kevin Bartlett, but Ireland always held the upper hand.
This was a brusing battle, which saw Irish players come off the worse for wear with Rochford, Horgan and Antrim's Barry McFall among those picking up knocks during the game, but they battled through regardless.
A Steven MacDonald two-pointer cut the gap to six points with 14 minutes to go before the break, but Ireland finished the half with three unanswered points, including two from Horgan.
16-6 ahead at half-time, both sides were guilty of a number of scoring misses on the restart.
It took over 10 minutes for either team to produce a score with Barlett registering his third two-pointer.
However, the Caberfeith clubman wouldn't score for the remainder of the game.
Horgan completed his hat-trick seven minutes from the end and although Scotland bounced back with late goals from Callum Cruden and Neil MacDonald it was too little too late.
After the game Westmeath's Eoin Price accepted the cup for the first test win, but with a second test to follow next weekend Ireland managers John Meyler and Michael Walsh will be requiring a lot more from their side if the title is to be kept in the Emerald Isle.
Scorers for Ireland: P Horgan 22; S Dooley, T Walsh, N McManus 1 each.
Scorers for Scotland: K Bartnett 6; C Crudden, N Macdonald 5 each; Steven MacDonald 2; N McPhee 1.
IRELAND: B Rochford, J Clarke, C Clifford, S Clynch, S Dooley, C Donnelly, S Fennell, P Horgan, P Maher, N McManus, B McFall, T Murnane, B Murtagh, D O'Connell, E Price, P Reidy, D Shaw, T Walsh.
SCOTLAND: S Mackintosh, N Campbell, J Barr, D Irvine, D Cameron, N Macdonald, F MacRae, N Macphee, S Nicolson, J Stewart, K Macrae, K Bartlett, L Munro, C Cruden, M MacDonald, D Smart, D Howie, Steven MacDonald, Stuart MacDonald.
REFEREE: Billy Wotherspoon (Scotland)