Strong Irish side thrash the Scots again in Shinty-Hurling.

The first leg of this years Shinty- Hurling international took place on Saturday in Inverness  between  Scotland and Ireland where an incredible Irish side took all the glory. However Scotland have the chance to overturn the 19 – 25 deficit this weekend in the second leg when they travel to Ennis, County Clare along with the Scotland under 21 team and the senior women’s team.

Two last minute goals from Kevin Bartlett of Caberfeidh and Neil MacDonald of Lochaber will have given the Scotland men a boost of confidence going in to this weekends match, however they will be hoping for an awe inspiring performance this Saturday to overcome a very strong Irish side. Drew McNeil’s men will also be hoping for Patrick Horgan, Ireland’s star striker, to feature far less in the second leg after scoring an incredible 22 points along with a hat-trick of goals on Saturday.

In the first five minutes Horgan had opened to score sheet with a volley between the uprights after outfoxing the Scottish defence, giving the Irish men the first point of the game. The Scots responded with Bartlett, a prolific goal scorer for Caberfeidh, scoring 2 points at the other end of the pitch but another two points and a goal from Horgan knocked the Scots back. Scotland tried to stay in contention with another couple of points from Bartlett and captain Norman Campbell of Newtonmore but the Irish outplayed them to open up a gap of 16 – 6 by half time.

The second half started with a altered formation from the Scots  and a terrific strike from Bartlett scoring 2 points. However any hope of reducing the deficit was short lived when Dooley scored a point and kept the tally ticking over for the Irish. Niall “Rhino” MacPhee of Fort William added his name to the score sheet with a 2 point strike between the uprights. Just as the Scot were closing the points gap again, a crushing strike from Horgan gave the Irish another goal and subdued the Scots once more. McNeil’s men clawed back two goals in the dying seconds to bring the score up to a more respectable 19-25 but nevertheless there was a unanimous sigh of relief when the final whistle was blown.

Ireland took all of the points this weekend but the series remains very much alive for Scotland particularly with a very strong Women’s squad still to play in the Shinty-Camogie challenge match and an impressive Under 21 team also to play this weekend.

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