Ireland hopes shattered after slender defeat
UNDER-20 SIX NATIONS Scotland 21 Ireland 20:Ireland’s hopes of winning the championship were shattered last night at Netherdale where Scotland, playing with greater ambition than their counterparts, did enough to achieve victory by the slenderest of margins.
The young Irish side, however, can take much credit for recovering after trailing 14-3 early in the first half but they will be disappointed they were unable to turn their massive forward pressure into winning points after missing numerous kicks at goal on a night centre Tom Daly will want to forget.
Ireland, though, profited from their forward pressure with two tries from penalty-created lineouts and one from a massive scrum effort that produced a penalty try.
A physical start to the match by Ireland offered a chance for points in the first minute only for Daly to miss his kick at goal.
Scotland’s attacking game soon paid off when from a line-out the Scots sucked in the Ireland defence before spinning the ball wide for Robbie Fergusson to put in a neat grubber kick that sat up for full back Ruauridh Young to score the game’s opening try, Tommy Allan adding the conversion.
Ireland replied with a Daly penalty but almost immediately Scotland delivered a hammer blow with an interception try by Damien Hoyland after the winger got hands to the ball from a pass by Steve Crosbie intended for Rory Scholes, Allan’s second conversion giving the home side a 14-3 lead.
However, when Ireland worked the ball off a penalty lineout number eight Ryan Murphy had room to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try. Another penalty-created try gave Ireland a second, this time wing David Panter finishing off good work by the forwards by crashing over in the corner, Daly again wide with the conversion attempt.
Missed a penalty
The centre then missed a penalty just on half-time, leaving Scotland leading 14-13.
Ireland were quick to assert themselves in the second half and only desperate defence by the Scots prevented a try by Murphy after lock Gavin Thornbury had surged forward. But the pressure took its toll as flanker Will Bordill was shown the yellow card. Ireland opted for a scrum and made their strength pay, forcing Scotland to concede a penalty try, Daly’s conversion giving Ireland a 20-14 advantage.
Ireland, having lost their outhalf Steve Crosbie to injury, then conceded their lead when Scotland from a penalty kick to the corner worked a clever move from the ensuing lineout that ended with replacement scrumhalf Ali Price feeding Hoyland to give the wing his second try.
Allan then put over the difficult conversion kick, putting Scotland back into the lead at 21-20, resulting in a tense last few minutes as the Scots wound down the clock with skill to achieve a victory.