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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 27th October 2016 > Scotland the brave

Scotland the brave

The victorious Scotland team.
Photos: Neil Paterson

Scotland (0-14) 14

Ireland (0-5) 5

Scotland out-scored Ireland to win 14-5 and lift the Marine Harvest Quaich following their shinty/hurling international at Bught Park, Inverness, on Saturday October 22.

The Scots recorded a 24-14 home win last year whilst they succeeded 23-14 in the Highland Capital in 2014. These encounters conjured up ten goals between them, but there was to be a goal drought in this latest meeting.

This year saw a return to a one-off contest, in preference to the two-test affair, with the Marine Harvest Quaich at stake.

It was a crisp but still afternoon in Inverness and the game clearly caught the imagination as a sizeable crowd filled the main stand and the touchline in front for the 2pm throw-up which was broadcast live on BBC2 Scotland.

Scotland head coach Ronald Ross selected a squad which was a mixture of experience and freshness. He highlighted dead-ball expert Kevin Bartlett, who had scored more points for his country than anyone else, as being a key player and that was to prove to be the case. There were new caps for Lorne Dickie, Greg Matheson, Andy MacKintosh and Thomas Borthwick and the latter two were given starts.

Ireland head coach Jeffrey Lynskey was forced to make late changes to his squad. Tipperary hurlers John McGrath and Noel McGrath were needed back home for Gaelic football commitments, whilst Mayo’s Cathal Freeman was another absentee.

There were call-ups for Cian Dillon, who was part of the Clare squad which lifted the 2013 All Ireland title, and David Reidy, a highly-rated youngster who joined the Clare senior panel in 2014. Tipperary’s Michael Breen added quality, whilst Shane Dooley, so often the hammer of the Scots in the past, also returned to the international scene.

The players were led onto the field by the Royal British Legion Inverness Pipe Band before being introduced to Camanachd Association president Jim Barr, GAA’s Pat Daley, Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael and Steve Bracken from long-time sponsors Marine Harvest.

Ireland played towards the town end in the first half but there wasn’t even a minute on the clock when Scotland captain John Barr was brought down as he surged forward from midfield. Kevin Bartlett sent the resultant free ball between the posts to give Scotland a 2-0 lead.

A trip on Paul Divilly moments later gave the Irish a chance from wide on the left, but Shane Dooley lifted the ball wide of target.

Steven MacDonald took position in front of the main stand to send a long side-line ball from the middle of the pitch just the wrong side of the post.

Ireland had pushed Cha Dwyer forward and he took a Shane Nolan pass before sending a high shot for goal just the wrong side of Stuart MacDonald’s post with the keeper flying to his left to cover his goal.

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