Dooley salutes battling Irish
Ireland dug deep to register a hard-earned five-point win in Inverness and claim the title on Saturday. Trailing by a point following the first leg at Croke Park, Joe Dooley's charges showed great heart and determination to secure silverware on Scottish soil.
Dooley praised his side for their determination, with the Irish party only travelling with 16 players following sickness to Cork's Patrick Horgan and Andy O'Brien of Wicklow suffering a bereavement.
"I am very proud of the lads, they really had to dig deep," Dooley said. "It was a very up and down game, Scotland got off to a great start with an early goal, but we got back into it and showed real battling qualities."
Ireland led by just two points in the second minute of injury-time, but a Shane Dooley goal sealed the win.
In ideal conditions, the visitors were met with strong opposition from Scotland, and Ronald Ross' third-minute goal gave the hosts an early lead. Dooley responded well for Ireland, bagging a point from a well-struck '65' and grabbing a 10th-minute goal to put the Irish 1-1 to 1-0 ahead.
Scotland lost key man Ross through injury midway through the second half and though they led by 1-5 to 1-2 in first-half injury-time, Neil McManus' goal tied the game at the break.
John MacDonald netted the hosts' second goal within two minutes of the restart. However, Dooley quickly slotted home his second goal and, following points from Gareth Johnson, McManus and Willie Hyland, Ireland led by 3-6 to 2-7 late on.
Johnson grabbed a vital goal soon after and despite Gary Innes cutting the gap to two points in the dying minutes, Ireland closed it out with Dooley completing his hat-trick.
Scorers -- Ireland: S Dooley 3-1 (0-1 '65'), N McManus, G Johnston 1-1 each, W Hyland 0-2, B Murtagh 0-1. Scotland: G Innes 1-3 (0-2f) R Ross 1-2, (0-2f) J MacDonald 1-2 (0-2 s-l)
IRELAND -- P Dermody; A Graffin, D McCormack; T Murnane, J Tyrrell, E Nolan, T Walsh; N McManus , W Hyland; G Johnson, S Dooley, B McFall; B Murtagh, J Rowney. Interchange subs: P McCormack, S Clynch.
SCOTLAND -- S MacKintosh; N Campbell, S Campbell; J Barr, N MacDonald, N MacPhee, G Innes; R MacDonald, R Ross; I MacDonald, J MacDonald, F McRae; G Irvine, S Nicholson.
Ref -- D Cameron (Scotland).