Saturday 17 March 2018

Heffernan brace sinks visitors

Ireland 3-6
Scotland 1-3Hurling-shinty U-21

There was no shortage of competitive spirit at Sean Eiffe Park in Ratoath and while Scotland were brave, they fell away towards the end of this tie.

Even before a sliotar had been pucked, or 'hoicked' in shinty parlance, both sides were squaring up in a manner that bordered on boisterous.

Their early enthusiasm, however, wasn't reflected on the scoreboard. Dara O'Connell's pointed free for Ireland was all that had been registered until half-forward Chris Murray produced a long-range point in the 24th minute, after he held off the challenge of Owen Fraser.

Scotland had several chances to get back in the game but they clocked up seven wides by the time Tom Whyte opened their account with a goal on the stroke of half-time. Stevie MacDonald's initial attempt wasn't dealt with properly by Ireland 'keeper Owen Reilly and Whyte lashed home.

Shortly after the interval, the scales were tipped in Ireland's favour with three goals in eight minutes. Neil Heffernan grabbed two of those with O'Connell bagging a beauty after David Fitzelle pucked it into the danger area.

Scorers -- Ireland: N Heffernan 2-0, D O'Connell 1-1, C Murray 0-3, D Fitzelle, S Nolan 0-1 each. Scotland: T Whyte 1-0, M Rodger 0-2, S MacDonald 0-1.

Ireland -- E Reilly (Laois); N Curry (Armagh), C Donnelly (Antrim); K McKiernan (Armagh), N Connors (Waterford), A Royle (Kerry); R Bogue (Fermanagh), M Ryan (Carlow), D Fitzelle; C Murray (Laois), A Collier (Laois), D O'Connell; S Nolan (Kerry), N Heffernan (Meath). Subs: P Kane (Wicklow), K Keoghan (Meath), S McIvor (Tyrone), E Kane (Carlow)

Scotland -- S MacDonald; D Grieve, S Stewart; D Howie, R Kennedy, O Frazer; R MacLeod, M Rodger, A McIntosh; J MacPherson, S McMillan, Tom Whyte; S McDonald, L MacDonald. Subs: J MacRae, C Millar, R Borthwick, C Finnlayson

Ref -- D Cameron (Scotland).

Irish Independent

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