Friday 23 February 2018

Meyler shares shinty passion as Ireland look to retain title

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

A LATE Joe Bergin strike gave Ireland the hurling-shinty series in dramatic fashion last year and that thrilling contest reignited interest in the hybrid game, according to Ireland boss John Meyler.

"We take it seriously," Meyler said. "Myself and (co-manager) Michael Walsh are committed to it and we're mad keen on it.

"That's the way we've taken the U-21s for the past few years. It's super and we love it.

"You ring up fellas and say, 'are you coming?', and they say, 'yeah, I'll be there'. Patrick Horgan turned up for a trial. Tommy Walsh will be the first fella out on the field in the warm-up.

"It just shows that those guys are committed to us.

"And it's a chance for the Christy Ring and Lory Meagher fellas too. They get exposure on a stage where they wouldn't usually get it."

Ireland play in Inverness today, with the return leg scheduled for Ennis in a week's time.

Scottish boss Drew McNeill believes that the series has helped develop their game.

"Not everyone agrees, but for me these contests are a great vehicle to bring shinty forward," McNeil said.

"The high tempo of hurling has given shinty a wake-up call as far as fitness is concerned."

Scotland v Ireland,

Live, TG4, 1.15

Irish Independent

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