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Sherlock on the case to steer Irish home

Ireland bounced back from their defeat by France two weeks ago in the Six Nations U-20 Championship to achieve a decisive victory over Scotland at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in Inverness last night.

It was a a professional performance from Ireland, who dominated the set scrums and who answered Scotland's attacks with cast iron defence. And in attack Ireland looked threatening notably at full-back where Michael Sherlock, man of the match, was outstanding.

Skipper Niall Annett forced his way over for an unconverted try to set Ireland on their way.

Scotland came close to producing a swift reply with a forward drive to the line but it was not forceful enough to pierce the Irish defence.

Ireland's more powerful scrum showed to the fore as the Scots pack was driven backwards giving the visitors cheap possession. Ireland wasted little time in applying pressure with a slicing run from Sherlock and support from flanker Aaron Conneely.

The move was stopped but after Scotland had three times collapsed the scrum on the their own line referee Ian Tempest awarded a penalty try, converted by Jackson for a 12-0 interval lead.

Paddy Jackson sent over a superb effort to extend his side's lead by a further three points.

The match which had already became more amorphous as a slew of replacements were launched on to the field by both coaches. Scotland tried to open the game but succeeded only in giving away a penalty only for Jackson to be off target with his kick, the final meaningful opportunity for points in the match.

Scotland u-20 -- G Bryce (S Atkin 73); M Doneghan, M Bennett, H Leonard (captain), K Gossman; S Edwards (C Jackson 70), J Stevenson (S Kennedy 60); R Hislop, D Cherry (R Ferguson 72), C Philips (G Hunter 52), M Todd (A Kirkland 51), R McAlpine, A Spence (M Eadie 53), H Watson, J Tyas

Ireland U-20 -- M Sherlock; T O'Halloran, A Kelly, JJ Hanrahan, A Boyle (C O'Shea 70); P Jackson (G Quinn McDonogh 79), B McIlroy (M Dolan 60); J Tracy, N Annett (captain) (D Doyle 71), M Moore (T Furlong 71), M Kearney (C O'Flaherty 78), D Qualter (I Henderson 69), S Buckley, A Conneely, J Murphy

Ref -- I Tempest (RFU).

Irish Independent