Tuesday 16 July 2019

Turner to fore as Irish U-20s impress once again

Scotland U-20  5 Ireland U-20  24

Turner: Showing his determination. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Turner: Showing his determination. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Alan Lorimar

Ireland's young guns continued on their winning ways as they followed up their victory over England by comfortably dispatching Scotland at the Netherdale ground in the Scottish Borders.

The young Irish side were always in control, notably in the forward battle, which was particularly crucial last night in strong wind and rain.

Scott Penny of Ireland is tackled by Charlie Jupp and Ewan Johnson of Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Scott Penny of Ireland is tackled by Charlie Jupp and Ewan Johnson of Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The backs also showed their skills and frequently punctured the Scotland defence, with thrilling running from centre Liam Turner, the man of the match.

The visitors, playing with the strong wind, made a shaky start by kicking the ball dead but soon made amends with powerful forward play that resulted in a penalty under the posts, and an easy three points for Harry Byrne.

Then after full-back Jake Flannery had put the Scots on the back foot with a long kick upfield, Ireland attacked the home line.

Flanker Scott Penny was held up over the line but minutes later hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin burrowed over, leaving Byrne with a simple conversion.

Martin Moloney of Ireland is tackled by Charlie Jupp and Kwagga Van Niekirk of Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Martin Moloney of Ireland is tackled by Charlie Jupp and Kwagga Van Niekirk of Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The Scots, however, produced their own attacking efforts and twice threatened the Ireland line only for hooker Ewan Ashman to lose possession from a driving maul and for wing Jack Blain to be denied a touchdown after a brave tackle from Jonathan Wren.

Scotland held firm for the remainder of the half and while Ireland took a 10-0 lead into the interval, the hosts were still in the contest.

However, facing the elements, Ireland continued to dominate territory and possession and after repeatedly battering the Scotland defence they finally made their second half breakthrough when abrasive No 8 John Hodnett crashed over from short range, Byrne converting for a 17-0 lead.

Scotland had dug in defiantly and finally received a reward for their efforts, when from a lineout five metres from the Irish line, the home forwards mauled effectively for skipper Conor Boyle to dive over for his side's only try of the game, replacement Nathan Chamberlain missing the conversion.

David Hawkshaw of Ireland is tackled by Ross Thompson of Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
David Hawkshaw of Ireland is tackled by Ross Thompson of Scotland. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland hit back effectively, controlling the closing stages and on the final whistle claimed their third try when Wren outpaced the defence to touch down under the posts, giving Byrne, for the fourth time in the game, another straightforward conversion to seal their win.

SCOTLAND U-20: R McLean; R McMichael, C Anderson (M Davidson 48), R McCallum, J Blain; R Thompson (N Chamberlain 46), R Frostwick (K McGhie 60); M Walker (A Nimmo ), E Ashman (A Fraser 64), E McLaren (W Hurd 64); C Henderson, E Johnson (R Bundy 60), C Jupp; C Boyle, K van Niekirk (J Mann 60).

IRELAND U-20: J Flannery; C Phillips, L Turner, D Hawkshaw, J Wren; H Byrne, C Foley (C Reilly 62); J Wycherley (M Milne 62 ), D Tierney-Martin (J McKee 62 ), T Clarkson; C Ryan, N Murray; M Moloney, S Penny (D McCann 63), J Hodnett.

Ref - Andrea Piardi (FIR).

Harry Byrne of Ireland kicks a conversion. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Harry Byrne of Ireland kicks a conversion. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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