Ireland 22

Scotland 17

DESPITE an improved second half performance Scotland Club XV were defeated by their Irish counter parts on Friday evening in Dublin.

Ireland had an opportunity to take an early lead within the first minute, however stand-off James Taylor’s long-range penalty kick was just to the side of the posts.

Moments later, in the same position Taylor had attempted his kick, Scotland full-back Grant Mollison broke an Irish tackle and took the ball past the halfway, offloaded to skipper Fergus Scott to take the Scots up to the 22 metres but was brought down by the Irish defence.

With Ireland throwing everything towards the try line the Scottish defence remained solid for long periods before the hosts sucked in the visitors' defence which allowed winger Colm Hogan to find space on the outside and get the ball down over the line.

Scotland responded straight away, winger Callum Young received the ball from scrum half Gregor Christie and broke an Irish tackle.

He got up to the 22 line and found Christie again on his outside who evaded the attempted Irish defence and found his way to the try line.

Aaron McColm was able to add the further two points on offer when he sliced the ball between the uprights from the touch line to give Scotland the lead in the game.

On the half hour mark Scotland were penalised for not rolling away and Taylor kicked to touch.

From a lineout on the five-metre line the hosts mauled it forward, Michael Melia peeled off the back and scored over the try line.

Taylor added the extra two points.

With moments to go until the first-half whistle, Ireland threw everything at the Scottish defence, but they remained solid.

At 12-7 it was still game on, and Scotland’s first attacking threat came only moments into the second half when Young used his speed and evasion to take Scotland up the park.

As he was brought down, Christie recycled the ball quickly but his pass was intercepted by Ireland's Pa Ryan from an offside position.

The player was shown a yellow and McColm slotted the penalty.

Ten minutes later, just as Ryan returned to the field, Scotland number eight Ewan MacDougal was show a yellow card for a repeated team infringement.

With a man down Scotland were penalised moments later for not releasing and Taylor stretched the hosts ahead.

On the hour Ireland upped their intensity and kicked the ball through the Scottish defence, Sam Coghlan collecting and scoring with Taylor, once again adding the two extra points on offer.

With ten minutes to go and a 12-point deficit Scotland head coach Scott Wight sent a number of replacements to the field.

Willian Farquar’s first touch of the ball was when it popped out the back of a ruck, inches from the try line he remained composed enough to pop it up to debutante Rhys Davies who was able to secure the ball over the try line.

Colin Sturgeon added the conversion.

As the final whistle drew closer Scotland retained possession and threw everything into attacking the Irish try line.

In the dying moments Scott Bickerstaff made a half-break down the wing but was brought down by the hosts.

Despite pushing their opponents close it was the hosts Ireland who retained the Dalriada Cup on an aggregate score of 61-34.

Wight said: “You can’t fault their effort tonight, they worked tirelessly, they worked right to the 80 minutes.

"We had a chance, the opportunity was there right at the end when we had all the momentum, huge credit to them.

"It puts Scottish club rugby on the map, they stepped up to the challenge, it’s been a hugely positive two performances."

Scotland: Grant Mollison (GHA), Scott Bickerstaff (Marr), Andrew Mitchell (Hawick), Conor Bickerstaff (Marr), Callum Young (Jed-Forest), Aaron McColm (Selkirk), Gregor Christie (Currie), Shawn Muir (Hawick), Fergus Scott (Currie Chieftains), Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks), Mike Vernel (Currie Chieftains), Gregor Law (Jed-Forest), Nathaniel Coe (Aberdeen Grammar), Wallace Nelson (Currie Chieftains), & Ewan MacDougall (Selkirk). Reps: Matt Carryer (Hawick), William Farquhar (Marr), Calvin Henderson (Marr), Robin Cessford (Aberdeen Grammar), Rhys Davies (Currie), Patrick Boyer (Glasgow Hawks), Colin Sturgeon (Marr), Steven Hamilton (Currie Chieftains).