In their best performance of this Six Nations championship, Scotland Women came close to the try line on a plethora of occasions however still failed to put points on the board as they went down 20-0 in Ashbourne this evening.
The match, which was streamed live through the IRFU web site to over 1500 viewers, was played at an overall frenetic pace with three tries to the home side countered by strong attack and brave defence from the visitors.
A highly entertaining fixture saw the Irish slot three tries a conversion and a penalty while the Scots must wait until next weekend to get their first tournament points on the board.
The Irish came out all guns blazing and dominated the action for the first period of the opening half, with centre Briggs seeing the gap and feeding through to lock Spence whose try was converted by centre Briggs. Scotland retaliated immediately with good numbers and bullish play, nearly giving away a second try minutes later, however, as winger Sarah Dixon made a gutsy try-saving tackle on an Irish line break from Briggs.
Solid tackling from lock Jemma Forsyth led to some exciting breaks from full back Steph Johnston and winger Katy Green, both of whom came close to notching scores for Scotland as the first half played out. The Irish parried with a similar break which was subject to clinical finishing off by full back Baxter to make it 12-0 at half time.
The home side came out fighting and added another three points to their tally with a penalty from Briggs closely followed by a challenge on the Scots' line which almost saw another try. A scrappy period of play ensued as both sides were penalised time and again and the error count increased.
Stand-off Tanya Griffith made some thumping kicks upfield but couldn't find the support to complete the moves while some equally thumping tackles from the Scots could be heard in the stand and drew a few sharp intakes of breath.
After threatening for some time, Ireland scored their third try, from a charged down kick, the honours going to winger Miller, and the final score remained 0-20.
Frustration was the order of the day for the visitors who easily played their most confident game of the championship yet still left with no points and an increased determination to make that good in their last fixture of the tournament, away against Italy next weekend.
Scotland Women v Ireland Women
15 Stephanie Johnston (RHC Cougars)
14 Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)
13 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
12 Lisa Ritchie (Carlisle)
11 Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)
10 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)
9 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)
1 Tracy Balmer (Worcester)
2 Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers)
3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4 Anna Swan (RHC Cougars)
5 Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
6 Lindsay Wheeler (Richmond)
7 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
8 Susie Brown (Richmond) (captain)
16 Alison Macdonald (RHC Cougars) (for Balmer, 55m)
17 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead/Jordanhill) (for Quick, 55m)
18 Katherine Muir (Richmond) (for Swan, 74m)
19 Charlotte Veale (London Wasps) (for Forsyth, 70m)
20 Tess Forsberg (Richmond) (for Slaven, 67m)
21 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers) (for Ritchie, 70m)
22 Lauren Harris (Melrose) (for Dixon, 70m)
Ireland Women: Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster); Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster), Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Highfield/Connacht); Lynne Cantwell (Exile), Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (captain), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College / Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Exile), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere / Leinster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster).
Replacements: Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster) (for Fitzpatrick 50m) Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht) (for Coghlan 72m), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster) (for Guest 55m), Heather O'Brien (Highfield/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Exile/UWIC/Ulster) (for Davis 60m), Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster) (for Davitt 65m), Jennifer Murphy (Exile) (for Kavanagh 70m).
Referee: Sylvie Bros (FFR)