Scotland Club XV defeated by Ireland despite Bickerstaff brace

Scotland Club XV were defeated by Ireland Club XV in the first leg of the Dalriada Cup at Netherdale, Gala, last night.

Scotland had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute of the game when Wallace Nelson broke down the far side although he was brought down and it came to nothing.

The first try of the game came when Ireland were awarded a lineout near their 22m line. Stand-off James Taylor broke Scotland’s defensive line, on the half-way line he passed it onto inside centre Bryan Fitzgerald who ran in their try, Taylor adding the conversion.

The visitors scored once more when their number eight Paul Derham broke a Scottish tackle and passed out to scrumhalf, and Man of the Match, Aran Hehir to score with Taylor adding the two extra points on offer.

Ireland extended their lead when Scotland were penalised for not rolling away and Taylor slotted a penalty.

Scotland were able to open their scoring when they were awarded a scrum on the 22m line. From the set-piece the ball worked its way through the back line, full-back Grant Mollison gave the final pass to Scott Bickerstaff on the wing who turned on the gas, escaped his last man and dotted it down near the posts.

After a sustained period of pressure Ireland got over the whitewash once more when prop Conor Maguire crossed the try line from short range.

HALF-TIME: Scotland Club XV 5-22 Ireland Club XV

The hosts had the first say of the second half. When a penalty was awarded to Scotland in front of the posts they opted to scrum, the stayed composed and calm through numerous phases of play before a miss match of numbers appeared and inside centre Colin Sturgeon was able to score Scotland’s second try of the evening.

Ireland were reduced to 14 men when replacement prop JP Phelan was shown a yellow card after his side were penalised too many times for being offside. Scotland were able to capitalise straight away, Scott Bickerstaff collected the ball on the Ireland 22m line, bounced off a defender, fended off three more for good measure, and bulldozed his way to the try line. Aaron McColm was able to add the extra two points from a touch line conversion to bring the score to within eight points of Ireland.

With ten minutes to go Scotland mounted a good looking attack down the far side of the pitch however the last pass was judged to have been forward by referee Ben Breakspear.

Ireland were able to work their way up field and when Scotland were penalised for being offside they stretched ahead through a Gerry Hurley penalty.

Into injury time Scotland tried to close down the deficit however two late tries by Ireland, one by full-back Jamie Heuston and another by Matthew Byrne, with Hurley adding the conversion, sealed the win for the visitors.

FULL-TIME: Scotland Club XV 17 - 39 Ireland Club XV 

Player of the Match: Aran Hehir (Ireland Club XV)

Referee: Ben Breakspear (WRU)

Attendance: 1,004

Scotland Club XV: 15. Grant Mollison (GHA); 14. Scott Bickerstaff (Marr), 13. Conor Bickerstaff, 12. Colin Sturgeon (Marr), 11. Callum Young (Jed-Forest), 10. Aaron McColm (Selkirk), 9. Gregor Christie (Currie); 1. Shawn Muir (Hawick) 2. Fergus Scott CAPTAIN (Currie Chieftains), 3. Calvin Henderson (Marr), 4. Mike Vernel (Currie Chieftains), 5. Gregor Law (Jed-Forest), 6. Jamie Sole (Edinburgh Academicals), 7. Wallace Nelson (Currie Chieftains), 8. Ewan MacDougall (Selkirk).

Replacements: 16. Matt Carryer (Hawick), 17. William Farquhar (Marr), 18. Gary Strain (Glasgow Hawks), 19. Robin Cessford (Aberdeen Grammar), 20. Nathaniel Coe (Aberdeen Grammar), 21. Patrick Boyer (Glasgow Hawks), 22. Andrew Mitchell (Hawick), 23. Steven Hamilton (Currie Chieftains).

Ireland Club XV: 15. Jamie Heuston (Garryowen); 14. Colm Hogan (Dublin University), 13. Pa Ryan (Shannon), 12. Bryan Fitzgerald, 11. Jack Ringrose (UCD), 10. James Taylor (UCC), 9. Aran Hehir (Shannon), 1. Conor Maguire (Old Wesley), 2. John Sutton (Cork Constitution), 3. Andrew Keating (Garryowen), 4. Brian Hayes (Cork Constitution), 5. Alan Kennedy (Young Munster) CAPTAIN, 6. Michael Melia (Terenure College), 7. John Foley (Young Munster), 8. Paul Derham (Old Wesley).

Replacements: 16. Adam Clarkin (Terenure College), 17. Corrie Barrett (Garryowen), 18. JP Phelan (Clontarf), 19. Peter Claffey (Terenure College), 20. Ryan Murphy (UCC), 21. Gerry Hurley (Cork Constitution), 22. Niall Kenneally (Cork Constitution), 23. Matthew Byrne (Terenure College).

live commentary 7:30 PM Friday 31 Jan 2020

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