Scotland Wilt Under Irish Heat

By Gavin Willacy - June 7 2006
Scotland Wilt Under Irish Heat Skanska Four Nations Championship Ireland 38 Scotland 30 At St Marys RFC, Limerick Scotland let a 12-point lead slip away in the scorching heat in Limerick on Saturday afternoon, going down to a surprise defeat by the Irish Wolfhounds.
Ian Gilmour 2, Nick Surtees 2 and John Macdonald were Scotland’s try-scorers – four of them before the break – with Ritchy Hawkyard converting all five tries on debut.

Full internationalist Surtees opened the scoring on eight minutes, going over after Gilmour – who caused havoc in the opening period - had broken through the Irish line with wonderful vision and fed Macdonald on the right. Hawkyard converted easily. Six minutes later Ireland were level when Kevin O’Riordan from a Mike Harte offload. Billy Treacy added the extras.

On 16 minutes Scotland burst into life. Debutant centre Dene Miller charged down a clearing kick, Gilmour snaffled the rebound and fled away to score under the posts, Hawkyard converting and within two minutes he was at it again following a try on the right by a fully-committed Surtees, plunging over from Gilmour’s pass as Scotland put together some sensational movement.

There looked like only being one possible winner at 18-6 to the Bravehearts but Ireland recovered well, hooker Declan Nash scoring from a grubber kick on the last tackle after drives by Rick Hartas and Jimmy Morrison. Treacy converted.

The Irish, spurred on by a small but vocal crowd, sensed a comeback and were level on the half hour when Mike Brodie’s charge and inside pass enabled Nash to head over, Treacy faultless again to make it 18-all.

But the visitors responded and four minutes later constructed a magnificent move to go in ahead. John Cox made some strong yards on the left, left centre Mike Benson broke through the line and the ball was worked thrillingly to the inside right channel where John Macdonald went all out for the line. Hawkyard made it 24-18 at the break.

The second half was a different story. As Scotland lost patience with emergency Irish referee David Lavery, they lost concentration and control of the game. Ireland started superbly, posting two tries in six second half minutes to go ahead, first through Ciaran Brady after a fumbled kick and then a scoot by huge prop Alan Robinson, Treacy’s double making it 30-24. Ireland were in the driving seat as Scotland’s conceded a string of penalties which kept returning them deep into their own half and prevented any pressure from mounting on the Irish. There was one moment to rejoice when Dave Birchall kicked through and dragged the full-back in to touch. From the scrum, Gilmour raced over under the posts and Hawkyard made it 30-all with 20 minutes to go.

The final quarter was as hot as the steaming weather but Ireland kept their heads to nick the win. Lance Bullen scored on 63 minutes and as Scotland chased the game, tempers frayed. Miller was sin-binned a couple of minutes from time for dissent having made a magnificent attempt to stop an Irishman crossing Scotland’s line only to be adjudged to have knocked the ball on. Treacy kicked the penalty and Lavery blew up without added time to hand Ireland a victory their second half display deserved.

Scotland re-group on Saturday 17 June with a friendly against France at Lochinch in Glasgow’s Pollok Park (5pm ko) before taking on Wales at the same venue on Sunday 16 July (2.30pm ko).

Scotland:
1 Andy Brown (Fife Lions)
2 Dougie Thompson (Scotland Students)
15 Mike Benson (Edinburgh Eagles)
3 Dene Miller (St Albans Centurions)
5 Mark Webster (Liverpool Buccaneers)
6 Ian Gilmour (Leicester Phoenix)
7 Richard Hawkyard (Scotland Students)
8 Ash Carroll (Edinburgh Eagles)
9 Niall MacDonald (Edinburgh Eagles)
10 James Mackay (Carlisle Centurions)
12 John Cox (Edinburgh Eagles)
16 Nick Surtees (St Albans Centurions)
13 John Macdonald (Edinburgh Eagles)
Subs all used:
14 Dave Birchall (Scotland Students)
17 Al Stewart (Liverpool Bucaneers)
30 Tom Wild (Scotland Students)
4 Andy Todd (Edinburgh Eagles)
11 Scott MacGillivray (Fife Lions)

Tries: Surtees (8, 18), Gilmour (16, 59), Macdonald J (34). Goals: Hawkyard 5/5.

Ireland:
4 Mike Brodie, 19 Barry Sweeney, 24 Eric Roberts, 14 Simon Manuel, 7 Rick Hartas, 1 Alan McNamara, 2 Simon Donnelly, 14 Simon Morley, 15 Alan Pembroke, 18 Dave Delahunty, 6 Billy Treacy, 23 Steve Nolan, 8 Lance Bullen, 13 Kevin O’Riordan, 25 Ciaran Barry, 5 Phil Purdue, 10 Alan Robinson, 12 Carl Roche, 11 Mick Harte, 3 Jimmy Morrison, 9 Declan Nash.

Tries: O’Riordan (13), Nash (23, 30), Barry (46), Robinson (49), Bullen (63). Goals: Treacy 7/7.

Referee: David Lavery (Ireland).