Scotland lose grip of Shinty/Hurling International title after defeat across the sea to Ireland
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Scotland were defeated in the annual shinty/hurling international challenge match against Ireland over the weekend.
It was the first time that the cross-code spectacle had taken place since before the Covid-19 pandemic, with matches unable to be played in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The scoring system mixes the methods of both sports, with a goal – shooting into the net – counting for three points.
Getting the ball over the bar and between the posts counts for one point, a change from two in certain circumstances over previous years.
For five years the challenge was played as a double-header. One match would take place in each country, with the aggregate score deciding the series winner. However, in 2016 it reverted back to its original format of a one-off match, alternating between Scotland and Ireland.
This year, the match took place in Newry, Ireland at Pairc Esler.
Lovat’s Danny Kelly and Stuart MacDonald were each named in the Scottish selected heading over the sea, looking to make it a fifth triumph in-a-row. However, it was Ireland who prevailed – moving them to within a single victory of Scotland’s all-time series tally.
It proved to be the sheer number of overs Ireland scored that was the difference maker, as although they did not get a single goal their 22 points was insurmountable.
Scotland did score twice, through Caberfeidh’s Kevin Bartlett and Kingussie’s Ruaridh Anderson, but their eight overs were not enough to reel Ireland back in.
Bartlett scored a further three points through overs, as did Newtonmore’s Steven MacDonald – with Kyles Athletic’s Scott MacDonald and Newtonmore’s Iain Robinson claiming the others.
Steven MacDonald was named Scotland's man of the match, and was presented with the award by Camanachd Association president Steven Mackenzie at the post-match reception.