By C¾ilÝn Duffy
Ireland retained the Camogie-Shinty International thanks to a determined performance at Sean Eifie Park, Ratoath on Saturday morning.
In perfect weather conditions the hosts never looked troubled in this encounter with an early goal from Westmeath’s Jemma Egan setting the tone.
Scotland were dealt a major blow five minutes before half-time, with the loss of key forward Fiona Mathie.
The game was held up for over 15 minutes, after the Tir Conaill Harps player sustained a neck injury and she was subsequently taken to hospital by ambulance.
It was the only disappointing incident, from an otherwise open game of camogie which was played with great spirit and passion.
Ireland built up a 3-4 to 0-0 lead after 20 minutes, with Kildare’s Susie O’Carroll, Colette McSorley of Armagh and Cavan’s Roisin O’Keeffe among those doing the early damage.
O’Carroll and McSorley each bagged a goal in the opening stages, with Scotland under huge pressure defensively.
Indeed the visitors would have trailed by a lot more, but for the stern work by their goalkeeper Elizabeth McGregor among others.
Following the long lapse due to Mathie’s injury, Scotland upped their game and got just rewards when Jeanette McGregor smashed the ball to the net on the resumption.
But, Ireland once again dug deep with the final three points of the half with O’Keeffe (0-2) and O’Carroll on target as the hosts claimed a 3-7 to 1-0 interval lead.
Scotland were eager to bounce back on the restart, but Andy Mathie’s charges again found it tough to cope with a hungry and eager Ireland attack.
Defences stood firm in the 12-minute spell after the interval, with no scores conceded.
However, Susie O’Carroll claimed her second goal soon after to power Ireland to a a 16-point lead in the 43rd minute.
Katy Smith pressed hard for a Scottish response, but Monaghan’s Roisin McKenna pulled off a fine save in the Irish goalmouth.
However, McKenna leaked a goal soon after with Jane Nicol bagging a three-pointer.
But this was a mere blip in an otherwise dominate second half display by Tom O’Mahony’s charges as a 53rd minute goal from Tyrone’s Aisling Corr sealed a comfortable win.
After the game Niamh Breen received the cup, while Susie O’Carroll was honoured with the Player of the Match award.
Further goals from Susie O’Carroll and Colette McSorley pushed Ireland 3-7 to 1-0 ahead at the break, and they never looked back with O’Carroll, Egan and Aisling Corr claiming goals on the restart.
Scorers for Ireland — S O’Carroll 2-6 (1-0 45); J Egan 2-0; A Corr, C McSorley 1-0 each; R O’Keeffe 0-3. Scorers for Scotland — J Gillanders 1-2 (1f), J Nicol 1-0.
IRELAND: R McKenna; N Breen, R Gorman, C Byrne; R Crowe, I Kieran, L Gribben; B Grennan, B Murray; J Egan, P Greville, S O’Carroll; S Jordan, R O’Keeffe, C McSorley. Interchange subs: B Boylan, A Charlton, C Coffey, A Corr.
SCOTLAND: E McGregor; B MacDonald, E Wink, L MacKay; K Myrescough, L McCafferty, L MacKay; K Deans, S Martin; J McGregor, K Smith, J Nicol; F Mathie, J Gillanders, O Coughlan. Interchange subs: L Norman, J Aitken, L McNulty, A Gribbin, L MacLeod.
REFEREE: Una Kearney (Armagh)