Ireland slipped to their second defeat at the 2008 Under-18 Six Nations Festival on Saturday afternoon as they went down to Scotland at Musgrave Park.
2008 UNDER-18 SIX NATIONS FESTIVAL: Saturday, March 29
IRELAND U-18 SCHOOLS XV 11 SCOTLAND U-18 25, Musgrave Park
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Gavin Nugent; Pens: Noel Reid 2
Scotland: Tries: Alex Blair 2, Stuart McInally; Cons: Alex Blair 2; Pens: Alex Blair 2
The Scots got off to a good start when Alex Blair kicked a first-minute penalty but Ireland got themselves into the game with some strong runs from number 8 David O’Callaghan and winger Michael Allen, winning themselves some decent territory.
Full-back Noel Reid struck a penalty goal after five minutes to level things up, however Blair’s fine start continued when he picked a perfect line inside Ireland’s 22 to touch down and add the conversion for a 10-3 Scottish lead.
Allen was involved again as Ireland put together some good attacking play but Scotland scrapped well on the ground to force a number of turnovers.
The Irish had plenty of possession but Scotland’s defence was well organised and the hosts found a breakthrough almost impossible.
Scotland increased their tally when Blair added another penalty after Ireland killed the ball and centre Michael Kelliher was sent to the sin-bin.
Scotland made the most of their numerical advantage when Blair notched another converted try after some excellent offloading involving captain Stuart McInally and out-half Ross Aitken.
Blair was forced off injured in the 34th-minute after making a 20-point contribution and on came Matthew Tait, the son of senior Scotland defence coach Alan, who has been in the Scots’ U-18 coaching camp this week.
Ireland finished the half strongly with Diarmaid McCarthy making some good ground out wide and skipper Brian O’Hara showing well, but Scotland still led comfortably at 20-3 at the break.
Peter Melia’s home side raised the tempo on the restart with Allen again providing the pace out wide and when Scotland captain McInally was binned for killing the ball, the Irish pressed hard for a score.
Reid knocked over a penalty to get his side back into the game but Scotland made sure of the win when McInally got on the end of a sweeping move to add five more points.
Scotland finished the game with 13 players when both Grant Gilchrist and Jason Hill were yellow carded and Ireland finally made their numerical advantage count when centre Gavin Nugent dived over after some good pack play.
In the other games at the Festival on Saturday, Wales beat Italy 43-10 at the Mardyke and England ran out 18-0 winners over France at Cork Institute of Technology.
IRELAND U-18 SCHOOLS: Noel Reid (St. Michael’s College); Diarmaid McCarthy (Castletroy Community College), Michael Kelliher (St. Munchin’s College), David McSharry (Templeogue College), Michael Allen (Methodist College Belfast); Luke Marshall (Ballymena Academy), David O’Driscoll (Presentation Brothers College Cork); Brian Cagney (Presentation Brothers College Cork), Niall Annett (Methodist College Belfast), Jack O’Connell (Clongowes Wood College), Patrick Butler (Rockwell College), Ben Marshall (St. Andrew’s College), Dominic Ryan (Gonzaga College), Brian O’Hara (Presentation Brothers College Cork) (capt), David O’Callaghan (Midleton College).
Replacements used: Mark Atkinson (Grosvenor Grammar School) for McSharry (15 mins), Jason Bloomfield (Coleraine Academical Institution) for O’Driscoll (45), Brian Hayes (Christian Brothers College Cork) for B Marshall, Craig O’Hanlon (St. Munchin’s College) for Kelliher (both 60), James McKinney (Campbell College) for L Marshall, Gavin Nugent (Presentation Brothers College Cork) for Reid (both 68), Martin Moore (Castleknock College) for Cagney (70), Paul Pritchard (Ballymena Academy) for Ryan (71), Richard Bent (St. Mary’s College) for Butler (72). Not used: Risteard Byrne (Terenure College), Denis Buckley (Blackrock College).
SCOTLAND U-18: Tom Brown (Edinburgh Academy); Rory Drummond (Bell Baxter/Howe of Fife), Alex Blair (Edinburgh Academy), Alec Dunbar (Annan), Seamus McKenzie (Murrayfield Wanderers); Ross Aitken (Bell Baxter/Howe of Fife), Alex Black (Prince Henrys School); Luke Pettie (Gala Wanderers), Alun Walker (Musselburgh), Nicky Little (Hawick), Callum Connor (Bradford Grammar), Robert Harley (West of Scotland), Michael Maltman (Musselburgh), Michael Fedo (Bell Baxter/Howe of Fife), Stuart McInally (George Watsons College) (capt).
Replacements used: Michael Tait (Kelso Quins) for Blair (34 mins), Max Learmouth (Berwick) for McKenzie (35), Grant Gilchrist (Stirling County) for Connor (50), Sam Hughes (Merchiston Castle School) for Brown, Russell Weir (Merchiston Castle School) for Black (both 55), Craig Owenson (Musselburgh) for Petite (65), Jason Hill (Stirling County) for Fido (68). Not used: Mungo Strachan (Fettes College), Andrew Fraser (York), Ross Sutherland (Sandbach), Jamie Harris (Merchiston Castle School).
Referee: Cyril Lafon (France)