Young Scots star on Irish tour
Communication and concentration were key words in the pre-match team talks
SCOTLAND U-17s completed another successful Irish tour, recording wins against both Waterford U-17 and Dublin U-17 on their annual four- day visit to the Emerald Isle.
The 17-player squad were accompanied by Ronald Ross, Paul MacArthur and Alasdair Bruce. Unfortunatley there were enforced late changes to the pool as Saturday afternoon injuries to Oban Camanachd’s Daniel MacVicar and Lovat’s Scott MacKenzie led to late call-ups for Fort William’s Lewis Clark and Calum Maclay from Glasgow Mid Argyll. Both replacements made significant contributions over the two games.
There was some Sunday morning excitement for the players departing from Inverness Airport as they were joined by Olly Murs who played a concert in the Highland capital the previous night. The subsequent photo opportunity proved popular on social media.
The squad were based at the impressive Dublin City University where they were able to take advantage of the excellent training facilities.
After an inspiring trip to Croke Park, the Scotland squad travelled south to play Waterford U-17 at Walsh Park; a county ground. Scotland dominated the game from the start, eventually running out convincing (12-7) 43-13 (1-10) winners.
Captain Iain Robinson from Newtonmore was the Scots’ top scorer with 13 points (four goals and a point over the bar). Kingussie’s Ruaridh Anderson notched 11 points (3-2) whilst Skye Camanachd’s James Pringle grabbed eight points (2-2). There were also goals for Kingussie’s Roddy Young, Kilmallie’s Calum MacDougall and Glasgow Mid Argyll’s Calum Maclay who netted within a minute of coming off the substitutes’ bench. A 65yard two-pointer from Skye’s Connor Gilpin completed the scoring.
The annual meeting with Dublin U-17 was switched from Parnell Park to the magnificent facilities at the GAA National Games Development Centre. Both sets of players were in for a treat with the match played on the main pitch with the immaculate surface specially designed to replicate Croke Park. Such is the care taken over the pitch, both squads were asked to warm up on the adjacent all-weather surface.
A number of parents also made the journey to Ireland to cheer the Scots on from the stands and although they eventually ran out (9-3) 30-11 (1- 8) winners, the game was closer than the final score suggests. Just as he had done the previous game, Kingussie’s Ruaridh Anderson grabbed a hat-trick and he was arguably the Scots top performer over the two games. Skye’s James Pringle scored twice as did Kingussie’s Roddy Young and his effort over the bar took his tally for the evening to seven points. Newtonmore’s Iain Robinson collected four points (1-1), GMA’s Calum Mclay scored another goal whilst Fort William’s Lewis Clark drove the ball over the bar to add his name to the scoresheet.
As usual, the goalscorers grabbed the headlines but there were other fine performances with Skye’s John Gillies and Oban Celtic’s Ross MacMillan combining to forge a formidable full-back partnership. Oban Camanachd keeper Cameron Sutherland only lost one goal in each game and he was tidy whenever called into action. Kingussie’s Alexander Michie played a key role as defensive pivot whilst Oban Camanachd’s Daniel MacCuish was dogged in midfield.
Ronald Ross was keen that his troops were left inspired by the Irish experience and, to a man, the young Scots rose to the occasion. Communication and concentration were key words
Shinty / hurling
in the pre-match team-talk and the players showed that they could follow instruction as they played the ball on the ground and they used the width of the pitch to good effect. They all return to their clubs the better for the experience and the new friendships forged will last long into the future.
The travelling Scots, as always, are indebted to Marine Harvest, Gilmour Sports, Seamus Curtis, Waterford GAA and the Dublin County Board for their assistance before and throughout the tour.
Scotland U17 squad: Cameron Sutherland ( Oban Camanachd); John Gillies (Skye Camanachd), Ross MacMillan (Oban Celtic); Robbie Brindle (Beauly), Alexander Michie (Kingussie), Ross Montgomery (Inveraray); Daniel MacCuish (Oban Camanachd), Scott MacDonald (Kyles Athletic), Connor Gilpin (Skye Camanachd); Ruaridh Anderson (Kingussie), Calum MacDougall (Kilmallie), James Pringle (Skye Camanachd), Iain Robinson (Newtonmore) (captain); Roddy Young (Kingussie); subs Liam Arnott (Lochcarron), Lewis Clark (Fort William), Calum Mclay (Glasgow Mid Argyll).
The Scotland U-17 squad pictured at Dublin’s famous Croke Park.
The south players who were involved in the Scotland squad. Back row: Daniel MacCuish, Cameron Sutherland (both Oban Camanachd) , Scott MacDonald (Kyles Athletic). Front row: Ross Montgomery (Inveraray), Ross MacMillan (Oban Celtic) and Calum Maclay (Glasgow Mid Argyll).