Ireland and Scotland Wheelchair Rugby League national teams have taken on each other in the 2nd leg of the Celtic Cup joining the 'running game' championship Summer Bash at Blackpool this Saturday.
There were some changes to both squads due to a number of players being unavailable for selection. The match had a significant historical aspect in the wheelchair RL game as it marked the final leg of the first ever Celtic Cup with Scotland having all the work to do following Ireland's 52-28 win in Dundee last month.
The Scotland national coach, Jamie Seery, said prior to the game that he was looking forward to the challenge ahead. "We were happy with how we played in parts during the first leg but due to the poor start which saw us 28 points down within 20 minutes it was always going to be hard to come back," he said. "We got the game back to within 12 points with 10 minutes to go which showed the players can perform at this level and we feel there is more improvement to come. We need to take the 40 minutes we did well and make sure we do that the full game"
Stuart Walker, Ireland national coach, said "The game was still wide open as both sides played well for 40 minutes within the game and showed their scoring potential so we will have to be on our best form for the full 80 minutes to protect the lead we have."
The Irish however, with George Hill in fine form and Scotland unable to contain him scored within minutes and a hat-trick within the first 20 mins leaving Scotland with little possession and no field position to effectively put the game out of the reach of Scotland as the Irish dominated play and went in at half time 68-10 up. Whilst the Scottish fought hard and led well by captain Graham Stewart, 16 points and Ian McKeen 24 points, to rally and finish 48 points. The Irish team took the trophy with an aggregate score of 132 to 76.
Graeme Stewart, Ian McKeen, Michael Mellon, Stephen Carling, John Cairns, Gavin Dobson
Damian McCabe, George Hill, Thomas Martin, Vicky Irwin, Joshua McEvoy, Dillon Neil