It went to injury time and Ireland’s man of the match in the 2009 shinty V hurling International played at Bught Park in Inverness this afternoon was Shane Dooley.
With 3 points already behind him, it was Dooley’s 11th hour goal from an unstoppable shot that brought Ireland their win of 1-11 to 1-8, a lead the team had to defend hard in the closing minutes after Dooley’s strike.
Fort William’s Gary Innes, captaining the Scots shinty team, making his ninth consecutive appearance and with 4 consecutive Scotland wins behind him, had predicted a tough game. After watching the Irish side do a training session at Bught Park, he felt they were a better team than last year while believing that Scotland’s seasoned campaigners would take the day.
It was a tight and hard fought match but thanks to Shane Dooley, Innes’ hopes for a fifth Scots win in a row were rammed into the back of their own net in those closing minutes.
The win made it a clean sweep for the visitors who had already taken the women’s camogie V shinty international by 2-2 to 0-0 and the Under 21 hurling V shinty international by 1-8 to 0-10.
As well as disappointment for the fans in the blue riband game though, Caledonian Brewery who had come in to sponsor the Scots international side for the contest will have felt pretty flat as well.
But there’s always next year and there’s no doubt that the growing profile of this composite-rules game is raising the profile of shinty. BBC 2′s live coverage this afternoon alone is a tribute to growing interest in the sport and a powerful accelerator of that interest.