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Billy on the Box: Little dignity in losing to Scots

It's not just real football that’s back, those pesky egg-chasers have also returned with a number of warm-up games, sorry, Tests, before the excitement of the World Cup is upon us.

Ireland, looking for an easy start, picked Scotland and so important was the game in the Beeb’s list of priorities they let the Celtic cousins get on with it without any interference from down south.

This meant BBC Scotland getting a rare chance to entertain the masses but frontman Dougie Vipond is no stranger to big gigs having been drummer in pop combo Deacon Blue.

Now, if you’re expecting me to start rhyming off loads of the Caledonian crooner’s big hits in an attempt for cheap laughs then you’re dead right because the game itself was a load of hits.

Ireland’s B team included a man called Fergus (pictured), obviously he was playing rather than singing the Blues, one of the possibles wondering just when Declan Kidney would be making their telephone ring.

Keith Wood was ploughing a lone furrow for the boys in green, joined in the shiny studio in his shiny demob suit by Mike Blair, while Jill Douglas, desperate to fill time, was talking to anyone she could find on the touchline.

This included Dan Parks, about as Scottish as deep-fried kangaroo, but handy boys to have around when Andy Robinson’s men swap the drizzle of Edinburgh for even more drizzle in New Zealand.

Onto the game and what a rocking first-half.

The Scots dominating proceedings but like a pedantic child with a colouring-in book simply refused to go over the line and went in 3-0 in arrears for a deep-fried orange and a glass of red lemonade.

It eventually did the trick, the game reaching a thrilling climax when someone with an Asbo went on the rampage, sorry, someone called Ansbro, took off like a real gone kid and with a twist and shout he evaded Andrew Trimble’s swaying arms to score.

Thankfully no-one called for an encore as Dougie wished us all a fond farewell but on this showing both sides are going to have to fight hard to keep their dignity at the World Cup.

Belfast Telegraph