| 7°C Belfast

Ireland 5 - 1 Scotland: Irish hit high five but snow threatens series

Close

 Surging run: Ireland's Johnny McKee escapes the attention of Lee Morton of Scotland yesterday

Surging run: Ireland's Johnny McKee escapes the attention of Lee Morton of Scotland yesterday

Surging run: Ireland's Johnny McKee escapes the attention of Lee Morton of Scotland yesterday

Ireland got off a winning start in the Four Nations Under-21 tournament being staged at Mossley with a convincing scoreline against Scotland – but then the snowy weather took over and the second game between Germany and England had to be postponed.

After all the effort and hospitality put in by the host club to stage the first international tournament north of the border for years, it was a disappointing ending to the first day's play but it's hoped the series will go ahead as planned this afternoon.

There's very little you can do about bad weather, and the sizeable crowd accepted that despite not getting a chance to see Junior World champions Germany in action, but credit to the Irish and Scottish players who put on a fine show as the snow swirled around them in the tournament's curtain-raiser.

And Irish coach Jonny Caren was pleased with his team's performance, particularly as they had just one day's rest after the weekend's three games in the inter-provincial series in Dublin.

Ulstermen Matthew Bell (Banbridge), Johnny McKee (Banbridge) and Jamie Wright (Portadown) all got on the scoresheet while Peter McKibben (Annadale), James Lorimer (Lisnagarvey) and Bell proved a strong defensive line in front of Mossley goalkeeper Ben McMillan.

"It was a very good performance but the England and Germany games will be much harder, and of course we could be a little tired by then as it will be six games in seven days after the weekend's inter-provincials," said Irish vice-captain Matthew Bell.

"But it's massive to have a tournament at home, and good for many of the parents who often have to travel all over the world!"

It was Bell who opened Ireland's account when he roofed a penalty corner nine minutes from the interval, and that was quickly followed by goals from Johnny McKee and then a penalty stroke conversion from Kirk Shimmins after great work by Jamie Wright.

Jack McKenzie pulled one back for the Scots in the second half but after Sean Murray (Lisnagarvey) had an effort saved, McKee set up his captain Nicky Burns for the fourth and Jamie Wright completed the rout by diverting home another Bell penalty corner.

This afternoon Germany are scheduled to take on Scotland (5pm) with Ireland against England at 7pm.

IRELAND: B McMillan, M Bell, J Lorimer, P McKibben, L Cole, P Brown, N Glassey, K Shimmons, N Burns, B Cosgrove, J Wright. Subs: J McKee, M Robson, S O'Connor, M Allister, S Murray, R Nair, M Ingram

Belfast Telegraph