Senior Hurling/Shinty International First Test Preview

Senior Hurling/Shinty International First Test
Páirc an Chrócaigh: Ireland v Scotland, 4.45pm
The battle of the Celts provides the curtain-raiser at Croke Park on Saturday with a keenly contested encounter between Ireland and Scotland expected in the annual Senior Hurling-Shinty International.
Current Offaly manager and former Senior All-Ireland winner Joe Dooley is again back to manage the Ireland side, with Drew MacNeil taking over from Fraser MacKenzie as the Scottish manager.
For the first time ever in the long history of these games, this year's winner will be decided over a two-leg series, with Ireland set to visit Bught Park, Inverness on Saturday November 13.
Like the International Rules code, the Hurling-Shinty Internationals are a hybrid game.
The composite rules of the sport are simple in nature with three points for a goal and one point for a shot over the crossbar.
There are, however, some exceptions. A score from a stationary ball taken straight from the ground is worth two points.
Players may not catch the ball unless they are the goalkeeper or a defender on the line for a penalty and this must be released within three steps.
Players may not kick the ball, but can drag the ball with their foot. This results in a mainly 'ground hurling' style game, with each half lasting 35 minutes.
The hybrid code has a long history, almost as long as the GAA itself, with the first-ever games taking place in 1896 between London Scottish and London GAA sides.
Games followed in 1897 and 1898 between Glasgow Cowal and Dublin Celtic, but the next games didn't take place until the 1920s.
The Second World War forced another break in games in the code, but university sides in both countries kept the link going, with international fixtures resuming in the 1970s.
Ireland dominated many of the encounters in the ‘70s, 80s and 90s, but there has been little between the sides in recent meetings.
Just a point separate the teams when Scotland claimed victory in Nowlan Park in 2008, while Ireland won by just three points last year at Bught Park.
Just six of that Irish side remain for this year's encounter, with captain Tommy Walsh, Shane Dooley, Stephen Clynch, Paul McCormack, Gareth Johnston and John Rowney still involved.
However, Ireland can also call upon players such as Antrim duo Neil McManus and Arron Graffin who were part of the successful U21 side last year.
Scotland have experience in abundance with captain Gary Innes one of many players worth keeping a close eye on.
Kingussie player Ronald Ross has 20 years' experience playing for Scotland but continues to shine and was his country's top scorer with 1-2 in last year's encounter.
The U21 game between Ireland and Scotland is scheduled for 1.00pm on Saturday, October 30 at Ratoath GAA Club

Wednesday, 27 October 2010 08:12 |
On Sat next 30th of October five Kerry Hurlers will line out for Ireland in the annual Shinty Matches Vs Scotland.

First up will be the U 21 Shinty Team who play Scotland in Ratoath GAA Club Co Meath at 1.00pm. Adrian Royle lines out at right half back with his club colleague David Fitzelle in midfield. Dara O Connell is placed at wing forward and Shane Nolan takes up his usual customary spot in the Corner. Following on their All Ireland success this is a great achievement by the Kerry U 21 Hurlers and represents a significant step forward. John Meyler Bainisteoir of the Kerry Senior Hurlers is a selector on this team with Michael Walsh Killkenny as Manager.

In the second game Ireland will play Scotland in a Senior Match at 4.45pm in Croke Park which precedes the International Rules Series match between Ireland and Australia. Kerry have one player on this team, Tom Murnane who is also in line for the GPA Player of the year in the Christy Ring Competition. Murnane has been Kerrys outstanding hurler in 2010 and this honour is well earned. We wish all the players the best of luck.