Scotland’s Club XV put in a better showing in the second leg of the Dalriada Cup at Energia Park in Dublin last night by grabbing a late draw, but the home side lifted the silverware.
Having lost the first leg 23-9 at Netherdale in Galashiels last Friday, Scotland knew they need a much more cohesive performance this time around and they achieved that.
In this pulsating match they drew 19-19 but Ireland came out on top on aggregate, winning 42-28 over the two legs.
In the ground that used to be known as Donnybrook, the Scots got off to the perfect start when Currie Chieftains centre Robbie Nelson burst through and scored a try after just one minute.
With his club team-mate Gregor Hunter converting it was 7-0 to the visitors in quick time.
That got the Scots tails up, but the hosts showed good calmness in the first leg last week and they did so again in the tenth minute when stand-off Aidan Moynihan kicked a penalty.
Two minutes before the half-hour mark Ireland pulled to within one point when, after a good driving maul, they earned a penalty which Moynihan again kicked.
That was the way things stayed until the interval and although the Scots were happy to be ahead they knew they were still 13 points down on aggregate.
It was the home side who scored the next try just before the hour mark.
It came from second-row Conor Kindregan and when Moynihan converted it was 13-7 to Ireland on the night and 36-16 on aggregate.
Moynihan kicked a penalty for Ireland before Ayr winger Kyle Rowe ran in an unconverted try for Scotland.
Another Moynihan penalty came before a converted Scots try by captain Pete McCallum made it 19-19 late on.