By Ian Golden at Deeside Leisure Centre
Ireland overcame Scotland 68-36 in a competitive second Prabhu Ventures match.
This means that the Irish need to beat Wales by 20 points in the final Celtic Cup game to take title the Welsh have won for the past two years.
Ireland took the lead after less than two minutes through a Michael Knight try that went unconverted.
A Callum Young try five minutes later levelled it up but Ireland soon built a 20-4 lead.
Knight and James Hazel quickly went over for the Irish. Josh McAvoy converted both before going over for a score of his own on 22 minutes.
Young scored his and Scotland’s second try on 28 minutes with Michael Mellon converting to bring the score back to 20-10, but Ireland extended their lead on 33 minutes through a Sebastian Groves try, the conversion attempt hitting the post.
Knight grabbed his hat-trick try on 36 minutes, but Young did the same for Scotland a couple of minutes later with Mellon converting to leave the score on 28-16 to the Irish at the break.
Ireland quickly posted another 10 points early in the second half, Knight scoring his fourth before Hazel got his second try with Knight converting.
But Scotland, like they did against Wales in their first game, made a comeback.
Gavin Dobson scored on 47 minutes with the trusty hand of Mellon landing another conversion.
Jay Anderson became the first female scorer of the day when she got Scotland’s next try three minutes later. That went unconverted leaving Scotland 12 points adrift.
Mellon didn’t miss the next one, converting his own try on 56 minutes, bringing the score back to 38-32 but Ireland were next one the board, Fred Nye getting the try and King converting.
Gavin Dobson got a try back for Scotland on 62 minutes but after that it was all Ireland.
Hazel got the next three tries and Groves was the final scorer. All were converted, the first by Knight, the rest from King.
Ireland: Peter Johnston, James Hazel, Lewis King, Fred Nye (both Argonauts), Thomas Martin, Scott Pyrah (both Halifax), Sebastian Groves (Medway Dragons), Stephen Argent, Michael Knight, Joshua McEvoy (all St Helens).
Tries: Knight (2, 12, 36, 42), Hazel (18, 45, 65, 70,73), McAvoy (22), Groves (33, 77), Nye (60)
Goals: Groves 0/1, McAvoy 2/5, King 3/4, Knight 3/3
Scotland: Jay Anderson, David Birtles, Peter Lewis: Michael Mellon (all Dundee Dragons), Gavin Dobson (Keighley Cougars), Callum Young (Leyland Warriors)
Tries: Young (7, 28, 39), Dobson (47, 62), Anderson (50), Mellon (56)
Goals: Mellon 4/7