Ireland will make a huge mistake if they dismiss Scotland debutant Ruaridh Anderson in Saturday’s shinty/hurling international as the sides contest the Mowi Quaich at Páirc Esler, Newry on Saturday.
That’s the view of Kingussie manager Iain Borthwick after his player was pictured dwarfed by Clare hurlers Peter Duggan and David Fitzgerald at the fixture launch at the iconic home of hurling, Croke Park.
Borthwick said: “Ruaridh might not be the tallest but if Ireland underestimate him, they are in for a big shock.
“His movement is outstanding, and they will find it very difficult to pin him down.
“It’s simple, ignore Ruaridh at your peril and he will rip Ireland apart, given the chance.”
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Captain MacDonald confirmed
Kyles Athletic’s Roddy MacDonald has been confirmed as the Scotland captain for this weekend’s match.
The 35-year-old has won all there is to win at senior shinty level including the Camanachd Cup, three Macaulay Cups and seven Glasgow Celtic Society Cups.
He has made 14 international appearances and will captain his country for the first time on Saturday
MacDonald said: “It is an honour to be given the opportunity to lead Scotland against Ireland this weekend.”
No injury concerns for Scots
The last international was played in Abbotstown in 2019 when the Scots won 26-4 with Craig Morrison netting twice and Andrew MacCuish, Roddy Macdonald and Kevin Bartlett scoring the other goals.
All but MacCuish feature again this year. However, it was a weakened Irish side back then due to other commitments and this year’s opposition looks much stronger in comparison.
Scotland manager Garry Reid is relieved to see all his players get through the weekend fixtures without any injuries.
He said: “All the players have reported fit after the Saturday games and that’s always a relief. It is now all systems go for Saturday.”
The Scotland party travel out on Friday for what is one of the big dates on the shinty calendar while it is also hoped the under-21 international, which doesn’t take place this year, returns in 12 months’ time.
Camanachd Association president Steven MacKenzie said: “For all the Scotland players, it is a great honour to represent their country.
“Shinty looks on with admiration to our Celtic cousins and has much to learn from the professionalism and dedication of our hurling counterparts.
“While we have a long road to travel, we have aspirations that our sport be valued and supported as deeply as the Gaelic games are in Ireland.
“I would also like to extend an invite to both the Éire seniors and the under-21s to Scotland in 2024.”
Ireland captain Neil McManus from Antrim says his side will play a more direct brand of hurling to help arrest a five-match losing run meaning it could be a physical encounter.
He said: “The cross-codes game is a little bit different from hurling and I described it earlier as hurling a la 1970 where you can let the stick go a little bit!
“Because the outfield shinty players can’t take the ball in their hand, it is a little bit different, but the Scots are incredibly adept at switching the play from flank to flank, almost in a soccer style.
“The person playing on the opposite wing has read that already and they are in behind you almost like in soccer, as a forward trying to get in behind the back four.
“The transition of the ball is really quick because we can’t take the ball in our hand.”
Thomas Gleeson from Dublin has been appointed as the match referee. Throw-in is at 2.45pm and Scotland supporters unable to make the trip will still be able to watch the international as it will be shown live on the official TG4 YouTube channel.
Women’s squad named for Cork
The Women’s Camanachd Association has announced the Scotland squad who travel to Cork for the shinty/camogie international against Irish opposition on Friday November 3.
With James Gallacher, Laura Mackay and Andrew Morris in charge of the Scots, Mowi National Division winners Badenoch, Valerie Fraser Camanachd Cup winners Skye Camanachd and Lochaber have the largest representation with four players each.
Skye’s Sarah Yoxon is included having made her Scotland debut in the first official international in Ratoath in 2004.
There is no place for the talented Kirsty Deans from Badenoch though as she has commitments in her role with the Inverness Caledonian Thistle women’s team.
The Scots travel to Cork on Friday 3 November before playing Irish opponents that evening and again the following afternoon.
Scotland from: Mairi Stewart (Badenoch), Megan Ralph (Badenoch), Rhona McIntyre (Badenoch), Zoe Reid (Badenoch), Christy Doherty (Glasgow Mid Argyll), Laura McCafferty (Glasgow Mid Argyll), Rachael McCafferty (Glasgow Mid Argyll), Hazel Hunter (Glenurquhart), Ishbel Barr (Glenurquhart), Zoe Smith (Glenurquhart), Lorna MacRae (Kinlochshiel), Amy Disher (Lochaber), Mairi Duncan (Lochaber), Missy Cameron (Lochaber), Natalie MacDonald (Lochaber), Caitlin Maclean (Skye Camanachd), Rhianna Kirk (Skye Camanachd), Sarah-Jane Ferguson (Skye Camanachd), Sarah Yoxon (Skye Camanachd), Alison MacVicar (Uddingston).