BALLYBOFEY native Laura Feely came off the bench as Ireland women defeated Scotland 18-14 in their Women’s Six Nations opener at Donnybrook.
Feely replaced Lindsay Peat in the 57th minute of the game.
The Galwegians and Connacht player has become a regular feature in the Ireland squad and this represented further valuable game time.
Beibhinn Parsons struck the decisive blow as her 66th-minute intercept try saw Ireland prevail in a tense tussle.
Scottish lock Emma Wassell claimed the game’s final try while Leah Lyons was in the sin-bin, but Ireland hung on to make a winning start to 2020 against one of their main Women’s Rugby World Cup qualification rivals.
Adding to Ellen Murphy’s initial penalty, the hosts enjoyed a thunderous two-try start as Sene Naoupu, on her 36th birthday, and returning hooker Cliodhna Moloney both crossed inside the first 15 minutes.
Lisa Thomson struck late to reduce Ireland’s lead to 13-7 by the break, and just when the Scots were poised to score again, 18-year-old Ballinasloe flyer Parsons pounced to run almost the length of the pitch and give her side just enough of a cushion to see out the result.