James Hunter and Mitchell Thompson's 120-run stand helped Ireland beat Scotland by 24 runs in their opening Under 17 Celtic Cup international clash at Oakhill.

The pair came together with their side struggling at 86 for 6 in the 21st over of the series opener, but batted superbly over the next 26 overs to put a completely different complexion on the contest.

Instonians all-rounder Hunter hit 10 fours and 3 sixes as he top scored with 76 from 86 balls, while YMCA star Thompson added valuable support with 47.

Ollie Metcalfe had earlier made 33 as Ireland posted 225 for 9 in their 50 overs.

Both sides fielded a considerable number of players from the U19 ranks, and it was one of those Tom Mackintosh who looked to be winning the game for the Scots as he stroked 9 boundaries in his 53 from 52 balls.

Jaspur Davidson (41) and Lyle Robertson (38) were also in the runs but the Irish kept taking wickets at crucial times to emerge 21-run victors.

Theo Dempsey, Jamie MacNulty and Jamie Forbes each took two wickets in an excellent fighting display by the 'Boys In Green'.

The teams meet again on Wednesday with the final game scheduled for Friday.