LAURA DELANY saw her ambition of winning all five matches in Spain this week ended at the first hurdle as Scotland took their official one-day international bow with a 40-run victory over Ireland at the Desert Springs complex.

Ireland skipper Delany won the toss only to see Scottish sisters Sarah and Kathryn Bryce race away to 83/1 before ODI debutante Freya Sargent took two wickets in the 19th over with her off-spin.

Kathryn Bryce continued to a top score of 78 but steady wicket-to-wicket bowling from Delany and Arlene Kelly prevented the tail from wagging and 212 to win should have been well within the compass of Ireland’s batters, albeit on a painfully slow pitch.

Leah Paul helped build a solid platform of 97/2 at the halfway point of the chase but her lbw dismissal for 43 sparked a mini-collapse that saw the Girls in Green slip to 123/5.

The turning point of the game was a mix-up between Orla Prendergast and Rebecca Stokell that resulted in the latter, who had been in good touch, being run out for 37, and Ireland finished well short on 171 when Kelly was last out for 25.

Ed Joyce will want to work on his side’s fielding, which looked rusty in comparison to Scotland’s, and the Ireland coach may consider that batting first is likely to be a better option in tomorrow’s  second 50-overs game of three.