But if the Scots are to turn the tables on their visitors, their defence cannot afford to be as generous as they were in Dublin.
Ireland got off to a storming start with a well-taken goal in the first minute through Laois's Cahir Healey and, with the Scottish defence still trying to come to terms with the pace of the game, the hosts doubled their lead through Graeme Mulcahy in six minutes and added further points from Neil McManus.
Scotland fought their way back through good work from Finlay MacRae and Connor Cormack but missed early chances. Kilmallie's Liam MacDonald scored in the 11th minute, Kevin Bartlett added two points and a goal from Finlay MacRae gave the Scots a brief lead by the 22nd minute.
Ireland hit back with quick goals from Neil MacManus and Paul Divilly before turning the screw with a series of single points from open play. The home side relentlessly built on their lead with singles from Mulcahy, Eoin Price and Darragh O'Connor with Scotland countering via two further points each from Shaun Nicholson and Kevin Bartlett.
As the match continued the Scots grew in confidence and they managed to reduce the deficit further when Finlay MacRae popped over a dead ball for a two pointer. Though Ireland got further singles from Gareth "Magic" Johnson and Danny Cullen, Scotland finished the stronger, adding singles from John MacRae, Glen Mackintosh and Steven MacDonald.
By the end of the match Scotland manager MacNeill could hardly conceal his frustration at the way the afternoon had panned out.
"We allowed ourselves to go seven points down within the first six minutes," he said. "We then clawed our way back to take the lead but gave away two soft goals. We finished the stronger side but it's hugely disappointing we could not score more. This contest is not finished yet."