Ireland launched a stirring second-half fightback to see off Spain 15-13 and claim top spot in WXV 3.

The winner-takes-all clash between the two remaining unbeaten teams started badly for Scott Bemand’s side, who lost flanker Edel McMahon to a yellow card for a high tackle inside two minutes.

Spain made their numerical advantage count when Aoife Dalton’s loose pass in midfield was seized upon by Claudia Pena, who ran in under the posts from 70 metres out.

Amalia Argudo added the routine conversion and then slotted a penalty to open up a 10-0 lead, which was only reduced in the 35th minute when Dannah O’Brien’s penalty got Ireland on the board.

More Irish indiscipline saw Linda Djougang sin-binned for offside with the clock in the red as Spain applied serious pressure on the line, Argudo’s penalty opening up a 13-3 half-time lead.

Ireland knew they needed to come out firing in the second half and reduced the arrears on the hour when Grace Moore finished off a catch and drive.

O’Brien’s conversion meant the deficit was just three and the rolling maul again proved too strong to stop with five minutes to play, Neve Jones dotting down to win the match in dramatic fashion.