(CNN) -- Man of the match Brian O'Driscoll scored a drop goal and a try in the second half as Ireland kept their grand slam hopes alive with a scrappy 14-13 win over England in the Six Nations on Saturday.
O'Driscoll is congratulated after diving over for his second half try.
The victory gives Ireland three wins from three games to top the table, but the manner of their victory at Croke Park was hardly convincing and they had to survive a late scare as Delon Armitage crossed for a last-gasp try.
Substitute fly-half Andy Goode, who had set up the try with a clever kick, converted to pull England to within a point, but they failed to score from the Irish kick off as time ran out.
England were once again left to rue indiscipline which left saw them lose prop Phil Vickery and substitute Danny Care to the sin-bin at crucial moments of the second half.
When Care went for a needless push on Marcus Horan with 10 minutes left, England manager Martin Johnson was visibly angry when captured by the television cameras, thumping his fist in frustration.
After a poor first half which saw an out of sorts Ronan O'Gara and fellow fly-half Toby Flood exchange penalties, Ireland gained a foothold on the match after the break.
The inspirational O'Driscoll kicked a drop goal, receiving a cut mouth in the process from a thumping challenge, and then was on hand for a crucial try.
Vickery was in the sin-bin for foul play as Ireland pressed near the England line and O'Driscoll burrowed over from close range.
It left England 11-3 down, but Armitage kicked a long-range penalty and they nearly crossed as replacement Mathew Tait charged clear but did not see Riki Flutey on the overlap.
O'Gara, who missed four other kicks, was successful with his second penalty after more England indiscipline, but then came the exciting finale to a largely disappointing match.
"I don't think people give England the credit they deserve. They're always a hard team," O'Driscoll told BBC after their victory.
"They've shown in previous games it's always very hard against them and we found that to be the case today."
In Saturday's other Six Nations action, Scotland scored their first win of the campaign with a 26-6 home win over rock bottom Italy.
Simon Danielli and Scott Gray scored tries for Scotland who had lost to Italy in the two previous championships.