Whoops. Ireland snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when they went down 8-7 to underdogs Wales on the opening day of the Home International Matches at wet and windy Hillside.
England had a flattering 9.5 - 5.5 win over Scotland.
Kevin Flanagan’s defending champions led 3-2 after the morning foursomes but lost the singles 4-6 and must now beat England on Thursday to have any chance of retaining the Raymond Trophy.
What a let down that was after Walker Cup ‘rejects’ Alan Dunbar and Paul Cutler romped to an 8 and 7 win over Luke Thomas and Richard Hooper in the top foursomes.
Pat Murray and Dara Lernihan crushed Oliver Farr and Adam Runcie 5 and 4 with Niall Kearney and Simon Ward recording a 3 and 2 win over Rhys Enoch and Alistair Jones to ensure a lunch time lead.
Wales showed they were not going to be rolled over when Nigel Edwards and Rhys Pughsurvived a fightback from Kelan McDonagh and Cian Curley to win 3 and 2.
Joe Vickery and James Frazer were three down to Robert Cannon and Connor Doran after eight holes but won the tenth, 11th and 12th to get back to all-square then edged in front for the first time on the 15th before ensuring a one hole win with a birdie-three at the last.
Close champion Murray led from the front in the singles with a 5 and 3 win over Luke Thomas with Dunbar hammering veteran Edwards 4 and 3. With Cutler and Kearney losing at No 2 and No 3, Ireland could only muster two points from the last six matches though Curley and Doran.
Needing just one point from the last three matches on the course for overall victory, it was not to be.
Lernihan was beaten by one hole by Alistair Jones to make it 7-7, leaving Cannon to come back from two down with two to play against James Frazer to salvage a halved match.
The Laytown and Bettystown man won the 17th but couldn’t do the same at the last as Frazer got up-and-down from in front of the green for a half and a narrow win that saw Wales home 8-7.
World and European champions Scotland finished up on the wrong end of a hiding by England, who have seven Walker Cup players in their line up.
Beaten by the Scots in the European final at Conwy, England were looking for revenge but after the foursomes the side were level at 2-2 with one match halved.
However, it was a different story in the singles with Tommy Fleetwood’s 7 and 5 win over Keir McNicoll an inspiration.
According to the official Home International site:
Matt Haines and Dale Whitnell completed 3 and 2 wins over their Walker Cup team-mates Wallace Booth and Gavin Dear respectively while Sam Hutsby and Chris Paisley both escaped with narrow wins after looking set for defeat.
Hutsby lost the first three holes against Ross Kellett but gradually turned it round to be all-square after 13. He won the 14th and held on to win by one hole win.
Similarly, Paisley also lost the opening three holes against Michael Stewart but got level again on the 16th, won the 17th to go ahead for the first time while a half on the last sealed another one hole success.
With Farren Keenan leading all the way against Paul O’Hara in his first action of the day to win 5 and 4 that saw England home while there were halved matches for Matt Nixon and Jamie Abbott.