England completed a remarkable comeback after an opening-day defeat to Ireland to clinch the 2011 Home Internationals Series at Rosses Point.
A 9.5-5.5 victory over Wales, coupled with Ireland’s defeat at the hands of Scotland, gave the defending champions victory.
Ireland’s hopes of winning the Raymond Trophy were dealt a killer blow when they lost the foursomes series against Scotland by 4.5 to 0.5.
Scotland came out of the blocks very quickly and scored an important first point through David Law and Paul Shields, who beat the previously unstoppable pairing of Paul Cutler and Kevin Phelan by 3/2.
As the rain drove down harder than it had all week, Ireland found themselves in further difficulty when Michael Stewart and Ross Kellett score a 3/2 victory over Eoin Arthurs and Richard O’Donovan.
James Byrne and Scott Gibson saw off Eddie McCormack and Alan Dunbar by 2/1, while Kris Nicol and Greg Paterson cruised to a 5/4 victory over Dermot McElroy and Paul Dunne.
Things got even worse for Ireland when their anchor pair, Gary McDermott and Niall Gorey – who had found themselves two up with three to play – lost the 16th and 17th to be all square with James White and Philip McLean.
The final hole was shared in par fours to leave the Scots four points ahead going into the singles.
Meanwhile, England took a 3-2 lead into the singles against Wales as they hoped to capitalise on Ireland’s woes in the foursomes.
Jack Senior and Andrew Sullivan scored a vital win in the first match by two holes over Rhys Enoch and James Frazer.
Wales hit back, though, with Oliver Farr and Rhys Pugh producing a strong performance on the back nine to see off Steven Brown and Neil Raymond by 4/3.
Jason Shufflebotham and Joe Vickery put Wales in the lead with a 2/1 victory over Craig Hinton and Ben Loughrey, but England held on to win the fourth match on the 19th – Dave Coupland and Garrick Porteous beating Alastair Jones and Richard Hooper.
Ben Taylor and Ben Stow won the fifth match by 3/2 over Ben Westgate and Richard Bentham to give England the advantage going into the singles.
Scotland’s surge against Ireland continued in the afternoon when the first three singles went their way – James Byrne beating Paul Cutler, David Law seeing off Alan Dunbar and Michael Stewart accounting for Eddie McCormack, all three on a scoreline of 2/1.
That early surge signalled the end for Ireland, as England had weathered an early singles charge by Wales, winning the last three matches by a single hole to seal their victory.
Andrew Sullivan led the way for England, beating Rhys Enoch by one hole, and then Steven Brown saw off Oliver Farr 3/2 for a second England point of the afternoon.
Wales hit back, with Rhys Pugh victorious on the 18th against Jack Senior, Jason Shufflebotham winning against Neil Raymond by two holes, and David Boote beating Tyrrell Hatton 4/2.
However, Garrick Porteous halved with Alastair Jones to halt the string of Welsh victories, before Dave Coupland beat Richard Bentham by 2/1, and then Ben Loughrey, Craig Hinton and Ben Taylor all scored successive one-hole wins over Ben Westgate, Joe Vickery and James Frazer respectively.
With the outcome of the series decided, Ireland rallied to put a better complexion on the scoreboard. Paul Dunne beat Kris Nicol 4/3, Richard O’Donovan accounted for Philip McLean by 2/1, and Dermot McElroy beat Graeme Robertson on the final green before Niall Gorey halved with James White to leave the match score 8.5-6.5 in Scotland’s favour, and leave Ireland second to England on aggregate of games won.
Friday 12 August 2011
England 9.5 Wales 5.5
(England names first)
J Senior & A Sullivan bt R Enoch & J Frazer 2 holes; S Brown & N Raymond lost to R Pugh & O Farr 4/3; C Hinton & B Loughrey lost to J Shufflebotham & J Vickery 2/1; D Coupland & G Porteous bt A Jones & R Hooper 2 holes; B Taylor & B Stow bt B Westgate & R Bentham 3/2.
A Sullivan bt R Enoch 1 hole; S Brown bt O Farr 3/2; J Senior lost to R Pugh 1 hole; N Raymond lost to J Shufflebotham 2 holes; G Porteous halved with A Jones; T Hatton lost to D Boote 4/2; D Coupland bt R Bentham 2/1; B Loughrey bt B Westgate 1 hole; C Hinton bt J Vickery 1 hole; B Taylor bt J Frazer 1 hole.
Scotland 8.5 Ireland 6.5
D Law & P Shields bt P Cutler & K Phelan 3/2; M Stewart & R Kellett bt E Arthurs & R O’Donovan 3/2; J Byrne & S Gibson bt E McCormack & A Dunbar 2/1; K Nicol & G Paterson bt D McElroy & P Dunne 5/4; J White & P McLean halved with G McDermott & N Gorey.
J Byrne bt P Cutler 2/1; D Law bt A Dunbar 2/1; M Stewart bt E McCormack 2/1; R Kellett halved with K Phelan; G Paterson lost to A Kearney 3/2; P Shields lost to G McDermott 4/3; G Robertson lost to D McElroy 1 hole; P McLean lost to R O’Donovan 2/1; K Nicol lost to P Dunne 4/2; J White halved with N Gorey.