Boys Home Internationals — Holders Ireland finished third in the Boys Home Internationals in Scotland but they went down fighting to new champions England at Western Gailes.
Needing a 7-3 win in the singles after losing the foursomes 3-2, they were held 5-5 in the end and lost 8-7 to England who took the title for the third time in four years with Scotland pushing Ireland into third thanks to their 9-6 win against Wales.
At one stage eight of the singles matches were in Ireland’s favour, which would have been enough to turn around the 3-2 deficit from the morning foursomes, but would also have been good enough to retain the title based on the highest number of individual points won.
However, that scenario never materialised as England rallied and when Harry Hall won the last two holes to win by one hole against Cathal Butler, the match was secured.
“That was very, very tough, I don’t want to have any more days like that on a golf course,” said a relieved Hughes afterwards. “Fair play to Ireland, they came out with a new team this week and put in a great effort. I am proud of the way my lads battled, especially when it didn’t look good for a time, but the likes of Harry coming down the last and winning was crucial.”
As leaderboards changed all afternoon, Bradley Moore’s 4 and 3 win over Peter Kerr in the middle order ended Scotland’s chances as England secured more points than Scott Knowles’ side had accumulated. Moments later Jonathan Thomson came through a tight encounter to deny 15-year-old Owen Crooks 2 and 1 and that was the all-important point, which meant England had won the title.
“I much prefer to win the matches. If we manage that then the overall result looks after itself and thankfully that’s what happened today,” added Hughes.
Ireland can take a lot of positives from the week and look ahead as eight of the 11 players who competed at Western Gailes will be available for selection again next year when the under-18 team event moves to Conwy Golf Club in Wales.
“That was a very close run thing and a great performance by the boys,” said Archibald. “To take on England in the manner we did and narrowly lose 8-7, with a number of matches going to the final green, was a fantastic team effort.
“I can’t praise the boys highly enough. The experience this young side have gained will be invaluable. It was close, the match came down to the last match on the last green, you can’t ask for any more than that. Of course they will be disappointed for a while but we’ll pick them up and get them going again.”
For the full results visit: Championships.Randa.org.
Girls Home Internationals — Defeat to England on he opening day looks like it could prove fatal for Ireland who rallied impressively to crush Wales 8.5 to 0.5 at Donabate. With England beating Scotland 6.5-2.5, Ireland must beat the Scots today and hope that England fall to Wales. That looks highly unlikely after Ireland dropped just half a point yesterday, winning three foursomes and four of the five singles.
THURSDAY, 7 AUGUST - IRELAND 8½WALES ½; SCOTLAND 2½ ENGLAND 6½
- Mary Doyle & Olivia Mehaffey beat Lucy Jones & Nicola Wainwright 4/3
- Chloe Weir & Ciara Casey beat Bethan Morris & Angharad Evans 1up
- Annabel Wilson & Mairead Martin beat Megan Lockett & Georgia Lewis 5/4
- Mary Doyle beat Angharad Evans 6/4
- Olivia Mehaffey beat Megan Lockett 4/2
- Julie McCarthy beat Bethan Morris 4/3
- Mairead Martin beat Georgia Lewis 6/5
- Annabel Wilson halved with Jordan Ryan
- Niamh McSherry beat Lucy Jones 2/1
- FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST - IRELAND -v- SCOTLAND (9am) ... ENGLAND -v- WALES (8.30am)
Seniors Amateur Championship — American Brady Exber claimed a one shot lead over England’s Tony McLure on a day when par proved to be an unattainable target in the Seniors Amateur Championship at a bright but breezy Ganton.
Exber followed his 72 with a 74 for four over par 146 while first round leader McLure shot a 77. Stephen East, from Morrtown in Leeds, and American John McClure were tied for third on 149.
Just five of the nine-strong Irish contingent made the cut with George Wilson leading the way on 12 over after rounds of 72 and 82.
T20 WILSON, George Calcot Park +12 72 82 154
T25 SMYTH, Hugh Mourne +13 82 73 155
T25 KELLY, Maurice Naas +13 79 76 155
T25 MORROW, Adrian Portmarnock +13 76 79 155
T45 CLEARY, Tom Cork +16 78 80 158
MC MITCHELL, John Tramore +19 79 82 161
MC QUIRKE, Michael Doneraile +22 84 80 164
MC HURST, Chris Pedham Place +23 89 76 165
RTD ORMONDE, James Tralee