England retained the Seniors Home Internationals thanks to a powerful 6-3 win over European champions Ireland at Royal Co Down.
The bedrock for the English success was laid in their foursomes performance, in which they produced a clean sweep to take a 3-0 lead into the singles.
Despite a comeback win at the 18th for Maurice Kelly against Richard Latham, and victories also for Garth McGimpsey and Michael Quirke, England secured the necessary victories to finish the job and relegate the hosts to third place behind Scotland, who beat Wales 5-4.
The most crucial of England’s wins came from John Ambridge, who won the 18th to beat Arthur Pierse by one hole.
Andrew Stracey’s 4/3 victory over Adrian Morrow, and Chris Reynolds’ 4 and2 win against John Mitchell in the final game sealed the triumph.
Scotland had given themselves every chance after winning two and halving one of the morning foursomes, but Wales produced their strongest performance of the week in the singles to deny them the Past President’s Trophy.
Victories for Jeff Thomas, Nigel Evans and Basil Griffiths gave them the better share of the points in the afternoon’s matches, leaving the winning scoreline of 5-4 insufficient for Scotland to deny England their victory, thanks to a superior points difference.
The Scottish victories in the afternoon came courtesy of Ian Brotherston and David Gardner, ensuring they would finish in second place and undefeated for the week.
Seniors Home Internationals, Royal Co Down Golf Club
Thursday 26 September
England 6 Ireland 3 (England names first)
Richard Latham & Andrew Stracey beat Adrian Morrow & Maurice Kelly 3/2
John Ambridge & Charles Banks beat Arthur Pierse & John Mitchell 1 hole
Tyrone Carter & Chris Reynolds beat Tom Cleary & Michael Quirke 7/6
Richard Latham lost to Maurice Kelly 1 hole
John Ambridge beat Arthur Pierse 1 hole
Richard Partridge lost to Garth McGimpsey 5/3
Andrew Stracey beat Adrian Morrow 4/3
Tyrone Carter lost to Michael Quirke 1 hole
Chris Reynolds beat John Mitchell 4/2
Scotland 5 Wales 4 (Scotland names first)
Tony Patterson & Lindsay Gordon halved with Jeff Thomas & Basil Griffiths A/S
Ian Brotherston & David Gardner beat Nigel Evans & Glyn Rees 1 hole
Alan O’Neill & John Fraser beat Paul Bloomfield & Andrew Williams 6/5
Lindsay Blair lost to Jeff Thomas 2/1
Ian Brotherston beat Paul Bloomfield 3/2
John Fraser lost to Nigel Evans 1 hole
Alan O’Neill halved with Andrew Williams A/S
David Gardner beat Glyn Rees 2/1
Tony Patterson lost to Basil Griffiths 2/1