Ireland’s young guns got their bid for a hat-trick of Men’s Home International titles off to a winning start with an 8-7 win over Wales at Nairn.
But Tony Goode’s 11-strong Irish army will want an improved singles performance when they take on Scotland today after they lost the last four matches to give the Welsh a 4-4 share of the afternoon session.
On a day when England beat the hosts Scotland 8.5- 6.5, the foundation of Ireland’s win was laid in the morning with when they won a tight foursomes session 3 – 2, with Alex Gleeson and Stuart Grehan setting the tone with a narrow one-up victory over Joshau Davies and Owen Edwards in the top match.
Wales hit back with two halved matches and a one-hole victory for Patrick Mullins and Kyle Harman against Conor O’Rourke and Sean Flanagan, but Ireland claimed the bottom match through John Ross Galbraith and Colm Campbell for the lunchtime lead.
Grehan said: “We had a good quality match, with birdies flying everywhere at the start. Overall, we were very solid and Alex putted very well.
“The course is so good, the greens are so fast. The weather was perfect so it was really enjoyable out there. The home favourites are Scotland, they are very strong, but we’re going for three in a row, trying to get the hat-trick is the goal.”
In the singles, Ireland took five points from the first six matches with Stuart Grehan and Paul McBride leading from the front with 5 and 4 wins.
Gleeson lost by one hole to Owen Edwards but debutants Conor Purcell and Tiarnan McLarnon won their matches by one hole and 6 and 4 respectively while Robin Dawson’s 3 and 1 win over Thomas Williams was also key.
Defeats for Conor O’Rourke, Sean Flanagan, John Ross Galbraith and Colm Campbell at the bottom order were not crucial in the end.
Home Internationals, Nairn
Ireland 8, Wales 7
- GLEESON, Alex (Castle) & GREHAN, Stuart (Tullamore) bt DAVIES, Joshua & EDWARDS, Owen 1 hole
- MCBRIDE, Paul (The Island) & PURCELL, Conor (Portmarnock) halved with GRIFFITH, Evan & JONES, Lee
- LESTER, Rowan (Hermitage) & MCLARNON, Tiarnan (Massereene) halved with DAVIDSON, Jack & WILLIAMS, Thomas
- O’ROURKE, Conor (Naas) & FLANAGAN, Sean (Co Sligo) lost to MULLINS, Patrick & HARMAN, Kyle 1 hole
- GALBRAITH, John Ross (Whitehead) & CAMPBELL, Colm (Warrenpoint) bt GALLIFORD, Zach & MATTHEWS, Llewellyn 4&2
Ireland 3, Wales 2
- GREHAN, Stuart bt DAVIES, Joshua 5&4
- MCBRIDE, Paul bt GRIFFITH, Evan 5&4
- GLEESON, Alex lost to EDWARDS, Owen 1 hole
- PURCELL, Conor bt DAVIDSON, Jack 1 hole
- MCLARNON, Tiarnan bt CHAMBERLAIN, Ben 6&4
- DAWSON, Robin (Tramore) bt WILLIAMS, Thomas 3&1
- O’ROURKE, Conor lost to MULLINS, Patrick 2&1
- FLANAGAN, Sean lost to MATTHEWS, Llewellyn 2 holes
- GALBRAITH, John Ross lost to JONES, Lee 4&3
- CAMPBELL, Colm lost to GALLIFORD, Zach 2&1
Ireland 5, Wales 5