England were crowned the 2016 Boys Home International champions after a strong final day performance to defeat the holders Scotland 9-6 in the deciding match at Ballyliffin.
The win means Derek Hughes’ side regained the trophy they narrowly lost to the same opponents 12 months ago in Wales. England has now won the under-18 team event 15 times in the last 20 years.
The foundations of England’s victory were undoubtedly laid in the morning foursomes when they took a 4-1 lead into lunch. In the top match Matty Lamb and Oliver Clarke set the tone with their 6&5 win over Jamie Stewart and Scottish Boys champion Eric McIntosh.
Hosts Ireland had a difficult week but finished on a high by winning their singles matches 9-1 against Wales to turn the 3-2 foursomes deficit into an 11-4 win and clinch third.
Next year England will defend their Boys Home Internationals title on home soil at St Annes Old Links in Lancashire.
Derek Hughes, England Captain
“It was a hard fought win, as it always is against Scotland. We always seem to have a good tight match. Winning the foursomes 4-1 proved decisive. Some of those pairings have done very well this week - Matty (Lamb) and Ollie (Clarke) for example.
“In many ways I’m satisfied with the result after last year when we were up in the foursomes but lost the singles to lose overall. That demonstrates how close the matches are between us. Everyone played their part this week and that’s very satisfying.”
Scott Knowles, Scotland Captain
“It was a tough afternoon, the boys really battled hard. Unfortunately we left ourselves too much to do after losing the foursomes 4-1. With nine holes to go we still had a chance, our boys threw everything at them but they held us off and congratulations to England.
“The matches were played in the right spirit; the boys compete but they still have a laugh with each other afterwards. It’s a fantastic event for the kids, with good healthy competition and was played to a high standard on a great golf course.”
Cathal McConn, Ireland Captain
“We went out today intent on winning. The lads knew they didn’t play to their full potential against England or Scotland. Even though we lost the foursomes today, we quickly stamped our authority in the singles and went on to win comprehensively.
“Although we came here with hopes of winning overall, it was a great finish to the week. All the boys enjoyed this fabulous course. Great credit must go to everyone at Ballyliffin for having the course in such great condition.”
Chris King, Wales Captain
“We played very well in the foursomes but this afternoon Ireland came out and played very well. We made some mistakes but on a positive note we had some of our younger players competing well at this level. It bodes well for some of our younger players.
“We lost a few of our more experienced players so we didn’t have huge expectations coming into the week. We just haven’t been good enough but we’ve made progress and hopefully the boys can kick on from here. The boys have conducted themselves very well and they will learn from this.”