Defending champions Ireland off to a winning start at Boys Home Internationals

BIH Day 1Defending champions Ireland grabbed the early initiative on the opening day of the 2011 Boys Home Internationals at Royal St David’s, when they edged to a 3-2 victory over Wales.

England produced an amazing fight back to share the foursomes with Scotland 2½-2½.

The round-robin contest got underway in a persistent drizzle but the weather improved as the first morning progressed and by lunchtime it was quite bright and pleasant. 

Ireland, winners in 2008 and again last year set the ball rolling against the 2010 wooden spoonists Wales but in the top match it was the Welsh pair of Oliver Mottram and Patrick Mullins who led the way and were never behind on their way to a 3&2 victory over Gary Hurley and Enda Craddock.  They won the opening hole and had their noses in front most of the way but being brought back to square on a couple of occasions. Mottram and Mullins were two up after 13 holes, won the 15th to go dormie three and then a half sufficed to give Wales the first point of the series.

Ireland soon earned a point back as Gavin Moynihan and Conor Glynn overcame Welsh Boys Champion David Boote and Oliver Baker by 4&2 after grabbing the initiative in the middle of the round.

Then came the most remarkable game of the morning. Welsh pair Jack Bush and Zac Galliford won the first four holes against Jack Hume and Jack Leacy and went five up on the 8th. Then the Irish duo won six holes on the bounce to go ahead, only for Bush and Galliford to get down with a chip and a putt on the closing hole to salvage a half.

Welsh boys Otto Mand and Delon Hau won the last three holes to gain an unlikely half with Kieran Lynch and John Galbraith.  But the Irish made certain of lunching with a lead as Alex Gleeson and William Russell moved three up after four holes going on to beat Ryan Thomas and Welsh Boys Championship runner-up Ollie Dickson by 3&2.

Scotland suffered a blow even before a ball was struck as Grant Forrest pulled out of the foursomes because of overnight sickness.  Anthony Blaney took his place to partner Josh Jamieson at the top of the order.

At one stage Scotland were up in four of the matches against England and were level in the other but the English team fought back to make a contest of it.  Blaney and Jamieson were in front most of the way against Callum Shinkwin and Toby Tree but were caught at the death and had to settle for a half.

Scotland got their first point in convincing fashion through Greig Marchbank and Eamon Bradley who won four holes out of seven from the fifth to take command against Curtis Griffiths and Gregory Payne, winning by 5&3.

England’s Carris Trophy winner Harry Casey and Max Orrin took control on the back nine to defeat Jack McDonald and Liam Johnston by 3&2 and Oliver Carr and Paul Kinnear trailed almost the whole way but won the short closing hole to snatch victory from Bradley Neil and Craig Ross who three putted from five yards on the final green.

In the bottom match Scotland’s Daniel Hendry and Ewan Scott were always ahead against Nathan Kimsey and Matthew Fitzpatrick and went onto win by 3&2.

The afternoon singles are now underway. Click here for scores.