England and Scotland take strong leads into afternoon singles
Defending champions England put down an early marker with a convincing foursomes win against Ireland on the opening morning of the Boys Home Internationals at County Louth Golf Club, Ireland.
England were strong favourites coming into this week’s matches and lived up to the billing by winning 4–1 against Ireland. In the other foursomes matches, Scotland denied Wales a single point after winning 5-0.
“That was a nice start but we are taking nothing for granted,” said Derek Hughes, England team captain, who this week defend their title from last year’s win at Royal St David’s.
“Our boys made great starts and we were coasting at one stage, but Ireland being Ireland they came back at us. Credit to all my players, they battled hard and got a good result.
“There is still everything to play for this afternoon but I am happy with the start.”
England’s Max Orrin and Toby Tree took on The Island Golf Club duo of Gavin Moynihan and Paul McBride in the top match. It was a match the English pair never trailed in after a fast start left them two up after four holes.
Some inspirational putting on the immaculate County Louth greens put England three up at the turn. From there they kept their Irish opponents at arm’s length before closing out the match 4 and 3.
Patrick Kelly and Ashton Turner took the second match 3 and 2 against the Northern Irish pairing of Jordan Hood and Gareth Lappin. It was a similar story in the bottom match where England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and Rob Burlison got the better of John Ross Galbraith and Alec Myles by the same margin.
However, it was a different story for matches three and four as both went to the wire. Nick Marsh lagged a fine birdie effort to the hole at the par five 18th to ensure he and Jack Singh Brar secured a one hole win over County Sligo’s Sean Flanagan and Faithlegg’s Robin Dawson.
Moments earlier Alex Gleeson and William Russell were Ireland’s only shining lights from the morning action – and they had to do things the hard way.
The Irish pair had been four down after six holes against Dan Brown and Joe Dean, but rallied to seal a much-needed one hole win for the hosts. Russell’s 25 foot birdie putt across the 16th was crucial, as was the up and down for a winning par from left of the short 17th to go one up. The only Irish win of the foursomes was closed out with a par on 18.
It was a thoroughly convincing performance for Barrie Douglas’s Scotland side too after they whitewashed Wales 5-0.
Greig Marchbank and Jamie Savage put the first point on the board with their two holes win over Henry James and Delon Hau. The second match also went to the 18th before Lawrence Allan and Craig Howie denied Evan Griffith and Zach Galliford by one hole.
In the third match Anthony Blaney and Ewen Ferguson got the better of Otto Mand and Daniel King 2 and 1. In the fourth game, The Vale Resort pairing of Ryan Thomas and Tim Harry were unable to contain Alasdair McDougall and Alan Waugh and lost 4 and 3.
Of the five matches Wales were briefly ahead in only one game when Jack Davidson and Gareth Roberts led Ewan Scott and Bradley Neil one up after three holes. It proved to be a false dawn as the Scottish pair turned the screw with some fine golf around the turn before they eventually won 5 and 4.
Ireland and Wales have it all to do in their 10 afternoon singles matches if they are to turn around their respective morning foursomes deficits to England and Scotland.
Click here to see full results from the morning foresomes and follow the live singles matches this afternoon.