Ireland lead England going in to the singles at the Boys Home Internationals

Ireland will take a 3-2 lead into the afternoon singles after winning the morning foursomes against defending champions England on day two of the Boys Home Internationals at Forest Pines in Lincolnshire.

It was a session of low scoring as all four nations took full advantage of benign conditions at the tree-lined parkland course.

The best scoring of all came from the second match where the English pairing of local Ashton Turner and Haydn McCullen were simply too hot to handle. They defeated the experienced Paul McBride and Jack Walsh 6&5 in an exemplary display of precision and ball striking.

The English duo recorded seven consecutive birdies from the second hole, or put another way, Ireland were two under after nine holes but found themselves four down.

“What can you do? Some days are like that. The scoring was unbelievable,” said McBride at the side of the 13th green where the match concluded.  

The highly fancied pairing of Harry Ellis and Ben Amor teamed up for the second day and enjoyed a comprehensive 5&3 win over Alec Myles and Rowan Lester. They raced into a four-up lead after six holes before Ireland rallied. However, Ellis and Amor closed out the match with a birdie at the 15th.

At a time when the scoreboard showed England with a slender advantage, the Irish pairing of Jordan Hood and Gareth Lappin were a constant as they never trailed against Robert Burlison and Bobby Keeble. The Irish duo birdied the 17th to win 2&1.  

It was the same pattern for Sean Flanagan and Ronan Mullarney in the bottom match as they held a narrow lead throughout against Jack Singh Brar and Bradley Moore. And, like Lappin and Hood, they also won on the 17th by a 3&1 margin.

It meant the decisive match was the top tie where Robin Dawson (Pictured) and James Sugrue were one down with three to play before turning it around and winning on the 18th against Adam Chapman and Marco Penge.

“I’m delighted with this morning’s result as it didn’t look good after 10 or 11 holes,” said Ireland captain Roy Archibald afterwards. “It was a great fightback by our front match of Dawson and Sugrue to come from three down to win on the last.

“The result gives us something to go on and have a crack at England this afternoon, which we’re looking forward to.”

In the second match of the round-robin series, Scotland were comfortable 4-1 winners over Wales, who once again struggled in the foursomes.

The only high point for Wales came from Otto Mand and Jack Davidson, who were comprehensive 5&4 winners against Benjamin Kinsley and Stuart Easton in the third match. The Welsh pairing dominated throughout after being four up at the turn.

With the remainder of the scoreboards showing the blue of Scotland, the key victory was arguably the top match, where Connor Syme and Calum Hill came from behind against Tim Harry and Charlie Spencer-White to run out 2&1 winners.

“The important game for us was the top foursome, we were three down with six to play and our lads won the next five holes, three of them with birdies,” explained Scotland captain Barrie Douglas.

Elsewhere Ewen Ferguson and Cameron Kirkwood defeated Kyle Harman and Joshua Davies 4&2 in the second match, while Alan Waugh and George Burns got the better of their Welsh opponents, Alex Matthews and Ryhs Jones, 3&2.

On paper it looked as though Douglas topped and tailed his foursomes with strength and it proved successful as Euan Walker and Robert MacIntyre were too much for Daniel King and Thomas Davies, winning the bottom tie 6&5.

Full match details can be found at championships.randa.org.