Ireland seeks to defend Boys Home International title
Ireland will seek to defend the Boys Home Internationals trophy in the face of stiff competition at Western Gailes this week.
The Irish won in dramatic fashion at Forest Pines last year as Scotland failed to beat England in their final match with the result coming down to the last few singles matches.
England will be looking to win their third title in four years at the Ayrshire links from Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 August while Scotland will be looking for their first win since 2006 at Moray and Wales will be hoping to achieve their first victory in the round robin series of matches.
Captain Roy Archibald’s line-up will feature only two members of the victorious 2013 team in Lincolnshire: Rowan Lester, who represented Ireland in the European Boys Team Championship in Oslo last month, and James Sugrue, who won the Munster Youths Amateur Open Championship in April. Kevin Leblanc will be expected to play a key role for the Irish after winning The R&A’s Junior Open Championship at West Lancs last month.
The English team will be led by Ashton Turner, who will make his third consecutive appearance in the Boys Home Internationals, Bradley Moore, who won the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship in June, and Marco Penge, who finished tied fourth with Matty Lamb in the recent McGregor Trophy.
The 2013 Boys Amateur Champion Ewen Ferguson, who recently added the Scottish Boys Open Stroke Play title to his Scottish Boys Match Play crown, will lead a strong Scottish team that also includes Scottish Boys Stroke Play runner-up Ben Kinsley and Robert MacIntyre, who last year became the first player to win the Scottish boys and youths stroke play titles in the same year.
Newly crowned Welsh Boys Match Play Champion Ben Chamberlain will be in confident mood for the matches as will his team mate Thomas Williams, who will be looking to build on the form which saw him reach the semi-finals at Wenvoe Castle.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said, “The Boys Home Internationals matches give the talented young players the opportunity to gain valuable experience of representing their countries and playing against their peers from the other Home Nations. We would encourage spectators to come along to support the event at Western Gailes this week where the matches should be as closely contested as ever.”
The teams are as follows:
Ireland: Cathal Butler (Kinsale), Owen Crooks (Bushfoot), Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint), Peter Kerr (Royal Portrush), Kevin Leblanc (The Island), Eoin Leonard (Wentworth), Rowan Lester (Hermitage), Thomas Mulligan (Laytown & Bettystown), Tommy O’Driscoll (Ring of Kerry), Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) and James Sugrue (Mallow).
England: Jamie Dick (Forest Hills), Harry Hall (West Cornwall), Matty Lamb (Hexham), Jamie Li (Bath), Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood), Jack Singh Brar (Remedy Oak), Jake Storey (Alnmouth), Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick) and Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park).
Scotland: Joseph Bryce (Bathgate), George Burns (Williamwood), Stuart Easton (Irvine), Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden), Adam Fisher (Newmachar), Calum Fyfe (Cawder), Ben Kinsley (St Andrews), Ryan Lumsden (Royal Wimbledon), Robert MacIntyre (Glencruitten), Niall McMullen (Lundin) and Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy).
Wales: Jack Davidson (Llanwern), Joshua Davies (Celtic Manor), Tim Harry (Vale Resort), Kyle Harman (Radyr), David Ramsay (Mold), Thomas Williams (Wrexham), Ben Chamberlain (Padeswood & Buckley), Lewys Sanges (Celtic Manor), Gaelen Trew (Wentworth), Rhys Jones (Mountain Ash) and Thomas Froom (Nefyn).
The Boys Home Internationals has been a proving ground for dozens of Walker Cup players and future Major Championship winners including Open Champion Rory McIlroy, the 2013 US Open Champion Justin Rose, six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, former Open and Masters Champion Sandy Lyle and former Open Champion Darren Clarke.
Spectators are admitted free of charge to the event, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, 5-7 August. The playing format is a full round robin series of matches comprising five morning foursomes and ten afternoon singles matches. The morning foursomes tee off from 8am and the afternoon singles matches from 12.30pm each day.
Match one on Tuesday 5 August will be Ireland versus Wales and match two will be England versus Scotland.