Ireland made a winning start in the defence of their Boys Home Internationals title when they defeated Wales 4-1 in the morning foursomes at Western Gailes Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland.
This year’s Junior Open champion Kevin LeBlanc, playing alongside Kerry’s James O’Driscoll in the top match, enjoyed a resounding 7 and 6 win over Jack Davidson and Thomas Williams.
The Irish pair raced into a five-up lead by the time they reached the turn at the immaculate links venue. From there they never looked back and eventually closed out the match on the 12th green.
Eoin Leonard and Cathal Butler put another point on the board for Ireland with their 3 and 2 win over Lewys Sanges and Joshua Davies in the third match. Shortly afterwards the experienced pair of James Sugrue and Rowan Lester, both members of Roy Archibalds’s winning side from Forest Pines last year, defeated Ben Chamberlain and David Ramsay by one hole.
In the bottom match Thomas Mulligan and Owen Crooks had a tight encounter with Tim Harry and Kyle Harman before they secured Ireland’s fourth point of the session by one hole.
It was Gaelen Trew and Thomas Froom who ensured Ireland didn’t have it all their own way when the Welsh pair defeated Conor Purcell and Jamie Fletcher 3 and 2.
It was a much tighter affair in the second foursomes tie where Marco Penge and Harry Hall came through with the decisive point to give England a narrow 3-2 win over Scotland. The English pair defeated Calum Fyfe and Niall McMullen 2 and 1.
The strong pairing of Ewen Ferguson and Murray Naysmith gave Scotland an early point after their 5 and 4 win over Haydn McMullen and Jamie Dick in the top match. The second tie went to the final green before Bradley Moore and Jonathan Thomson got the better of Robert MacIntyre and Ben Kinsley by 1 hole.
Adam Fisher and Stuart Easton were comprehensive 6 and 4 winners against England’s Jack Singh Brar and Jamie Li, while Ashton Turner and Jake Storey levelled proceedings with their 4 and 3 win over George Burns and Ryan Lumsden in the bottom match.
However, it was Derek Hughes’ side who will enjoy lunch better after Penge and Hall came through with the wining point.
Today’s opening matches move onto the ten afternoon singles ties to decide the first day’s play in the overall round robin format played over three days.