There is everything to play for heading into the afternoon singles after both foursomes matches finished level on 2½ points apiece on the final day of the Boys Home Internationals at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club.
Defending champions England are seeking to win their fourth title in five years, while Scotland are hoping to lift the prestigious R&A Trophy for the first time since 2006. This year’s outcome will be decided between these two sides in the singles after the morning foursomes finished 2½ -2½.
Matchplay has a habit of throwing up dramatic encounters and so it proved at the north Wales venue where heavy rain hindered early play before clearing by mid-morning.
England’s Marco Penge and Jamie Li (both pictrued right) enjoyed their second foursomes win of the week with an imperious 5&3 win over Calum Fyfe and Niall McMullen in the top match. The English pair raced into an early three-hole lead after six holes in the worst of the conditions and from there never looked back.
Will Porter and Rory Franssen levelled proceedings with their 4&2 win over yesterday’s hero for England, Max Martin, and Matty Lamb. The match ahead went the distance before England’s Rhys Nevin-Wharton holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th as he and Gian-Marco Petrozzi denied Kieran Cantley and Andrew Thomson by two holes.
The second match saw Sandy Scott and Darren Howie finish all-square with Harry Hall and William Enefer, which ended Enefer’s run as the only player with a 100% win record.
It meant the outcome came down to the final match where Scotland’s Murray Naysmith and Chris Curran were dormie two-up against Billy Spooner and Charlie Strickland.
Naysmith pulled his drive left into the gorse on the par-four 17th, however, as the drama looked set to go to the final hole. Curran played a provisional before Naysmith’s approach finished just short of the green in four. England failed to make par and Curran saved the best for last as he chipped in to clinch the match with a 2&1 win.
Earlier Wales and Ireland battled it out to finish level at 2½ -2½.
The top Wales pairing of Tom Williams (pictured left) and Ben Chamberlain needed to hole a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th to secure their narrow one-hole win over Thomas Mulligan and Rory Williamson.
After a close match, the Irish pair were left to rue mistakes on the 16th and 17th. And despite Williamson almost driving the 382 yard par four 18th and Mulligan pitching to within 2 feet for a conceded birdie, it wasn’t enough as Wales followed in for birdie.
Jordan Golley and Gareth Morgan added Wales’ second point with their 3&2 win over Kevin LeBlanc and Conor Purcell.
Ireland enjoyed more success further down the order as Cathal Butler and Devin Morley were 3&1 winners against Tom Davies and Callam Morris. In the bottom match, Marc Boucher and Alan Fahy were always in control as they defeated Laurence Vargas and Matthew Harris 5&4.
The outcome rested on the young shoulders of Aled Greville (15) and Luke Harries (16) against Ireland’s Marc McKinstry and Marc Norton. Wales won the 17th to go 1 up but came unstuck on 18 as Greville found the greenside bunker with his approach. When Harries was unable to advance the ball from a difficult lie, the hole was conceded and the match was halved to leave all to play for in the singles.