- England win 2017 Boys Home Internationals with 100% record
- England retain trophy after 2016 win at Ballyliffin in Ireland
- England have now won Boys Home Internationals on 16 occasions since 1996
England were crowned the 2017 Boys Home Internationals champions today with a 100% record after winning all three matches against Ireland, Scotland and Wales at St Annes Old Links.
Derek Hughes’ side successfully defended the trophy which they won at Ballyliffin Golf Club in Ireland last year and England have now won the under-18 team event 16 times since 1996.
An English victory was sealed during the morning foursomes against Scotland earlier today when they took a 4-1 lead, while Wales, who had held a slim chance of catching them, lost their foursomes against Ireland by the same margin.
"I'm obviously very pleased”, said winning captain Derek Hughes. “The boys have done very well and the new boys Robin Williams and Joe Pagdin have done very well.
"It's not just winning the games it's how they've fitted into the squad. This is a great competition and Joe, who's 15, coming over from Florida, he's never experienced anything like this before. He's absolutely loved it, the whole thing.
"The course has been very good. It's in really good condition. We had that heavy rain on Tuesday when the greenkeepers did a great job. When the boys got back out on the course after the rain delay it was excellent. It's a good venue and everything about the week has been first class."
Despite the main prize having gone, Scotland restored some pride in the afternoon singles which they won 6-4, although narrowly losing the contest 8-7 overall.
Scotland got their first singles point on the board when Callum Bruce beat Ben Jones 4&2. Bruce, who had had to miss Wednesday's play with a stomach upset, was three up with three to play when he hit a 6-iron to 4ft at the short 16th.
Jones was in an awkward lie in a greenside bunker, splashed out over the green and when he missed his chip, conceded the hole and the match.
Toby Briggs beat Darren Howie 2&1 to level the afternoon’s proceedings for England and Charlie Strickland beat Eric McIntosh by one hole, having been four up with five to play, to put his side ahead. Then Alex Fitzpatrick extended the lead with a 4&3 victory over Greg Dalziel.
England's Joe Pagdin and Robin Williams, who both went into the final singles with five wins out of five under their belts, both had their 100 per cent records broken when they lost on the 18th by one hole as the Scots fought back. Pagdin was beaten by Jack Broun, while Williams fell to 13-year-old Calum Scott, who was chalking up his fifth victory in six matches.
Conor Gough, England's youngest player at 14, beat another Scot, 13-year-old Aidan O'Hagan, 3&1 to put the host nation 4-3 ahead but then Scotland won the last three matches of the afternoon: John Paterson beat Jack Cope 4&3, Marc Watt beat Thomas Plumb 3&2 and Lewis Irvine beat Harry Goddard 2&1.
"From Scotland's point of view it's been a bit disappointing,” said Scotland captain Gordon Watt. “With the Irish match we sneaked a draw and we threw it away a bit against Wales.
"We always knew we were going to be up against it with England, who are a very strong team. We let it slip in the foursomes but then came back strongly in the singles.
"Our two 13-year-olds Callum Scott and Aidan O'Hagan have been superb. We were expecting one or two points from them but they've excelled themselves. Great for the team and kept a smile on everyone's face.
Ireland finished on a high against Wales winning six of the ten afternoon singles and the match overall 10-5.
John Brady got the first point on the board for Ireland with a 6&5 win over Thomas Matthews. Then George Bryant got a point for Wales beating Reece Black 4&2, before Ireland went ahead again when Mark Power beat Luke Harries 3&2 and Jack Hearn beat Ben Hicks 2&1.
Wales hit back with wins for James Ashfield by 2&1 over Robert Moran and Sean Davies, who beat Aaron Marshall 3 & 2 to level the scores at 3-3.
But then Charlie Denvir beat Tom Peet 3&1, Jack Doherty beat Harry Frazer by one hole and Ross Kelly beat Jack Cade 3 & 2 to take Ireland clear.
Aled Grenville got a consolation win for Wales in the final match beating Raymond Cameron 2&1.
Welsh captain Chris King said, "We came with a lot of new caps this week. Made a good start against England but didn't finish off the foursomes. Then didn't play as good as we could in the afternoon.
“Wednesday's win against Scotland was just fantastic. We've had a bad run and had not won a match in this tournament for about seven years until this week. So that was a big plus for the week. Lots of positives, so we've just got to build on this now with the young players coming through.”
Conol McConn, Ireland’s captain, said, "We were very hopeful against Scotland but had a half match with them, which was great. We felt we didn't do ourselves justice in the foursomes against England when we lost by four and a half points and although we came back in the singles we lost 10-5. We had a great contest today against Wales and it was nice to end on a winning note.”
England will defend the Boys Home Internationals title in Scotland where the round-robin event will be played at Royal Dornoch from 7-9 August 2018.
Full results from the 2017 Boys Home Internationals can be viewed here.