England sweep to Girls' and Boys' Home Internationals win

The R&A
05 Aug 22
3 mins

England not only made history by winning the first-ever combined team format for girls and boys in the R&A Home Internationals at Downfield, they swept all three competitions, winning the combined event and the girls’ and the boys’ competitions too.

England topped the combined final leaderboard with a perfect three points from three wins, Ireland was second with two points, Wales and Scotland took half a point each, with the Welsh side finishing third thanks to more matches won.

"They smashed it"

Already in pole position heading into the final day and just needing to defeat Scotland to top the points table, England made sure of victory right from the start with a 6-1 win in the foursomes. England then dominated the singles too with an 11-3 advantage to beat the home team 17-4. “We got out fast today,” England captain Stephen Burnett said. “We changed things around for the foursomes and they smashed it this morning. They did this afternoon too. The team bats deeps, and in a way the format favours us because the more players there are the better it is for us, but they still had to go out there and do it. I couldn’t be prouder of them to win all three trophies. The team was fantastic, they prepared well, played well and it’s a great result.” Ireland assured themselves of second place with a 12½-8½ win over Wales. The Welsh provided strong resistance early on by splitting the foursomes session 3½-3½. However, the Emerald Isle players proved too strong in head to head play, taking the singles 9-5.

International experience

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from my players over the last three days, especially the last two,” Irish captain Peter English said. “It was a fantastic performance. We’ve got quite a few debutants, players that are available next year and the year after. It shows we’re on the way up and we have a lot to build on for next year. We haven’t had the exposure for the last couple of years, and it's critical they do get this exposure. It gives them important international experience for their development.” Welsh skipper Llew Matthews also left Downfield feeling immensely proud of his team. “We played well in the foursomes this week and this morning to split the session, but the Irish came out fighting this afternoon and played a lot of good golf,” the 2007 Walker Cup player said. “We played good golf throughout the tournament which perhaps doesn’t show up in the scores, and I’m proud of them. There’s been great camaraderie, great togetherness. It’s been a great learning experience for them, and they have something to build on for the future.”
Niall Shiels Donegan of Scotland was the only player to emerge with a 100% record from his six matches.

Six of the best

While it’s perhaps unfair to pick out one player from the 64 on show, one deserves special mention. Scotland’s Niall Shiels Donegan was the only player to emerge with a 100% record from his six matches. “Niall was brilliant this week,” Scottish captain Susan Jackson said. “He’s been a real leader, he’s led the team, he’s confident and he’s had great team work with his team mates. To win six matches out of six is very impressive.”

Two hours 49 minutes

Not only was there an abundance of talent on display from the best juniors in the Great Britain & Ireland, pace of play will be the envy of most golf tournaments and all golf clubs. Take the final day singles match between Ireland’s Alex King of Faithlegg Golf Club and Rhuddlan member Caolan Burford. The Irish player won the match one up, a match that was 47 minutes ahead of schedule. The pair played 18 holes at Downfield in just two hours and 49 minutes.  Rest assured Lindrick Golf Club members will be happy to see that time repeated when the best juniors convene at the Yorkshire course, the 1957 Ryder Cup venue, for the 2023 R&A Girls’ and Boys’ Home Internationals. Final Scores HERE.

Women's and Men's Overview

In the R&A Women’s and Men’s Home Internationals at Ballyliffin, it is straight shoot between hosts Ireland and England for the title on Friday. After day two over the links in the new combined format, the sides have registered two wins apiece this week to set up the winner-takes-all meeting. England battled to a 12–9 victory over Scotland, while Ireland saw off Wales 13.5–7.5. Ireland hold a narrow lead at the top of the four-nations table with 28 wins to England’s 26. Sam Bairstow, The Amateur Championship runner-up, again teamed-up impressively with Aaron Edwards-Hill in the foursomes, winning 6&4 against Calum Scott and Rory Franssen. England won the opening three foursomes ties, with only Gregor Graham and Andrew Davidson registering a win for the Scots. However, they battled back in the singles with Franssen, Graham, R&A Girls’ U16 Amateur Champion Grace Crawford, Chloe Goadby, Jennifer Saxton and Lorna McClymont all victorious. Edwards-Hill and Lottie Woad secured key wins for England en route to their narrow overall triumph. Ireland were in control against Wales from the off. Rob Moran and Caolan Rafferty set the tone with a 6&5 success against Paddy Mullins and Alex James in the opening foursomes. Kath O’Connor and Harriet Lockley claimed a point back with their 3&2 win over Anna Foster and Aine Donegan. However, comfortable singles wins for Donegan, Liam Nolan, Hugh Foley, Colm Campbell and Matt McClean saw the Irish ease to victory. View scores HERE