Ireland and Scotland set for showdown in Senior Home Internationals

The R&A
14 Sep 22
3 mins

Ireland and Scotland face each other on the final day of the R&A Men's and Women’s Senior Home Internationals at Pyle & Kenfig looking to book a special place in amateur golf history.

This year’s competition in Wales features combined teams of men and women for the first time in the Senior Home Internationals. The R&A has commissioned a new trophy to go with traditional trophies for the men’s and women’s championships, which are running concurrently.  The Irish and the Scots top the table with two points apiece, with Ireland holding top spot with a better matches won record, 23.5 to Scotland’s 20.5. England and Wales have zero points, with England holding a better matches won record by three match points (15½–12½). They battle it out on the final day to see who avoids the wooden spoon.

Dominant Irish

Ireland continued its dominant play a day after bettering England with a resounding 13½ to 4½  victory over home side Wales. The Irish built the win on a near sweep of the morning foursomes, taking the session 5-1. The team in emerald green then won the singles 8½– 3 ½ to top the points table. “It was another fantastic day for us,” Irish captain Marilyn Henderson said. “We got off to such a brilliant start in the morning by winning five of the six matches. Then we began the singles well, winning four of the first six and halving the other.  “We lost two in the middle of the order but did well at the bottom of the order (Ireland won the last five singles). Maria O’Reilly was one down so we went out and chivvied her along and she won her match 3&2. That was the only time I had to encourage any of my players. “So it was a great day. We’re looking forward to a great match with Scotland and hoping to become the first winners of this new format.”

Welsh learn

Home side Wales feature nine rookies in its 14-person team and Welsh captain Roger Floyd is looking at this week as a learning experience for them.  “The result doesn’t reflect how close the matches were,” said Floyd. “Four of the morning matches were decided by one hole and could have gone either way. All our players played to their capabilities, but this is a strong Irish team that will take some beating.  “We can take a lot of positives from the last two days. Neil Roderick has won four out of four playing with a bad back, and Ann Lewis is three for four. But we’ve got five rookies on the men’s side and four ladies, so it’s a learning experience. But I’m proud of them. They’ve given their all.” Scottish captain Fiona de Vries is relishing taking on the Irish after an impressive 10 ½–7 ½ victory over long-time rivals England. The Scots took the foursomes 4–2, but an early English fight back in the singles projected England to win 9½–8½ before Scotland prevailed down the stretch.

Crucial putts holed 

“Playing England is obviously always going to be a tough match, but we really believed it was possible to win today, and the team all did their best, dug deep when they had to and finished off their matches,” said de Vries. “I thought the team putted particularly well; they holed those crucial five-six footers when they needed to. “At one point it looked like England was going to win and then everything flipped and we got the job done. We’re looking forward to the match against Ireland and making a wee bit of history.” English captain Alan Mew finished the second day scratching his head after another loss. “I can’t praise the women enough,” Mew said. “They’ve won two of their matches and, unfortunately, the men have let them down. They were brilliant in the European Seniors and we’re not achieving this week. I don’t know why it’s not working, but it’s not.” England top the women’s table with two points with Scotland and Ireland having a point apiece. On the men’s side, Scotland and Ireland have two points apiece, with the Irish half a point ahead on matches won (13), with Wales third on matches won with 6½ points to England’s five. View scores/tee times here