Thursday, August 06, 2015

England versus Scotland match will decide the 2015 Boys' Home Internationals' champions

The final day of the Boys Home Internationals will feature a “winner takes all” match between defending champions England and Scotland after respective wins against Ireland and Wales at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club.
England had to call on all their reserves to overcome a 3-2 foursomes deficit and eventually ran out 8½ - 6½ winners against a rejuvenated Ireland side that lost to Scotland on the opening day.
Scotland’s passage into the final day was equally treacherous against hosts Wales, who despite blooding eight new players this year, showed wonderful team spirit before losing 9½ - 5½ to Scott Knowles’ side.
Like the conditions in North Wales, the scoreboard was ever changeable. At one brief stage the singles matches were all red with Chris King’s Welsh charges up in seven matches and square in the other three. However, Scotland, who took a 3½ - 1½ lead into the singles, rallied strongly and Knowles was quick to heap praise on his team.
“I’m absolutely delighted. At one time the scoreboard was all red but the boys showed great resilience. It was a fantastic performance, especially from some of our younger players,” said the Scotland captain, in reference to the likes of Andrew Thomson who enjoyed a convincing 6&5 win over Tom Froom and remains undefeated with two further half points on his Boys Home internationals debut.
“All credit to Wales they showed their battling qualitaes once more but we are thrilled to get over the line. It sets things up wonderfully for a winner takes all match against England tomorrow,” added Knowles, hoping Scotland can win the prestigious R and A Trophy for the first time since 2006 at Lossiemouth
In the match behind Thomson, Harburn’s Chris Curran also enjoyed a 6&5 victory over Tom Davies, while Will Porter’s 2 and 1 win against Wales’ Jordan Golley in the middle order proved the decisive point for Scotland.
Derek Hughes’ England side remain focused on winning their fourth title in five years but Ireland came close to derailing those aspirations.
The top match between Marco Penge and Thomas Mulligan was of the highest order and could have gone either way. Penge is a three-time winner this season and came through to win on the 18th after Mulligan’s wedge approach flew the green and he failed to get up and down.
“I just got a flyer from the rough with a wedge from 130 yards into the wind,” said Mulligan, who earlier went birdie, birdie, eagle, par, birdie from the 10th only to be matched by Penge’s five birdies in seven holes from the ninth.
“I guess we put our talking to one side on the back nine and both got into the zone and made plenty of birdies,” said Penge as he and his good friend Mulligan raced around the course in three hours in the top match.
In the second tie England’s William Enefer continued his fine form with a 2 and 1 win over Kevin LeBlanc and he is the only player to retain a 100% personal win record.
The crucial point in England’s win came from Max Martin, who won by two holes against Peter Kerr.
“I’m glad that’s over,” were the first words from left-hander Martin after his all-important win. “It was great fun, I really enjoyed it. I knew the situation after being told it was the deciding match.”
If England were disappointed after the morning foursomes defeat, they didn’t show it. I don’t think I needed a team talk at lunchtime because the boys themselves were so determined to do well,” said England captain Hughes.
“There were some really good matches out there, Marco’s and Thomas’ game was outstanding. It makes me proud to see the team perform the way they did. I’m glad for some of the younger lads like Charlie Strickland winning at the last and showing great character.
“Ireland always put up a fight, all the teams do, but one of the most satisfying aspects is the matches are played in a great spirit. All the players know and respect each other and that’s important,” said Hughes, who is now looking forward to tomorrow’s decisive encounter with Scotland.
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