England reign supreme in Boys Home Internationals
England successfully defended their Boys Home Internationals title with a final day victory over nearest challengers Scotland at County Louth in Ireland, while the Irish secured third place with a convincing 10-5 victory over Wales.
England, who had already beaten Ireland and Wales, set out their stall with a 5-0 whitewash of their opponents in the morning foursomes. Scotland pushed hard in the singles but the high profile pairing of Toby Tree and Max Orrin put early points on the board for England (image of Toby Tree © Tom Ward).
Scotland battled hard to halve the singles 5-5 but Derek Hughes’s side eventually won 10-5 to end the week undefeated. England claimed their 13th Boys Home Internationals title since 1996 when the competition changed to its current format.
“It’s been a real team effort all week. The lads gave 110 per cent and you can’t ask for any more than that,” said a delighted Hughes before receiving The R&A Trophy.
“Sure, we have a couple of star names in Toby and Max - you can always be confident one of those two will win for you – but right through the team, the boys were focused all week.”
Tree got the better of Greig Marchbank 5&4 in the top match, while Orrin, who plays off plus four, defeated Craig Howie 3&2.
It meant Orrin finished the week with a personal tally of 5½points out of 6, the same as team-mate Patrick Kelly, who halved with Jamie Savage in the third game. Tree secured 4½from 6 for the week.
Scotland’s Bradley Neil showed great fighting spirit in the bottom match to come from behind to defeat Ashton Turner on the final green. Bradley was six-under for his round and the win ensured the Blairgowrie 16-year-old was Scotland’s top individual points scorer with 5 points from 6.
“I’m proud of all the lads,” said Scotland captain, Barrie Douglas afterwards. “Take Bradley in the last match he showed real determination and thankfully he is one of four players available again next year.”
“Unfortunately England just outplayed us in the foursomes and that’s where we lost it. But at least we stuck in and halved the singles. That showed real character,” added Douglas.
Full results, video and news summaries are availble on the R&A website.