Tournament Newsroom

Jimmy Mullen
14 August 2013

Good Evans, England shade it over Irish while Scots start with win

England, looking to regain the title they lost to Scotland a year ago, were taken all the way by Ireland on the opening day of the Home Internationals supported by Fairstone Financial Management at Ganton but managed to edge home 8-7 while Scotland beat Wales more easily.

England managed to stay just in front throughout after they built a two point lead in the morning foursomes. But Ireland took the singles, underlining how close a match it was.

“Playing the Irish is never easy,” said England captain Terry Casey. “I knew there wasn’t a weakness in their side and it was a close call. Too close for comfort in fact. Well played the Irish but we gained some important wins and the standard of golf was very good.”

The foursomes finished 3½ – 1½ in England’s favour and they were given a great start in the afternoon by new cap Ryan Evans, who beat Paul Dunne 6 and 5. The Irishman was not firing on all cylinders but Evans was quick to punish any slips and he was 4-up after seven holes which he covered in two under.

Evans also won the eighth, ninth and tenth to go 7-up and although he lost the 12th to a par, the Wellingborough man sealed victory on the 13th.

Jimmy Mullen (pictured, copyright Leaderboard Photography), another new cap, will remember his debut, beating Gary Hurley 4 and 2, the Devon man birdying the tenth and 11th and being three under when the contest ended on the 16th.

English champion Callum Shinkwin went 1-up early on against Kevin Phelan and the lead swung one way then the other in a close tussle that ended all square. But Reeve Whitson gained another point for the Irish after trailing 3-down to Craig Hinton.

The Oxford man was 2-up with four to play but lost the last three holes as Whitson got home by one hole.

The Irish were fighting back and Dermot McElroy beat a wayward Ben Stow 3 and 2 while Brian Casey was always ahead against Paul Howard, eventually winning by one hole. It might have been more but the Irishman, 3-up after 14, lost a ball off the tee at 15 and also lost 17 to a Howard par before getting home.

At one stage during the afternoon England supporters were wondering where the other wins were going to come from. But Toby Tree came from 2-down to beat Cormac Sharvin by 1-hole and it needed a 5 and 3 triumph from Harry Casey over Chris Selfridge to see England over the line.

Gavin Moynihan completed Ireland’s tally with a 3 and 1 win over Nick Marsh, the Yorkshire lad prolonging the match by winning the 15th and 16th after being dormie four.

Scotland began the defence of the Raymond Trophy with a 9½ – 5½ win over Wales after dropping only half a point from the morning foursomes.

With such a big lead going into the singles, it seemed that the afternoon might be a stroll in the park for the Scots. But it didn’t work out that way and credit the Welsh for a fine fightback.

“I’m delighted with the win,” said Scotland captain Scott Knowles. “There is never an easy match in international golf and although we built a good lead in the foursomes the Welsh came out in the afternoon and gave us a good game.

“Perhaps their young side were a little nervous in the morning but my side will have learned a lot from the afternoon singles. We want to defend the title and my team is more than capable of performing.”

They were given a fine start by Jason Shufflebotham who lost the opening hole but came back to beat Graeme Robertson 3 and 2 in the top game only for the ever reliable Jack McDonald to overwhelm Welsh champion Jack Bush 6 and 5.

Grant Forrest and James Ross added to the Scottish tally with 3 and 2 wins over Matthew Moseley and Lee Jones respectively but the Welsh replied with three wins of their own.

Craig Melding went 2-up through four holes and 3-up after seven against Alexander Culverwell but the Scottish champion cut the deficit to 1-down through 11. However, Melding regained the advantage and ran out a 3 and 2 winner.

Zac Galliford was locked in a close encounter with Scott Crichton but after gaining the lead on the sixth, stayed ahead but Crichton fought back from 2-down to win the 16th with a birdie and 17 with a par only for Galliford to secure the match on 18 with a winning bogey five.

David Boote added to the Welsh morale with a 6 and 4 win over Ewan Scott, the Welshman finishing with back-to-back birdies and five under par for 14 holes.

But the Scots were not to be denied and Scott Borrowman saw them over the line with a 2 and 1 win against Alistair Jones while the final two games were shared on the 18th, Matthew Clark adding to the Scottish tally with a 1-hole win over Ben Westgate while Richard James scored the final Welsh point by the same margin against Bradley Neil.

Tomorrow England play Wales while the Scots face Ireland.

For more information, full scores and photos visit the Home Internationals website.

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