England finish third to lose Home Internationals crown

Nathan Kimsey

England has lost its grip on the Raymond Trophy after finishing third in the Home Internationals at Glasgow Gailes.

Having won the title for the past three years, England surrendered the trophy to Scotland who were crowned champions for the first time since 2006.

On the final day, the Scots powered to a 9½– 5½ win over Wales and were then reliant on an English victory over Ireland, which was clinched when Josh White (Chipstead, Surrey) earned England’s eighth point of the match with a 6 and 4 defeat of Richard O’Donovan.

That result earned Scotland the Raymond Trophy on countback thanks to their superior ‘goal difference’ after the hosts, Ireland and England all finished on two points each.

England made a fine start by beating Wales 9½ – 5½ on the opening day but the crucial result came on day two when Scotland inflicted a 10½ – 4½ defeat, the Scots having lost 7-8 to Ireland in their first match.

That left England with an uphill battle and although they beat the Irish 9½ – 5½, it left England, Ireland and the Scots with two wins apiece.

Ireland’s hopes of a the ‘Triple Crown’ were dashed as a resurgent England side came back from a 3 – 2 morning foursomes deficit to storm to a 9½– 5½ winning margin, Garrick Porteous setting the tone with a crushing 6 and 4 defeat of Amateur champion Alan Dunbar.

So the title was decided on game points which saw the Scots on 27, Ireland with 25 and England 23½.

In a disappointing week for England there was one brilliant performance and that came from new cap Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire), who recorded an unblemished six wins from six (image © Tom Ward).

No English player has finished with a 100% record in the Home Internationals since Matt Blackey in 1997.

The next best performance was by Jamie Rutherford (Knebworth, Hertfordshire), another new cap, with four points from five matches.