England’s men’s squad has been backed to show their character and bounce back from today’s Home Internationals defeat against Scotland in tomorrow’s clash with Ireland.
A disappointing day at Hankley Common Golf Club ended with the squad on the wrong end of a 10-5 reversal against the Scots.
A 3-2 lead from the five morning foursomes matches promised much ahead of the afternoon session played in perfect conditions with no wind and warm autumn sunshine.
However, Scotland came out the blocks to win the opening four games.
This had the trickle-down effect of inspiring the team in blue to run out 8-2 winners in the singles and resurrect their own hopes of success after a day one loss to Ireland.
There was to be no repeat of the day one success for England against Wales.
Scotland’s win coupled with a second victory for Ireland, this time against Wales, means that England must topple the Irish tomorrow and hope that points difference works in their favour to stand any chance of retaining the Home Internationals crown.
On a positive note, there were some individual highlights from players in England colours.
Once again English amateur champion John Gough showed his form with a win in his foursomes game with partner Olly Huggins (both pictured below) and then in the singles.
Jack Bigham also showed no fear stepping up from the boys’ squad to win his singles match.
There was certainly no doubting the commitment of all the players in fighting for the cause even when the momentum was with the Scots.
This, combined with the response of all the players as they headed off to the range following a brief team meeting, gives Jenkins belief that the outcome of the series remains very much in the melting pot with a day’s play still to come.
“I know these players and they can come back from this,” said Jenkins.
“They are still young, but character-wise they are up for it.
“We’ve just had a great chat, they are away to the range to hit some balls – not too many to tire themselves out – but they are keen and will be ready to go again.”
Victory in the morning foursomes was hard fought with Jack Dyer and Arron Edwards-Hill posting a win on the final green after finishing birdie, par to see of the challenge of their rivals.
It was the same score in the match featuring Sam Bairstow and Haider Hussain – a birdie two on the 16th tipping the balance in favour of the English duo who saw out their game with a couple of closing pars.
The third win of the morning for Gough and Huggins was more convincing. The pair were three under par when they sealed a point for the team with a 5&4 triumph.
The opening four singles matches were nip and tuck most of the way – Bairstow and Hussain’s games going down to 17 and Huggins’ ending on the final green.
But it was Scotland who found the putts when they needed them most and by the time Gough arrested the slide with a win in game five, Scotland’s tails were up.
“Scotland played incredibly well,” added Jenkins.
“Every Scottish player in the first four groups made a two on 16 – and that put a few of the games out of reach just when we were trying to fight back.
“That momentum from these opening games carried through as these things tend to do.
“But it’s not over by any stretch of the imagination.
“We’re disappointed, but they are a good bunch and they will come out fighting again tomorrow.
“If we can come up with a good win against Ireland, fingers crossed, it will be enough on the points difference.”
- Click here for full results and details of all today’s games in the England v Scotland match.