England won the Senior Men’s Home Internationals for the seventh time today, sweeping to victory with an unbeaten performance against Wales.
The team conceded just half a point in the title decider at Machynys Peninsula, defeating the hosts 8.5-0.5.
“We are absolutely delighted with the result, but it didn’t look that straightforward during the afternoon,” said team captain Roy Smethurst of Crewe, Cheshire.
“We needed to win two singles to win the match and after nine holes we were up in a couple and everything else was quite close. But it all came our way on the back nine, we gained the advantage around holes 10 to 12.”
He added: “Everyone has played really well and my biggest problem was deciding who to leave out each morning and afternoon.”
His team was Ian Crowther of Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire; Stephen East of Moortown, Yorkshire; Richard Latham of Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire; Alan Mew of Stoneham, Hampshire; David Nelson of Northenden, Cheshire; David Niven of Newbury & Crookham of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire; and Mark Stones of Boyce Hill, Essex.
England have now won this championship seven times and four of those victories have been in Wales. “We’ve never lost in Wales,” said Smethurst, whose team follows those which won at Aberdovey in 2004; Tenby in 2008; and Southerndown in 2012.
England’s other victories were in the inaugural match in 2002 at Nairn Dunbar in Scotland; at Caldy, England, in 2007; and Royal County Down, Ireland, in 2013.
England opened the 2016 championship with a 7-2 win over European champions Scotland. “Since I’ve been captain this is the fourth time we have met Scotland and we have lost the last three times. The guys were absolutely brilliant this time and played really well,” said Smethurst.
The team followed up with a 6-3 win over the defending champions, Ireland. “We were very pleased to win that, but Wales had also won twice and that meant we couldn’t let up,” said Smethurst.
England held a points advantage going into today’s title decider and knew that a halved match would be good enough to win the championship. The team amassed 2.5 points from the three singles, with East and Latham conceding the half point to Nigel Evans and Nick Grimmitt.
But after that it was a clean sweep for the new champions. The pairings of Niven and Stones and of Crowther and Nelson won comfortably in the foursomes. In the singles East got the first point with his 5/4 win, while Niven secured the victory with his 2/1 win.
They were followed in by Mew (4/2), Stones (3/2) and by Latham and Nelson who both won 1up.
In the day’s other match Scotland beat Ireland 5.5-3.5 to take third place.
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Image copyright Andrew Windsor.
21 September 2016
England and Wales to go head to-head in title decider
England and Wales will go head-to-head tomorrow to decide the Senior Men’s Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula.
Both teams have won their first two matches in the round robin series, with England beating the defending champions Ireland by 6-3 today. Wales, the hosts, beat European champions Scotland 5-4 in their match.
England took the lead in the match after the morning foursomes, with wins in two tight games. After 12 holes, the pairings of Stephen East and Richard Latham and of Ian Crowther and David Nelson were both just one up. But with a strong performance over the inward half both pairs defeated their opposition 3/2.
The team confirmed the win with comfortable wins from Alan Mew, who beat his opponent 6/5; and from Stephen East and Mark Stones who both won 5/4. Ian Crowther completed the scoreline with his 4/3 success.
England are seeking their seventh win in this championship having previously held the title in 2002, ’04, ’07, ’08,’12 and ’13.
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21 September, 2016
England seniors beat Euro champions Scotland
England made an impressive start to the Senior Men’s Home internationals with a 7-2 win over European champions Scotland on the opening day at Machynys Peninsula, Wales.
Yesterday's win puts the team top of the table after the first day’s play, which also saw the hosts, Wales, beat defending champions Ireland 6-3.
Scotland took the first foursomes point off England with excellent play from Ronnie Clark and Graham Bell who were around five-under when they beat England’s David Nelson and Ian Crowther 5/4.
But England’s other foursomes pairing quickly responded with Stephen East and Richard Latham defeating their opponents 5&3, followed by a 4&3 win for Alan Mew and Mark Stones.
England were on top form in the singles, winning five of the six games. There were comfortable wins for Stones (5/3) and Latham (4/3), followed by Mew (3/2) East (2/1) and David Niven (1up).
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