England’s teams were on winning form today in their double title defence at both the Boys’ and Girls’ Home Internationals.
The boys, who are playing at Conwy, Wales, won the second match of their series, beating Ireland 8½-6½. Now the defending champions face a title showdown tomorrow with Scotland.
The girls, playing at Lanark in Scotland, began their bid for an eighth consecutive title, by beating Wales 8-1.
In the boys’ match England trailed 2-1 after the foursomes, with the team’s points scored by the pairings of Max Martin (image © Leaderboard Photography) and Matty Lamb and by Will Enefer and Harry Hall.
In the singles they produced determined play to win a series of close game. Three matches went to the 18th, with the points claimed by Marco Penge, Charlie Strickland and Max Martin, while Matty Lamb halved. Will Enefer, meanwhile, won on the 17th.
England’s other two singles wins were much more comfortable, with Jamie Li winning 4/3 and Rhys Nevin-Wharton beating his opponent 5/4.
Team manager Derek Hughes commented: “Today was nip and tuck and could have gone to either team, but in the end the boys battled through.
“The boys at the front end gave the team a good start in the singles and the others contributed some great points, with Max Martin collecting the winning point. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s match.”
In the girls’ match, the England team conceded their only point of the day in the foursomes, but wins from Hollie Muse and Sammy Fuller and from Emma Allen and Lizzie Prior put them 2-1 up at lunch. In the singles, they pulled off a clean sweep of six wins from six matches.
Team captain Chris Pascall said: “We had a good day with some good comebacks – the score line looks an easy win, but the girls had to fight hard.”
Alice Hewson was three down after nine, but got ahead on the 15th. Eloise Healey was three down after four holes, but won the next four holes, helped by birdies on the fifth and sixth. Lizzie Prior was two down for most of the match but came through to win on the 18th, having birdied 16 and 17.
Boys: Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Will Enefer (Wrekin), Harry Hall (West Cornwall), Matty Lamb (Hexham) Jamie Li (Bath), Max Martin (Ladbrook Park), Rhys Nevin-Wharton (Sandiway), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood), Gian-Marco Petrozzi (Trentham), Billy Spooner (Woodhall Spa), Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).
Girls: Emma Allen (Meon Valley), Annabel Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), Samantha Fuller (Roehampton), Eloise Healey (West Lancashire), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) and Lizzie Prior (Burhill), Emily Toy (Carlyon Bay).