England didn’t lose a game today as they beat Wales 5½-1½ to take the lead at Senior Men’s Home Internationals at Crowborough Beacon, Sussex.
A win in tomorrow’s match against Scotland will give them the trophy – and settle some friendly rivalry.
Scotland ended England’s medal chances at the recent European team championship in Bulgaria and the team are keen to turn the tables.
England captain Roy Smethurst said: “We owe them one from Bulgaria! They beat us 3-2 there with the last match going down the 19th.”
In the day’s other match Ireland, the European champions, beat Scotland 5-2. Today’s matches were again decided by seven singles, instead of the usual combination of singles and foursomes, because of the threat of disruption from downpours.
Both matches were successfully completed, although it rained for most of the England game and the last players were thoroughly soaked. “All respect to the greenstaff who have kept the course open and playable,” said Smethurst.
He described today’s result of four wins and three halves as a: “a very good team performance. We’re really delighted that we’re in with a shout tomorrow.”
Ireland lost to England yesterday but came back today with a convincing win. Team captain Sean O’Leary said: “It puts us back in the tournament.”
He went on: “There’s always tough competition at the Home Internationals and all the countries are very, very strong and everyone is capable of beating everyone else. I’m hoping that Scotland might do a little job for us tomorrow!”
His team had two comfortable wins but the other five games all went to the 17th or 18th, with three finishing in Ireland’s favour. “It was a good team performance,” said O’Leary.
Tomorrow England play Scotland and Ireland play Wales.
The England team is: Ian Attoe (Worplesdon), Stephen East (Moortown), Clive Jones (Toulouse), Alan Mew (Stoneham), David Niven (Newbury & Crookham), Richard Partridge (Wildernesse), Mark Stones (Boyce Hill).
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Captions: Alan Mew (top) gives the thumbs up. Below, board carriers wait for the action to begin. Images © Leaderboard Photography.