England’s hopes of regaining the Men’s Home Internationals title were dashed today when they lost a desperately close match with Scotland.
The European champions beat England 8-7 and must be favourites to win the Raymond Trophy, having taken four points from the two matches played so far.
Tomorrow they will meet Ireland, the hosts at Royal Portrush and defending champions, who beat Wales today and have three points so far in the series.
England, who halved yesterday with Ireland for one point, will play Wales, who have yet to score. The championship is supported by Fairstone Financial Management.
In today’s match England trailed 3-2 after the morning foursomes, gaining their points from two halved matches and one late win, provided by Ashton Turner and Jamie Bower, who battled back to win on the 18th.
England challenged strongly for the singles points but fell agonisingly short. The session was intensely close with only one game decided – in Scotland’s favour – by a large margin. Of the others, one match was decided on the 16th, four on the 17th and four on the 18th.
England’s singles wins were recorded by Ashley Chesters (image © Leaderboard Photography), Jimmy Mullen, Dan Brown, Alfie Plant and Sean Towndrow. The deciding match involved Lancashire’s Paul Kinnear who battled hard but finally bowed out to Connor Syme on the 17th.
Team captain Terry Casey commented: “Sadly we again underperformed in the foursomes and this time it caught up with us. We were outplayed in a few matches and let at least one winning position slip. When our last pair snatched an unlikely, but timely win, we had at least given ourselves a chance.
“Our position this afternoon was a lot better and we came out strongly, but the Scots were never likely to make it easy and although we were up in a number of matches we couldn’t quite get away, Many matches went to the last hole and it was really exciting and with one more win we could still have won overall, but it wasn’t to be.”
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