Home Internationals crown stays in England after Royal County Down success
ENGLAND retained the Seniors Home Internationals at Royal County Down with a powerful final day performance against Ireland, consigning Scotland to second place and the Irish to third.
Despite heavy rain on the final day, the bedrock for the English success was laid in the a clean sweep of the foursomes, which helped them take a 3-0 lead into the singles.
Then, despite a comeback win on the 18th for Maurice Kelly over English seniors champion Richard Latham, and victories for Garth McGimpsey over Richard Partridge and Michael Quirke against Tyrone Carter, England secured the necessary points to finish the job 6-3.
The most crucial of these came from John Ambridge, who gained a one-hole victory over Arthur Pierse in a match that was all square playing the par-5 18th. But the Irishman took bogey after bunkering his drive and a solid par saw Ambridge home. Andrew Stracey's win over Adrian Morrow and Chris Reynolds' victory in the final game against John Mitchell by sealed the win.
Fog on the opening day meant both sets of foursomes were cancelled so halves were agreed in each game. Just the singles were played and England began their defence of the title with a 4½-4½ draw with Scotland while Ireland beat Wales 7½-1½.
On the second day, England beat Wales 6½-2½ and Scotland overcame Ireland 5½-3½ which meant the title was a straight contest between England and the Scots. Scotland gave themselves every chance by winning two and halving one of the morning foursomes, but Wales produced their strongest performance of the week in the singles to deny them.
Victories for Jeff Thomas, Nigel Evans and Basil Griffiths gave them the better share of the points in the afternoon's matches, leaving the winning score of 5-4 insufficient for Scotland to deny England their victory.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Senior Home Internationals, England suffered the agony of losing out on countback for the title to Ireland at Llandudno (Maesdu) GC. “The whole team did really well,” acknowledged captain Pat West afterwards.
Credit © Cashman Photography