Boy and girls teams are just ‘two’ good for opponents
ENGLAND’S boy and girl squads demonstrated that the future is looking bright for the amateur game in the country by doing the Home Internationals double.
The boys claimed the title for the third time in four years with a hard-fought win at Western Gailes in Scotland, whilst the girls extended their dominance of their quadrangular series, running out winners for the seventh year in succession.
In the boys’ contest, England paved the way for glory after winning their opening two matches against Scotland and Wales. Even so, Derek Hughes’ side still required a result against defending champions Ireland who, like Scotland, still had an outside chance of winning if results had gone their way.
In the end, England turned things around in the final singles session to win 8-7 and complete a whitewash of wins on Scotland’s Ayrshire coast.
At one stage, eight of the singles matches were sitting in Ireland’s favour, which would have been enough to turn around the 3-2 deficit from the morning foursomes and would also have been good enough to retain the title based on the highest number of individual points won.
However, that scenario never materialised as England rallied and, when Harry Hall won the last two holes to win by one hole against Cathal Butler, the match was secured.
“That was very, very tough, I don’t want to have any more days like that on a golf course,” said a relieved Hughes afterwards. “Fair play to Ireland, they came out with a new team this week and put in a great effort. I am proud of the way my lads battled, especially when it didn’t look good for a time, but the likes of Harry coming down the last and winning was crucial.”
The girls, meanwhile, delivered an imperious display to continue their winning streak at Donabate, Ireland. A thumping 7-2 win over Wales on the final day added to earlier successes over Ireland and Scotland to make it three wins out of three.
They got off to an ideal start by winning all three morning foursomes before English girls’ champion India Clyburn continued the charge with a 6&5 win in the top singles. More points were added by Alice Hewson and Sophie Lamb, while Hollie Muse and Emma Allen halved their matches. Hollie fought back from three-down with birdies on 13, 15 and 17 to secure her half-point. Every member of the team contributed to the overall victory, with Clyburn achieving six wins from six outings and Sophie Keech and Hollie Muse unbeaten in their matches.
Afterwards, a delighted India commented: “It’s awesome for England to win seven times in a row and I’m so happy to be part of the winning team this year.”
Photo: © LGU