St Annes Old Links, England, August 10, 2017: England were crowned the 2017 Boys Home Internationals champions today with a 100% record after winning all three matches against Ireland, Scotland and Wales at St Annes Old Links.
Derek Hughes’ side successfully defended the trophy which they won at Ballyliffin in Ireland last year and England have now won the under-18 team event 16 times since 1996.
An English victory was sealed during the morning foursomes against Scotland earlier today when they took a 4-1 lead, while Wales, who had held a slim chance of catching them, lost their foursomes against Ireland by the same margin.
Despite the main prize having gone, Scotland restored some pride in the afternoon singles which they won 6-4, although narrowly losing the contest 8-7 overall.
Scotland got their first singles point on the board when Callum Bruce beat Ben Jones 4&2. Bruce, who had had to miss Wednesday’s play with a stomach upset, was three up with three to play when he hit a 6-iron to 4ft at the short 16th.
Jones was in an awkward lie in a greenside bunker, splashed out over the green and when he missed his chip, conceded the hole and the match.
Toby Briggs beat Darren Howie 2&1 to level the afternoon’s proceedings for England and Charlie Strickland beat Eric McIntosh by one hole, having been four up with five to play, to put his side ahead.
Then Alex Fitzpatrick extended the lead with a 4&3 victory over Greg Dalziel.
England’s Joe Pagdin and Robin Williams, who both went into the final singles with five wins out of five under their belts, both had their 100 per cent records broken when they lost on the 18th by one hole as the Scots fought back.
Pagdin was beaten by Jack Broun, while Williams fell to 13-year-old Calum Scott, who was chalking up his fifth victory in six matches.
Conor Gough, England’s youngest player at 14, beat another Scot, 13-year-old Aidan O’Hagan, 3&1 to put the host nation 4-3 ahead but then Scotland won the last three matches of the afternoon: John Paterson beat Jack Cope 4&3, Marc Watt beat Thomas Plumb 3&2 and Lewis Irvine beat Harry Goddard 2&1.
Ireland finished on a high against Wales winning six of the ten afternoon singles and the match overall 10-5.
John Brady got the first point on the board for Ireland with a 6&5 win over Thomas Matthews. Then George Bryant got a point for Wales beating Reece Black 4&2, before Ireland went ahead again when Mark Power beat Luke Harries 3&2 and Jack Hearn beat Ben Hicks 2&1.
Wales hit back with wins for James Ashfield by 2&1 over Robert Moran and Sean Davies, who beat Aaron Marshall 3&2 to level the scores at 3-3.
But then Charlie Denvir beat Tom Peet 3&1, Jack Doherty beat Harry Frazer by one hole and Ross Kelly beat Jack Cade 3&2 to take Ireland clear.
Aled Grenville got a consolation win for Wales in the final match beating Raymond Cameron 2&1.
England will defend the Boys Home Internationals title in Scotland where the round-robin event will be played at Royal Dornoch from 7-9 August 2018.
The Boys Home Internationals
Introduced at Dunbar in 1923, the Boys Home Internationals started off as a match played between England and Scotland. In 1972, a team match between Ireland and Wales was added to the fixture and the current format was established in 1996. Since 1985, The R&A Trophy has been awarded to the winning team. —- Pic: The R&A