England emerged victorious from their duel in the sun with Ireland to retain The R&A Boys’ and Girls’ Home Internationals crown at Lindrick.
On a bright and extremely warm closing day over the famed Yorkshire course, the reigning champions savoured another silver lining as they eased to a 13-8 victory in the title decider of the combined competition.
There was some consolation for Ireland, however, as they came out on top in the boys’ event that runs in tandem with the mixed contest. It was a first success for Ireland’s boys since 2013.
It was England who claimed the ultimate honours, though, as they earned back-to-back wins in the combined format following last year’s triumph in the inaugural staging at Downfield.
At the end of a fine week of competition over the cherished Ryder Cup venue, Frazer Jones, Nellie Ong, Amelia Wan and Lilie Rose Hunt all walked away with six-out-of-six records.
“We have won and won well in the combined event,” said the England captain, Stephen Burnett.
“They’ve given it their all. Congratulations to Ireland for winning the Boys’ title as it was a fantastic battle and shows the strength of the competition. But we are chuffed to bits that we take home the main prize again.”
England had been a formidable force in the combined foursomes over the opening couple of days and they established another strong position of authority on the final morning as they moved into a 5-2 lead.
Kris Kim and Josh Berry dovetailed nicely in the top tie against Gavin Tiernan and James Walsh to set the standard with a 5&3 victory.
The previously unbeaten pairing of Hugh Adams and Harry Malin lost their 100% record, however, as the Irish duo of Jack Murphy and Sean Keeling battled to a final green victory. Murphy and Keeling had been three-up but had to work hard on the run-in to stave off the menacing advances of Adams and Malin.
Kim underlined his talent with a 7&6 singles victory over Darcy Hogg while Ellen Yates was a 7&5 winner against Kate Dillon as England extended their advantage in the combined competition.
For Ireland captain, Peter English, there would be a moment to savour as an evenly fought, nail-nibbling boys’ event went their way.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve won,” he said as his team bridged a ten-year title gap. “I hope it’s not another ten years before we win it again. Well done to England for winning overall but this was a true team effort. There is work still to do but we are progressing.”
In the day’s other tussle, Scotland signed off their campaign with a narrow 11½-9½ victory over Wales.
The Scots made hay while the sun shone in the morning foursomes and engineered a commanding 5½-1½ advantage.
The intriguing ebb and flow of the format was perfectly illustrated in the encounter involving Alexander Farmer and Jake Johnston and the Welsh pairing of Brodi Lewis and Ryan Williams.
The Scots had found themselves five down through six holes but they remained resolute, steadied the ship and slowly but surely chipped away at the deficit during an absorbing skirmish. They squared the match on the 16th, fell behind again on the 17th but hauled themselves level on the last as an encounter of fluctuating fortunes ended in a share of the spoils.
Wales gave it their all in the singles during a closely fought session which saw three matches decided on the 18th and three reaching a conclusion on the 17th.
Sheridan Clancy was a stand-out for Scotland as she packed six birdies into a 7&5 win over Sophie Page but the Welsh rally saw them pick up eight points from the 14 ties as they finished the week with a morale-boosting flourish.