Crowning glory seals Ireland's Home success
Published 16/08/2014 | 02:30
Ireland were on cloud nine last night after winning the Men's Home International title and the mythical Triple Crown in style at Southerndown in South Wales.
They followed victories over Scotland and Wales with a convincing 9.5-5.5 drubbing of deposed champions England to stroll to the crown for the first time for six years.
Wales finished runners-up after an 8-7 defeat of Scotland who took third spot and unusually England, who were without several key players competing in the US Amateur Championships, ended up with the wooden spoon.
It was a fitting climax to Padraig Hogan's three-year term as international captain. "I am absolutely elated. It has been a fantastic week and all the players have performed brilliantly. Now for the World Championships next month."
The Irish started the day as red-hot favourites knowing that a share of the spoils with England and even a narrow defeat would be good enough to give them the Raymond Trophy - and as it happens because of Wales's victory over the Scots the result was immaterial because of the two points they had already accumulated.
But Hogan wanted nothing less than the Triple Crown.
Ireland led 3-2 after the foursomes and the top two in the singles Gavin Moynihan and Jack Hume quickly went ahead and proceeded to sweep to 14th hole successes - Hogan's men were well and truly on their way.
In the middle of the order, Moyola Park's Chris Selfridge edged home against Ben Stow on the last to make it five points out of six - and then the bottom three 2013 Irish champion Cormac Sharvin, Open Championship qualifier Paul Dunne and European Championship Bronze Medallist Gary Hurley all won to put the result beyond doubt.