Sport Golf

Thursday 22 March 2018

Irish 'do their country proud' to take title

Chris Smart

Ireland celebrated last night after winning the Boys Home International Championship in style over the Southerness links in Scotland.

Having beaten Scotland and fought out a halved match with reigning champions England, they knew it was in their hands to clinch the R&A Trophy -- and they left nothing to chance as they saw off Wales easily.

A solid foursomes performance saw the Irish lead 3.5-1.5 at lunchtime, with the only morning losers being Chris Selfridge and Matthew McKnight. They then started confidently in the afternoon, winning the top three matches through Paul Dunne, Selfridge and Dermot McElroy.

When West Waterford's Gary Hurley accounted for Delon Hau by 5&4, Ireland had sufficient points and knew they were the champions, making amends for their defeat at the hands of England last year and a disappointing European championship.

Just for good measure, the rout was completed by Alex Gleeson, who beat Welsh Boys Champion Alex Baker 4&3.

A delighted captain Liam Martin said: "The boys played their hearts out, deserved to win and did their country proud."

Scotland shocked England 8.5-6.5, but the English still finished second.

In the girls' equivalent at Bangor, Ireland face a herculean task today in their bid to avoid the wooden spoon, just a month after collecting the silver medal at the European Team Championships.

Missing this week, of course, are the sensational Maguire twins, who set out today in the AIB Irish Open at Killeen Castle, and their absence makes all the difference.

Following defeat to champions England on Wednesday, they were overwhelmed by Wales yesterday losing 7-2, which means they will have to beat Scotland today by a substantial margin to prevent them finishing in bottom spot. They lost the foursomes yesterday 2.5-0.5 and their only singles winner was Anna Courtney, who defeated India Friswell by 4&3.

Meanwhile, Ireland's Aedin Murphy (Carlow GC) hit an excellent level-par 72 to finish in a tie for 23rd place on an overall score of 14-over-par at the English Women's Open Amateur Strokeplay at Whittington Heath Golf Club, Staffordshire, yesterday.

Korea's Julie Yang carded a three-under-par 69 to finish on four-under overall and take the title from England's Charlotte Ellis, two back after a final-round 72.

details in factfile

Irish Independent

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