Friday 24 November 2017

Odds stacked against seniors after defeat

Garth McGimpsey
Garth McGimpsey

Ireland suffered a major blow to their hopes of regaining the Men's Seniors Home International title at Royal County Down when they slumped to an agonising 5.5-3.5 defeat to Scotland.

They will now need to beat reigning champions England today and hope that Wales can do them a favour by either defeating Scotland or grabbing a share of the spoils.

They shared the foursomes one match apiece with one halved and, for much of the afternoon, the tie hung in the balance. The closeness of the tie was demonstrated by the fact that three of the six singles went to the last green, with two of them being halved.

It was a real blow at the top of the order when former Walker Cup captain Garth McGimpsey went down to Scotland's top senior Ian Brotherston.

The Bangor man was always under pressure and most of the time trailed Brotherston. Tipperary's Arthur Pierse was not at his best against Lindsay Blair and crashed to a 4&3 defeat.

When Cork's Tom Cleary went down on the final hole to John Fraser following a nip-and-tuck battle, Ireland knew their fate.

Maurice Kelly, the veteran from Killeen, won his match and there were halves for both John Mitchell and 2012 European champion Adrian Morrow.

England trounced Wales 6.5-2.5 and the Welsh look set for the wooden spoon once again.

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