Wooden spoon for Ireland

FROM champions to wooden spoonists in the space of 12 months — that was the story for Ireland yesterday as the Men’s Amateur Home Internationals ended at Hillside on the Lancashire coast.

A year ago at Muirfield Ireland, then European champions, overwhelmed the other three nations with something to spare, conceding a total of only 14 during the round-robin series.

How it was different this time — instead of collecting 30 points during the matches they amassed a mere 15½ and were defeated by the other three.

They failed to win a foursomes match against England, simply recording two halves and then won only one of the singles courtesy of Dara Lernihan who pipped Michael Stewart on the home green.

Irish champion Pat Murray and Connor Doran both halved their matches and slumped to an overall 12-3 defeat.

England won the title for the 34th time in the event’s 77-year history when they crushed Wales 10½-4½.

Irish captain Kevin Flanagan was naturally disappointed. “We knew it would be tough this year with a much-changed team. We will now build for the future.

Scotland v Ireland (Scotland names first): Foursomes: W Booth and M Stewart bt A Dunbar and P Cutler one hole; G Dear and K McNicoll bt P Murray and D Lernihan one hole; R Kellett and J Byrne bt N Kearney and K McDonagh 4&3; D Law and J White halved with C Curley and P O’Kane; G Campbell and S McEwan halved with C Doran and R Cannon.

Foursomes result: Scotland 4 Ireland 1

Singles: Dear halved with Murray; Law bt Dunbar 3&1; Booth bt Kearney 4&3; Kellett bt Cutler two holes; Byrne bt S Ward 3&2; McNicoll beat Curley one hole; Stewart bt Lernihan one hole; McEwan bt O’Kane 2&1; O’Hara bt Cannon one hole; Campbell halved with Doran.

Singles result: Scotland 8 Ireland 2

Match result: Scotland 12 Ireland 3

England v Wales (England names first): Foursomes: T Fleetwood and M Haines bt A Jones and R Hooper 3&1; S Hutsby and C Paisley halved with N Edwards and R Enoch; S Whitnell and L Goddard bt J Vickery and R Pugh one hole; J Robinson and M Nixon lost to B Westgate and A Runcie 4&2; F Keenan and J Abbott bt J Frazer and O Farr 4&3.

Foursomes result: England 3½ Wales 1½

Singles: Haines bt L Thomas 6&5; Whitnell lost to Edwards 2&1; Hutsby bt Jones 3&2; Paisley bt Farr 5&4; Robinson lost to Enoch one hole; Abbott bt Westgate 4&3; Fleetwood bt Runcie 5&4;Goddard beat Pugh 4&3; S Hodgson bt Vickery 5&4; Keenan lost to Frazer 5&4.

Singles result: England 7 Wales 3

Match result: England 10.5 Wales 4.5.

Final positions: 1 England 2 Scotland 3 Wales 4 Ireland.

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