Gary Wolstenholme and Steven O'Hara gave Ireland and Britain a confidence-boosting start to their defence of the Walker Cup in Georgia.
They beat American pair of Danny Green and DJ Trahan five and three.
The home side are trying to avoid becoming the first American team to lose a second successive match in the event.
Luke Donald and Nick Dougherty, the two Englishmen who will be making their professional debuts in two weeks' time, were four down with four to play to Nick Cassini and Lucas Glover.
American pair David Eger and Bryce Molder held a three-up advantage over Jamie Elson and Richard McEvoy after eight.
But better news for Ireland and Britain came from the bottom game, where Irish pair Michael Hoey and Graeme McDowell swept into a five-up lead over American champion Jeff Quinney and James Driscoll after 11.