Ireland win the Home Internationals

I think we have to admit that this has been Ireland’s year in amateur golf. After winning the European Team Championships and the Boys’ Home Internationals they now also added the Men’s Home Internationals to the resume of the year. England Captain Jonathan Plaxton reports from the last day at Muirfield;

“The final day of the 2008 ‘Homes’ brought a new course for the players to contend with. A wholesale change in the wind direction meant that players had to adapt to a completely different course from the one they had been playing. Having lost Eddie Pepperell, who won both games on his debut v Wales, to a mystery virus another early morning phone call meant that Charlie Ford was similarly ill and unable to play.
Having been joined by Jamie Abbott in case of such an emergency Jamie got the appearance he deserved for travelling so far but sadly no points, his lack of a practice round and last minute arrival being a distinct disadvantage. Another defeat (1.5 to 3.5) in the foursomes put Ireland in the driving seat and although England held the initiative in seven of the ten singles for some of the afternoon a reversal of fortunes in the top two singles saw likely wins turn into half points only. Although Matt Haines and Todd Adcock recorded wins others could not. Tommy Fleetwood was deprived of a possible half when his opponent was wrongly given a free drop on the final hole. Having plugged in an area not closely mown and in the same position where another player had earlier been forced to take a penalty drop near to a bunker his Irish opponent capitalised on the situation to scrape home 1 up. Another difference of opinion between player and referee saw Steve Uzzell’s match completed in less than ideal circumstances and with the match outcome decided and game 10 all square play was brought to a close and the players shook hands. Farren Keenan therefore claimed 2.5 points from his 3 singles. Ireland fully deserve the title having won all three of their matches. 

The event concluded, in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions, under canvass (I.e in a very crowded tent) with the medal presentation to players who could now fully appreciate the quality of Muirfield links. Sadly despite the warm and secure clubhouse being on hand and empty, officials and players were made to walk two hundred yards, in very inclement weather conditions, to use a small marquee. We look forward to Hillside in 2008!  /JP”

For full coverage of the Home Internationals visit the Scottish Golf Union website.

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