England Deny Scots Boys' Homes Glory / Round-up
Scotland’s hopes of glory in the Boys’ Home Internationals in Ireland were ended by England today following a 10-5 defeat in the fight for The R&A Trophy.
After a superb first two days at County Louth, the young Scots were hopeful of claiming their first success in the event for six years. Instead, England defended the title they captured at Royal St David’s last August.
The Scots, led by captain Barrie Douglas and coach Neil Marr, were in fine form to defeat Wales 9.5-5.5 on Friday before battling to a comeback 8.5-6.5 success over the host nation yesterday. Blairgowrie’s in-form Bardley Neil claimed four wins out of four to highlight the performances.
England also posted back-to-back successes to set up the winner-takes-all-clash with Scotland. The foursomes matches were all tight this morning, but England gained victory in them all to take an emphatic 5-0 lead into lunch.
In particular, Greig Marchbank (Dumfries & County) and Jamie Savage (Cawder) pushed the high-profile English top pairing of Toby Tree and Max Orrin all the way, only losing on the 18th after their opponents had been dormie four up.
The Scots, however, refused to thrown in the towel going into the 10 singles ties, drawing the session 5-5 thanks to wins for Neil, Golf Data Lab Scottish Youths winner Ewan Scott (St Andrews), Lawrence Allan (Alva) and Ewen Ferguson (Bearsden).
Neil especially showed great fighting spirit in the bottom match to come from behind to defeat Ashton Turner on the final green, finishing six-under for his round.
“I’m proud of all the lads,” said captain Douglas afterwards. “Take Bradley in the last match he showed real determination and thankfully he is one of four players available again next year.
“Unfortunately England just outplayed us in the foursomes and that’s where we lost it. But at least we stuck in and halved the singles. That showed real character."
Scotland were runners-up in the event overall, with Neil top individual scorer on five points from a possible six, with Scott and Anthony Blaney (Liberton) picking up four. Savage also chipped in with three points.
* Also in Ireland, at the European Amateur Championship, Scotland’s hopes were rekindled on the second day at Carton House.
Over the Colin Montgomerie-designed course, 11 Scots are seeking success and Glenbervie’s Graeme Robertson and Matthew Clark (Kilmacolm) have moved into a share of 13th place.
The pair, both in the Home Internationals side bound for Gailes Links next week, are at four-under-par, six shots behind leader Daniel Jannevret of Sweden. Robertson followed his opening 75 with a brilliant 65 while Clark has posted 72, 68.
James White (Lundin) is at two-under, with Leven Golfing Society’s Brian Soutar and Paul Shields (Kirkhill) a shot further back.
The 54-hole cut will be made after the third round, with the top 60 and ties playing for the championship on Saturday. The winner gains an invite to compete as an amateur in both the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield and the Irish Open, set to be staged on one of the two courses at Carton House Golf Club next June.
* Steven O’Hara announced his belief that he could win the Norwegian Challenge prior to the tournament this week, and the Motherwell man backed up those claims with a five-under par-opening round of 67 which put him within just two shots of the lead at Byneset GK.
In his second Challenge Tour appearance of the season, O’Hara carded five birdies and not a single bogey as he shared third place going into the second day. Andrew McArthur also fired a 67.
* Comrie’s Wallace Booth appears to be returning to his best after his injury problems, firing a second-round 65 to sit one stroke off the lead at the MarHall.com Scottish Classic on the EuroPro Tour.
Booth is seven-under-par, just behind English leader Daniel Wardrop, with Elliot Saltman (Archerfield Links) five-under and Duncan Stewart (Grantown on Spey) four-under.
Michael Stewart, John Henry, John Gallagher, James Byrne and Jordan Findlay were among those to miss the cut.
* Ian Brotherston (Dumfries & County) is the top Scot in a share of ninth place after the second round of the Senior Open Amateur Championship at Machynys Penninsula, Wales. Brotherston is two-over-par, four behind.