Scotland Celebrate Home Internationals Victory
Graeme Robertson and Jack McDonald enjoy their foursomes victory (Photos: Andy Forman)
The winning 2012 Scotland team, led by Knowles
Scotland’s amateur golfers are celebrating victory after they won the Home Internationals for the first time since 2006 on a thrilling final day’s play at Glasgow Golf Club’s Gailes Links.
The Scots powered to a 9.5 – 5.5 win over Wales and were then reliant on an English victory over Ireland, which was clinched when Chipstead’s Joshua White earned England’s eighth point of the match with a 6 and 4 defeat of Richard O’Donovan.
That result earned Scotland the Raymond Trophy on a countback thanks to their superior ‘goal difference’ after the hosts, Ireland and England all finished on two points each.
It was Scotland’s first win on home soil since tasting success at Carnoustie 12 years ago and marked a superb comeback by Scott Knowles’ men, having been edged out 8 – 7 by Ireland in the opening match early on Thursday morning.
Scotland took a narrow 3 – 2 lead into the afternoon singles after wins from the excellent Graeme Robertson/Jack McDonald partnership, backed up by a win for Scott Borrowman and Paul Shields.
Captain Knowles had ordered his troops to get off to a fast start and his call was answered with a wave of blue numbers on the board, as Scotland raced to the status of being up in eight matches early in the games.
Robertson delivered his sixth win from six to maintain his superb 100% record in the series with a 3/2 win over European Amateur runner-up James Frazer, before Shields clinched his third successive singles with a resounding 6/5 defeat of Jason Shufflebotham.
Ayrshire’s McDonald narrowly lost to Will Jones and Brian Soutar was edged out 2/1, but more success followed for the Scots as Balmore’s Fraser McKenna romped to a 5/4 win against Luke Thomas.
James White kept up his unbeaten run by ousting Welsh number one Rhys Pugh 3/2 to make it five points from six for the Fifer, while Scottish Amateur champion Grant Forrest earned his first win of the week with an impressive performance against Geriant Jones by a 6/5 margin.
Paul Ferrier clinched Scotland’s ninth point of the day with a 3/1 success over Ben Westgate while Matthew Clark earned Scotland a half point in the final game in a hard fought battle with David Boote.
A delighted Knowles of Kingsknowe was full of praise for his players in what may be his last Home Internationals leading the team:
“It’s a great feeling to win and doing it in Scotland makes it even more special. Although the foursomes matches were tight this morning, we were confident that we could reach our target of nine and a half points in the singles and I asked the guys to get off to a fast start.
“Credit to every one of them, they did just that and getting so much blue on the board early was infectious. We wanted to focus on our own game and not worry about the England versus Ireland match and again they responded.
“The players have all got great belief and really worked for each other. They’ve been fantastic on all three days, played as a team and supported each other. We emphasised every point would be crucial and that’s how it turned out.”
Ireland’s hopes of a the ‘Triple Crown’ were dashed as a resurgent England side came back from a 3 – 2 morning foursomes deficit to storm to a 9.5 – 5.5 winning margin, Garrick Porteous setting the tone with a crushing 6 and 4 defeat of The Amateur champion Alan Dunbar.
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