ENGLAND have won the Home Internationals after beating Scotland 9-6 at Lahinch, on Friday, to retain the Raymond Trophy.
Hexham’s Matty Lamb won five out of six matches, losing just one over the three days as England followed up their 12-3 romp over Wales on Wednesday, with a 10-5 win over their Irish hosts, on Thursday, to maintain their 100 per cent record.
England were pegged back to a 21/2-21/2 draw in the foursomes by the Scots, who made a strong start in match three with Eric McIntosh and Darren Howie going up five up with four to play against West Cornwall’s Harry Hall and Rotheram’s teeanage record-breaker Ben Schmidt.
Somerset’s Walker Cup pairing of Tom Sloman and Tom Plumb beat Euan McIntosh and Kieran Cantley 2&1 in the top match to tie things up quickly and extend their foursomes record to three wins out of three.
After Northamptonshire County’s Ben Jones and Saunton’s Jake Burnage lost by one hole to Royal Wimbledon’s Ryan Lumsden and Matt Clark, Lamb playing with Yorkshire’s Ben Hutchinson, beat James Wilson and Connor McKinney 4&3.
The bottom match between Lindrick’s Bailey Gill and Wallasey’s Joshua McMahon ended in a half to take the teams into lunch all-square.
England made a fast start to the singles on the course which hosted the Irish Open won by Jon Rahm.
Sloman took care of Lumsden courtesy of a 3&2 win while Jones won the 18th to beat Cantley by two.
While Plumb was held to a half by Wilson, Burnage, who was considered very unlucky to miss out on a Walker Cup place despite winning the St Andrews Links, in June, lost 2&1 to McKinney.
Northamptonshire’s Callum Farr halved with Irvine Lewis and Hampshire Hog winner Lamb beat Howie by one on the last to make it 61/2-41/2 to England.
Clark ended his week on a high as Scotland’s leading points scorer with a 2&1 win over Hutchinson to keep Scottish hopes alive.
But Schmidt – the youngest player to win both the Carris Trophy and the Brabazon in the same season – was left to claim the winning point for England and the title thanks to a two-hole win over Eric McIntosh.
Lytham Trophy winner McMahon – another to miss out on Walker Cup selection – got a half from Euan after Lindrick’s Bailey Gill took care of Stuart Easton in the bottom match, winning 3&2.
England’s bid to retain the Home Internationals crown they won at Conwy 12 months ago, began with Wales holding them to 21/2-21/2 in the foursomes.
Jones – who, along with Ben Schmidt, was one of two reserves for the Great Britain and Ireland side that lost the Walker Cup to the USA at Royal Liverpool, on Sunday,– helped Burnage to a 4&3 win over Jake Hapgood and Jacob Davies.
But from 2-0 up Welsh pair Connor Jones and George Bryant won on the last against Hutchinson and Lamb while Matt Roberts and Kieron Harman picked off Gill and McMahon by 3&2 leaving Schmidt and Farr to share the spoils with Wales’ Gaelen Trew and Tom Froom.
But the singles were a very different proposition as the scoreboard was turned red with England winning nine out of the 10 matches, with just Farr held to a half at the death by Trew to make it 12-3.
Plumb beat Davies 7&6 in match two while Burnage collected his second point of the day with a 5&4 win over Hapgood.
Hutchinson picked up the winning point with a 5&3 win over Roberts as Gill raced to his win over Jones by the same scoreline a hole behind them.
Ireland claimed the Raymond Trophy four years in a row before England’s victory in 2018 but their hopes of regaining the crown in front of their own fans was effectively ended when they lost the foursomes 4-1.
Plumb and Sloman took care of Walker Cup team-mate Conor Purcell, playing with Keith Egan, winning 4&3 while Gill and McMahon beat another of Ireland’s four Walker Cup players – Tom KcKibbin – by two holes, playing with Colm Campbell.
Ireland’s only success came courtesy of Walker Cup player Caolan Rafferty’s 2&1 win playing with Tiarnan McLarnon against Jones and Burnage.
Ireland had to come out fighting and Purcell ended Sloman’s 100 per cent record with a 3&2 win before Rafferty got the better of Plumb by 2&1.
But wins from Farr – his first for England – Burnage, Jones and Lamb – the latter against McKibbon on the last – wrapped up the 10-5 win.
Schmidt kept his unbeaten run going with a 2&1 win over McLarnon before Gill halved the bottom match with Campbell who played in all four of Ireland’s recent Home International triumphs.
For full scores from Lahinch, click here