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England are crowned Boys’ Home International champions

England were crowned the 2016 Boys’ Home International champions after a strong final day performance to defeat the holders Scotland 9-6 in the deciding match at Ballyliffin Golf Club in Donegal. England has now won the under-18 team event 15 times in the last 20 years.

The win means Derek Hughes’ side regained the trophy they narrowly lost to the same opponents 12 months ago in Wales. “Everyone played their part this week and that’s very satisfying,” said the team captain.It was a hard fought win, as it always is against Scotland. We always seem to have a good tight match and winning the foursomes 4-1 proved decisive.”

The foundations of England’s victory were laid in the morning foursomes when they took a 4-1 lead into lunch. In the top match Matty Lamb and Oliver Clarke set the tone with their 6&5 win over Jamie Stewart and Scottish Boys’ champion Eric McIntosh.

Although Scotland’s Ben Ferguson and Rory Franssen responded quickly with a 3&2 win against Charlie Strickland and John Gough, England claimed the final three foursomes with wins from Toby Briggs and Dan O’Loughlin; Alex Fitzpatrick and Callum Farr; and Michael Gilbert and Harry Goddard.

England secured the winning point when Farr was dormie two up on Sam Locke playing the 17th and halved the hole in par to win his match 2&1 and let the celebrations begin.

In the lower order, English Boys’ Open Amateur Stroke Play champion Angus Flanagan halved with Graeme Greer, while Michael Lawrie, son of the 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year Paul, defeated Fitzpatrick, brother of European Tour player Matt, by one hole.

Matthew McCulloch added a point for Scotland with his 5&3 win over O’Laughlin in the bottom match as the singles ended 5-5.  

Scotland captain Scott Knowles said: “It was a tough afternoon, the boys really battled hard. Unfortunately we left ourselves too much to do after losing the foursomes 4-1. With nine holes to go we still had a chance, our boys threw everything at them but they held us off and congratulations to England.”

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