Ireland march on
We were treated to a stunning morning at Conwy GC, and under blue skies and blustery conditions defending champions Ireland prepared to take on Wales in the first of the foursomes matches.
Ireland named an unchanged team from Wednesday’s foursomes matches and this seemed to work well as they quickly moved into leads in most of the games.
The top game between Dawson and O’Keeffe and Wales’ Hapgood and Williams was nip and tuck with the Irish pair taking a one hole lead after four holes before birdies on eleven and fourteen turned the game in favour of the Welsh pair. However in one final twist the Irish pair took two of the last four holes and won the match 1up.
Purcell and Power quickly took control of the second game taking a 3up lead into the back nine against the Welsh pair Roberts and Mullins, eventually winning the game 2&1.
Game three was heading the Welsh way in the early stages as Chamberlain and Sanges established an early 3up lead against the Irish pair. However, they had to fight off a late charge from Rafferty and Gleeson eventually hanging on to clinch the game 1up.
Kieron Harman and Jacob Davies were out of the blocks quickly in game four winning the first two holes, but the tide quickly turned as Robbie Cannon and James Sugrue playing steady par golf soon overturned the early deficit and the match ended in a halve.
In game five, Mullarney and McLarnon (Ireland) against Trew and Archie Davies (Wales) was turning out to be the best of the foursomes matches with both pairs under par and all square after 9 holes. The Irish pair then produced a sensational finish with birdies on 14,15,and 16 to win the match 4&2 in an estimated score of 5 under par.
Ireland take a 3.5 to 1.5 lead into the afternoon singles matches.
Ireland started the afternoon singles needing 4.5 points to clinch their second victory of the Home Internationals series but it was Wales that made the first move with Jake Hapgood taking an early lead over Robin Dawson in the top game. However Ireland’s Purcell, Power and Rafferty all quickly moved ahead in games two to four to leave Ireland looking comfortable in the early stages of the singles.
Hapgood and Dawson traded eagles and birdies to play holes nine to tweleve in four under par leaving Hapgood 2up with six to play. Another eagle for Hapgood on fourteen and a two on fiftenn took him to a 4&3 victory.
Four birdies in five holes around the turn helped Conor Purcell to a comfortable 4&3 win over Tom Williams so making it four wins out of four for Purcell. Rafferty quickly followed suit in his match with Chamberlain recording another 4&3 win. Birdies on fourteen and sixteen helped Power complete a 3&1 victory over Roberts so giving Ireland a 6.5-2.5 lead in the overall match.
Jacob Davies helped Wales’ cause with a 5&4 win over Ireland’s Alex Gleeson which was followed by a 1up win for Oliver Brown over Ireland’s Jonathan Yates but the respite was only temporary as Peter O’Keeffe recorded a 4&3 win over Paddy Mullins to take Ireland to the cusp of victory. This was duly confirmed a little later when James Sugrue completed a hard earned win over Archie Davies to take Ireland over the line.
In the remaining games Wales’ Lewys Sanges came back from a two hole deficit to edge out Ronan Mullarney and record a 1up win. Ireland’s Tiarnon Mclarnon finished things off and extended his perfect record with a 2&1 win over Gaelen Trew to secure an overall match result of 9.5 to 5.5 in Ireland’s favour.