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Host Nation Ireland beat England
11th August2011

Host nation Ireland gave the large home gallery plenty to cheer about when they beat defending champions England on Day 1 of the Home Internationals Series in County Sligo.

A one-point advantage was forthcoming from the morning foursomes for the Irish team, who hung on in a topsy-turvy afternoon session for an 8-7 win over England.

Ireland had struck the first blow of the morning foursomes when Kevin Phelan and Paul Cutler were victorious on the 17th against Jack Senior and Andrew Sullivan.

The Irish pair went four up after 13 but had to weather a late charge from Senior and Sullivan before Phelan holed from six feet for an impressive par four at the penultimate hole to close out the match.

The second match saw Richard O'Donovan and Eoin Arthurs halve with Steven Brown and Neil Raymond in a see-saw battle, while Eddie McCormack and Alan Dunbar drew further blood for Ireland when they won a tense battle on the 18th.

England hit back however, finishing strongly in the fourth and fifth matches with Tyrrell Hatton and Ben Stow beating Dermot McElroy and Paul Dunne, and then Dave Coupland and Garrick Porteous held on to earn a half against local man Gary McDermott and Niall Gorey.

In the afternoon, Andrew Sullivan hit the birdie trail in a big way to dispatch Alan Dunbar 6/5 but Ireland's one-point advantage was soon restored when Eddie McCormack beat Jack Senior by 4/3.

Ireland's lead was extended to two when Paul Cutler dug deep to win a tense battle with Steven Brown by 2/1.

However, England's Garrick Porteous completely turned around his match with Kevin Phelan. Having been two down at the turn, he halved his deficit at the 10th and then won the 15th, 16th and 17th to close out the match.

When Neil Raymond was victorious over Aaron Kearney by 4/3, the score was tied up once again at 5-5, and when Ben Loughrey beat Eoin Arthurs on the 16th, it looked as if the tide was turning.

However, Gary McDermott, who had been one behind for most of the front nine, turned his game around to win on the 17th and put Ireland back on terms.

Dermot McElroy struck soon afterwards, holding his nerve to roll in a 10-footer on the final green to hold off Ben Stow, and it was then that attention turned to the final two matches, in which England had held the upper hand with a handful of holes to play.

Paul Dunne won the 16th to draw level with Ben Taylor, and the pair shared the final two holes for a halved match, leaving Ireland one point ahead with one game on the course.

England had high hopes of salvaging a draw, however, as Dave Coupland was one up on Ireland debutant Niall Gorey with two to play.

However, Gorey holed a 25-footer for par at the long par-four 17th to draw level, and calmly two-putted the last for par, after which Coupland's birdie effort to win the match came up just shy.

Meanwhile, Scotland weathered an early Welsh charge with a strong display in the afternoon singles to win by nine matches to six.

Wales raced ahead on the front nine of the foursomes, and at the turn were up in four of the five foursomes before Scotland began to make up the difference.

Michael Stewart and Ross Kellett halved with Welsh duo Richard Bentham and Alastair Jones in the first match.

Wales took the ascendancy in matches two and three, with Jason Shufflebotham and Joe Vickery hanging on to win on the 18th against David Law and Paul Shields.

Rhys Enoch and James Frazer added to the tally for Wales with a 5/4 victory over James Byrne and Graeme Robertson before Scotland scored their first win through Kris Nicol and Greg Paterson - a 2/1 victory over Ben Westgate and David Boote. James White and Philip McLean completed the Scottish comeback with a one-hole victory over Oliver Farr and Rhys Pugh.

With that, the impetus was firmly with the Scots and victories by David Law over Alastair Jones, James Byrne over Joe Vickery, Greg Paterson over Ben Westgate and Kris Nicol over Rhys Enoch meant the writing was on the wall for the Welsh.

However, they did not give up without a fight, with Jason Shufflebotham beating Michael Stewart on the 18th green, and Oliver Farr and James Frazer recording 5 and 4 wins over Paul Shields and James Frazer respectively.

But Graeme Robertson's half with Irish Amateur Open champion Rhys Pugh brought Scotland ever closer to victory, while Philip McLean and Ross Kellett recorded simultaneous triumphs on the 16th over Richard Hooper and David Boote.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Ireland 8 England 7

Foursomes: K Phelan & P Cutler bt J Senior & A Sullivan 2/1; R O'Donovan & E Arthurs halved with S Brown & N Raymond; E McCormack & A Dunbar bt C Hinton & B Loughrey 1 hole; P Dunne & D McElroy lost to T Hatton & B Stow 1 hole; G McDermott & N Gorey halved with D Coupland & G Porteous

Singles: P Cutler bt S Brown 2/1; A Dunbar lost to A Sullivan 6/5; E McCormack bt J Senior 4/3; K Phelan lost to G Porteous 2/1; A Kearney lost to N Raymond 4/3; G McDermott bt C Hinton 2/1; D McElroy bt B Stow 1 hole; E Arthurs lost to B Loughrey 3/2; P Dunne halved with B Taylor; N Gorey halved with D Coupland

Scotland 9 Wales 6

Foursomes: M Stewart & R Kellett halved with R Bentham & A Jones; D Law & P Shields lost to J Shufflebotham & J Vickery 1 hole; J Byrne & G Robertson lost to R Enoch & J Frazer; K Nicol & G Paterson bt B Westgate & D Boote 2/1; J White & P McLean bt O Farr & R Pugh 2 holes.

Singles: M Stewart lost to J Shufflebotham 1 hole; D Law bt A Jones 4/2; J Byrne bt J Vickery 2/1; G Paterson bt B Westgate 4/3; K Nicol bt R Enoch 3/2; P Shields lost to O Farr 5/4; G Robertson halved with R Pugh; P McLean bt R Hooper 3/2; R Kellett bt D Boote 4/2; J White lost to J Frazer 5/4.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Ireland v Wales (Ireland names first)

Foursomes: K Phelan & P Cutler v R Bentham & R Hooper; A Dunbar & E McCormack v R Enoch & J Frazer; R O'Donovan & E Arthurs v J Shufflebotham & J Vickery; P Dunne & D McElroy v D Boote & B Westgate; N Gorey & G McDermott v R Pugh & O Farr.

Singles: P Cutler v R Enoch; A Dunbar v J Shufflebotham; E McCormack v A Jones; K Phelan v R Pugh; A Kearney v O Farr; G McDermott v R Bentham; D McElroy v D Boote; R O'Donovan v B Westgate; P Dunne v J Vickery; N Gorey v J Frazer.

Scotland v England (Scotland names first)

Foursomes: M Stewart & R Kellett v J Senior & A Sullivan; J Byrne & G Robertson v S Brown & N Raymond; D Law & P Shields v C Hinton & B Loughrey; K Nicol & G Paterson v D Coupland & G Porteous; J White & P McLean v B Taylor & B Stow.

Singles: M Stewart v A Sullivan; D Law v S Brown; J Byrne v J Senior; G Paterson v N Raymond; S Gibson v G Porteous; G Robertson v T Hatton; P McLean v D Coupland; K Nicol v B Loughrey; J White v C Hinton; R Kellett v B Taylor

HOME ADVANTAGE FOR IRELAND
10th August 2011

Ireland go in search of their tenth outright victory at the Home Internationals which get underway on Wednesday at Co Sligo Golf Club, Rosses Point.

Irish Team Captain Dr Kevin Flanagan, has selected a strong team to face defending champions England on day one, including West of Ireland and Irish Close champion Paul Cutler (Portstewart) who is paired with Kevin Phelan (Waterford Castle) for the morning foursomes against the English pairing of Jack Senior and Andrew Sullivan.

There is a debut at international level for Niall Gorey (Muskerry) who is paired with local Gary McDermott (Co Sligo) while Lucan's Richard O'Donovan who captured the East of Ireland at Baltray in May, is paired with the 2008 East winner Eoin Arthurs of Forrest Little.

Galway's Eddie McCormack and Rathmore's Alan Dunbar will face Craig Hinton and Ben Loughrey while the youthful pairing of Paul Dunne of Greystones with Dermot McElroy of Ballymena concludes the Irish pairs.

In the afternoon singles, the pick of the matches is Paul Cutler, reigning Irish Champion, against the English Champion Steven Brown.

In the other encounter, Scotland take on Wales, who have never captured the Home Internationals title. Scotland field a strong team including Kris Nicol and Greg Paterson while Wales' team includes Rhys Enoch and Rhys Pugh.

The Irish are looking to recapture the title they last won in 2008 when they lifted the trophy for the ninth time outright at Muirfield, with a triple crown victory.

On the last occasion this series of matches was played at Rosses Point, in 1991, Ireland were victorious, thanks in no small part to subsequent three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington.

Home Internationals
Co Sligo Golf Club
Wednesday 10th August 2011

Order of Play
0730 England v Ireland
Foursomes
(England names first)
Jack Senior & Andrew Sullivan v Kevin Phelan & Paul Cutler; Steven Brown & Neil Raymond v Richard O'Donovan &Eoin Arthurs; Craig Hinton & Ben Loughrey v Eddie McCormack & Alan Dunbar; Todd Adcock & Ben Stow v Paul Dunne & Dermot McElroy; Dave Coupland & Garrick Porteous v Gary McDermott & Niall Gorey.

Singles
1215
Steven Brown v Paul Cutler; Andrew Sullivan v Alan Dunbar; Jack Senior v Eddie McCormack; Garrick Porteous v Kevin Phelan; Neil Raymond v Aaron Kearney; Craig Hinton v Gary McDermott; Ben Stow v Dermot McElroy; Ben Loughrey v Eoin Arthurs; Todd Adcock v Paul Dunne; Dave Coupland v Niall Gorey

0815 Scotand v Wales
Foursomes
(Scotland names first)
Michael Stewart & Ross Kellett v Richard Bentham & Alastair Jones; David Law & Paul Shields v Jason Shufflebotham & Joe Vickery; James Byrne & Graeme Robertson v Rhys Enoch & James Frazer; Kris Nicol & Greg Paterson v Ben Westgate & David Boote; James White & Philip McLean v Oliver Farr & Rhys Pugh

Singles
1345
Michael Stewart v Jason Shufflebotham; David Law v Alastair Jones; James Byrne v Joe Vickery; Greg Paterson v Ben Westgate; Kris Nicol v Rhys Enoch; Paul Shields v Oliver Farr; Graeme Robertson v Rhys Pugh; Philip McLean v Richard Hooper; Ross Kellett v David Boote; James White v James Frazer


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