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Home Internationals triumph for England seniors

England’s senior men have successfully defended their Home Internationals title in the weather-hit championship at Rosslare, Ireland.

“It was just fantastic to come here as champions and to go home as champions,” sad team captain Roy Smethurst.

In the start-stop-go event, Smethurst’s team laid the foundations of their win on the first day when they beat hosts and European champions, Ireland, 8-1.

Their second match, against Wales, was interrupted by high winds, but when they returned to the course this morning they completed a clean sweep of the six available singles. The three foursomes were declared halved by captains’ agreement.

The scoreline of 7.5-1.5 meant England needed just one point from this afternoon’s match of seven singles against Scotland. Stephen East quickly provided that with his 6/5 win and the team went on to halve overall.

East was joined in the winners’ circle by Seniors’ Amateur Champion Bryan Hughes, while Doug Cameron, Mark Stones and Ian Attoe all halved their games. Attoe, who came down the last 1up, had a chance to win the match outright but his 6ft birdie putt on the last slid by.

The other two points were shared by captains’ agreement, giving a 4.5-4.5 overall score. It was another difficult day with the wind steadily increasing. The difference was highlighted by Hughes’ play at the 9th: in the morning he hit driver wedge; in the afternoon he was short with driver, 3-wood.

England’s top scorers were East and Hughes who both had four wins from four outings. Attoe, Stones and Cameron were unbeaten.

In the other matches Ireland beat Scotland 6-3 and Wales 7.5-1.5 to finish runners-up. Scotland were third and Wales fourth.

England team: Ian Attoe (Worplesdon, Surrey), Doug Cameron (Henley, BB&O), Ian Crowther (Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire), Stephen East (Wike Ridge, Yorkshire), Bryan Hughes (Hesketh, Lancashire), Alan Mew (Stoneham, Hampshire) and Mark Stones (Boyce Hill, Essex). Captain Roya Smethurst (Crewe, Cheshire).

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