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England claim memorable treble in Machynys

England’s joint men’s and women’s team swept the board at the end of a thrilling final day on Friday in the Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula.

A 12.5-8.5 final day victory over Ireland allowed the 16-strong combined England squad to pip the men and women from the Emerald Isle to the R&A Trophy following earlier wins against Scotland and Wales.

England Women secured a 5-4 win against the Irish to make it three successes from three across the week and ensure they would be the recipients of the International Shield and the Hugh C Kelly Cup.

In the fight for the historic Men’s Home International title, England also edged out Ireland by the barest of margins, just half a point, to win the Raymond Trophy and secure a memorable treble for Team England. All three trophies were decided towards the end of a topsy-turvy day of golf on the outskirts of Llanelli.

“What a day,” said a relieved England Men's Squad Manager Gareth Jenkins.

“That was truly fantastic. To sweep all three matches is an amazing achievement. Three of the women’s games went down the last and we got something out of all three to get over the line. We had great team spirit and to finish ahead of an excellent Irish team is very rewarding.

“The women have played great all week. It was close but we expected that and they just managed to pip Ireland in the women’s competition.

“The men bounced back brilliantly from losing to Wales because they were gutted. But they’re a great bunch of lads. We had a good chat the night before and they came out fighting, which was really pleasing. But the key to victory was the big turnaround this morning in the foursomes.”

England made the perfect start to the final day by taking five out of the seven points on offer in the morning foursomes and that proved to be the springboard to a thoroughly impressive victory over a talented Irish side. The opening three points of the morning were gathered by the pairings of Jack Bigham (Harpenden) and Tyler Weaver (Bury St Edmunds), Sophia Fullbrook (The Melbourne Club) and Lottie Woad (Farnham), and Mimi and Patience Rhodes (Burnham & Berrow). Ireland hit back with a win of their own, sandwiched in between two halved matches, before Charlie Crockett (Addington Palace) and James Claridge (Enville) grabbed another crucial point for England in the morning's final match.

That left England needing six points from the 14 singles to win the R&A Trophy for the second time and to stand a chance of success in the men’s and women’s individual events.

Despite the obvious talent of the Ireland squad, England's control on the tie never looked likely to slip and the score predictor was in favour of the men and women in red throughout the afternoon. Patience Rhodes took England a step closer with an outstanding 5&4 win over Sara Byrne before Carris Trophy champion Tyler Weaver fought to claim half a point in his clash with Max Kennedy. Lottie Woad then sealed a crucial win on the 18th hole of her match with Beth Coulter before Arron Edwards-Hill (Chelmsford) continued his strong form with a 2&1 success against Paul Conroy.

Ireland closed the gap with two wins in the next two matches but Mimi Rhodes grabbed a vital half a point in her game before debutant Matthew Dodd-Berry (Royal Liverpool) delivered a point with a 3&1 win over David Shiel.

That left England with just one more point to find and it soon arrived in the form of Zach Chegwidden as the Orsett golfer edged out Marc Boucher 2&1 to hand his team a memorable success in Wales.

Isla McDonald-O'Brien (Shrewsbury) brought home half a point from her contest before Crockett put the icing on the cake in the final match of the day courtesy of a victory on the final hole against Caolan Rafferty.

A notable achievement came from Patience Rhodes who had a perfect three days as she won all five matches played, including all three foursomes matches with her sister Mimi.


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