4 August 2011, Royal St David’s, Harlech: England have won the 2011 Boys Home Internationals for the 12th time in sixteen years on the final day of play over the Royal St David’s links at Harlech. A comprehensive 11-4 triumph over 2010 champions Ireland secured the victory as England won all three matches.
At the end of an amazing final day, a count back of individual matches won was needed to determine the other team positions. Wales, who looked likely to finish in last place, came second with Scotland third edging out Ireland who took the fourth spot.
“I am really proud of the players; they played really well throughout the week. The standard was exceptionally high and the other teams also played well. Maybe we should not have won by so much and were fortunate to do so,” said English captain Derek Hughes.
There was never much doubt about England’s contest as they took the morning foursomes 4-1 and soon built up substantial leads in sufficient matches to appear unassailable, although the scoreline was perhaps a little flattering.
Wentworth’s Curtis Griffiths was one of the stars of the show as he was three-under-par in seeing off one of the top Irish boys Gavin Moynihan by 3&2 while Paul Kinnear was a comfortable winner as well. One of the most spectacular finishes was produced by 2011 Peter McEvoy Trophy winner, Nathan Kimsey, winning the last two holes to halve with Kieran Lynch.
Kimsey (Woodhall Spa) birdied the 17th, one of the most difficult holes on the course, and then hit his tee shot at the last to within four feet of the pin.
Oliver Carr who clinched 5 ½ points out of six for England said; “It is a real thrill to be in a team with such spirit and passion. All of us were determined to do something special after a poor European championship and we certainly did that. I was glad to play a major part in our victory.”
Wales finished in second place producing an amazing performance against Scotland this afternoon. They started the final day’s play looking likely to collect the wooden spoon for the second consecutive year and when they lost the morning foursomes 4-1 to Scotland that seemed an even more probable outcome.
The Welsh team came out with all guns blazing in the afternoon and did not lose one singles match, winning seven of the ten games and halving the other three. That remarkable display brought them a 9 ½ -5 ½ victory moving them into second place on a count back.
Welsh captain Leighton Smith said; “I am an extremely proud captain. The boys were patient, focused and showed a lot of spirit. They got no more than they deserved.”
Irish captain Liam Martin, disappointed to relinquish the crown said; “The standard was so high, there was not much between the teams and it was a week of tremendous battles. We will be back.”
The majority of those who competed this week will now travel to Somerset to compete in next week’s Boys Amateur Championship at Burnham & Berrow and Enmore Park from Tuesday 9 – Sunday 14 August.
The Boys Home Internationals will be played at County Louth in Ireland from the 7-9 August, 2012.