Ireland's Home Internationals hopes ended after 10-5 defeat to England
Scotland take on England for the Raymond Trophy as Ireland play Wales for third place
Ireland’s Caolan Rafferty driving on the 8th tee during day two of the Home Internationals at Lahinch Golf Club. Photograph: Pat Cashman
Ireland’s slim hopes of challenging for the Home Internationals evaporated when they fell 10-5 to defending champions England on day two at Lahinch.
Mallow’s James Sugrue was unable to tee it up at all on Thursday, and the amateur champion will play no further part in the matches on Friday as he prepares to take three weeks off for rest and treatment on his lower back.
Scotland beat Wales 9½-5½ and take on England for the Raymond Trophy as Ireland play for pride and third place against the Welsh.
“I don’t know what’s gone wrong,” said Galway’s Ronan Mullarney. “I think missing Sugrue is a big, big loss. He’s one of the best amateurs in the world, never mind Ireland.”
After defeat to Scotland on day one, Ireland needed to get off to a good start but instead fell 4-1 in the foursomes.
Walker Cup players Tom Sloman and Tom Plumb beat Conor Purcell and Keith Egan 4&3, and while Caolan Rafferty and Tiarnan McLarnon edged out Jake Burnage and Ben Jones 2&1, the remaining three matches went England’s way.
Ireland fought back in the singles with early wins for Purcell over Sloman (3&2), Rafferty over Plumb (2&1) and Sean Flanagan over Ben Hutchinson (5&4). And while Mullarney birdied the last two holes and salvaged a brilliant half with Harry Hall after being three down with four to play, the middle order did not deliver.
Defeats for Keith Egan to Callum Farr (2&1), Robert Brazill to Jake Burnage (3&2), Matthew McClean (5&4) to Ben Jones and Tiarnan McLarnon (2&1) to Ben Schmidt, left 16-year old Tom McKibbin needing a win against Matty Lamb to keep slim Irish hopes of a draw alive.
The Holywood star was two down after nine holes but after winning the 12th, 14th and 15th to take the lead, he lost the 16th and 18th to birdies to fall by one hole.