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Ireland miss out as England home in on title success


By Paul Kelly

A 10-5 defeat at the hands of England ended Ireland's dreams of Home International success at Lahinch yesterday.

The defending champions will face Scotland today in a winner takes all shootout after the Scots saw off Wales 9.5-5.5.

Mallow's James Sugrue was out of action yesterday because of a persistent back injury, Malone's Matthew McClean taking his place alongside Rob Brazill as they went down 3&2.

Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene) and Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk) were the only Irish pair to score, winning 2&1 in game two. Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) and 16-year-old Tom McKibbin (Holywood) went the distance but lost out on the last.

In the singles, Conor Purcell (Portmarnock) and Rafferty had wins over Walker Cup players Tom Sloman and Tom Plumb.

Colm Campbell earned a half with Bailey Gill, as did Ronan Mullarney (Galway) against Harry Hall.

Sean Flanagan (Portmarnock) grabbed Ireland's third singles win of the day against Ben Hutchinson.

Holywood teenager McKibbin gave his all but fell short on 18 when his birdie try slipped by. Matty Lamb's one-hole win ensured England's victory.

Lamb said: "Tom's pretty mature for his age. He has a good all-round game.

"He is a very good player and he has a very bright future ahead of him. I didn't realise how young he was."

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