Defending champions Ireland got off to a winning start with a 10-5 victory over Wales on the opening day of the Boys Home Internationals at Western Gailes Golf Club while England came through a typically tough encounter to deny Scotland 8.5-6.5.
Roy Archibald’s young side arrived at the Ayrshire venue as champions after winning the team trophy at Forest Pines in Lincolnshire 12 months ago.
And though Ireland were favourites against Wales, they are likely to face a sterner test against Scotland on day two with England to take on Chris King’s Wales side.
“I’m delighted with the start, especially after the disappointment of the recent European Championships,” said Archibald.
“We selected a very young team this week, eight of the 11 players are available for selection again next year and two (Thomas Mulligan and Owen Crooks) are only 15.
“It was almost like starting again after the win last year, but I’m glad the younger lads are getting the experience.
“Today’s win was important and I thought winning the foursomes 4-1 was key, especially with the two lads coming through at the back,” added Archibald, referring to the one-hole win by Mulligan and Crooks over Tim Harry and Kyle Harman.
Meanwhile, Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle) carded an opening round 66 to lead Matthew McClean (Balmoral) by a shot after the opening day of the Ulster Youths at Balmoral.
Irish Close Champion John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead) is a shot further back after an opening 68.