Ireland have battle on their hands at Royal Portrush

Colin Fairweather
Colin Fairweather

Ireland face an uphill task to retain the Home International title after drawing 7.5-7.5 with England on the opening day of competition at Royal Portrush.

Scotland, who comprehensively beat Wales 11.5-3.5, are in the driving seat heading into today’s second round of matches.

Six of Ireland’s afternoon’s singles matches against England went to the 18th but the home side only emerged with 1.5 points as they failed to build on a strong start in morning foursomes.

Although top pair Jack Hume and Gavin Moynihan lost Ireland emerged with a 3-2 lead when rookies Paul McBride and Stuart Grehan secured a two-hole win. Ireland had to rely on their debutants again in the afternoon when Hume was held to a half by Jimmy Mullen and Moynihan lost to Ashley Chesters.

Of the six games that went all the way, Colm Campbell was the only player to gain ground on the last.

Having battled back from two down with five to play, Campbell won 18 to square his match.

There was no such luck for Robin Dawson and Paul McBride. bunkered off the tee, Dawson had to lay up and when he failed to save par, Alfie Plant pinched a point.

McBride came to 18 needing a birdie and while his putt was agonisingly close, par was not enough as Sean Towndrow got up and down from a greenside bunker. Irish hopes then rested with Stuart Grehan.

One up playing the final hole, the South of Ireland champion pulled his drive into the bushes.

His only option was to take a penalty drop and Grehan failed to make bogey in the end as Paul Kinnear collected a routine par.

Knock’s Colin Fairweather, was the standout performer for Ireland on the opening day.

Alongside Dermot McElroy in the foursomes, they were six under for 16 holes, but their efforts ook to be in vain but they showed up well during the event

Fairweather continued in that vein against Tomasz Anderson, securing a 6&4 win as he showed signs of real quality.

Home Internationals At Royal Portrush

Ireland v Wales (Ireland names first)

Foursomes (7.30am at 10-minute intervals)

Gavin Moynihan & Jack Hume v David Boote & Tim Harry; Dermot McElroy & Colin Fairweather v Owen Edwards & Richard James; Robin Dawson & Rowan Lester v Jack Davidson & Tom Williams; Paul McBride & Stuart Grehan v Ben Westgate & Joshua Davies; John-Ross Galbraith & Colm Campbell v Evan Griffith & Zach Galliford Singles (12.30pm at nine-minute intervals)

Jack Hume v David Boote; Gavin Moynihan v Michael Hearne; Dermot McElroy v Owen Edwards;

Colin Fairweather v Ben Westgate; Rowan Lester v Richard James; Alex Gleeson v Jack Davidson;

Stuart Grehan v Tom Williams; Colm Campbell v Tim Harry; Paul McBride v Zach Galliford; John

Ross Galbraith v Joshua Davies

Scotland v England (Scotland names first)


Graeme Robertson & Jack McDonald v Ashley Chesters & Jimmy Mullen; Daniel Young & Greig Marchbank v Ben Taylor & Tomasz Anderson; Matt Clark & Barry Hume v Alfie Plant & Dan Brown; Robert McIntyre & Connor Syme v Paul Kinnear & Sean Towndrow; Craig Ross & Craig Howie v Ashton Turner & Jamie Bower


Jack McDonald v Ashley Chesters; Graeme Robertson v Jimmy Mullen; Daniel Young v Joe Dean;

Barry Hume v Dan Brown; Greig Marchbank v Alfie Plant; Matt Clark v Ben Taylor; Craig Howie v Tomasz Anderson; Ryan Campbell v Sean Towndrow; Robert McIntyre v Ashton Turner; Connor Syme v Paul Kinnear