Captain Matt Clark 'proud' of Scots in Home Internationals

Scottish playing captain Matt Clark left Hankley Common disappointed to come up agonisingly short of lifting the trophy in the R&A Men’s Home Internationals but took solace that the game north of the Border is on the up.

Ireland pose with the trophy after winning the R&A Men's Home Internationals at Hankley Common in Surrey. Picture: Luke Walker/R&A/R&A via Getty Images.

Ireland won the four-cornered event for the first time since 2017 after John Carroll’s side pipped the Scots to the title by half a point in a dramatic conclusion to the round-robin tournament at Hankley Common.

In the 92nd playing of the event, players, officials and spectators were kept in suspense until the final putt on the final green to see whether Ireland or Scotland would take home the Raymond Trophy.

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In the end, it came down to a halved contest between Ireland and defending champions England.

A 7½-7½ draw after the Irish staged a tremendous comeback from a 4-1 loss in the morning foursomes to win the singles 6½-3½ over a strong English team gave Carroll’s charges the trophy for the first time in four years.

Scotland’s wait for a first title success since 2012 goes on, but Clark said: “From day one onwards my team has played great, the Irish have just done what was pretty much unthinkable at lunchtime.

“They were 4-1 down and to turn England over 6½-3½ in the singles was tremendous because England were hurting after we beat them and they came out fighting.

“So, for Ireland to turn the tables shows great character. They are a great set of boys, with good management. You have to say fair play and tip your hat to them.

“Our consolation is that we have performed well this week. After beating Wales today, I told the boys we had done our job.

“We are moving in the right direction and have plans to carry on, and as long as I’m involved we’ll keep doing the same things we’re doing and do the right thing.

“Most importantly, these guys have done themselves, their families and Scottish golf really proud this week.”

Kilmacolm man Clark was playing in his ninth consecutive match and is still looking for his first win since his debut in 2012.

He intends to return next year as captain to try to get his hands on the trophy again.

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