Scottish captain Matthew Clark hails ‘progress’ in Home Internationals

Onwards and upwards. That was the message from playing captain Matthew Clark after Scotland’s spirited performance in the Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch.

Matthew Clark tees off against England in the title decider in the Men's Home Internationals at Lahinch. Picture: Courtesy of GUI
Matthew Clark tees off against England in the title decider in the Men's Home Internationals at Lahinch. Picture: Courtesy of GUI

Bidding to land the title for the first time since 2012, the Scots pushed holders England all the way in the four-cornered event at the County Clare venue.

The teams were tied after the morning foursomes and, at one point, Scotland held the upper hand in the deciding singles session.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In the end, England ran out 9-6 winners, but only after eight of the 10 matches went beyond the 16th hole.

“The English team is outstanding. They are a Goliath,” said Clark. “Their six-man team is strong, their 10-man team is ridiculously strong.

“They’ve got guys ranked 90th in the world not playing here. They are a top, top team and we gave them a run for their money.

“They changed their singles order for the first time this week. That tells me that they had to think about it. We had them on the ropes a little bit in the foursomes.

“Unfortunately, that last game in the foursomes didn’t quite go our way and we gave them a bit of momentum I would imagine going into the singles.

Clark won his head-to-head match, as did Australian-based teenager Connor McKinney, while half points were delivered by James Wilson, Lewis Irvine and Euan McIntosh.

“We’re an inexperienced team that will grow in confidence when they look back on this week in the next couple of days,” added Kilmacolm man Clark, who was playing in the event for the eighth consecutive year.

“They can be exceptionally proud of themselves. As a captain, you cannot ask for more than them giving everything they have. If you get beat, you get beat and you hold your head up high.

“This is progress. This is the first time we’ve had a shot at the Homes for six or seven years. Progress this week was being more competitive with the top two.

“We’ve given a very strong English team, certainly the best English team I’ve seen in my time playing, a real run for their money.”

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages