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Ireland stay on track at Home Internationals

​Ireland beat Wales 9.5-5.5 to set up a final day showdown with England for the Raymond Trophy at the Home Internationals

  • 13 September 2018

Picture: Ireland's Robin Dawson at the Home Internationals | Golffile

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Ireland remain on track for five-in-a-row at the Home Internationals following a 9.5-5.5 win against hosts Wales on day two.

The title-holders now face England on the final day with a chance to complete the Triple Crown as well as securing the Raymond Trophy for a fifth year in a row. Continuing on from where they left off against Scotland on the opening day, Ireland took control of their second encounter against Wales by amassing a 3.5-1.5 lead in the foursomes.

There was an early setback for the reigning champions in the singles when Robin Dawson was beaten 4&3 in the top match but Conor Purcell (4&3), Mark Power (3&1) and Caolan Rafferty (4&3) put Ireland on the verge of victory before James Sugrue (2&1) and Peter O'Keeffe (4&3) pushed the boys in green over the line with vital wins in the middle order.

While there were defeats for Alex Gleeson (5&4), Jonathan Yates (1 hole) and Ronan Mullarney (1 hole), anchor-man Tiarnan McLarnon maintained his perfect record with a 2&1 success over Gaelen Trew in the back match. McLarnon and Conor Purcell have been Ireland's most valuable players so far with four points apiece.

It was another impressive performance from Ireland although there were some nervous moments during the morning session. Top pair Robin Dawson and Peter O'Keeffe scraped a one-hole win but Caolan Rafferty and Alex Gleeson were beaten by the same margin.

Mark Power and Conor Purcell combined again for victory, securing a 2&1 success in match two, while Tiarnan McLarnon and Ronan Mullarney continued their winning formula with a 4&2 win.

Two points clear after the foursomes, Ireland needed four and a half points from the singles to seal victory. In the end, Ireland edged Wales 6-4 in the afternoon to set up a final-day showdown with England for the second year running.