Hague produces perfect record as England claim Home Internationals title

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MALTON & Norton’s David Hague finished the week with an impeccable six out of six record as England claimed the Home Internationals title at Conwy.

Hague and Yorkshire county team-mates Bailey Gill (Lindrick) and Nick Poppleton (Wath) helped England to wins over Wales (11.5-3.5) and Scotland 
(8-7) on the first two days to send them into a final-day decider against the defending champions Ireland.

North of England Open Amateur champion Hague teamed up with Darlington’s Andrew Wilson to win the top match in the foursomes against Ireland – who had been going for five titles in a row – and then won his singles in game four, 2&1 against Caolan Rafferty, with the aid of five birdies as England moved to an 8.5-6.5 triumph to claim the crown.

Brabazon Trophy holder Poppleton and former Bernard Darwin Salver winner Gill were paired together for the third consecutive day in the foursomes, but were unable to add to their win on day one when Gill had finished with two victories against Wales.

Poppleton had one more birdie than his final-day opponent, Ireland’s Peter O’Keeffe, but had an uncharacteristic nap hand of bogeys and lost 3&2.

Gill appeared to be in charge of his match against Ronan Mullarney when he was three up through 13, but lost four of the last five holes for a one-hole loss.

England’s team captain Gareth Jenkins commented: “This is fantastic. We’ve been so close over the last few years that to finally have the chance and to win is great. The team had an amazing fighting spirit and played some outstanding golf this week.

“We’ve all got to thank our coach Graham Walker (of The Oaks) for the way he prepared the team. He really deserves tremendous credit.”