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16th September 2011

Ireland secured their fourth successive Senior Home Internationals title in the sunshine on the final day at Woodhall Spa when they beat England 7-2, while Scotland consigned Wales to the wooden spoon with a 7½-1½ beating.

The victory not only maintained Ireland's (picture © Tom Ward) place as the strongest senior side but saw them gain revenge for their defeat by England in last year's European Seniors Team Championship final at Fairhaven .

It was a jubilant Irish captain Barry Doyle who accepted the trophy once again and said: "It was a fantastic performance. As usual we did a lot of sweating out there this afternoon but I feel the foundation was laid in the foursomes this morning.

"To take two-and-a-half points was superb but after nine holes this afternoon England came back well. But we responded and ran out convincing winners."

Conversely it was a disappointed England captain Richard Palmer who said: "It wasn't the result we wanted. It was a disappointing finish to the week but we let ourselves down in the foursomes. To take only half a point left us a lot to do against a team as strong as Ireland.  But they played well and we congratulate them on another fine victory."

As far as England were concerned, the damage was done in the morning when just half a point was secured from the three foursomes games.  It left them with an uphill task which they came close to surmounting but in the end it proved too much of a deficit to overcome.

On a perfect day for golf with sunshine and little breeze, England looked to have a faint chance midway through the afternoon when they were down in only one game. But Ireland swiftly slammed the door and that chance was gone.

Only Roy Smethurst, at the tender age of 69, came up trumps with the only victory while Alan Squires gained a half but was disappointed to lose a 4-up lead with six to play.

Still with the previous day's defeat by England in their minds, Scotland made sure Wales finished fourth by romping to an emphatic victory over the Red Dragon men.

Taking the foursomes 2-1, the Scots then turned up the heat by taking the top three singles through Robert Stewart and Ian Brotherston in the country while John Fraser went to the final green before completing a 2-hole victory.  That meant the Scots couldn't lose but Fraser McCluskey added to the Welsh woes as did David Gardner while Nigel Evans prevented a Scottish clean sweep of the singles with a half against Gordon MacDonald.

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