Wellingborough golfer Ryan Evans helped England to a narrow 8-7 success over Ireland on the opening day of the Home Internationals.
England, looking to regain the title they lost to Scotland a year ago, were taken all the way but a 6&5 win for Evans over Paul Dunne was decisive in the team’s 8-7 verdict.
They built a two-point lead in the morning foursomes. But Ireland took the singles, underlining how close a match it was.
The foursomes finished 3½ – 1½ in England’s favour and they were given a great start in the afternoon by new cap Evans. His opponent was not firing on all cylinders but Evans was quick to punish any slips and he was 4-up after seven holes which he covered in two under.
Evans also won the eighth, ninth and tenth to go 7-up and although he lost the 12th to a par, the Wellingborough man sealed victory on the 13th.
Jimmy Mullen, another new cap, will remember his debut, beating Gary Hurley 4&2.
However, at one stage during the afternoon England supporters were wondering where the other wins were going to come from.
But Toby Tree came from 2-down to beat Cormac Sharvin by 1-hole and it needed a 5&3 triumph from Harry Casey over Chris Selfridge to see England over the line.
Scotland began the defence of the Raymond Trophy with a 9½ – 5½ win over Wales after dropping only half a point from the morning foursomes.