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Cheshire legend captains England to victory

CREWE’S Roy Smethurst has captained England to victory in the Senior Men’s Home Internationals for the seventh time, sweeping to victory with an unbeaten performance against Wales.

The team conceded just half a point in the title decider at Machynys Peninsula, defeating the hosts 8.5-0.5.

“We are absolutely delighted with the result, but it didn’t look that straightforward during the afternoon,” said Roy.

“We needed to win two singles to win the match and after nine holes we were up in a couple and everything else was quite close. But it all came our way on the back nine, we gained the advantage around holes 10 to 12.”

He added: “Everyone has played really well and my biggest problem was deciding who to leave out each morning and afternoon.”

His team included Royal Lytham & St Annes’ Ian Crowther and Northenden’s David Nelson.

England have now won this championship seven times and four of those victories have been in Wales. “We’ve never lost in Wales,” said Roy, whose team follows those which won at Aberdovey in 2004; Tenby in 2008; and Southerndown in 2012.

England’s other victories were in the inaugural match in 2002 at Nairn Dunbar in Scotland; at Caldy, England, in 2007; and Royal County Down, Ireland, in 2013.

England opened the 2016 championship with a 7-2 win over European champions Scotland. “Since I’ve been captain this is the fourth time we have met Scotland and we have lost the last three times. The guys were absolutely brilliant this time and played really well,” said Roy.

The team followed up with a 6-3 win over the defending champions, Ireland. “We were very pleased to win that, but Wales had also won twice and that meant we couldn’t let up,” he added.

In the final day’s other match Scotland beat Ireland 5.5-3.5 to take third place.

Pictured is Roy Smethurst. Photo courtesy of Leaderboard Photography.