Peebles golfer Darren Howie was an impressive debutant in the Men’s Home Internationals as he helped Scotland come within a whisker of lifting the Raymond Trophy at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland.
The 20-year-old followed in the footsteps of older brother Craig and club-mate Stephen Roger to become the third Peebles golfer in successive years to pull on the Scotland colours in the prestigious event, posting an excellent return of 3.5 points out of a possible five over the three days.
Scotland went into the opening game against the hosts as underdogs, but Howie contributed a vital halved match against Sean Flanagan in the afternoon singles as his side edged to a superb 8.5 – 6.5 victory on the opening day. The Peebles man then partnered Eric McIntosh to a narrow one-hole win in the morning foursomes against their Welsh opponents on day two before maintaining his unbeaten record with a fine 3 & 1 win in the singles as Scotland eased to a 9.5 – 5.5 triumph.
The win left Scotland level on two wins with defending champions England as the ‘Auld Enemy’ faced up in a winner takes clash on the final day. Howie and McIntosh once again combined to perfection in the foursomes, cruising to a 5&4 win over Harry Hall and Ben Schmidt, leaving the sides tied at the halfway stage.
The matches ebbed and flowed in the afternoon with six out of ten matches going down to the wire on the final hole, only for England to pull through to record a 9 – 6 victory. Howie fought back from being three holes down, but just failed to draw level, losing to Matty Hall on the final green.