A STUNNING comeback denied Scotland the chance to lift the Raymond Trophy for the first time in nine years.

The Men’s Home Internationals came down to the last day at Hankley Common on Friday.

Scotland, featuring Connor Wilson (Castle Park) and Angus Carrick (Craigielaw), had bounced back from an 8.5-6.5 defeat to Ireland on the opening day.

Victories over England (10-5) and Wales (11-4) meant the Scots needed England to beat Ireland to ensure the trophy came north of the Border for the first time since 2012.

Instead, Ireland came from behind to draw 7.5-7.5 against the defending champions to take the title.

“From the first day onwards, our team has played great but the Irish have just done something that was unthinkable at lunchtime,” said a disappointed Matt Clark, who captained the Scotland side.

“They were 4-1 down but battled back to beat the English 7-2 in the singles, which is pretty impressive when the chips are down.

“England were hurting after our win against them but came out fighting this morning, so for the Irish to turn it round shows great character.

“They are a lovely bunch of boys and deserve all the credit they will get. The consolation is that we’ve performed well as a team.

“The guys can be very proud of themselves. We said when we came off against Wales we’d done our job.

“We were then relying on England beating Ireland but Ireland are incredibly strong. We knew there was every chance that was not going to happen.”

Scotland’s opening-day loss to Ireland ultimately cost them their chance at glory.

Carrick and Wilson teamed up against Robert Moran and Alex Maguire but quickly found themselves on the back foot as they lost 8&6. Carrick was then edged out by one hole against Maguire later that day, with Wilson going down 5&4 to Liam Nolan.

However, the Scots were much improved last Thursday against England.

Clark and Carrick were 2&1 winners over Jack Bingham and Josh Hill, before Wilson won 3&1 against Haider Hussain. Carrick lost 2&1 to John Gough but the Scots took a comfortable win over the 38-times champions.

On the final day, Scotland took a big win against Wales but finished just short of the Irish total.

Wilson teamed up with Darren Howie to defeat Ben Chamberlain and Jacob Davies by one hole, as Carrick and Clark shared their contest with Matt Roberts and Tim Harry.

Wilson lost 4&2 to Roberts before Carrick claimed a one-hole win over Craig Melding.

The tie between England and Ireland gave Ireland a half-point winning margin over the Scots, which was good enough for the trophy.

Defending champions England came third after winning just one of their three matches, while Wales collected the wooden spoon after not managing a single point.

Clark felt the Scotland team were heading in the right direction and said: “I still see this as an improvement on the last three years.

“We’ve got even closer this time, so maybe next year it will be our turn.”