After a troubled week which started with the opening days play washed out by heavy rain, England qualified for the top flight by finishing in eighth position after the one-round stroke play.
They then beat Italy, joint leaders from the stroke play, 4-3 in a dramatic match. England won both foursomes but the Italians fought back and the contest was tied 3-3 with one match on the course.
However, Eddie Pepperell, who had been 2-down after 14 holes, took the match into extra holes before winning with a birdie at the 20th to see England through.
That put them against Norway, winners of the World Boys Team Championships in Japan last month, who proved too strong.
England were unable to overcome the loss of both morning foursomes and despite a spirited fight back eventually lost 4½ – 2½.
That put them into the bronze medal playoff against the Portuguese and again they won both foursomes. There was an early singles victory for Tommy Fleetwood and it was left to Darren Renwick to hole a four-foot birdie putt on the 17th to see England home.
Sweden won the title when they beat Norway 4½ – 2½ in the final.