Friday, August 05, 2016

England take big step towards Women's title 

with clean sweep of foursomes against Wales

                          England's WHI team at Conwy GC, North Wales

England took a huge step towards a third Women's Home Internationals title in a row and a fifth in the past six years when they won all three morning foursomes against Wales, their main rivals, on the final day at Conwy Golf Club, North Wales.
Ireland, needing a big win over Scotland in the hope that they would be involved in a countback should England and Wales draw, lost the foursomes 2-1 to Scotland, the only team who entered the last day without championship aspirations.
Olivia Winning and Curtis Cup player Meghan MacLaren put the first point on the board for England by beating Bethan Morris and Becky Harries 3 and 1.
The English pair won the second and sixth holes and didn't lose a hole until the 12th, by which time they had double their lead with successes at the 10th and 11th.
Morris and Harries also won the 16th after a string of halves but it was too little too late. Two up, MacLaren and Winning clinched victory by winning the 17th.
England went 2-0 up overall when Samantha Giles and Gemma Clews beat Chloe Williams and Megan Lockett by 3 and 1.
Nothing to choose between the teams in this one until the last few holes when Giles and Clews asserted their superiority. They won the 13th, 16th and 17th for victory.
England's successful morning was capped by a one-hole win for Emma Allen and Sophie Lamb over Lauren Hillier and Kath O'Connor.
This was a squeaky tight one with Wales twice leading by one hole after the turn. But Allen and Lamb squared the contest by winning the 14th and went one up by winning the 16th. Halves at the last two holes turned England's lead into a one-hole victory and an overall 3-0 clean sweep of the last day foursomes.
Scotland's 2-1 lunchtime lead over Ireland was set up by wins from Jess Meek and Heather Munro (3 and 2 against Maria Dunne and Sinead Sexton) and Clara Young and Connie Jaffrey (one hole up on Jessica Ross and Paula Grant).
Dunne and Sexton gave as good as they got in the opening holes against Meek and the in-form Munro but then didn't win another hole after the seventh.
Wins by the Scots at the ninth, 12th and 16th settled this one.
There was never more than a hole in either way in the second foursomes which was decided by Young and Jaffrey's capture of the 17th which put them one up. A half at the last was good enough for the Scots to go 2-0 up overall.
Ireland's morning point came from Curtis Cup player Olivia Mehaffey and Louise Coffey who won the last three holes for a two-hole victory over Hannah McCook and Eilidh Briggs.
Mehaffey and Coffey had been two down after five holes but then got into their stride and squared matters by winning the eighth and ninth.