There was no joy for Tom McKibbin, Aaron Marshall, Joshua Hill & Luke O’Neill as the Continent of Europe claimed the Jacques Léglise Trophy after defeating Great Britain and Ireland 15½ – 9½ at Aldeburgh Golf Club in England.
Leading their opponents 6½-5½ at the start of play on the second day, the Continent of Europe consolidated their lead by winning three of the four morning foursomes matches providing them with a three-point advantage at 9½-6½ going into this afternoon’s singles matches.
Joachim Fourquet’s side then picked up six of the nine available points in the afternoon singles to seal their first win in the boys’ international match since 2017 when they triumphed 15½-9½ at Ballybunion in Ireland.
The visitors strengthened their grip on the contest in the morning foursomes. While Ben Schmidt and Archie Davies combined well to defeat the French pair of Charles Larcelet and Tom Vaillant, it was the only point to go towards the GB&I team tally in the early session.
Adam Wallin and Loic Ettlin were too strong for the fancied GB&I pairing of Barclay Brown and Joe Pagdin. The European duo recorded a convincing 4&2 victory.
Bård Bjørnevik Skogen and Matteo Cristoni were always in control of their match over Connor McKinney and Aaron Marshall winning the point two-up.
While Holywood’s McKibbin and Galgorm Catle’s Josh Hill held the early advantage in their match against Daniel da Costa Rodrigues and David Puig, the European pair fought back from being two-down after three holes and squared the match at the 6th hole.
At the 14th the GB&I pairing again gained an advantage that was quickly lost at the next. With da Costa Rodrigues and Puig winning the final two holes of the match they went on to seal the Continent of Europe’s third point of the morning.
With Europe needing just three and a half points from the nine singles matches in the afternoon, Charles Larcelet was the first to strike. He landed a big blow to the GB&I team, fighting back from three-down after five holes to defeat Ben Schmidt, the highest ranked player in the field, 2&1.
Adam Wallin staved off a late charge from Connor McKinney, defeating the Scott 2&1 to provide the Continent of Europe with its second point in the singles matches.
Bård Bjørnevik Skogen made short work of Archie Davies, needing just 16 holes to win his match 4&2.
Now needing just half a point to win the 2019 Jacques Léglise Trophy it was Loic Ettlin who secured the victory for the Continent of Europe when he disposed of Luke O’Neill 4&3.
David Puig and Daniel da Costa Rodrigues also secured points for the Continent when they won their matches against Lisburn’s Marshall and McKibbin.
Playing in the first singles match out in the afternoon, Joe Pagdin did his best to mount a comeback for GB&I. In control from the start, Pagdin defeated Alvaro Mueller-Baumgart 3&1.
However, with the Continent of Europe claiming the next three matches, the GB&I had left their charge too late.
Barclay Brown, the playing captain for GB&I, won his match against Matteo Cristoni putting on an impressive display to fight back from three-down at the 8th hole to win two-up on the 17th.
Josh Hill claimed GB&I’s final point at the 2019 Jacques Leglise Trophy when he recorded a one-up victory over Tom Vaillant.
The victory marks the 13th time that the Continent of Europe has won the Jacques Léglise Trophy since the boys’ international match between the two teams was rejuvenated in 1977. The GB&I has won the Jacques Léglise Trophy on 29 occasions, with one match tied at Royal Dornoch in 2015.
“There were a lot of positives, I think the guys changed their approach a little bit to put the challenge up to the European guys this afternoon but unfortunately they were just too strong for us”, said, Stuart Wilson, Chairman of The R&A Boys Selectors, Great Britain and Ireland.
“They kept the ball in play a little more than us and holed a few more putts and in the end that makes all the difference.
“We knew they were going to be good, they definitely brought a strong team but we were hopeful with the guys that we had assembled and confident coming into the match that we could repeat a result from Finland last year but it just wasn’t to be I am afraid.
“It will be nice to be up in Scotland at Blairgowrie, it’s a cracking course up there, the players will enjoy it and they have another a year to get ready for it.”
The 2020 Jacques Léglise Trophy will be played at Blairgowrie in Scotland from 28-29 August.