European medals await on final day at Royal County Down

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European medals await on final day at Royal County Down

Annabell Fuller (ENG) in action during flight A matchplay at the European Ladies' Team Championship, Royal County Down Golf Club, Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. 08/07/2021. Picture David Lloyd / Golffile.ie

England will play Sweden in the final of the European Ladies’ Team Championships at Royal County Down.

Sweden look for a fourth straight victory in the event, which would be a record for any nation in all 62 years of European Team Championship history. On paper they have looked like the team to beat this week, with four of their players currently ranked inside the top-ten of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings.

England completed a stellar comeback in their semi-final match having lost both morning foursomes matches to top seeds Scotland. Emily Toy, who won the 2019 Women’s Amateur Championship at Royal County Down, secured a 3&1 win over leading individual qualifier Hannah Darling, before Annabel Fuller, Caley McGinty and Rosie Belsham all closed out their matches in England’s favour.

“It was a really good match, it was close all the way and to finally win on the 19th, I knew we needed that one so it’s a relief,” said Fuller, who beat Scotland’s Hazel Macgarvie on the 19th.

“This team is the closest and most driven England team I’ve been involved with. It’s about the team doing well, if we get off to a strong start tomorrow I think we can get the job done.”

Watching from the side-lines was England Golf’s Performance Manager and Team Captain, Jenny Henderson.

“That was some golf out there from both sides,” said Henderson. “I think we knew what we had to do this afternoon, we wanted to get ahead early, we wanted to bring those points in and they went out fighting. You can never be too sure on these days.

“The momentum from this afternoon will give the girls the self-belief that we can compete with Sweden but tomorrow is a new day and we will treat it as such.”

The Ireland team of Sara Byrne (Douglas), Beth Coulter (Kirkistown Castle), Aine Donegan (Lahinch), Anna Foster (Elm Park), Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) will play Spain on the final day in a battle to finish in 7th position.

A win against the Spaniards would equal Ireland’s best finish at a European Ladies Team Championship in 15 years, with a team not finishing in the top 6 since 2005 when the team included Tara Delaney, Claire Coughlan and Martina Gillen.

The final between England and Sweden tees off at 08:32 tomorrow with Ireland playing Spain at 11.40.

MEANTIME – In the men’s event at PGA Catalunya, Ireland saw off Portugal 3.5 – 1.5 in their Flight B encounter. Robert Moran and Matthew McClean teamed up for an early 2&1 win before Mark Power and Hugh Foley enjoyed comprehensive singles victories and Marc Boucher secured a half. Ireland now face Italy to play for the ninth spot at this year’s European Teams.

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