Ireland go down fighting as England claim Home Internationals crown

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Ireland go down fighting as England claim Home Internationals crown

Julie McCarthy (IRL) in action during Round Three's morning singles matches at the R&A Home Internationals, Woodhall Spa Golf Club, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, England. 06/08/2021. Picture David Lloyd / Golffile.ie

Ireland went down fighting as hosts England prevailed with a 6-3 win on the final day of this year’s Women’s Home Internationals after an enthralling battle at Woodhall Spa Golf Club.

The two sides went into the final day with perfect two from two records and proved inseparable after the morning singles where Forrest Little’s Julie McCarthy got Ireland off to the perfect start with a 5&3 win over Emily Toy.

There were further victories for Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson (2-holes) and Lahinch’s Aine Donegan 4&2, however England would put three points on the board also with the teams level at three points apiece ahead of the afternoon foursomes.

Incredibly, through nine holes of the foursomes action, there was still no separating the sides; Ireland winning one match, down in another and all square in the third. However, the tide would turn in England’s favour as the play stretched into the evening with the hosts wearing down the team in green to score victories in all three matches before completing a 6-3 win and capturing the title.

Ireland may still be looking for their first Home Internationals victory since winning the 2017 contest at Little Aston, however, Team Captain Laura Webb left Woodhall Spa buoyed by her side’s performance.

“I’m proud of my team,” Webb said. “We’ve come really close to beating England on their home patch, with a team that’s ranked much higher than us on average on the World Amateur Golf Ranking. So how could I be disappointed in their performance? I’m disappointed for them, but not disappointed in them.

“For them to split the singles this morning to take the match down to the wire is a credit to Irish women’s golf. This afternoon it came down to England just edging it in all three matches. Things didn’t quite go our way, but my team is a great bunch of girls and they will bounce back from this and get stronger because of the experience.”

Ireland finished a point behind England on the table in second place with Scotland beating Wales 8.5-0.5 on the final day to resign the Welsh to the foot of the board.

Seniors sign off with a win over Wales

Ireland’s Senior side put their first win on the board with a 7.5-4.5 victory over Wales on the final day of this historic edition of the Home Internationals.

With the senior men and women playing in the same teams for the first time in the traditional round-robin, match play format, Ireland came out firing in the morning singles where Castlemartyr’s John O’Brien (7&5) and Douglas’ Karl Bornemann (4&3) recorded resounding wins.

Banbridge’s Jim Carvill (2&1), The Island’s Gertie McMullen (2-holes) and Laytown & Bettystown’s Carol Wickham (6&5) ensured Ireland won the morning session before Carvill and Shandon Park’s Philip Purdy would combine to great effect in the afternoon foursomes (4&3) to keep the ball rolling while McMullen and Corcoran (2&1) put the result beyond any doubt.

England overcame Scotland on the final day to keep their perfect record intact and lift the title.

Boys & Girls end campaign on a high

Ireland’s Girls and Boys put their first point of the tournament on the board with a 17-4 victory over Wales.

After a male player competing as part of the mixed Wales girls’ and boys’ team tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, all boys in the Wales team were withdrawn from the event with the points awarded to Ireland as a walkover.

However, there was still work to do for the girls in green with Tramore’s Anna Dawson (2&1), Roscommon’s Olivia Costello (5&4), Knock’s Katie Poots (3&2) and Clandeboye’s Rebekah Gardner (3&2) all scoring impressive wins in the singles before Dawson paired with Ballykisteen’s Cailtin Shippam for a 3&2 afternoon foursomes win.

England’s juniors won three points out of three to top the points table, completing a clean sweep for the home side.

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