Ireland’s Senior Men & Women book European semi-final spot

Ronan MacNamara

Laura Webb (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts/R&A via Getty Images)

Ireland booked a semi-final spot in the Senior Men’s European Championship in dramatic circumstances after a 3-2 win over France on Thursday morning. 

A 20th hole win from John O’Brien secured the winning point as Ireland held off a French fightback in Estonia. 

The Castlemartyr golfer beat Thomas Kokkinis in the second of four singles matches to see the Boys in Green through to the last four of Flight A where they will face Sweden.

Ireland had qualified in second place following 36 holes of strokeplay qualifying and they got off to the ideal start as Jody Fanagan and Eamonn Haugh secured a 3&2 win over Oliver Dupas and Francois Illouz heading into the singles. 

Galway’s Joe Lyons, who was Ireland’s leading qualifier, edged past Albert Galloy on the 18th hole in the top singles match to put Ireland two points up. 

France rallied winning the third and fourth singles matches as Christopher O’Connor and David Mulholland went down on the 18th hole meaning the tie was level at two points apiece. 

There was further drama though with everything coming down to the O’Brien and Kokkinis match but it was the former who was the last man standing after the match went into extra time. 

A strong performance from the Senior Women continued what has been a hugely successful week for Ireland thus far as they advanced to the Flight A semi-final in Slovenia.

A dominant singles performance saw the Girls in Green beat the old enemy England 3-2 where they will face the winners of Germany and France.

Ireland drew first blood in their Flight A quarter-final tie after Laura Webb beat Kerry Smith 3&2. 

The score was levelled moments later after Carol Wickham and Maria O’Reilly were beaten on the 18th in the foursomes match by Felicity Christine and Aileen Greenfield.

Ireland were strong in the singles and won the next two matches to go 3-1 in front and book their spot in the last four. Tracey Eakin and Lisa Cullen both won 2&1 while Alison Taylor’s match became irrelevant despite being 4 down at the turn.

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