Ireland in third ahead of European Nations Championship finale

Mark Power / Getty Images
Mark Power / Getty Images

Team Ireland maintained their position in third place but now trail leaders England by eleven shots at the European Nations Championship in Sotogrande.

Kilkenny’s Mark Power, Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell and Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty were joined on Wednesday morning in Spain by Naas’ Rob Brazill who was a last minute addition to the team when Mallow’s James Sugrue was forced out due to injury.

And unfortunately for Brazill, his moving day 80 proved the worst score out of the Irish quartet for the third successive day.

Collectively, Power, Purcell and Rafferty combined for a seven-over par second round score of 223 that puts them in a share of third place alongside Spain in the team rankings on 23-over par.

In the individual competition, Dundalk’s Caolan Rafferty finds himself six shots back and Ireland’s leading hope after returning a two-over par 74 on day three. Last week’s West of Ireland champion is in a share of 6th spot on plus-seven after coming home in 39 strokes yesterday but remains in the hunt with England’s Tom Sloman out in front by two at one-over par.

Australian Amateur Champion Purcell dropped back to a share of 11th spot on eight-over par after a 75, the same total as Kilkenny’s Power who returned a 74 on moving day.

This week, Ireland are hoping to lift the team title that they last won in 2016. John White accompanies the team which is supported by Sport Ireland and Sport NI as part of the GUI’s High Performance Programme.