Defending champions Ireland fell to Spain on day three of the European Senior Men’s Team Championship at Diamond Country Club, Austria.
The Irish team were attempting to reach their fifth final in six years, but wins from the Spanish side in both of the first two matches – Alvara Llanza & Manuel Carvallal 2&1 in the foursomes against Barry Hobson and John Mitchell, and Ignacio Gonzalez 5&4 in the second match against Adrian Morrow – meant just one more point was required for them to advance.
But Ireland dug deep with Maurice Kelly’s crucial half followed by Jim Carvill’s 4&2 beating of Jorge Garcia Comin – suddenly we had a game on.
Yet as hard as Steve Graham tried in the final match, it was Alejandro Lafarga, who clinched the deciding point in Thursday’s match against Italy on the 19th hole, who made an excellent two-putt across the 18th green to send Spain into their first ever European Senior Men’s Team Championship final, where they will face Germany.
The German team wasted no time in putting number-one seeds England away, claiming all of the first three matches to book a spot in their second final in three years. Stefan Sachs & Ekkehart Schieffer won the foursomes match 4&3, Thomas Krieger won 2&1 in match two and Andreas Braatz won 3&2 in match three.
The German side, which includes 2018 European Senior Men’s Champion, Martin Birkholz, will be hoping to go one better than their second place finish in 2016, when they were defeated by Scotland in the final.
Following their losses on day three, Ireland will face England on Saturday in the bronze medal match.
Flight A scores HERE
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