Scottish upset at Ballybunion

In a thrilling finale, Scotland beat Ireland 6-3 to win the Ladies Home Internationals for the first time since 2010 while England beat Wales in a final day decider to retain the Girls Home Internationals title.​

  • 10 August 2018

​Caption: Jessica Ross (Clandeboye) (Credit: Fran Caffrey | Golffile) Text from randa.org

In a thrilling finale, Scotland beat Ireland 6-3 to win the Ladies Home Internationals for the first time since 2010 while England beat Wales in a final day decider to retain the Girls Home Internationals title.

In the Ladies Home Internationals, it all came down the final match between Scottish Amateur Champion Gemma Batty and Curtis Cup team member Paula Grant. Batty, who had lost her singles matches against both Wales and England, needed only a halve to secure victory on a count back of total points.  

Despite being 1up with three holes to play, the pressure was piled on Batty when Grant birdied the long 16th to make the match all square. But the Scot held on with pars at the final two holes, bravely holing from three feet at the last for the vital halve.   

Scotland had set the tone by winning the morning foursomes 2½ -½ and Hannah McCook continued her great form with a 6&5 win in the top singles. She had a great week, taking five out of six points.

Chloe Goadby and Connie Jaffrey were the other Scottish singles winners, while Mairead Martin and Annabel Wilson claimed points for the home favourites. So it all then came down to the final game.
Susan Wood, non-playing Captain, Scotland, said:

“Gemma is Scottish Champion and I wanted to put her at number six. It had been tough to leave her out of the foursomes, but I knew she could do it. I am absolutely thrilled for the team. Ireland were strong favourites on paper, but I had a great team with a lot of experience.”

Danielle McVeigh, non-playing Captain, Ireland, said:

“Scotland were the better players on the day and congratulations to them. It is disappointing, but we were up against it all day and now we look forward to good things going forward.”

In the other match, England, 5-4 winners over Scotland on day two, beat Wales 6½-2½ and clinched second place.

In the Girls Home Internationals, Royal Cromer’s Amelia Williamson, who had to pull out due to gastroenteritis on the eve of the event last year, was the standout player, winning six points out of six matches to help England retain the trophy.

England won the foursomes 2-1 in the final day decider against a dogged Welsh team and it proved decisive as the singles were shared 3-3.

The two key matches were at number two and three in the afternoon. Martha Lewis clinched the match on the 18th for a one hole win over Carys Worby and then Hannah Screen beat Darcey Harry by two holes. Williamson provided the third singles point with a 5&3 win over Ffion Vineall.

Ffion Tynan, who had a 100% record from five matches, won the top game for Wales 3&1 against the previously unbeaten Caitlin Whitehead, while Lea-Anne Bramwell and Eleanor Willis, who won the final match against Euphemie Rhodes at the 18th, added the other points.

In the other match, Ireland beat Scotland 5½-3½ to finish in third place, just losing out on Wales on games won for the runner-up spot.

The 2019 Ladies and Girls Home Internationals will be held at Downfield from 7-9 August.

Day 2 Round Up

Ireland followed a first day win over England with a 7½-1½ victory over Wales to stay on course for a successful defence of the Ladies Home International title at Ballybunion.

Backed by the home crowd, Ireland face a final day tie against Scotland, who suffered a narrow 5-4 second day loss to England. A draw will be enough for the hosts.   

In the Girls Home Internationals, defending champions England beat Scotland 7-2 and face Wales, 5½-3½ winners over Ireland, in the round three title decider. 

Ireland on course
Ireland’s hopes of back-to-back wins in the Ladies matches were boosted by the convincing second day victory. The hosts won the foursomes 3-0 and always controlled the singles. 

The biggest win if the day came from Lauren Walsh with an 8&6 triumph but Wales did get a full point from Megan Lockett.

Irish Captain Danielle McVeigh was delighted with the day’s play but is taking nothing for granted. “We’ve had two nice wins but tomorrow we press the reset button and get ready to go again. Scotland has a good team and we certainly won’t be complacent.”

Close contest

England produced a gritty effort to edge out Scotland by the single point. In the final game, Lianna Bailey won the 16th and 17th holes to defeat Eilidh Briggs by 2&1. Nicola Slater had also won on those same holes in beating Gemma Batty by the same margin.

England claimed the foursomes convincingly 2½-1½ but Captain Elaine Ratcliffe was relieved to steer her side over the winning line.

“We just clung on,” she admitted.  “This is a great golf course and if you can get to the last three holes and still have a chance then anything can happen and we proved it today. But Scotland played really well and should make it tough for Ireland.”

Wales in form

In the Girls matches, Wales produced a storming singles performance to claim a vital win over the hosts and set up a final day decider against England.

Trailing 1-2 after the foursomes, Wales claimed four of the afternoon points through Carys Worby, Ffion Tynan, Lea-Anne Bramwell and Eleanor Willis and another half point came from Darcey Harry against Beth Coulter.

“The girls went out in the afternoon and performed so well,” said a buoyant Welsh Captain, Sue Joseph. “The way they played and their course management was excellent and I’m very proud of them all.

“To win four of the six singles was amazing but they have worked so hard and prepared very well for this week. Now it is all to play for tomorrow. The last time Wales won the Girls title was way back in 1999.”​