England will meet leading qualifiers Italy in tomorrow’s (Friday) semi-finals of the European Boys Team Championship in Sweden after easing past Ireland in the quarter finals.
The clash with the Irish was always close but England secured a place in the last four with a 4-3 victory at Lindingo, Toby Tree producing the vital win.
The two morning foursomes were shared, Tree and Ashton Turner securing a fine 3&1 win over Gavin Moynihan and John-Ross Galbraith.
But Max Orrin and Matthew Fitzpatrick saw a one-hole lead slip at the last when they made five from the fairway. They then lost the 19th to a birdie, the Irish holing from eight feet while Orrin missed from slightly nearer.
In the singles, Orrin was up against it from the start against Moynihan and was 3-down through 12. He hit back with a birdie-four at 13 and a winning par at the next. But he lost the 16th to a par and Moynihan closed out the game 2&1 with a par-three on 17.
Fitzpatrick got off to a flier against William Russell and was generally in command to run out a 5&3 winner, but Turner was always trailing to Alex Gleeson and went down 4&3.
That left the Irish with a 3-2 lead but Patrick Kelly raced 5-up through 12 holes against Galbraith and although he was pegged back, he held on to win 2&1 to put the scores level again.
In the final game, Tree and Robin Dawson were neck-and-neck for most of their game but Tree edged ahead on the back nine. The 16th was halved in sixes after both players found the lateral hazard but Tree hit a fine tee shot on 17 to 15 feet and two-putted for par while Dawson missed the green left and failed to get up-and-down.
Italy, who were clear qualifiers, lost both the foursomes against Scotland but hit back to drop just half a point from the five singles to take the match 4½ – 2½.
In the other quarter finals, Sweden beat France 5-2 and Germany overcame Norway 4-3.
(Image of Toby Tree © Tom Ward)