England come up half-a-point short in Spain

Nicholas Marsh

Just half a point. That was all that separated England from a long-awaited victory in the annual Costa Ballena Quadrangular Tournament in Spain.

Having put themselves in pole position with wins over Spain and Germany on the first two days, the six-strong England squad needed only a tie with Finland on day three to secure their first victory in the event since 2006.

But after losing all three morning foursomes, England faced a tough task in the singles to repair the damage. As it turned out, they hit back to take four of the six games but it left them on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline.

That meant England, Spain and Finland finished with two wins apiece so the number of game points were calculated and this left the Spanish successfully defending the title with 18 to England’s 17½ and Finland 14½.

Spain’s 8-1 win over wooden spoonists Germany on the final day tipped the balance in their favour.

The most successful England player was Jack Bartlett from Sussex, who lost just one of his six games, finishing with 4½ points, while England boy champion Patrick Kelly ended with four.

Scores: Germany 2 Finland 7; England 5½ Spain 3½; Germany 1 England 8; Finland 2½ Spain 6½; England 4 Finland 5; Germany 1 Spain 8.