England girls’ medal hopes dashed

Amber Ratcliffe

England’s hopes of a bronze medal in the European girls’ team championship were dashed by Spain in the third-place play-off in Linköpings, Sweden.

Both teams scored a point apiece in the morning foursomes, with Amber Ratcliffe and Alice Hewson winning on the 19th. But Spain dominated the singles, winning the first four matches before the fifth was halved. The result left England in fourth place.

The championship was won by Sweden, who beat France 4½-2½ in the final.

England results

Foursomes
Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) & Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) beat Marta Perez Sanmartin  & Ainhoa Olarra at 19th
Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) & Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) lost to Alejandra Pasarin & Harang Lee 4/2

Singles
Olivia Winning (Rotherham) lost to Olarra 1 down
Ratcliffe lost to Nuria Iturrios 4/2
Lamb lost to Clara Baena 1 down
Sophie Madden (West Essex) lost to Pasarin 5/3
Cowley halved with Lee

12th July 2013

Last-gasp birdie denies England final place

A 19th-hole birdie denied England a place in the final of the European girls’ team championship at Linköpings, Sweden.

It meant a 4-3 scoreline in favour of France, who now take their place in tomorrow’s final against Sweden. England will meet Spain in the play-off for the bronze medal.

“Obviously we are disappointed, but we can win bronze and we’ll be doing our best,” said England coach Scott Godfrey.

The day started very well for England who won both morning foursomes but, although Gabriella Cowley won her singles, the afternoon matches went France’s way.

They levelled the scoreline after they took three points and then clinched the win when Alice Hewson was beaten by a birdie on the 19th.

“Alice didn’t do anything wrong. She stiffed her approach on the 17th for a birdie, but the other girl holed a 25-footer for a birdie to keep the match all square. Then the French girl had another birdie on 19 to win,” said Scott.

Results

Foursomes
Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) & Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) beat Emma Broze and Mathilda Cappeliz 2 up
Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) & Sophie Madden (West Essex) beat Eva Gilly & Elodie Bridenne 2/1

Singles
Ratcliffe lost to Anyssia Herbaut 2 down
Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) lost to Cappeliez at 19th
Madden lost to Gilly 5/3
Olivia Winning (Rotherham) lost to Broze 4/3
Cowley beat Shannon Aubert 2/1

11th July, 2013

Girls’ fightback wins European semi-final place

England’s girls staged a great singles fightback to beat Italy and win through to the semi-finals of the European girls’ team championship at Linköpings, Sweden.

They bounced back from defeat in both foursomes to win four out of the five singles. Now they will play France tomorrow, while the other semi-final is contested by Spain and Sweden.

England coach Scott Godfrey commented: “We’ve had a fantastic day and the girls are over the moon. Italy really wanted to win this championship and they had a very strong team.”

He added: “We were a bit disappointed by the foursomes but we knew we were playing well and we felt we could go out and give it a good go – and we did!”

He added: “We’re really looking forward to getting back out there. The girls are on a bit of a high at the moment and we’re enjoying it, but tomorrow we’ll draw a line under it and get stuck in to another good game.”

Amber Ratcliffe led the way in the singles and was quickly up in her match and stayed in control throughout. Sophie Madden held her nerve to win on the 18th, despite a determined challenge from her opponent over the closing holes.

Sophie Lamb faced possibly the toughest player on the Italian team. She played well but was unable to recover fully from a slow start and bowed out 2/1.

Olivia Winning was neck and neck with her opponent over the outward half but enjoyed a good run on the back nine as she played her way to a win on the 17th. Gabriella Cowley was in another tight game and was one down after 10, but with the help of some impressive birdies closed out her opponent 2/1.

Results

Foursomes
Amber Ratcliffe & Sophie Madden lost to Roberta Liti & Camilla Mortigliengo 2 down
Gabriella Cowley & Sophie Lamb lost to Virginia Carta & Martina Flori 2 down

Singles
Ratcliffe beat Mortigliengo 2/1
Madden beat Carta 1 up
Lamb lost to Liti 3/1
Olivia Winning (Rotherham) beat Flori 2/1
Cowley beat Camilla Mazzola 2/1

10th July 2013

Strong start pays off for England’s girls

A strong start by England in the European girls’ team championship at Linköpings, Sweden, saw them safely through to play for the medals after today’s second qualifying round was abandoned.

After a first day’s play in warm sunshine, the weather changed abruptly. The second round was first interrupted by a suspension for thunder and lightning, and then abandoned when the greens flooded.

The qualifying was decided on yesterday’s first round scores, when England finished in third place, so securing their place in the championship flight of the top eight teams. They will play Italy in tomorrow’s first matchplay round.

England coach Scott Godfrey said: “We had three players on the course when play was abandoned and they were all absolutely drenched. But they’re drying out now and preparing for tomorrow.

“It will be a good match because Italy have a very strong team. The girls are looking forward to it – and the forecast is better.”

England’s scoring yesterday was led by Amber Ratcliffe (image © Leaderboard Photography) who shot two-under par 70 and was beaten by only one other player on the opening day of the championship.

Spain’s Alejandra Pasarin shot three-under and helped her team into first place with a total score of two over par. France were second on three-over par while England were eight-over and held a four-shot advantage over fourth-placed Sweden. The best five scores from six counted for the team score.

Amber compiled her score with the help of a run of three consecutive birdies from the fourth, and another pair on the 13th and 14th. “She played great,” said England coach Scott Godfrey. “She was fantastic from tee to green.”

Sophie Madden from West Essex played level par with a strong finish. Scott commented: “The last few holes aren’t easy but Sophie was two-under for the last five to finish off a nice round.”

Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall) and Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) both had rounds of two-over par while Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) was six-over and Olivia Winning (Rotherham) was plus seven. “Alice and Olivia didn’t do much wrong, but this course is very punishing if you miss on the wrong side because the greens are severely sloping – and they just came unstuck a couple of times,” said Scott.

Championship flight qualifiers
+2 Spain
+3 France
+8 England
+12 Sweden
+15 Finland, Italy
+20 Norway, Scotland