England’s ladies were narrowly beaten 3-4 by France in the semi-finals of the European team championships at Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Honours were even after the morning foursomes but France just edged ahead in the singles, winning three of the five matches.
Team captain Elaine Ratcliffe acknowledged the disappointment when she said: “It has been hard to bear.
“In the singles Bronte (Law) was the star of the show, shooting five-under for 15 holes and having three birdies to close her game out – against an opponent who was also playing great golf.
“Charlotte (Thomas) battled hard and won on the 18th with a cracking birdie.”
She added, looking forward to England’s challenge tomorrow to win the bronze medal: “Here’s to a good day of golf tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, England’s girls bounced back from losing their quarter-final to beat the Netherlands 4½-1½ in Skalica, Slovakia.
The team held their nerve well over the closing holes and won the praise of their coach Scott Godfrey.
“The team performed well coming down the stretch in a closely fought match,” he said. “They stuck to their game plans and executed solid shots. The girls are starting to understand that it’s small margins which win at this level.”
England ladies v France
Bronte Law (Bramhall) and Gabriella Cowley (Hanbury Manor) lost to Celine Boutier and Shannon Aubert 4/2
Hayley Davis (Ferndown) and Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) beat Emma Broze and Anaelle Carnet 3/2
Cowley lost to Broze 6/5
Law beat Shannon 4/3
MacLaren lost to Justine Dreher 1 down
Charlotte Thomas (Singapore) beat Alexandra Bonetti 1 up
Hayley Davis lost to Celine Boutier 2/1
England girls v the Netherlands
Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) beat Romy Meekers 2up
Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) lost to Marit Harryvan 2/1
Inci Mehmet (Wentworth) beat Zhen Bontan 2up
Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) halved with Britt Steeghs
India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) beat Roos Harman 2up
Sophie Keech (Parkstone) beat Floor Sinke 2up
10 July 2014
Hayley’s 19th hole win takes England through
England squeezed through to the semi-finals of the European ladies’ team championship in Ljubljana, Slovenia – beating Italy 4-3, thanks to the strong nerve of Hayley Davis.
The 21-year-old went to the 19th to win the crucial point in the last game on the course – and keep England in the hunt for medals. Now they play France for a place in the final.
The match was intensely close throughout. In the foursomes Hayley and Meghan MacLaren won their game on the last green, winning both the 17th and 18th holes for their point. Bronte Law and Gabriella Cowley put up a fantastic fight in their match which lasted a marathon 22 holes and which they eventually lost to a birdie.
Bronte picked up the team’s momentum again when she won the top singles and Gabriella Cowley put England within touching distance of an overall win when she beat her opponent 4/3.
It then fell to Hayley – who topped the individual table in qualifying – to keep the team’s medal hopes alive by beating Bianca Maria Fabrizio on the 19th.
Team captain Elaine Ratcliffe commented: “Bronte steadied the ship with a hard-fought victory against a tenacious opponent and Gabs had a great victory which we really needed.
“Hayley’s opponent had been down most of the match but had a fabulous birdie on the 18th to take her down the 19th, but Hayley won with a par, narrowly missing a birdie.”
Elaine added: “Both teams played some great golf and England kept to their game plan and let the Italians make the errors.”
Meanwhile, England’s girls were beaten 4-3 by Sweden in their European team championship in Skalica, Slovakia. Now, they will play for place in the top flight – their best finish will be fifth – and they take on the Netherlands tomorrow.
Team captain Rebecca Wood commented: “It was a really tough day and small margins tipped it away from us. I’m really disappointed for the team but we’re looking forward to tomorrow and to fighting for fifth place.”
England ladies v Italy
Hayley Davis (Ferndown) and Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) beat Laura Lonardi and Arianna Scaletti 1 up.
Bronte Law (Bramhall) and Gabriella Cowley (Handbury Manor) lost to Bianca Maria Fabrizio at 22nd
Law beat Alessandra Braida 2 up
Elizabeth Mallett (Wishaw) lost to Roberta Liti 5/4
Cowley beat Scaletti 4/3
Davis beat Fabrizio at 19th
Charlotte Thomas (Singapore) lost to Lonardi 4/3
England girls v Sweden
Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) & Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) lost to Sarah Nilsson and Filippa Moork 2 down
India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) and Sophie Keech (Parkstone) bear Michaela Finn & Ebba Bjornberg 2 up
Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) lost to Emma Svensson 1 down
Inci Mehmet (Wentworth) lost to Sarah Nilsson 2/1
India Clyburn lost to Michaela Finn 3/1
Lamb beat Moork 4/2
Hewson beat Christine Danielsson 1 up