England will be targeting a gold medal double tomorrow when both the men’s and women’s sides aim for glory in the finals of the European team championships.
The men, playing in Austria, earned their place with an unbeaten 6.5-0.5 win over Italy and will now play Spain in the final.
The women, who are defending champions, beat Sweden 4.5-2.5 in Portugal and will take on Italy in the battle for gold.
Meanwhile the England girls will meet France tomorrow in the play-off for the bronze medal after they were beaten 4.5-2.5 by Italy.
The men’s team is made up of six major amateur champions and they showed their class by closing out today’s semi-final, with an unbeaten performance. Despite the remarkable score lin the match was close with four of the games going to the 18th and two finishing on the 17th. Only Matthew Jordan (image copyright Leaderboard Photography) had the luxury of a comfortable singles win, finishing on the 15th.
Team coach Graham Walker commented: “We have had a fantastic day, the boys played very, very well, controlled the ball well and we absolutely whitewashed them.”
If the men’s game was closely contested, the women’s was even tighter with Sophie Lamb going to the 20th twice – and securing both points. In the morning, she and Gemma Clews kept England on level terms with their hard-won foursomes point. Then, in the afternoon Lamb took England over the line with her singles win.
Alice Hewson and India Clyburn also won their singles, while Clews’ game was scored a half.
Team coach Steve Robinson said: “The girls all played their part, dug in and grafted – and it was a great performance. We are really happy to be in the final and to have another go.
“There’s only one thing on our minds now and that’s to get this group of girls the right colour medal – the gold.”
The girls, playing in Finland, made a great start to their match when they won both foursomes, thanks to the pairings of Sammy Fuller and Hollie Muse and of Lily May Humphreys and Amelia Williamson. But Italy fought back to win four singles, two of which finished on the 18th.
The boys, who are playing for place at La Manga, Spain, were beaten 3-2 by France in yet another very close battle. Three of the games finished on the 18th and two on the 17th with Charlie Strickland and Toby Briggs providing England’s points. Tomorrow they play Germany.
The full teams are:
Men: Harry Ellis (Meon Valley), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park), Matthew Jordan (Royal Liverpool), Gian-Marco Petrozzi (Trentham) and Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park).
Women: Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest), India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe), Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall).
Girls: Sammy Fuller (Roehampton), Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland), Hollie Muse (West Lancashire), Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).
Boys: Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Angus Flanagan (St George’s Hill), Harry Goddard (Hanbury Manor), Ben Jones (Northamptonshire County), Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).
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