England won the Girls' Home International championship at Radyr, Wales, in a nail-biting, touch and go finish.
The team came from behind to beat the hosts, Wales, 5-4 on the final day and secure the Stroyan Cup for the fifth year in a row. England finished with 2½ pt, Ireland 2pt (runners-up for the second year in a row), Wales 1pt and Scotland half a point.
It fell to the last three players on the course to win their matches for England – and they did it. Captain Chris Pascall said: “It was touch and go and it all came down to the last three matches.
“It was tough – and it was a tough week. The standard gets better all the time and the girls have played extremely well.”
England held a slender lead in the championship at the start of the final day, having previously beaten Scotland and halved with Ireland. The team knew that a win against Wales would secure the trophy.
But Wales, too, had all to play for and came out, all guns blazing, to win the morning foursomes. Only Elizabeth Mallett and Meghan MacLaren were able to secure their point for England, winning one up.
As the singles got under Georgia Hall continued her excellent form to win her match 5/3 and level the scoreboard. Georgia, who is sixth in the women’s world amateur rankings, won five out of six points this week.
But, when Elizabeth Mallett and Brogan Townend lost their matches, Wales needed just one more point for victory. England, however, held all the aces.
They led in the three games still to finish – and duly won them all. Amber Ratcliffe beat Jessica Evans 4/3 after being three up at the turn, Gabriella Cowley beat Megan Lockett 3/1 after being all square at the turn, and Meghan MacLaren delivered the title-winning fifth point for England by beating Nia Greville 2/1, again after it was all square at the turn.
England v Wales
Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’) & Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) beat Georgia Lewis & Nia Greville 5&4
Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) & Shelby Smart (Knowle) lost to Megan Lockett & Jess Evans 1 down
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) & Gabriella Cowley (West Essex) lost to Chloe Williams & Ella Griffiths 3&2
Hall beat Lewis 5&3
Mallett lost to Williams 2&1
Brogan Townend (Pleasington) lost to Griffiths 1 4&3
Cowley beat Megan Lockett 3&1
MacLaren beat Greville 2 &1
Ratcliffe beat Evans 4&3
In the day's other match Ireland beat Scotland 5-4.
England’s girls beat Scotland
08 August 2012
Defending champions England beat Scotland 5½-3½ to take a slender lead after the second day of the Girls’ Home Internationals at Radyr.
Tomorrow they play the hosts, Wales, knowing that a win will guarantee a successful defence of their title. England have 1½ points from two matches, Wales and Ireland have a point apiece, while Scotland has a half point.
Today’s victory was hard fought. After England won all three morning foursomes the Scots came out with great determination in the singles.
England captain Chris Pascall said: “They knew they had to win five matches and they just came at us. It’s been hard work and there was a lot of good golf from both sides.”
But, despite the Scots attack, England managed to take 2½ points from the singles. Georgia Hall and Gabriella Cowley both won their singles games, while Shelby Smart managed a half, despite her opponent holing 15-footers on the 15th, 16th and 17th holes.
Earlier, in the foursomes, Shelby had fired accurate shots into the three short holes on the back nine, each time finishing within 10ft – and her partner Amber Ratcliffe rolled in the putts each time. “They won all three par threes with twos,” said Chris.
Meanwhile Georgia and Gabriella, who were paired in the morning, withstood a birdie blitz which pegged them back from five up after 10 to just one up after 14. They stopped the slide by halving the 15th and then managed their own winning birdie on 16 to move to two up, before closing out the match on the 17th.
Elizabeth Mallett and Brogan Townend completed England's clean sweep in the foursomes. They were never behind in their match, were three-up after eight holes and although the Scots won the ninth they were never able to improve on that position.
England results v Scotland
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) & Gabriella Cowley (West Essex) beat Rachel Walker & Lauren Whyte 2&1
Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) & Shelby Smart (Knowle) beat Ailsa Summers & Clara Young 4&2
Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’) & Brogan Townend (Pleasington) beat Lesley Atkins & Jessica Meek 2&1
Hall beat Whyte 5&4
Mallett lost to Summers 4&2
Cowley beat Atkins 4&2
Olivia Winning (Rotherham) lost to Meek 4&3
Smart halved with Young
Amber Ratcliffe lost to Walker 1 down
In the day’s other match Ireland and Wales halved.
England’s girls halve with Ireland
07 August 2012
England halved with Ireland on the first day of the Girls’ Home Internationals at Radyr, Wales – thanks to the strong nerve of Meghan MacLaren.
She was in the last singles match on the course and the day’s result depended upon the outcome. Meghan, 18, had to win her game to secure the half for the team – and she duly delivered with a 2/1 victory.
She’d never been behind during the match and had led for most of the way, getting to 2up with three to play. Her opponent won the 16th to reduce the deficit to one, but Meghan found the perfect answer when she won the 17th and closed out the match.
Earlier England had won two of the three morning foursomes to take the advantage at the halfway stages. Georgia Hall, who is sixth in the women’s world amateur rankings, kept the momentum going when she won her singles point and Elizabeth Mallett added another half point to the tally. But then the Irish surged, winning the next three games to draw level.
England are the defending champions in the tournament and are aiming to win the Stroyan Cup for the fifth successive year.
In the day’s other match Wales and Scotland also halved.
Now, England play Scotland while Wales take on Ireland.
England results v Ireland
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) & Gabriella Cowley (West Essex) beat Jean O'Driscoll & Jessica Ross 2&1
Elizabeth Mallet (Sutton Coldfield Ladies’) & Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) beat Jessica Carty & Chloe Ryan 5&4
Olivia Winning (Rotherham) & Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) lost to Olivia Mehaffey & Ariana Coyle Diez 3&1
Hall beat O'Driscoll 3/2
Mallett halved with Carty
Brogan Townend (Pleasington) lost to Ross 2 down
Shelby Smart (Knowle) lost to Coyle Diez 2/1
Cowley lost to Mehaffey 4/3
MacLaren beat Ryan 2/1
England girls bid for fifth title in a row
06 August 2012
England will bid for their fifth successive victory when the Girls’ Home Internationals get underway tomorrow at Radyr Golf Club, near Cardiff.
However, it would not be a record sequence because England was the top side in the tournament for six years in succession from 2000 to 2005. Scotland broke the stranglehold to win the title in 2006 and 2007.
Wales has not won the Stroyan Cup since 1999 and Ireland has never won the tournament.
England, captained again by Chris Pascall, have four new caps in their eight-strong line-up. They are Gabriella Cowley (West Essex), third in the recent R&A Junior Open at Fairhaven, Junior Vagliano Trophy player Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer), Shelby Smart (Knowle) and Olivia Winning (Rotherham).
The second Junior Vagliano Trophy player in the England line-up is Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) who has climbed into the top 10 of the women’s world amateur rankings on the back of an excellent series of tournament performances. She was runner-up in the English women’s amateur in May and reached the semi-finals of the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship at Carnoustie in June.
The team is completed by three other established girl internationals: Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough), Elizabeth Mallett (Sutton Coldfield Ladies') and Brogan Townend (Pleasington).
Ireland finished runners-up in the Girls Home Internationals at Gullane last year when they beat Scotland and Wales but lost to England in the title decider.
Ireland, captained by Niamh Kitching, has three new girl caps in its team – Mary Doyle (The Heath), Jessica Ross (Donaghadee) and Niamh Ward (Lurgan). Chloe Ryan (Castleroy) played for Ireland in last year’s Women’s Home Internationals as well as the Under-18s’ event.
Scotland, captained by Elaine Cuthill, has three new caps in its line-up – Nicola Callander (Mill Green), 16-year-old winner of the recent Scottish Under-21 stroke play championship, Jessica Meek (Carnoustie Ladies’) and Eilidh Watson (Muckhart) who reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Ladies’ Amateur Championship in May. Clara Young (North Berwick) is another Junior Vaglian Trophy player.
Wales, captained by Kay Bradbury, has three new caps: Ella Griffiths (The Grove), Megan Lockett (Huddersfield) and Lottie Turner (Aberdovey). Lottie is the daughter of the late Sue Turner, one of the most successful team captains in Welsh golf history who died last year before she could share in this year’s Curtis Cup triumph at Nairn. Sue had been named as GB and I team manager. The fourth Junior Vagliano Trophy team player in the tournament is Chloe Williams (Wrexham).
Tuesday, August 7
Wales v Scotland, Ireland v England.
Wednesday, August 8
England v Scotland, Ireland v Wales
Thursday, August 9
Scotland v Ireland, Wales v England.
Chris Pascall, Captain
Gabriella Cowley, West Essex
Georgia Hall, Remedy Oak
Meghan MacLaren, Wellingborough
Elizabeth Mallett, Sutton Coldfield Ladies'
Amber Ratcliffe, Royal Cromer
Shelby Smart, Knowle
Brogan Townend, Pleasington
Olivia Winning, Rotherham
Niamh Kitching, Captain
Jessica Carty, Holywood
Ariana Coyle Diez, Elm Park
Mary Doyle, The Heath
Olivia Mehaffey, Royal County Down Ladies'
Jean O'Driscoll, Muskerry
Jessica Ross, Donaghadee
Chloe Ryan, Castletroy
Niamh Ward, Lurgan
Elaine Cuthill, Captain
Lesley Atkins, Gullane Ladies'
Nicola Callander, Mill Green
Jessica Meek, Carnoustie Ladies'
Ailsa Summers, Carnoustie Ladies'
Rachel Walker, Dumfries and County
Eilidh Watson, Muckhart
Lauren Whyte, St Regulus
Clara Young, North Berwick
Kay Bradbury, Captain
Jess Evans, Newport
Nia Greville, Ashburnham
Ella Griffiths, The Grove
Georgia Lewis, Llanishen
Megan Lockett, Huddersfield
Lottie Turner, Aberdovey
Bethan Williams, Holyhead
Chloe Williams, Wrexham
Image: Back row from left – Meghan Maclaren, Amber Ratcliffe, Georgia Hall, Gabriella Cowley, Brogan Townend, Olivia Winning. Seated from left – Elizabeth Mallett, Chris Pascall (captain) and Shelby Smart