England had to settle for fourth place in both the men’s and women’s European team championships after their double bid for bronze medals ended in disappointment.
The men lost 4-3 to Sweden with team manager Terry Casey commenting: “We were again left to reflect on getting nothing out of the day when we had played our hearts out.”
Meanwhile, the women were beaten 5-2 by Spain and team captain Elaine Ratcliffe said: “The girls played good golf this week and rallied hard but in the end came across two teams who played fantastic golf against us at the right times.”
Overall, the men’s championship was won by Scotland, while France took the ladies’ title.
In the men’s bronze medal match all England’s points were provided by Jimmy Mullen and Ashley Chesters (Image © Leaderboard Photography). They won their foursomes by one hole and Mullen went on to win his singles 4/2, while Chesters took his point by the margin of 2/1.
But the other England players were fighting hard. Team captain Terry Casey paid tribute to his battling side, remarking: “We put up a great performance and I’m very proud of the lads.
“After halving the foursomes the Swedes came on strongly in the singles, but we once again played excellent golf and gave ourselves a great chance.
“Ben Taylor played very well against (world number three) Marcus Kinhult and was in a strong position and still ahead with two holes to go. However, despite solid play from Ben and twice being agonisingly close to birdies himself on both these holes, he had to watch as Kinhult converted both times, from off the green on the last.”
He added: “We leave in fourth place with our heads held high and England Golf winning many friends from an outstanding effort. The guys were just outstanding in every respect.”
In the women’s bronze medal match, England’s points were provided by Hayley Davis and Charlotte Thomas, who had a comfortable 5/4 foursomes win; and by Bronte Law who was on similar form, winning her singles 5/3.
Elaine Ratcliffe said: “The standard of play in the foursomes was stunning with both pairings being under par. Hayley and Charlotte won convincingly, not giving their opponents any opportunity to be in the game. The other foursome played amazing golf but were defeated by a birdie on the 19th hole. We were delighted with the standard of golf.
“In the afternoon the Spanish girls played some amazing golf and quickly took good leads in four of the five matches. But the performance of the afternoon was from Bronte who birdied five out of the last seven holes to win 5/3, with some of the best golf of the week played.”
She also had praise for 17-year-old Alice Hewson who was playing her first women’s European championship and who was second, individually, in qualifying.
Elsewhere, England boys beat Scotland 3-2 to finish fifth in the top flight of their championship. This was the highest position they could achieve after losing their first round match. Their points were accumulated in the singles with Bradley Moore winning 4/3 and Matty Lamb and Harry Hall both winning 1 up.
England’s girls lost 4½-½ to Sweden, finishing second in Flight B and 10th overall in their championship.
Men, playing at Halmstad Golf Club, Sweden: Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield), Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon), Ben Taylor (Walton Heath), Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park) and Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale).
Women, playing at Helsingor Golf Club, Denmark: Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest), Hayley Davis (Ferndown), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Bronte Law (Bramhall), Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) and Charlotte Thomas of Singapore.
Boys, playing at Pickala in Finland: Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood), Harry Hall (West Cornwall), Will Enefer (Wrekin), Jamie Li (Bath) and Matty Lamb (Hexham).
Girls, playing at Kaskada Golf Club in the Czech Republic: Emma Allen (Meon Valley), Annabel Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), Sammy Fuller (Roehampton), Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe), Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) and Lizzie Prior (Burhill).
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