England’s women are European champions

European champions 2016

The England women’s team are European champions for the first time in 23 years.

The team are celebrating a superb campaign after they beat Spain 4-3 at Oddur Golf Club in Iceland to win the gold medal at European ladies’ team championship.

It’s their first victory since 1993 when, coincidentally, they also beat Spain to the title. Since then they've had three silvers and, for the past three years, they've been involved in bronze medal play-offs but have left the championships empty handed on each occasion.

Today, though, it was the gold medal, with the winning point scored by English champion Bronte Law, who won all five of her games in last month’s Curtis Cup match.

The team, coached by Steve Robinson of Yorkshire and captained by Anne Baines of Lancashire, was Emma Allen (Meon Valley), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Bronte Law (Bramhall), Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough), Lizzie Prior (Burhill) and OIivia Winning (Rotherham).

The final was incredibly tight with six of the day’s seven matches going to the 18th hole. Only Law and partner Emma Allen won a game in comfortable fashion, claiming the team’s morning foursomes point 5/4. In the other foursomes Meghan MacLaren and Alice Hewson lost 1 down.

In the singles, England quickly moved ahead in the early stages but were steadily pegged back by Spain. It eventually fell to the team’s three Curtis Cup players to provide the necessary points for victory with MacLaren, Hewson and Law all winning 1up. Allen and Winning, who was playing the world number three, were both beaten by the same narrow margin.

Steve Robinson said: “The Curtis Cup girls have been immense with their performances but the other girls have been huge as well. They have dug in and fought for every single point. There has been a huge fighting spirit and never once did I see heads go down. We just all thought we could win.

“Spain played some great golf this afternoon but Meghan just ground it out, followed by Alice, who ground it out, and Bronte, who likes a starring role!”

He also paid tribute to Winning, Allen and to Lizzie Prior, who, said Robinson: “Didn’t play as much, but she was a massive support and I can’t thank her enough. Anne has been a great captain, very, very supportive and everyone at England Golf has gone above and beyond.

Rebecca Hembrough, England Golf’s Women’s Performance Manager said: “I could not be happier for Steve and the team. This title is a product of huge belief, long-term hard work and determination.”

Elsewhere there were good wins for England’s three other teams at their respective European championships.

The England girls beat the hosts, Norway, 3.5-1.5 at Oslo Golf Club, to finish 5th in their Flight A. It was the best result they could achieve after losing their quarter-final match.

The England men beat the Netherlands 3.5-1.5 in Chantilly, France, and finished 13th overall in their championship, securing their place for next year.

The England boys beat Wales 4.5-0.5 in Austria and also finished 13th in their championship, securing their place for 2017.

Teams:

Girls – Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale), Sharna Dutrieux (Wrotham Heath), Lily May Humphreys (Channels), Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).

Men – Jamie Bower (Meltham), Adam Chapman (Windermere), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood),  Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park).

Boys – Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Callum Farr (Priors Hall) John Gough (Stoke Park, Matty Lamb (Hexham), Daniel O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).

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Caption: The winning England team, from left: Emma Allen, Olivia Winning, Lizzie Prior, Steve Robinson (coach), Alice Hewson, Bronte Law, Meghan MacLaren and Anne Baines (captain).

8th July 2016

Super singles take England women into Euro final

The England women’s team put on a great singles performance today to beat Switzerland 4-3 and reach the final of the European ladies’ team championship in Iceland. They will play Spain tomorrow.

England were put on the back foot in their semi-final after narrow defeats in the morning’s two foursomes games, with Alice Hewson and Meghan MacLaren losing on the 21st and Emma Allen and Bronte Law bowing out on the 18th.

But they came out in determined mood in the singles, with big wins for Hewson (5/4), Law (6/4) and MacLaren (4/3) before a brave 1 up win by Allen took them over the line and into the final.

Allen had been four down after seven holes but, in the words of team coach Steve Robinson: “She just ground it out and ground it out. It’s hugely windy here but Emma made an absolutely amazing birdie on the 17th to go one up and closed it out with a par on the last.”

He went on: “All week the spirit and the belief has been massive. We have totally believed that we can play anyone. We have prepared and we have dealt with adversity and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort they have made.”

The last time England reached the final was in 2009 when they won the silver medal. The team last won the gold medal in 1993.

Elsewhere, the England girls’ team put on another excellent singles show to defeat Denmark 3-2 in Norway. The girls also lost their foursomes when Louisa Brunt and Sharna Dutriuex were beaten on the 18th and had another setback when Lily May Humphreys lost the top singles 4/3.

But Amelia Williamson (3/1), Bel Wardle (1up) and Emily Price (2/1) delivered the necessary points for a 3-2 win. The girls lost their quarter-final yesterday but are aiming to finish no worse than fifth in the championship. In tomorrow’s final game they play Norway to decide their placing.

In France the England men returned to form with a 4.5-0.5 win over Portugal in Flight B. Teenagers Bradley Moore and Marco Penge led the way in the foursomes (3/2) and were followed in the singles by wins from Jamie Bower (6/4) Scott Gregory (3/2), and Alfie Plant (2/1) with a halved match for Adam Chapman.

In Austria, the England boys did even better with a 5-0 win over Portugal in Flight B. Dan O'Loughlin and Toby Briggs won the foursomes 54/ while singles wins came from Matty Lamb (2up) Callum Farr (2/1), John Gough (1up) and Charlie Strickland (3/1)

Teams:

Women – Emma Allen (Meon Valley), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Bronte Law (Bramhall), Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough), Lizzie Prior (Burhill) and OIivia Winning (Rotherham).

Girls – Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale), Sharna Dutrieux (Wrotham Heath), Lily May Humphreys (Channels), Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).

Men – Jamie Bower (Meltham), Adam Chapman (Windermere), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood),  Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park).

Boys – Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Callum Farr (Priors Hall) John Gough (Stoke Park, Matty Lamb (Hexham), Daniel O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).

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7 July 2016

England women reach Euro semi-finals

The England women’s team are through to the semi-finals of the European team championship after a narrow 4-3 win over Sweden.

Team coach Steve Robinson told his players afterwards: “I’m totally proud of the England woman's team today, whether you won your points or lost, you battled so hard.”

The team got off to a good – but tough – start when they won both morning foursomes 2-0 at Oddur Golf Club in Iceland.

Curtis Cup team-mates Meghan MacLaren and Alice Hewson endured a marathon battle before scoring their point on the 22nd hole. Meanwhile, Bronte Law – another Curtis Cup player – and Emma Allen won their game 1up.

The singles were equally tough, with Sweden staging a great fightback. But again the Curtis Cup players came through with Alice Hewson winning 3/2 and Bronte Law providing the winning point with her 2/1 victory.

Elsewhere, however, there was bad news for England’s other three teams, who all lost in their first match pay round.

The girls, who reached the championship match play flight at Oslo Golf Club in Norway, are now out of the medal hunt after losing 5-2 to Sweden. The team’s points were scored by Lily May Humphreys and Amelia Williamson in the foursomes and by Humphreys in the singles.

The men’s team, who are playing for place after missing the championship flight at Chantilly, France, lost 3-2 to Switzerland. The team’s points were scored in the singes by Alfie Plant (5/3) and Adam Chapman (3/2).

The boys’ team, also playing for place at Diamond Country Club, Austria, lost 1½-3½ to Slovenia. Matty Lamb won his singles 3/2 while John Gough halved.

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6 July 2016

Women and girls in hunt for Euro medals

England’s women and girls are in the hunt for medals at the European team championships.

Both teams came through the qualifying stages of the championships within the top eight places and are now in the quarter finals.

The women finished sixth in qualifying, while the girls were seventh. Both teams will play Sweden in the quarter finals, with the women’s matches taking place at Oddur Golf Club, Iceland and the girls’ in Oslo Golf Club, Norway.

Top scorer for the women’s team was Curtis Cup player Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) who was two-over par for the 36 holes of qualifying. Lily May Humphreys, 14, (Channels) led the girls’ scoring on level par.

To contest for a medal at the championships it is essential to finish in the top eight after the qualifying stages. Both the England men and boys missed out on a place in the medal flights in their championships, played respectively in Chantilly, France and Diamond Country Club, Austria.

The men finished 10th and will play for place in Flight Two. Their first match is against Switzerland.

The boys finished ninth, five shots behind eighth placed Sweden. They also will play for place and their first match is against Slovenia tomorrow.

Teams:

Women – Emma Allen (Meon Valley), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Bronte Law (Bramhall), Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough), Lizzie Prior (Burhill) and OIivia Winning (Rotherham).

Girls – Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale), Sharna Dutrieux (Wrotham Heath), Lily May Humphreys (Channels), Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).

Men – Jamie Bower (Meltham), Adam Chapman (Windermere), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood),  Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park).

Boys – Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Callum Farr (Priors Hall) John Gough (Stoke Park, Matty Lamb (Hexham), Daniel O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).

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Caption: The England women's team. Back row, from left: Alice Hewson, Meghan MacLaren, Olivia Winning. Front row: Bronte Law, Emma Allen, Lizzie Prior.  (Image copyright EGA and Oddur GC)