English hopes of European gold are dashed

Ashley Chesters

English hopes of European championship gold medals were dashed today when both the men’s and women’s teams lost close semi-finals.

Now both will be involved in play-offs for bronze medals. The men, who won bronze last year, will take on Sweden tomorrow, while the women will play Spain.

Today, the men lost 4-3 to Scotland, who snatched the winning point on the 19th hole of the last game on the course. Greig Marchbank fought back from two down with three to play to defeat England’s Ben Taylor and take his side into the final.

England team manager Terry Casey commented: “We are a team and this has been a really good effort that just failed at the death.”

England’s three points were scored by Ashley Chesters (Image © Leaderboard Photography) and Jimmy Mullen in the foursomes, and by Chesters and Nick Marsh in the singles.

The women’s team (pictured below) were beaten by Switzerland 4½-2½. Honours were even after the morning foursomes, with Hayley Davis and Charlotte Thomas winning for England.

But, the Swiss had the winning edge in a series of tight matches which went to the 18th. Only Davis won her point in the afternoon session, finishing 1up, while Bronte Law and Alice Hewson both lost on the last. Meghan MacLaren had lost on the 16th, while Charlotte Thomas’s game was halved.

Team captain Elaine Ratcliffe commented: “It was really close and the girls played some good golf in tough conditions with 20mph winds. But the Swiss hit some great shots at crucial times.”

The girls’ team continued their winning progress through Flight B with a clean sweep against Denmark, winning 5-0. The individual matches were very tight with two finishing on the 17th, two on the 18th and one on the 19th. Tomorrow they play Sweden.

The boys’ team defeated Italy 3-2 in their quest for a high finish in Flight A of their championship. Will Enefer and Matty Lamb both won their singles and Bradley Moore received a walkover. Tomorrow they play Scotland.

The teams:

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).

The England women’s team, from left, Charlotte Thomas, Hayley Davis, Alice Hewson, Meghan MacLaren, Gemma Clews and Bronte Law.