Gold medal dream ends for England

Hayley Davis

England’s gold medal dream has ended at the European ladies’ team championship at Fulford, York. Now it’s a battle for bronze.

The team’s hopes were dashed by a sparkling Spanish side who won their semi-final clash 4½-2½ and go on to face Austria in the final.

England will take aim on the bronze and focus on tomorrow’s play-off match against Finland, the other semi-final losers.

“It’s been a bad day, but we still have a chance of a medal and we will go out and try and win it,” said team captain Emma Brown.

England played well today, in scorching heat, but the Spanish played better, hitting fairways and greens with metronomic repetition. When they did miss the target they displayed remarkable short game skills.

“We played nicely, but they played a bit better than us,” said Emma.

Honours were even between the two teams after the morning foursomes, thanks to an impressive fightback from Hayley Davis (image © Leaderboard Photography) and Georgia Hall. They came back from three down to win two up and keep the lunchtime score at one-all, after Bronte Law and Meghan MacLaren lost on the last.

The singles were hard fought, but throughout most of the afternoon the Spanish team just had the edge.

Georgia Hall had the upper hand over the opening holes of her singles and birdied the seventh to go one up. But her opponent birdied the ninth and 11th to take the lead and, once in front, she stayed there and won on the 17th.

Behind them, team fortunes were swinging to and fro, but as the match moved into the closing stages both Lauren Taylor and Hayley Davis were ahead and looking good. However three singles points were necessary for a win and, try as they might, the other players were unable to provide one more.

Sarah-Jane Boyd had dropped behind in her match early on and was unable to recreate the game-winning heroics of yesterday. Bronte Law was also trailing as she played the closing holes and anything she could do, her opponent could match. On the 16th, for example, Bronte hit the pin with her approach and holed the putt for a birdie – but the Spanish player followed her in for her own birdie to seal her team’s victory.

At that stage Lauren and Hayley’s matches were still live and both players were up. Hayley’s was played to a conclusion, but Lauren was asked to accept a halved result.

In the day’s other semi-final Austria, who have never won this championship, beat Finland 5½-1½.

England results
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) & Hayley Davis (Ferndown) beat Camilla Hedberg & Noemi Jiminez 2 up
Bronte Law (Bramhall) & Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) lost to Natalia Escuriola & Marta Sanz 2 down

Hall lost to Jiminez 2/1
Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro) lost to Luna Sobron 4/3
Davis beat Sanz 1 up
Lauren Taylor (Woburn) halved with Hedberg
Law lost to Escurolia 3/2

England tee off against Finland tomorrow at 8.20.Order of play:

0820 Georgia Hall & Hayley Davis
0830 Meghan MacLaren & Sarah-Jane Boyd

1320 Georgia Hall
1328 Hayley Davis
1336 Bronte Law
1344 Meghan MacLaren
1352 Lauren Taylor