The England men, women and girls’ sides have all won through to the semi-finals of the European team championships – but the boys have said goodbye to their hopes of a medal.
The women – the defending champions – and the men won through tight matches, respectively beating Germany and France by 4-3. Meanwhile the girls sailed through unbeaten against the Netherlands in their match in Finland.
Girls’ coach Mark Day said; “The girls are striking it great, playing smart and enjoying the challenge. Like true warriors they’re looking forward to the next challenge against Italy.”
The girls set up their win in the foursomes when Hollie Muse and Sammy Fuller won 1up and Amelia Williamson and Lily May Humphreys romped home 6/5.
In the singles Williamson won 2/1 and Humphreys won 6/4 to secure the match point. Bel Wardle was given a walkover when her injured opponent withdrew at dormie four down while Emily Price and Sammy Fuller were given halves, when respectively they were 3up with four to play and 3up through 12.
The women’s match in Portugal was played in such heat that the sprinklers are the Montado Golf Resort were turned on to give the players some relief.
The morning foursomes were halved with Gemma Clews and Sophie Lamb securing England’s point. In the singles, Alice Hewson claimed her point with typically fine ball striking and putting, while Clews added a determined third point to the score line – leaving Lamb (image copyright Leaderboard Photography) to take England through to the semi-finals.
The British stroke play champion was one up with two to play and held on with great determination, sharing the long 17th in birdie four and parring the short 18th to take the point.
Coach Steve Robinson commented: “The girls have pitched the ball particularly well and created good birdie chances.”
Tomorrow England play Sweden, who they beat in last year’s quarter finals en route to the gold medal. “They will be after revenge for last season,” said Robinson. “Sweden will be a tough test and we will have to raise our game a little more. We want to make a solid defence of this championship, first it was about qualifying, then it was about winning today, now it’s about winning tomorrow.”
The men’s match against France at the Diamond Country Club in Austria followed a similar pattern, with England halving the foursomes, thanks to Amateur Champion Harry Ellis and European amateur champion Alfie Plant.
In the singles Scott Gregory, the 2016 Amateur Champion, and Matthew Jordan, the St Andrews Links champion, put their points on the board – leaving Plant to take England through to the final four.
He was all square after 17, but parred the daunting 18th – a par three played over water from tee to green – to score the crucial point.
“We’ve got a very, very good team spirit,” said coach Graham Walker. “They all played their part, supported by their manager, Kevin Tucker.”
Tomorrow the team plays Italy in the semi-finals.
In the boys’ match at La Manga, Spain, England lost 3-4 to Demark, with the team’s points scored by Charlie Strickland and Toby Briggs, who paired up to win their foursomes and both went on to take their singles points.
Ben Jones and Robin Williams came close in the foursomes, losing just 1down and Williams made another strong bid for a point in the afternoon before being closed out on the 17th.
The team is out of the medal hunt but will now play for place in the top eight.
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