England successfully defended their title in the women’s Home Internationals at Cork, Ireland – winning by the narrowest of margins over Wales.
The two teams met today in the title decider and, in a very close encounter, the match was halved. But England emerged as champions on countback, having won more individual games during the three-day tournament.
England had earlier beaten Ireland 9-0 and Scotland 5-4, while Wales defeated both those teams by a scoreline of 6-3.
Team captain Chris Pascall commented: "We knew it was going to be a very tough day and the match was very close, but we got the half and that was a good result. We've won the week and that's all you can ask."
Today’s match was intensely tight, with both the foursomes and singles exactly shared. As the afternoon’s play unfolded Wales seemed to have the edge, with only two England players ahead at the halfway stage.
But England toughed it out and secured the necessary half. Curtis Cup star Holly Clyburn, who was three up at the turn, powered on to win her game 6/4.
British girls’ champion Georgia Hall – ranked third in the world – took the lead in her match for the first time on the 15th. She also quickly won the 16th to go two up and halved the 17th for her point.
Norfolk’s Amber Ratcliffe completed a successful team debut by securing the half with her 3/2 win. The 16-year-old was never behind in her game, although she was pulled back to all square after 12. She responded by winning the next three holes, before halving the 16th.
The team, captained by Chris Pacall, was: Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Gabriella Cowley (West Essex), Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak), Bronte Law (Bramhall), Alex Peters (Notts’ Ladies), Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer), Emily Taylor (Hillside), Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale).
England 4½ Wales 4½
Georgia Hall and Emily Taylor beat Amy Boulden and Becky Harries 4/2
Holly Clyburn and Bronte Law halved with Chloe Williams and Katie Bradbury
Alex Peters and Kelly Tidy lost to Gemma Bradbury and Jess Evans 2/1
Tidy lost to Boulden 3/1
Hall beat Williams 2/1
Taylor lost to Katie Bradbury 1 down
Clyburn beat Gemma Bradbury 6/4
Amber Ratcliffe beat Evans 3/2,
Law lost to Harries 4/3
In the day’s other match Ireland beat Scotland 5-4
How they finished:
1st England 2½ pt (games won 18½)
2nd Wales 2½ pt (games won 16½)
England retained the title on the tie-breaking, individual games won rule.
3rd Ireland 1pt
4th Scotland 0pt
England snatch last gasp victory over Scotland
05 September 2012
England snatched a last gasp victory over Scotland today in the women’s Home Internationals at Cork, Ireland. Now they go head to head with Wales tomorrow in the title decider.
Norfolk’s Amber Ratcliffe and Curtis Cup player Bronte Law both fought back in the final two singles to secure the precious 1½ points required for the team’s 5-4 win.
Captain Chris Pascall said afterwards: “It was nerve wracking, but a very good result in the end. We had to dig deep.”
The score means England, the defending champions, have won both their matches so far. So too have Wales, who today beat Ireland 6-3.
England, who enjoyed a 9-0 clean sweep in their opening match against Ireland, conceded their first game points of the tournament in this morning’s foursomes.
English champion Kelly Tidy and English strokeplay champion Alex Peters romped to a 7/5 win in their game, conceding just one hole in the match. But the Scots beat the pairing of Holly Clyburn and Bronte Law and held Georgia Hall and Emily Taylor to a draw.
As the singles unfolded, scoring remained extremely tight. With the first four games decided, England had won two, courtesy of Kelly Tidy and Emily Taylor, while Scotland also took two.
Then, as the final two matches moved into the closing stages the Scots appeared to have the upper hand.
Amber Ratcliffe, making her debut for England at this level, was see-sawing: one down after losing 15 to a birdie, all square after 16, one down after losing 17 to another birdie. Then, from a difficult lie in thick rough by the 18th green she got up and down for par to win the hole and halve her game.
The outcome of the match then depended on Bronte Law – and the Curtis Cup player delivered the victory. She was never in front in her match until she won the 17th to edge one up with one to play – and she went on to also win the 18th for a 2up victory.
England 5, Scotland 4
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) and Emily Taylor (Hillside) halved with Kelsey MacDonald and Rachael Watton
Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) and Alex Peters (Notts’ Ladies) bt Laura Murray and Alyson McKechin 7/5
Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) and Bronte Law (Bramhall) lost to Eilidh Briggs and Jane Turner 3/2
Hall lost to MacDonald 1 hole
Tidy bt Briggs 3/1
Clyburn lost to Watton 6/5
Taylor bt Rachel Walker 7/5
Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) halved with Lauren Whyte
Law bt Turner 2 holes
Final matches tomorrow:
08.30 and 13.10 Scotland v Ireland
09.00 and 14.10 England v Wales
How they stand:
England 2pt, Wales 2pt, Scotland 0pt, Ireland 0pt.
England beat Ireland 9-0 at Home Internationals
04 September 2012
England made a flawless start to their defence of the women’s Home Internationals with a 9-0 victory over the hosts, Ireland, on the first day of the championship at Cork.
“It was a great result,” said captain Chris Pascall, whose team includes world number four, Georgia Hall, and three members of the winning Curtis Cup side, Holly Clyburn, Bronte Law and Kelly Tidy.
But, she was quick to point out that despite the scoreline, the players had to work for their wins. Their strength was on the undulating greens, which are drying out after three days of sunshine and becoming very quick. “The putting was good today,” said Chris.
The players set the tone of the day with their clean sweep of the three morning foursomes. Kelly Tidy and Alex Peters lost the first hole but were four up at the turn; Georgia Hall and Emily Taylor, birdied the 16th and won the 17th for their point, while Holly Clyburn and Bronte Law chipped in twice as they made their way to the turn five up.
As the singles got underway, English champion Kelly Tidy demonstrated devastating form with an 8/7 victory which she sealed with an eagle three on the 11th.
She was steadily followed by her team-mates. Georgia Hall, the British girls’ champion, and Emily Taylor, the English girls’ titleholder, were never behind in their games; Amber Ratcliffe and Holly Clyburn both trailed by one hole during the front nine, but both played the back nine strongly to secure their points.
Meanwhile, Alex Peters staged an impressive fightback to keep the clean sheet. The English stroke play champion was four down after 10 holes, but won the next six in a row, before halving the 17th for a 2/1 win. “It was a fantastic comeback,” said Chris.
In the day’s other match Wales beat Scotland 6-3. Tomorrow England play Scotland, while Ireland play Wales.
Kelly Tidy (Royal Birkdale) & Alex Peters (Notts Ladies’) beat Gillian O'Leary & Sarah Cunningham 4&3
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) & Emily Taylor (Hillside) beat Mary Dowling & Jessica Carty 3&1
Holly Clyburn (Woodhall Spa) & Bronte Law (Bramhall) beat Deirdre Smith & Chloe Ryan 4&3
Tidy beat Maria Dunne 8&7
Hall beat Carty 3&2
Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer) beat Lucy Simpson 3&1
Clyburn beat O'Leary 3&2
Peters beat Smith 2&1
Taylor beat Cunningham 4&3
Image © Cal Carson Golf Agency