St Andrews & Jacques Leglise Trophy - Day 2 - Morning Foursomes
The St Andrews Trophy is finely poised after the Continent of Europe won the morning foursomes 3-1 to level the overall score at 8-8 against Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I)heading into this afternoon's final singles session at Portmarnock Golf Club.
In the Jacques Leglise Trophy, the Continent of Europe completely dominated the foursomes by winning all four matches. With an 11-5 lead Gary Stangl's side just need one-and-a-half points from the eight singles to claim the title.
The breeze stiffened across the north Dublin links to a point where pars rather than birdies were the premium and putting on the elevated greens became particularly difficult.
Alexis Godillot's European side showed great battling qualities and won the top three foursomes matches in the St Andrews Trophy.
Austria's Manuel Trappel and Germany's Marcel Schneider had a close encounter with European champion Rhys Pugh and England's Garrick Porteous in the top match. However, the European pair never trailed and eventually won by two holes.
The Scandinavian duo of Robert Karlsson and Thomas Sorensen had an easier time with their 4&3 win over England's Craig Hinton and Ben Taylor.
The only plus point on a difficult morning for Nigel Edwards' GB&I side came with Nathan Kimsey and Kevin Phelan's 3&2 win in the bottom match against the Spanish pair of Carlos Pigem and Jacobo Pastor.
Edouard Espana rolled in a four-foot par putt on the 18th to seal Europe's third win of the morning alongside Moritz Lampert against Amateur champion Alan Dunbar and Neil Raymond to level overall proceedings heading into the singles.
Earlier, the Continent of Europe put in a storming performance with their 4-0 foursomes whitewash in the under-18 Jacques Leglise Trophy.
The top Italian pairing of Guilio Castagnara Renato Paratore set the theme as they were convincing 4&3 winners over the Irish pair of Gavin Moynihan and Alex Gleeson. Despite the testing conditions the Italians were two under by the time they closed out the match on the 15th.
This year's Amateur runner-up Matthias Schwab and Germany's Dominic Foos had a fine tussle with the formidable English pair of Toby Tree and Max Orrin before the Europeans sealed the win on the 18th.
Victor Tarnstrom and Hannes Ronneblad defeated Ashton Turner and Patrick Kelly 2&1, while Harry Ellis and Boys Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick lost on the 18th to Romain Langasque and Kenny Subregis.
"I am speechless to be honest. It was a brilliant session," beamed European captain Stangl, who wants his team to focus and finish the job.
"Conditions were difficult, the wind was very strong but my players are getting used to it now. They are growing in confidence all the time and you can see they are having fun out there. That's a good mixture to have, confidence and fun.
"I tell them it's like a football game and say we are leading 3-0 with 15 minutes to go but it's still possible for the opposition to score four goals.
"They have to be focused but I feel confident for the afternoon."