CONTINENT OF EUROPE KEEP THE VAGLIANO TROPHY DESPITE A FIGHTING FINISH BY GB AND IRELAND
One of the best Vagliano Trophy matches for many years ended with the Continent of Europe extending their possession of the cup since 2007 - but in a terrific final session of singles, Great Britain and Ireland went down fighting.
The final result was: Continent of Europe 12.5, GB and Ireland 11.5
The second day honours were shared at 6-6, so the 1pt advantage the Continentals gained on the first day proved decisive in the final analysis. Trailing 9-7 after losing the morning foursomes 2.5-1.5, GB and I levelled it as 9-9 by winning the top two singles. World No 1 female amateur Leona Maguire beat Luna Sobron 4 and 2 while Bronte Law, ranked No 3 in Europe, beat Noemi Jimenez Martin 3 and 1. Maguire stamped her authority on the match against Sobron by winning the first two holes and a birdie at the eight put her four up. Law was two up after four holes but Martin was always snapping at her heels and won back the seventh. A sequence of halved holes ended with Law going two up at the 13th. The England player won the 17th for victory by 3 and 1.
Other singles wins for GB and I came from Meghan MacLaren (one hole up against Linnea Strom) and Chloe Williams, a 3 and 2 victor over Europe ranked No 3, Madelene Sagstrom. MacLaren was two up after 10 but Strom won the 12th and 15th to square it. MacLaren came again to win the 16th and hold on to a one-hole lead over the last two holes. Williams was three up after seven against Sagstrom but the Swedish star won the eighth and ninth to cut her deficit to one hole. Williams stopped the slide by winning the 10th and 11th and after Sagstrom had won the 12th, the Welsh player virtually clinched victory by winning the 16th. The 17th was halved for a 3 and 2 win by Williams.
Hayley Davis was four times two down to Olivia Cowan but kept plugging away and won the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th to lead by one hole for the first time. But Cowan was not finished yet. She won the 18th for a halved match. Gemma Clews went down by 5 and 3 to Nuria Iturrios after been three down on the ninth tee.
CONTINENTALS WIN THIRD JUNIOR VAGLIANO BUT REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL FOR GB AND I
The Continent of Europe won the Junior Vagliano Trophy for third time in a row at Malone Golf Club, Belfast today but Great Britain and Ireland can derive some comfort from the fact that they scored their highest points total since the contest began.
The Europeans triumphed 10.5-7.5 in the end after leading 6-3 overnight.
Captain Claire Coughlan-Ryan's team of six Under-16s "won" the final session of singles 3.5 to 2.5 and shared the final day honours 4.5-4.5. Team Europe took the morning foursomes 2-1 to lead 8-4 going into the final set of six singles. Hollie Muse (one hole), Hazel MacGarvie (5 and 4) and Shannon McWilliam (5-4) all won their singles for GB and I while Annabel Wilson gained half a point from a square match.
Muse was two down after three holes to Agathe Laisne but transformed her situation by winning the fifth, sixth and ninth to be one up. Having lost the 10th, Muse bounced back with wins at the 11th and 12th but Laisne was not about to throw in the towel. The French player won back the 13th and squared a ding-dong contest by winning the 16th. Hollie was not to be denied. She regained the lead yet again by winning the 17th and then halved the last to preserve a one-hole victory.
MacGarvie was all square at the turn against Mathilde Claisse and then won the next five holes in a row to end it on the 14th green.
McWilliam had her purple patch at the beginning of her tie against Julie Engstrom. The Scot won the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth to be four up on the seventh tee. Her Swedish opponent rallied to win the eighth and ninth to be two down at the turn. McWilliam got her second win after halving the 10th and 11th - winning the 12th, 13th and 14th for a 5 and 4 victory.
Annabel Wilson was one down at the turn against Frida Kinhult and hung on in ther with wins at the 11th and 13th to a gain by the Swede at the 12th. That tied up the contest at level pegging on the 14th tee. The last five holes were halved for a square match - a fair enough result for both players' endeavour.
Emily Price lost by 3 and 1 to Emma Spitz who was one down after seven but then won the eighth, ninth and 10th for a two-hole lead. Spitz doubled her advantage by winning the 14th and won the match on the 17th green.
Mairead Martin lost by one hole to Isabelle Holpfer after a gripping contest that saw Martin come back from three down after 15 by winning the 16th and 17th but her Austrian opponent held on to her one-hole lead down the 18th.