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Windy Conwy for new format Internationals

HOME INTERNATIONAL MATCHES

Title-holders England staged a tremendous fightback in the singles to make up a 2pt deficit from the foursomes and snatch a 4.5-4.5 draw with Ireland on a windy opening day to the Ladies' Home Internationals at Conwy Golf Club, North Wales.

England, the holders of the Girls' Home Internationals title, were also held to a 4.5-4.5 draw by Ireland in the Under-18s match.

So Wales head the Ladies table as the only team with full points after one match in which they overpowered Scotland in the singles, beating them 6.5-2.5.

England looked to be up against it when they went into the singles trailing the Irish by 2pt from the foursomes.

But there were some great performances by the England players,none better than Meghan MacLaren who beat her Curtis Cup team-mate Olivia Mehaffey 3 and 2 by winning the 11th, 14th and 16th with no reply from her top 10 world ranked opponent.

Gemma Clews had a two-hole win over Louise Coffey in the lead-off singles and young Sophie Lamb was two up after six ad then four up after 11 on her way to an impressive 5 and 3 win over the experienced Irish player, Paula Grant.

Elizabeth Prior was another who came up with the goods just when England need them post. She beat Jessica Ross 4 and 3 after being two up at the turn.

It wasn't all one-way traffic. Ireland's Sinead Sextion showed her class with a 5 and 4 win over Emma Allen, having established a four-hole lead over the first eight holes.

And Curtis Cup player Maria Dunne scored Ireland's second point in the singles after a very good match against Olivia Winning which Maria won by 3 and 1.

The Wales-Scotland ladies' match was quite close at the lunchtime break with the Welsh leading 2-1 going into the singles.

But the Scots had shot their bolt and Wales won four of afternoon ties through Chloe Williams (2 a nd 1), Megan Lockett (3 and 2), Lauren Hillier (4 and 3) and Becky Harries (5 and 3).

Scotland's only afternoon winner was Heather Munro by 2 holes over Bethan Morris.

Kath O'Connor and Hannah McCook had a square match, the Welsh player winning the last two holes

GIRLS' HOME INTERNATIONAL MATCHES

Scotland lead the Girls Home Internationals table at the end of Day 1 at Conwy, having beaten Wales 7-2.

England, winners of the U18s' title for the past eight years in a row, drew 4.5-4.5 with a fighting Irish side.

The Scots edged ahead 2-1 in the morning girls' foursomes and then overpowered the host nation's girls 5-1 in the singles. It was the second year in a row that Scotland had beaten Wales but this was a more comprehensive win despite the fact that Scotland's top-ranked girl, Shannon McWilliam lost the top singles match by 3 and 2 to Lucy Jones who surged into a four-hole lead after only six holes and was five up after eight.

There were good wins for the Scots by Joanne Free (5 and 3), Louise Duncan (2 holes), Jennifer Rankine (2 and 1), Jillian Farrell (3 and 1) and U18s champion Hazel MacGarvie (3 and 2).

The Ireland v. England match was squeaky tight - 1.5pt apiece in the morning foursomes and 3-3 in the afternoon singles.

Emily Price (3 and 1) and Lily May Humphreys scored good wins for England in the top two singles but the Irish were not down by any manner of means.

Valery Clancy won out in the country, 6 and 5, over Sharna Dutreiux to put the Irish back in the picture.

Julie McCarthy, three down on the 16th tee against Amelia Williamson, won the last three holes under great pressure to halve the match.

Rachel Thompson, five up after six holes against Louisa Brunt, was hit by a great spell from the English girl who won the seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th to square the contest.

Thompson got her nose in front again by winning the 17th but Brunt kept calm and won the 18th to share the honours.

Ireland needed to win the last match to draw with England and they did! Mairead Martin, two down after six, never led until it mattered most.

All square on the 18th tee, the Irish girl won the 18th to halve the match and make the overall contest a 4.5-4.5 draw.