The R&A - Working for Golf

England overpower Wales to claim 10th senior title

THURSDAY PM - SINGLES

England won the morning foursomes 2-1 against Wales and steadily built on that lead. Jackie Foster won out in the country, by 7 and 6, over Sharon Roberts to chalk up England's third point. Foster never lost a hole after going two up through the third and she was five up at the turn. A birdie at the 10th made that a six-hole lead and she was conceded the 11th to go seven up. A half at the 12th ended the one-sided contest. Foster was roughly two over par for the holes played. Ann Lewis got Wales' second point of the day with a 3 and 2 win over Katherine Russell. Lewis birdied the first and also won the second. Three up at the turn, the former Senior British champion went four up at the 14th. Russell won back the 15th but it was too little too late. A half at the 16th gave Lewis victory.

Cath Rawthore made it 4-2 for England with a one-hole win against Jane Rees after three times going into a two-hole lead. The 12th was halved in birdie 3s and Rees won the 13th to cut her deficit to one but Rawthore was conceded the 14th to go back to a two-hole lead. Rees was not finished yet. She won the 15th with a par and the long 16th with a birdie to square the match. But her English opponent won the 17th with a par 3 to go one up and got a half in 4 at the last for a one-hole win. Helen Lowe made it 5-2 for England by beating Olwen Davies by one-hole in another cliff-hanger.

Davies won the 12th with a par to re-establish a two-hole lead she held twice on the outward journey. But Lowe finished the stronger of the pair. She won the 13th with a par and the 16th with a birdie to be all square for the first time since the first hole was halved. Lowe was able to win the 17th with a bogey 4 to go one up and a half at the last clinched and English victory.

Honours were shared in the last match to finish with Karen Jobling (England) and Denise Richards (Wales) finishing all square. Richards birdied the 15th to go two up with three to play, but Jobling produced a birdie of her own at the 16th to be only one down. In a nail-biting finish, the 17th was halved and then Jobling won the 18th with a par to gain a halved match. Ireland led Scotland 2-1 after the foursomes and then won the first four singles to finish to assure themselves of victory, if not by the 8-0 margin of last year's match but still a comfortable margin.

Senior British champion Laura Webb was back at something like her best in beating Scotland's Alex Glennie by 6 and 5. The Irish player, five up at the turn, finished the match in style with birdies at the 12th and 13th. Gertie McMullen was also back in form with a 5 and 4 win over Lorna McKinley, achieved with one-under-par figures, quite an achievement in the bright but very breezy conditions. McKinlay too had a couple of birdies to her name, at the ninth and 10th, but McMullen stopped the slide with three successive halved holes before clinching victory at the 14th.

Mary Sheehy, one of the newcomers in the Irish team this week, won by 6 and 5 against Gillian Kyle. Three up after five, Sheehy still held that margin of an advantage at the turn. She then won three in a row for the match - the 11th and 12th with pars and the 13th with a birdie - her third of the round. Sheena McElroy gained Ireland's sixth point with a 4 and 3 win over Mary Smith. The key holes in this match were the eighth, ninth and 10th. McElroy won all three, birdieing the eighth and 10th. The Irish player's three-hole lead was cut to two by a Smith birdie at the 13th but McElroy birdied the short 14th to go three up again and a par at the 15th was good enough to wrap up a 4 and 3 victory with roughly level par figures.

Scotland supporters had to wait all afternoon for a solitary home success in the singles. It was achieved by Sheena Wood who had to go all the way to the 18th green to win by two holes against Suzanne Corcoran.

The Scot was four up after eight but Corcoran kept chipping away at the lead by winning the ninth, 11th and the 16th with a birdie. Wood held her nerve and was able to win the 18th with a par 4 for a hard-earned victory.

THURSDAY AM - FOURSOMES

England took a step closer to chalking up a third successive title win in the Senior Women's Home Internationals at Alyth Golf Club, Perthshire when they led Wales 2-1 after the final day's morning foursomes.

England seniors with the Sue Johnson Trophy Alyth September 2016
England seniors with the Sue Johnson Trophy Alyth September 2016

Helen Lowe and Karen Jobling put the first point on the board for England by beating Olwen Davies and Chris Harries by 5 and 4. Ann Lewis and Sharon Roberts levelled it for Wales with a 2 and 1 win over the strong English pairing of Julie Brown and Aileen Greenfield.

But Jackie Foster and Cath Rawthore put England ahead again by beating Denise Richards and Jane Rees 3 and 2. Davies and Harries won only one hole - the second - off Lowe and Jobling who were three up at the turn in quite windy conditions. The rain arrived before noon. The English players went four up by winning the 11th and finished the match on the 14th green despite bogeying the hole.

Lewis and Roberts were twice one up on the outward half against Brown and Greenfield but were pulled back to square each time and it was level pegging at the turn.

Brown and Greenfield went ahead for the second time in the match when they won the 11th with a 5 but the English pair had a double bogey 6 at the 15th and Lewis and Roberts were able to square the match with a bogey 5.

The Welsh pair birdied the 16th to go one up and made it three successes in a row by taking the short 17th with a par for the match by 2 and 1. It was Julie Brown's first defeat of the tournament after four wins.

Foster and Rawthore had a double bogey 6 at the nine to turn one down to Wales' Richards and Rees. But the English pair stepped up a gear to birdie both the long 10th and 11th to be one up on the 12th tee. After two halved holes, Foster and Rawthore profited from successive bogeys by Richards and Rees at the 14tth and 15th, allowing the English pair to move three up with three to play. A half at the 16th clinched the go-ahead victory for England. It was a first defeat for Jane Rees after four wins through the first two days' play.

Ireland's strong lead-off pair of Senior British champion Laura Webb and Irish senior champion Gertie McMullen were two up after six holes and retained that lead at the turn against Scotland's Sheena Wood and Gillian Kyle, going on to win by 3 and 2.

The Irish pair, who had their only birdie in winning the eighth, went three up with a par at the 11th but the Scots' second birdie of the round won them the 12th but they slipped back to three down with a bogey at the 13th.

Halves at the 14th, 15th and 16th wrapped up victory for Webb and McMullen. It was McMullen's first win of the tournament. Ireland went 2-0 ahead when Sheena McElroy and Carol Wickham, one down with three to play, won the 16th and 18th with pars to beat Fiona De Vries and Lesley Lloyd by one hole.

The Irish pair had been two up after six holes, birdieing the sixth hole but De Vries and Lloyd hit back to win the ninth and the 11th to be all square. The Scots moved ahead for the first time with a par 3 at the short 13th before bogeying the thth and 18th to lose both holes and the match.

Scotland needed Mary Smith and Lorna McKinlay to win the final foursomes against Mary Sheehy and Maria O'Reilly to keep the home hopes alive of turning it around in the singles.

Two up with a birdie 3 at the eighth, Smith and McKinlay were pulled back to square when they lost the ninth and the 14th to par figures but the Scots edged ahead again when their Irish opponents bogeyed the short 17th.

The final hole was halved giving Smith and McKinlay a one-hole victory and cutting Ireland's lunchtime lead to 2-1.