The R&A - Working for Golf

England ladies’ team survive early scare

• England came back from 2-1 down to beat Wales 6 ½ - 2 ½  on first day of Ladies’ Home Internationals.

• Ireland defeated Scotland 5-4 in other match being played at Little Aston.

England survived an early scare before beating Wales in the first round of matches at this year’s Ladies’ Home Internationals at Little Aston Golf Club near Birmingham.

The Welsh took a 2-1 lead after the morning foursomes which were suspended for an hour and a three quarters after torrential rain flooded the course but in the afternoon the English bounced back to take the singles 4-2 and seal a 6 ½ - 2 ½ victory which was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests.

Lianna Bailey got England back to level when she won the top singles 4&2 against Megan Lockett and Gemma Clews gave the holders the lead for the first time when she beat Olivia Kelly 5&4. Olivia Winning and Rochelle Morris then prevailed in tight matches against Bethan Morris and Jordan Ryan while England’s India Clyburn also earned a point with a 2&1 win over Georgia Lewis. The last game to finish between Emma Allen and Kath O’Connor was halved.   

“In the afternoon they played some lovely golf,” said England captain Elaine Ratcliffe. “All credit to them and the golfers they are. We finished it really well. There were a lot tight games out there but we managed to come through. They battled hard and came back with the results.”

The second match between Ireland and Scotland proved to be a real nail-biter with it going all the way to the final green before Curtis Cup player Maria Dunne sealed a narrow 5-4 win for the Irish after getting up and down to beat Shannon McWilliam by one hole.

The Scots had left themselves with a lot to do when they lost the foursomes 2-1 and they moved further behind when Paula Grant and Annabel Wilson beat Connie Jaffrey and Gemma Batty in the first two singles matches. Eilidh Briggs then pulled one back point back when she beat Julie McCarthy by two holes and Chloe Goalby did the same when she beat Mairead Martin 4&3. Hannah McCook then halved Chloe Ryan before Dunne made the vital contribution by chipping to four feet and then calmly holing out for her winning par.   

“It was a very tight match. Very, very enjoyable,” said Ireland captain Clodagh Hopkins. “They all played very well. I’m very proud of my team. It was nail-biting at the end but Maria (Dunne) got us through. We’re delighted.”

Follow scoring from the Ladies Home Internationals here.