• Ireland defeat England 5-4 in the deciding match at the Ladies’ Home Internationals at Little Aston Golf Club near Birmingham.
• Scotland secure third place with 6 ½ - 2 ½ win over Wales.
Ireland were crowned champions at the Ladies’ Home Internationals after defeating England in the deciding match at little Aston, near Birmingham.
The England ladies’ team looked set to claim the title for the sixth time in seven years after sharing the morning foursomes and then taking an early lead in the singles but that was before the Irish mounted a late comeback which resulted in them claiming a narrow 5-4 victory.
Lianna Bailey beat Paula Grant 4&2 in the first singles on the course but the turnaround initiated when teenager Annabel Wilson came back from five down at the turn to beat Sophie Lamb by two holes.
Chloe Ryan (3&1) and Julie McCarthy (5&4) then got the better of India Clyburn and Gemma Clews before Mairead Martin came up the last and halved with Olivia Winning. Rochelle Morris did earn one final point for the English when she beat Curtis Cup colleague Maria Dunne by one hole in the last singles but by that time the outcome had been settled.
“This is just amazing. I can’t believe it has happened,” said Ireland Ladies’ captain Clodagh Hopkins. “The English are a very strong team but I had an inkling we could get something out of the match. The girls have played so well and been so positive all week that I knew they had a chance. Every time we went out we did just enough and that’s exactly what we did today.
“Golf in Ireland is looking good. Last year the girls did it. They put it up to us and we have responded. I think we’ll all have a big celebration tonight.”
England captain Elaine Ratcliffe admitted the team were feeling emotional after such a close final match. She said, “The Irish played some great golf on that back nine. It was still close after nine. We were up in two games but the others were really close. You’ve got to hand it to the Irish. I think some of our girls tired after a busy few weeks but it would be wrong to make excuses because the Irish played some really good golf and deserved to win.
“Golf can be a bit cruel and it certainly was for them this afternoon. We’ll just have to re-group and get over it. Ireland did what they needed to do and congratulations to them.”
Scotland secured third place after beating Wales 6½ - 2½. The Scots made their intentions clear when they romped into a 2½ - ½ lead in the morning foursomes and wins in the afternoon from Hannah McCook, Eilidh Briggs and Gemma Batty. Connie Jaffrey and Shannon McWilliam earned halves over Kath O’Connor and Megan Lockett to extend their advantage. Georgia Lewis registered the sole win for the Welsh when she beat Chloe Goadby 2&1.