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England beat the Irish to retain European crown
5th September 2010

England are still the kings of European seniors golf. They retained the title they won in Switzerland last year when they beat Ireland 4½ - ½ in the final showdown for the European Seniors Men's Team Championship at Fairhaven (picture © Tom Ward).

The victory means England have levelled with the Irish, both nations having two wins in the five years the championship has been played. It also means the title remains in the British Isles as Scotland were the first winners back in 2006.

The English team couldn't have visualised winning by such a margin so it was a happy yet relieved England captain Richard Palmer who said:

"I'm absolutely delighted. On paper, the Irish were undoubtedly the strongest team here but I have faith in my chaps and they keep going no matter what happens. Many of the matches were closer than the scores suggest but to win four matches and call the other a half against Ireland was amazing. But my biggest thrill was to successfully defend the trophy at home."

Doug Arnold and Dave Jessup, who swept all before them throughout the week, led the way with a 3 and 2 win over Tom Cleary and Michael Quirke and that seemed to provide the fillip for the rest of the team in the singles.

England Champion Alan Squires played his Irish equivalent Maurice Kelly and there was nothing to separate them at the turn. But Squires won three holes in four from the 11th with a birdie and two pars before claiming a 2 and 1 success.

"It's brilliant," said the Lancastrian. "On paper we shouldn't have won so easily but our team spirit was fantastic while the captain Richard did a brilliant job. He put Doug and Dave out every day in the foursomes and they went from strength to strength. Maurice and I have had some battles. He's a great player but he wasn't on his game today."

Andrew Carman, in his first European Seniors, was all-square with Arthur Pierse at the turn but also forged ahead on the back nine to win 3 and 2 as did Chris Reynolds over Adrian Morrow.

Reynolds won three holes in a row from the fourth to be 3-up after nine and although he was temporarily pegged back, a further birdie saw him home 3 and 2.

"This is stunning," said the Kent man. "I thought we might win 3-2 but the lads pulled together as a team and today when the putts were needed they were holed."

With the overall victory achieved, the final game with Philip Slater 1-up on Garth McGimpsey after 15 holes, was declared a half.

It was a bitter blow to the Irish, who had topped the qualifying and looked every inch potential champions as they stormed to the final.

But a third European title wasn't to be and their captain Barry Doyle reflected their feelings. "I'm very disappointed," he said. "But the team didn't play as well as the previous days but that's golf. We'll do battle again in the Seniors Home Internationals in a fortnight and we'll try to turn the tables."

Scotland claimed third place with a 3-2 win over Spain, German were fifth by beating Sweden, and Switzerland seventh after overcoming Austria.

France topped Flight B by beating the Netherlands 3-2, Denmark finished 11th with a 4-1 win over Portugal, Italy were 13th by beating Finland, and Belgium overcame Norway 4-1 to fill 15th place.

In Flight C, Luxembourg beat Slovenia 3-2 to finish 17th.

For results, championship commentary, news updates and pictures visit www.englishgolfunion.org .

 









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