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Glory for Spain and disappointment for England

14th July 2013

Glory for Spain and disappointment for England

Spain (Image © Leaderboard Photography) beat Austria in the final to become champions for the fifth time

Golden glory for Spain and disappointment for England – that's the story of the final day of the European ladies' team championship at Fulford, York.

Spain (Image © Leaderboard Photography) beat Austria in the final to become champions for the fifth time, amid scenes of great celebration by the players.  But England ended the week empty handed when they lost the bronze medal play-off to Finland.

The team were on the back foot after lost both morning foursomes, one finishing on the 19th and the other on the 18th. But they vowed to come out fighting in the singles – and that's exactly what they did.

They needed to take four of the five afternoon matches and, although Bronte Law lost her match, it was a case of ‘game on' when Georgia Hall, Hayley Davis and Meghan MacLaren all won. But a birdie blitz from Lauren Taylor's opponent stopped the charge in its tracks.

Lauren had been ahead after 13 holes, but Finland's Krista Bakker, produced a run of consecutive birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th to come from one down to two up. When the 17th was halved, England's medal hopes were finally ended and it was Finland who took the bronze.

England captain Emma Brown remarked: “We had a great fightback in the singles, they all played well this afternoon and made it an exciting, close match. They are disappointed, but they have done well and they will bounce back.”

Steve Robinson, the England coach, echoed her words: “We've given a lot of people a lot of entertainment this week and we ended up playing for a medal.

“We would have liked to win one and I am disappointed for the girls after they put in such a lot of effort. I can't fault them for effort, they were 2-0 down and they gave Finland a fright. I'm proud of them.”

In the final, Spain put the early pressure on Austria when they won both morning foursomes and needed just two points from the singles.

The afternoon session was closely contested and each side had won a point before the top game turned into the decider. Austria came down the 18th one-up, but Spain's Noemi Jiminez squared the match when she got up and down from a bunker for birdie.

When she sank her par putt on the 19th to win the hole and the championship it was the signal for the Spanish celebrations to begin.

Spain's captain Mabel Pascual Del Pobil said: “I am so happy, it has been so tight. We have been so close this year in other events that we really wanted this. It's been a really tough week and the girls have played great. I am very, very proud of my team.”

The championship ended as it began, in glorious sunshine, with another eye-catching ceremony featuring all the teams and the Yorkshire Volunteer Band.

Tributes were paid to Fulford Golf Club's support for the event, for their green staff's work to present the course in superb condition and for the army of volunteers who helped to make the tournament run so smoothly.

Fulford president Barbara Saville told the players: “We have loved having you here and hope you return to your countries with happy memories.”

The 2014 championship will be hosted by Slovenia.

Finals placings
1 Spain
2 Austria
3 Finland
4 England
5 Denmark
6 France
7 Netherlands
8 Sweden
9 Germany
10 Belgium
11 Ireland
12 Scotland
13 Wales
14 Italy
15 Slovenia
16 Norway
17 Iceland
18 Switzerland
19 Slovakia

For full details, scores and championship images visit www.englandgolf.org/euro2013

Gold medal dream ends for England

12th July 2013

England's gold medal dream has ended at the European ladies' team championship at Fulford, York. Now it's a battle for bronze.

The team's hopes were dashed by a sparkling Spanish side who won their semi-final clash 4½-2½ and go on to face Austria in the final.  

England will take aim on the bronze and focus on tomorrow's play-off match against Finland, the other semi-final losers.

“It's been a bad day, but we still have a chance of a medal and we will go out and try and win it,” said team captain Emma Brown.

England played well today, in scorching heat, but the Spanish played better, hitting fairways and greens with metronomic repetition. When they did miss the target they displayed remarkable short game skills.

“We played nicely, but they played a bit better than us,” said Emma.

Honours were even between the two teams after the morning foursomes, thanks to an impressive fightback from Hayley Davis (image © Leaderboard Photography) and Georgia Hall. They came back from three down to win two up and keep the lunchtime score at one-all, after Bronte Law and Meghan MacLaren lost on the last.

The singles were hard fought, but throughout most of the afternoon the Spanish team just had the edge.

Georgia Hall had the upper hand over the opening holes of her singles and birdied the seventh to go one up. But her opponent birdied the ninth and 11th to take the lead and, once in front, she stayed there and won on the 17th.

Behind them, team fortunes were swinging to and fro, but as the match moved into the closing stages both Lauren Taylor and Hayley Davis were ahead and looking good. However three singles points were necessary for a win and, try as they might, the other players were unable to provide one more.

Sarah-Jane Boyd had dropped behind in her match early on and couldn't recreate the game-winning heroics of yesterday. Bronte Law was also trailing as she played the closing holes and anything she could do, her opponent could match. On the 16th, for example, Bronte hit the pin with her approach and holed the putt for a birdie – but the Spanish player followed her in for her own birdie to seal her team's victory.

At that stage Lauren and Hayley's matches were still live and both players were up. Hayley's was played to a conclusion, but Lauren was asked to accept a halved result.

In the day's other semi-final Austria, who have never won this championship, beat Finland 5½-1½.

England results
Foursomes
Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak) & Hayley Davis (Ferndown) beat Camilla Hedberg & Noemi Jiminez 2 up
Bronte Law (Bramhall) & Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough) lost to Natalia Escuriola & Marta Sanz 2 down

Singles
Hall lost to Jiminez 2/1
Sarah-Jane Boyd (Truro) lost to Luna Sobron 4/3
Davis beat Sanz 1 up
Lauren Taylor (Woburn) halved with Hedberg
Law lost to Escurolia 3/2

England tee off against Finland tomorrow at 8.20.Order of play:

Foursomes
0820 Georgia Hall & Hayley Davis
0830 Meghan MacLaren & Sarah-Jane Boyd

Singles
1320 Georgia Hall
1328 Hayley Davis
1336 Bronte Law
1344 Meghan MacLaren
1352 Lauren Taylor Notes for Readers:-
England Golf is the governing body for amateur golf in England.
England Golf was formed on 1st January 2012 following the merger of the English Golf Union Ltd. and the English Women's Golf Association and is one of the largest sports governing bodies in England looking after the interests of over 1,900 golf clubs and 770,000 men and women club members.

Responsible for the training of the country's top amateur golfers, England Golf also organises all the major English amateur championships. England Golf works to actively encourage new golfers and increase the continued interest and participation in golf through its golf development initiative ‘Get into Golf'.

England Golf is a member of The England Golf Partnership (EGP) together with the PGA and supported by the Golf Foundation and Sport England. Their Whole Sport Plan for golf identifies how England will achieve its vision of becoming ‘The Leading Golf Nation in the World by 2020' from grass roots right through to elite level.

Web: www.englandgolf.org
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EnglandGolf
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EnglandGolf







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