Double agony as Irish teams bow out to old enemy
Ireland suffered double agony in the European Amateur Team Championships as both men and women crashed out after two very different defeats to England.
An inexplicable singles collapse against at Halmstad in Sweden cost the Ireland men's team the chance of collecting their first title for seven years. The Irish started in style, winning both foursomes.
Gavin Moynihan and Jack Hume edged out Ashley Chesters and Jimmy Mullen at the second extra hole while Cormac Sharvin and Dermot McElroy defeated Sean Towndrow and Ashton Turner 2&1.
While Sharvin struggled in the afternoon and lost 4&3 to an inspired Ben Taylor, one by one the other Irish players lost promising leads. Paul Dunne had his nose in front of Mullen much of the way, but the Devon man pulled level and eventually won on the 20th.
Moynihan also slipped to defeat on the home green to Turner and Gary Hurley let a lead slip to lose 2&1 to Chesters as England won 4.5 to 2.5 with only Hume taking a half with Nick Marsh.
Squeezed At Helsingor in Denmark the women's team were beaten by England in a sudden-death play-off.
Having squeezed into the last eight in bottom spot they started very much as underdogs but led for most of the day.
They won both morning foursomes with Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey overcoming Singapore-based Charlotte Thomas and Hayley Davis and Jessica Carty and Maria Dunne beating Bronte Law and Meghan Maclaren.
Needing just two singles points for victory, four of the five players established early advantages. Only Chloe Ryan was outplayed, losing 7&5 to former English champ Davis.
But Mehaffey lost her grip on the match against Maclaren and went down 3&2. Maria Dunne was pipped on the last by Alice Hewson.
Maguire had to rely on a birdie at the 19th to see her home. For Carty it was even more dramatic - she was one up after 15 on Thomas but cruelly lost on the 22nd hole.