Saturday 27 December 2014

Hurley maintains push for Euro glory

Published 08/08/2014 | 02:30

Gary Hurley is in contention to become first Irish winner of the European Amateur Championship for eight years. Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Gary Hurley is in contention to become first Irish winner of the European Amateur Championship for eight years. Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Gary Hurley is still very much in contention to become the first Irish winner of the European Amateur Championship for eight years after finishing Day 2 on the Dukes Course at St Andrews in a four-way tie for the lead.

The 21-year-old West Waterford star took a one-shot advantage into the second day after a superb first-round 66 and, despite going round in one-over-par 72 yesterday, still remains very much in the hunt for the crown at four-under with 36 holes remaining.

Hurley is sure to face stiff competition in his bid for glory, with England international Ben Stow, Finland's Lauri Ruuska and Italian Renato Paratore all also on four-under.

Ballymena's Dermot McElroy is still in contention in seventh place at one-under after a level par 71 in his second round.

Jack Hume from Naas is a little further back – tied for 19th – after finishing the day at two-over-par.

Richard Bridges (Stackstown) is five-over on 147, while Gavin Moynihan from the Island had a better day adding a fine 68 to his opening 77 to lie three-over-par.

Geoff Lenehan is struggling to make the cut at 11 over par.

WILSON SINKS DOWN THE LEADERBOARD

George Wilson still spearheads the Irish challenge after two rounds of the British Senior Amateur Championships at Ganton,in Yorkshire, but his plunge down the leaderboard after a nightmare 81 has given him a mountain to climb as he finished up tied for 14th at 11-over.

He goes into the final day seven shots behind leader, Brady Exber.

Naas man Maurice Kelly improved slightly, but is well back on 13-over after six bogeys in a second round 76.

Elsewhere among the Irish contingent, Hugh Smyth (Mourne) is 13-over, the same mark as Adrian Morrow (Portmarnock). Tom Cleary (Cork) is currently tied for 52nd at 16 over.

Ireland boys pipped at

THE POST BY ENGLAND

Ireland were pipped at the post at Western Gailes in Ayrshire yesterday in their quest for back-to-back Boys Home International titles.

After appearing to be in the driving seat for much of a tense final afternoon, they went down 8-7 to England, who took over as champions and lifted the imposing R&A Trophy.

Scotland finished in third spot with Wales once again the wooden spoonists.

Ireland lost the foursomes 3-2 to England, but then started brilliantly in the singles and at one time led or were level in all but two of the 10 matches – but slowly the picture changed.

And when Cathal Butler lost the last two holes to Harry Hall their fate was sealed.

But there were some outstanding individual Irish performances from James Sugrue, Kevin Leblanc and Rowan Lester over the competition.

Meanwhile, Ireland kept alive their outside chances of wresting the girls' home internationals title away from England's grasp when they demolished hapless Wales 8.5-0.5 at Donabate.

Victory over Scotland today and an unlikely success by Wales over England would give the Irish the coveted Stroyan Cup.

Irish Independent

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