Ireland off to a flyer
Published 09/09/2010 | 05:00
Ireland made a flying start for a first Women's Home International title in six years when they demolished England over the Whitchurch course in Cardiff.
Having taken the foursomes 2-1 the Irish produced a scintillating singles performance to win all six matches for an overall 8-1 victory.
On paper England are the strongest team and with 13 wins in the last 18 years, they were expected to control the series. But the first day belonged to Ireland and their margins of success were, in most cases, substantial.
With the foursomes poised at one match apiece, a pivotal moment arrived when Gillian O'Leary and Sinead O'Sullivan were two down with four to play to Nikki Foster and Charlie Douglass in the third match. But O'Leary and O'Sullivan won three holes on the bounce and held on at the last for a point.
At the top of the singles order Danielle McVeigh went ahead at the third against English champion Hayley Davis and never looked back. She was five-under-par when winning 3&2.
The 15-year-old Maguire twins were in superb form and were six- under-par when sweeping to foursomes success and then going on to deliver the goods in the singles.
Leona was three up at the turn against Charlotte Ellis. She then took the next three holes and, after losing the 13th to a birdie, wrapped up the match 5&4. Lisa won 4&3 against Charley Hull.
Cork's O'Leary followed up the foursomes triumph by overwhelming Tara Watters by 6&4, while in the tightest match, debutant Louise Coffey edged out British champion Kelly Tidy by 3&1.
Ireland today face defending champs Wales who were yesterday beaten 6.5-2.5 by Scotland.
Meanwhile, Richard Kilpatrick slipped back after the second round of the European Tour's qualifying school stage one at Barbaroux in France yesterday. He tumbled to a four-over 76 for a two-over total of 146 and finished in a share of 13th.
Limerick's Cian McNamara sits in 26th spot on 149 after a 74, with Michael Mulryan on the 150 mark after a 76. Glen Robinson lags outside qualifying on 157 after a 77.
At Ebreichsdorf in Austria, Eammon Brady withdrew after a calamitous 83 left him on a 13-over aggregate of 157. Justin Brink had a 79 for a 157 total.