By COLIN FARQUHARSON
“The Catriona Matthew inspiration is working already,” said a cock-a-hoop captain Margaret MacNaughtan
after Scotland toppled European champions Ireland
on the opening day of the Under-18 gitrls’ home international matches at Fairhaven Golf Club, Lancashire today
Very much the underdogs against an Irish team that won the Euro girls team title only four weeks ago and includes two Vagliano Trophy team players in the 14-year-old Maguire twins, Scotland rallied from 3-1 down to win 5-4.
That sets the scene for a Day 2 summit meeting – Scotland versus defending champions England.
The English walloped Wales 8-1 in their opening tie.
“I’ve never seen a Scotland girls team so animated since they went to Royal Lytham to see Catriona winning the Women’s British Open and meeting her afterwards. And I’m quite certain that some of Catriona’s magic rubbed off on our girls,” said Mrs MacNaughtan, who played for Scotland … at hockey.
“To beat Ireland was a simply fantastic performance. I don’t want to single any players out for special mention because I’ve been stressing since we got here that this is a team championship – and everybody has a role to play in the team effort.
“And that was some team effort against Ireland.”
The Scots, 2-1 down from the morning foursomes, saw that deficit stretchto two points when Lisa Maguire produced some brilliant golf to beat Alyson McKechin (Eldereslie)
7 and 6. Lisa was six up at the turn and birdied the first, fourth, sixth and 10th She was roughly four under par for the holes played.Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm)
started the afternoon ball rolling for Scotland when she put a second team point on the board by beating Sara Helly 4 and 3Helly was one up at the turn but the initiative in what had been a tight match was seized by Briggs
who won three holes in a row, the 13th, 14th and 15th , for victoryRachael Watton
put Scotland on level terms at 3-3 overall with a tremendous 2 and 1 win over Leona Maguire. The tone for a quality match was set when the first hole was halved in birdie 4s. Watton took the lead at the second and was never in arrears after that.
Maguire won the third but the Scot then won the fourth, fifth and eighth to take a three-hole lead. Briggs lost the 10th but went back to three up with a birdie 3 at the 12th. In a ding-dong finish Maguire birdied the 15th and 16th to cut her deficit to one but Briggs won the 17th and the match with a par.
Scotland moved into a 4-3 lead when their new champion, Ailsa Bain (Peebles) beat her Irish counterpart Emma O’Driscoll by one hole after being two down at the turn. Bain won the 10th, the 11th with a birdie and then the 12th to lead for the first time.
O’Driscoll squared the contest again at the 14th but Bain’s par 3 at the 17th put her back in the lead and the last hole was halved.
Ireland drew level at 4-4 when Carla Reynolds, who had been three up after three holes, bt Lesley Atkins (Minto) by 3 and 2 after the Scot had cut her deficit to one hole with a birdie at the 11th. Reynolds won the 12th, 13th and 14th to go four up. Atkins won the 15th but a half at the 16th ended the match in Ireland’s favour.
And so everything hinged on the last of the six singles – Sammy Lesie for Scotland and Patrice Delaney for Ireland.
After losing the first hole, Leslie, from Westhill, Aberdeen, won the next four in a row for a three-hole advantage which was cut to one when Delaney won the seventh and eighth.
A birdie by the Scot at the ninth put her two up again and a par at the 13th was good enough to re-establish Leslie’s three-hole lead and a half in bogey 6s at the 15th meant that neither Sammy nor Scotland could be beaten.END OF PLAY RESULTS
ENGLAND 8, WALES 1 SCOTLAND 5
, IRELAND 4
FIRST DAY FOURSOMES
ENGLAND 3, WALES 0
England names first
Kelly Tidy & Heidi Baek bt Chloe Williams & Natasha Gobey 1 hole (Wales one up after nine).
Hayley Davis & Hannah Turland bt Gemma & Katie Bradbury 4 and 3 (England four up after nine).
Alexandra Peters & Holly Clyburn bt Kelly Miller & Amy Boulden 2 and 1 (England one up after nine).SCOTLAND 1
, IRELAND 2
Scotland names first
Ailsa Bain & Sammy Leslie lost to Leona & Lisa Maguire 5 and 4 (Ireland two up after nine).
Lesley Atkins & Alyson McKechin
lost to Patrice Elaney & Carla Reynolds 2 and 1 (Ireland one up after nine).Eilidh Briggs
& Rachael Watton bt Laura McCarthy & Emma O'Driscoll 2 and 1 (Scotland four up after nine).
ENGLAND v WALES
Holly Clyburn bt Natasha Gobey 2 holes (Wales one up after nine).
Kelly Tidy bt Amy Boulden 2 holes (Wales one up after nine)
Lauren Taylor bt Gemma Bradbury 4 and 3 (England four up after nine).
Nikki Foster bt Katie Bradbury 2 and 1 (Wales one up after nine).
Hayley Davis lost to Chloe Williams 4 and 3 (Wales three up after nine).
Alexandra Peters bt Emma Davies 8 and 7 (England seven up after nine).SCOTLAND
Ailsa Bain bt Emma O'Driscoll 4 and 3.Alyson McKechin
lost to Lisa Maguire 7 and 6.
Rachael Watton bt Leona Maguire 2 and 1.Eilidh Briggs
bt Sarah Helly 4 and 3.
Lesley Atkins lost to Carla Reynolds 3 and 2.
Sammy Leslie bt Patrice Delaney 4 and 2.