Saturday, 14 September 2013

Wales Ladies clinch Home Internationals title

Wales Ladies clinched their third Home Internationals title in the last six years, only their fourth in more than 100 years, as a comfortable win over hosts Scotland gave them a clean sweep of victories.

Having opened with a comfortable win over defending champions England and then squeezed past Ireland by a single point, Wales had one hand on the trophy after taking all three morning foursomes matches against a Scotland side looking for their first win.

Victory came in the first two games of the afternoon with Amy Boulden, from Llandudno-Maesdu, leading the way playing her last game as an amateur before turning professional. She beat Eilidh Briggs by one hole to finish one of the best ever Welsh amateur careers on a high.

The title was clinched by Wrexham's Chloe Williams maintaining her perfect record of six points out of six, the only player to achieve that in this year's Home Internationals. She beat Lauren Whyte 4 and 3.

With the title in the bag, the points kept coming for Wales. Vale of Glamorgan's Katie Bradbury halved with Alyson McKechin, Tadmarton Heath's Katherin O'Connor beat Connie Jaffrey, while Becky Harries from Haverfordwest rounded things off with a half with Hannah McCook.

The only reverse was Wolstanton's Samantha Birks losing to Heather Monroe as Wales completed an 7-2 victory over the Scots. At that point, the celebrations could begin.

“That was a great team performance and really good to be a part of. It also felt good to win six out of six,” said Williams.

“We had a really good preparation coming into this event and I just played really good golf in each match. Finishing as the top points scorer has given me a lot of confidence going forward.”

Golf Union of Wales director of performance Ben Waterhouse added, “This was the most complete team performance in my time with Union. We have played very, very well, it was a complete team performance with every player contributing.

“It was a fantastic team performance, they have all supported each other superbly with players not involved in matches caddying for their teammates.”

Captain Jill Evans was delighted with the performance of the team, but felt it reflected the work put in off the course as well as on it.

“We were so close last year, just missing out to England despite not losing a match, that we really wanted it this year,” she explained.

“We were the best prepared team here and they had a chance to show that on the course. Coach Jeremy Bennett played a big part in that, his contribution was huge, while the girls all did really well.”

The tone was set for a day of dominance in the morning foursomes. Birks and O'Connor led the way with a 3 and 2 victory over McKechin and Eilidh Briggs. They turned level but won three unanswered holes on the back nine.

Williams and Bradbury maintained their unbeaten record as a pairing, turning one up and completing a 2 and 1 victory over Megan Briggs and MacDonald. Boulden and Harries dropped to third in the order after leading the team out every other day and stormed to a 6 and 5 win over McCook and Jaffrey.

Newport's Jess Evans and Huddersfield's Megan Lockett were left out on the final day, but they had also contributed to the success on the first two days.


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