|Issued 9th July, 2016
The England women’s team are European champions for the first time in 23 years.
The team are celebrating a superb campaign after they beat Spain 4-3 at Oddur Golf Club in Iceland to win the gold medal at European ladies’ team championship.
It’s their first victory since 1993 when, coincidentally, they also beat Spain to the title. Since then they’ve had three silvers and, for the past three years, they’ve been involved in bronze medal play-offs but have left the championships empty handed on each occasion.
Today, though, it was the gold medal, with the winning point scored by English champion Bronte Law, who won all five of her games in last month’s Curtis Cup match.
The team, coached by Steve Robinson of Yorkshire and captained by Anne Baines of Lancashire, was Emma Allen (Meon Valley), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Bronte Law (Bramhall), Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough), Lizzie Prior (Burhill) and OIivia Winning (Rotherham).
The final was incredibly tight with six of the day’s seven matches going to the 18th hole. Only Law and partner Emma Allen won a game in comfortable fashion, claiming the team’s morning foursomes point 5/4. In the other foursomes Meghan MacLaren and Alice Hewson lost 1 down.
In the singles, England quickly moved ahead in the early stages but were steadily pegged back by Spain. It eventually fell to the team’s three Curtis Cup players to provide the necessary points for victory with MacLaren, Hewson and Law all winning 1up. Allen and Winning, who was playing the world number three, were both beaten by the same narrow margin.
Steve Robinson said: “The Curtis Cup girls have been immense with their performances but the other girls have been huge as well. They have dug in and fought for every single point. There has been a huge fighting spirit and never once did I see heads go down. We just all thought we could win.
“Spain played some great golf this afternoon but Meghan just ground it out, followed by Alice, who ground it out, and Bronte, who likes a starring role!”
He also paid tribute to Winning, Allen and to Lizzie Prior, who, said Robinson: “Didn’t play as much, but she was a massive support and I can’t thank her enough. Anne has been a great captain, very, very supportive and everyone at England Golf has gone above and beyond.
Rebecca Hembrough, England Golf’s Women’s Performance Manager said: “I could not be happier for Steve and the team. This title is a product of huge belief, long-term hard work and determination.”
Elsewhere there were good wins for England’s three other teams at their respective European championships.
The England girls beat the hosts, Norway, 3.5-1.5 at Oslo Golf Club, to finish 5th in their Flight A. It was the best result they could achieve after losing their quarter-final match.
The England men beat the Netherlands 3.5-1.5 in Chantilly, France, and finished 13th overall in their championship, securing their place for next year.
The England boys beat Wales 4.5-0.5 in Austria and also finished 13th in their championship, securing their place for 2017.
Girls – Louisa Brunt (Royal Birkdale), Sharna Dutrieux (Wrotham Heath), Lily May Humphreys (Channels), Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer), Bel Wardle (Prestbury) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).
Men – Jamie Bower (Meltham), Adam Chapman (Windermere), Scott Gregory (Corhampton), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood), Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park).
Boys – Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall), Callum Farr (Priors Hall) John Gough (Stoke Park, Matty Lamb (Hexham), Daniel O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor).
Click here for full scores