Meadow’s birdie blitz keeps Irish dream alive

A brilliant two under par 70 by former British champion Stephanie Meadow gave Ireland a chance of qualifying for the top flight — the last eight — in the European Ladies Team Championship at Fulford, York today.

The 21-year-old Curtis Cup player from Royal Portrush carded a sensational bogey-free homeward half of 31, which included five birdies.

Alabama University Accountancy student Meadow was the last of the Irish to go out and until she finished, it looked as her country would have to play catch-up today.

But her heroics meant Ireland finished with a five-card aggregate of 371 for a share of seventh place, albeit 22 strokes behind leaders Denmark but within the first flight cut-off point. Both the Maguires Leona and Lisa ended with respectable scores of 74, each finishing with a birdie four.

New Irish champion Paula Grant carded a 76 and Maria Dunne one stroke more while Chloe Ryan was far from her best and slumped to a non-counting 83.

Meanwhile Ireland’s girls side will have to produce something special if they are to progress in their European championships at Linkoping in Sweden.

After day one, they languish in joint 14th place on 387, their best score yesterday being a 75 by Mary Doyle.

They are 25 strokes off the pace and seven outside the top flight positions.

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