Irish ladies on brink of glory

Ireland are on the brink of retaining their Ladies’ Home International crown heading into this morning’s showdown with Scotland at Ballybunion.

Irish ladies on brink of glory

Jay Bayford

Ireland are on the brink of retaining their Ladies’ Home International crown heading into this morning’s showdown with Scotland at Ballybunion.

That is after Danielle McVeigh’s side made it two wins out of two yesterday with a thumping 7.5-1.5 victory over Wales — to back-up their 5-4 opening day win over England.

Hosts Ireland, who held a dominant 3-0 lead after the foursomes, went on to press home that advantage in the afternoon by winning four and halving another of the six singles contests.

The standout was a crushing 8&6 victory for Castlewarden’s Lauren Walsh over Bethan Morris while there were also victories for Paula Grant, Shannon Burke and Jessica Ross.

Mairead Martin, who secured the crucial half point last year, halved with Caitlin Evans-Brand.

Scotland suffered a blow yesterday as they went down 5-4 against England.

Meanwhile, at the same venue Ireland’s Girls will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon today as they also take on Scotland.

Having tied 4.5-4.5 with champions England on the opening day, Ireland’s hopes of regaining the title they surrendered last year evaporated following a 5.5-3.5 defeat by Wales yesterday.

Helen Jones’ Irish team led 2-1 after the foursomes but four defeats out of six in the singles proved costly.

Wales now will face England for the title today.

And over at Royal Dornoch in Scotland there was heartbreak for Ireland who agonisingly missed out on a first Boys’ Home International title since 2013 following a narrow 8-7 defeat against England — who in turn made it three titles on the trot.

Ireland trailed 3-2 after the morning foursomes and, despite victories in the singles for Mark Power, Aaron Marshall, Allan Hill and David Kitt — as well as halves for John Brady and Max Kennedy — they would ultimately fall just short with Tom McKibbin, Eoin Murphy, Luke O’Neill and Charlie Denvir all defeated.

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