Irish hopes of a first European Amateur Team Championship triumph since 2008 were dashed yesterday as they suffered defeat to Italy in the quarter-finals over the challenging Chantilly course in France.
Having qualified for the match play stages in sixth, Tony Goode’s side were outdone 4½-2½ by the Italians and means the highest they can finish now is fifth. It was all square after the two morning foursomes, with both Irish pairs two down with three to play in their matches.
Tullamore’s Stuart Grehan and Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) completed a stunning fightback as they eventually took their match with Jacopo Vecchi Fossa and Guido Migliozzi on the 20th.
Naas pair Jack Hume and Conor O’Rourke were beaten on the final green by Lorenzo Scalise and Stefano Mazzoli leaving the match deadlocked heading into the five afternoon singles contests.
It was then that the Italians really took over, winning three of the five matches to secure a semi-final clash with defending champions Scotland today.
Walker Cup star Hume was the only Irishman leading heading into the back nine in any of the matches, as he eventually defeated Luca Cianchetti 5&4. The Island’s Paul McBride halved a topsy-turvy contest with Stefano Mazzoli.
McBride was one down after nine, but then rallied to win three of the next four holes to go two up through 13.
However he was unable to close out, with Mazzoli winning two of the final three holes to halve.
Grehan lost 2&1 against Federico Zucchetti when, after being all square after nine, he was left to rue losing four holes in a row straight after the turn that swung the match the Italian’s way.
Irish Amateur Open champion Campbell lost 3&2 against Migliozzi while O’Rourke was defeated 2&1 by Scalise.
Sweden are up against Denmark in the other semi-final clash today while Ireland face Spain as they attempt to try and finish the tournament with a flourish.
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