Clitheroe golfer Sophie in the points to help claim Home Internationals hat-trick

The England team (picture courtesy LGU, back row, from left): Meghan MacLaren, Emma Allen, Olivia Winning, Sophie Lamb; front, Gemma Clews, Sammie Giles, Lizzie Prior and Elaine Ratcliffe.
The England team (picture courtesy LGU, back row, from left): Meghan MacLaren, Emma Allen, Olivia Winning, Sophie Lamb; front, Gemma Clews, Sammie Giles, Lizzie Prior and Elaine Ratcliffe.
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England win the Women’s Home Internationals for the third year in a row, with a comprehensive 7-2 victory over hosts Wales on the final day of the championship at Conwy Golf Club.

England added that win to a halved result with Ireland on the opening day, and a 6-3 victory against Scotland to retain the title – and follow up on their earlier triumph in the European women’s team championship.

This was England’s fifth win in the last six years, and was achieved in difficult weather conditions, which included very strong winds and heavy showers.

Team captain Elaine Ratcliffe commented: “I can’t say enough times that I saw some wonderful golf this week in tough conditions.

“I am very proud of how the girls always battled and were patient out there.”

The series began against Ireland, described by Ratcliffe, as “tough opposition who, in the conditions, played some amazing golf and whose short game was second to none in the foursomes.”

England managed just one halved result from the three foursomes, as Sophie and Delamere Forest’s Gemma Clews finished all square with Maria Dunne and Jessica Carty, but dominated the singles, winning four of the six games to halve the match. Sophie beat Paula Grant 5&3.

“We went out and played our hearts out to halve,” said Ratcliffe.

On the second day against Scotland, the team again struggled in the foursomes, winning just one point, as Sophie, again partnered by Clews, was beaten by Clara Young and Connie Jaffrey 3&1.

But in the singles, they won five of the six games, including Sophie’s win over Jessica Meek in the singles by 3&1.

“At least we had one point from the foursomes but again we had a mountain to climb,” said Ratcliffe. “The girls went out and played well, we had some tight matches and they were magnificent from 12 onwards to turn some games around and to get the win.”

In the final match against Wales, Ratcliffe mixed up two of the foursomes pairings and the team won all three games.

Partnering Emma Allen against Wales, Sophie enjoyed a 1 up win against Lauren Hillier and Katherine O’Connor in the foursomes.

Wales came out for the singles in determined mood and in the early stages the match was close. But then Meghan MacLaren and Clews drew away for big wins, 6/5 and 4/3 respectively; while Sammie Giles and Allen worked steadily towards identical winning scorelines of 2/1 – to complete the victory.

Sophie lost 2&1 to O’Connor in the singles.

Sophie’s tally of three and a half points helped England rotal 17 and a half, to win by four and a half points from Wales.