Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb starred as England pulled out all the stops to retain the women’s Home Internationals title in an intensely tight finale at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club.
The team produced a great singles performance to beat Ireland 5-4, but had to wait for the outcome of the other match, between Wales and Scotland, before they could be crowned champions.
England had beaten Wales 5-4, with Sophie teaming up with Inci Mehmet (Royal Mid-Surrey) to win 4&3 against Georgia Lewis and Bethan Morris in the foursomes, and Katherine O’Connor 1 up in the singles.
In a 6-3 defeat against Scotland, Sophie and Mehmet won 2&1 against Shannon McWilliam and Hannah McCook, though Sophie lost her singles match against Gabrielle MacDonald 5&3.
At the start of the final day, the title race was wide open.
Ireland were front runners and looked even stronger at lunchtime, after winning the morning foursomes 2-1 – with England’s point coming courtesy of Sophie and Mehmet, beating Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson 3&2.
But England stormed out in the singles, led by Hollie Muse (West Lancashire) who won the first hole against Mehaffey, and went on to win 5&4.
Sophie trailed for the first part of her match, but didn’t lose a hole after the fifth, got in front on the 14th and went on to win 3&1.
Mehmet was three up with three to play but was taken to the 18th, where she played the hole with textbook precision to claim her point.
Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) got in front on the third – and stayed there, extending her lead to five up after 11 holes and finally winning 4&2.
So England secured the point – but if Scotland beat Wales, they would tie with England and the result would be decided on countback. However the Welsh held on to win 5-4.
This week, Sophie is in action with Lancashire in the final of the women’s English County Championship at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire.