Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb played her part as England’s wonderful women became European team champions again – winning the gold medal for the second year in a row.
Gemma Clews took them over the line when she won her game 1up to clinch the victory over Italy, with the match ending 5.5-1.5 in England’s favour.
The result marked a special double for Alice Hewson who was also in last year’s winning team.
The championships have highlighted England’s prominence in European golf, particularly when added to the individual wins of Alfie Plant in this month’s European amateur and Bronte Law’s victory in the 2016 European women’s amateur.
Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director said: “It’s great that the women have successfully defended their title.”
The women were playing in Portugal, as defending champions England faced Italy, who were attempting to win the trophy for the first time.
England got off to a flying start, winning both foursomes matches in the morning with Clews and Lamb taking their point 4/2, while Hewson and India Clyburn won 2/1.
Lianna Bailey, first out in the afternoon, went on to win her singles match, leaving her team only one point short of victory with four matches still out on the course.
The match was decided on the 18th hole when Italy’s Angelica Morseco, who was 1-down, lipped out for birdie leaving Clews two putts to halve the hole, win her fifth match of the week, and clinch the decisive point for her team.
Hewson picked up her second gold medal, and Lamb, alongside Clews, was the only other player to remain undefeated in Flight A of the match play, helping her team to a record 10th victory in the European Ladies’ Team Championship.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on gold in the final, Italy’s silver medal marks their best-ever result, and first-ever medal, in the European Ladies’ Team Championship.
The team was: Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest), India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted) Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe), Rochelle Morris (Woodsome Hall).