Ireland off on right foot at Royal Wimbledon

Olivia Mehaffey
Olivia Mehaffey

Ireland made a strong start to the Women’s Home Internationals at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club on Wednesday beating Scotland 6.5 to 2.5.

Ulster duo Olivia Mehaffey (RCDL) and Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) led the way in the opening foursomes match of the day claiming a 4&3 win.

The second pairing out of Paula Grant (Lisburn) and Julie McCarthy (Forrest Little) made a steady start and turned one up. The Irish ladies turned up the heat on the back nine, winning 11, 12, 13 and 15 to secure the second point for Ireland.

Ireland’s third match came down to the wire for Maria Dunne (Skerries) and Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) as they struggled to get ahead of the Scottish pair Gabrielle MacDonald and Gillian Paton.

However, a win on 13 brought them back to all square and a final push on the last hole ensured that Ireland went into the afternoon singles with a three point lead.

The singles proved to be was a closer affair between the two sides. Despite taking an early lead, Olivia Mehaffey was defeated by Hannah McCook on the 18th green.

Nothing fazed 14-year-old Annabel Wilson as she shook hands with Megan Briggs on the 15th green to claim another crucial point for the Irish side.

Junior Vagliano player, Shannon McWilliam, proved too strong for Paula Grant and took a point for Scotland on the 17th green.

Niamh McSherry (Lurgan), a newly capped senior player for Ireland, clinched victory on the 14th green which guaranteed Ireland overall victory.

Irish Champion Sarah Helly (Enniscrone) won four consecutive holes to move to three up and closed out the match on the 17th hole.

Experienced player Maria Dunne went three down early and struggled to draw level until the home green where she secured a valuable halved match.

Ireland face Wales on Thursday, who lost out narrowly to defending champions England.