Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow and Olivia Mehaffey were members of the GB&I team that suffered heavy defeats to Europe at the Vagliano Trophy matches at Chantilly, France, 28-29 June.
The Continent of Europe retained both the Vagliano Trophy and the Junior Vagliano Trophy when the biennial matches concluded at a sunny Chantilly Golf Club near Paris today. GB&I, whose last Vagliano Cup victory was in 2005 at the same venue, lost by 16½-7½. The GB and I juniors lost 14-4 in the Under-16s match which was played for the first time at Royal Porthcawl two years ago.
Captain Tegwen Matthews, who led GB&I to a notable Curtis Cup win over the United States 12 months ago, had only three of that victorious line-up available for this match. Her 2013 squad won only one session of play at Chantilly – the opening foursomes by a 3-1 margin.
The Continentals wiped out their deficit over the first day singles and began the second and final day leading by 9½-6½. The writing was on the wall when the Continent took the second session of foursomes 3-1 to go five points ahead with eight singles to conclude the match.
“I told them we had been in a such a position before and came through to win the Curtis Cup,” said Tegwen. “But, in the end, we were simply outplayed – we were out-putted, our short games were not in the same class as that of the Continentals. All our girls have great swings but until our national coaches address our short-game failings, we will continue to be beaten in the Vagliano Trophy matches.”
British women’s and girls champion Georgia Hall partnered Hayley Davis to GB and I’s only foursomes win on the second day. They beat European champion Celine Boutier (France) and Spain’s Natalia Escuriola by 2 and 1. But in the afternoon, Hall went down by 4 and 3 to Noemi Jimenez (Spain) in the top singles tie after being all square at the turn.
Then followed defeats for Welsh champion Becky Harries – who sat out the foursomes both days – Bronte Law, Amy Boulden, Amber Ratcliffe, Stephanie Meadow and Hayley Davis. Davis was the visitors’ most successful player over the two days with three wins from four matches.
GB and I’s solitary point from the eight second-day singles came from Alexandra Peters, who was three down to German’s Karolin Lampert, ranked No 12 in the world, but squared it before the 16th tee and won by one hole.
The Continentals had retained the Junior Vagliano Trophy before the final set of singles started. They took the second-day foursomes 3-0 to establish a lead that could not be overtaken by the GB and I teenagers, skippered by Aberdeen solicitor Elaine Farquharson-Black (Deeside) who played in two Vagliano Trophy matches at her peak as a player.
The Europeans then took the Junior singles 4½-1½ for a resounding 14-4 to victory. GB&I’s only points winners in the afternoon were Samantha Fuller and Sophie Madden. Fuller produced an outstanding performance to win her closing match by 6 and 5, having been five up at the turn.
Madden was three down after 15 holes against her French opponent but then won the last three to gained a halved match.
“I am very disappointed,” said Elaine. “Our girls just don’t play enough match-play. You could see that by the number of matches that slipped away from them on the inward half.” Continent of Europe lead Great Britain and Ireland 6½ to 5½ at the halfway stage of the 28th Vagliano Trophy match at Chantilly Golf Club, near Paris.