AMIDST RUSSIAN AND English football hooligans engaged in their vile battles in Marseilles; Ireland’s rugby team producing one of the greatest achievements of any home nations’ side away from home in history; their English counterparts putting Australia to the sword in Brisbane and the national cricket side endeavouring to go three-nil up against Sri Lanka, something else important in the sports’ world was going on too and it has achieved negligible, if not to say pitiful, coverage.
The women of Great Britain and Ireland were beating their US opponents by 11 1/2 to 8 1/2 to triumph in the Curtis Cup for just the eighth time in 39 meetings. Victory at Dun Laoghaire GB&I, led by captain Elaine Farquharson-Black, repeated the memorable 10 ½ – 9 ½ triumph at Nairn in 2012 delivering only the side’s third home triumph since Killarney in 1996.
The GB & I team needed only two and a half points for victory having administered a whitewash to the American girls in the three four-ball matches on Saturday to take an eight to four points lead.
However, and as so often happens in the singles, USA came back tigerishly with Bailey Tardy winning the first match against England’s Charlotte Thomas to give the Americans hope. GB & I struck back immediately through world number two, Leona Maguire, who Ashdown members may remember as a 15-year old winning the England Womens’ Amateur Championship over the Old Course in 2011.
Maguire completed a terrific three days, securing not only a 3&2 victory but also her fourth point of the three day contest.She was however eclipsed by England’s Bronte Law who became only the second player in Curtis Cup history to win all five of her matches although her singles’ success came after her team’s win was achieved.
With half a point being secured from Olivia Mehaffey’s match against the world’s number one, Hannah O’Sullivan, it was Meghan MacLaren whose victory ensured that the trophy returned to home soil. ‘Nothing even comes close to this,’ said MacLaren, who graduated from Florida International University in May. ‘This is incredible. I can’t even put it into words.’