What a fabulous, nerve wracking afternoon it has been, following the final day of the Ladies’ Home Internationals on the Internet. It is absolutely FANTASTIC for the girls and truly magnificent that the Scotland team went out, after the disappointment of last year’s final day hurdle, and won all three of their matches, thus winning the Home Internationals for the first time since 1991. This year, their tears will be of joy, not disappointment.
The opening day on Wednesday, saw the Scots take on the holders, Wales. The morning foursomes were shared, with Midlothian member Jane Turner just losing out on the final hole. The afternoon however brought a surge and the Scots ran away with the singles matches by 5 games to 1; Midlothian member Rachael Watton putting on a great display for her first full Scotland Cap, winning her match by 3&2. Day 2 saw Scotland play England, who were licking their wounds following an 8-1 defeat by Ireland. Another point was notched up for Rachael in the morning’s foursomes, which the Scots won 3-0. But the afternoon was to prove a hard battle and the singles (including Rachael’s) were lost by 4 matches to 2, but overall the Scots won by 5 games to 4 and maintained their unbeaten record.
The final day brought memories of 12 months ago. Both the Scots and the Irish were unbeaten but the Irish had more game points than the Scots. A draw would not be good enough. Only a win could do it. It was all or nothing. By lunchtime today, the foursomes were over and the Scots were leading by 2 games to 1; Jane narrowly losing out again by 1 hole to the Maguire twins. All that were needed were 3 points this afternon. Both Jane and Rachael were to feature in the final line up – Jane playing 2nd against Curtis Cup player Danielle McVeigh and Rachael out 4th against Lisa Maguire. Unfortunately Jane was up against it and was not allowed to stick her nose in at all and the first point went to the Irish. The rest of the games were all exceptionally close, except for Louise Kenney who had built up a 3 hole lead by the turn. The games could have swung either way. At one point the Scots were either all square or 1 up. Kelsey MacDonald then put the Scots ahead once again, winning her match but that seemed to spur the Irish on and suddenly the tables were turned and the Irish seemed to be taking control. But the Scots fought on and it wasn’t long before Louise Kenney recorded a 3&2 victory over Sinead O’Sullivan and Pamela Pretswell a 1 hole victory against Leona Maguire. Rachael was still out on the course as the celebrations began and, having had a fantastic tussle, lost the 17th to go 1 down to Lisa Maguire and halved the 18th to just lose out by 1 hole.
But that can all be forgotten. The Scotland team has won the Home Internationals – an absolutely fantastic achievement and all congratulations to Team Captain Lesley Nicholson, Team Manager, Hilary Wardell and the whole of the Scotland Home Internationals Team.