England scored a convincing 19-11 win over Spain to regain the Seve Ballesteros Trophy in the two-day mixed international at Burnham &Berrow.
The team built on the four-point lead they established on the first day with a steady foursomes performance - sharing the morning points - that they followed with a runaway success in the singles, winning six of the matches and halving two more.
The result extends England’s outstanding record in the biennial match, which started in 1985. The team lost last time - at El Prat in 2013 - but now have 14 victories to Spain’s two. What’s more, they kept up their proud record of never having lost at home.
“It’s a fantastic result,” said Graham Walker, the England men’s captain. “The welcome we have received from the members and staff at Burnham &Berrow, has really played a part because it has made it feel like a real home venue.”
This is the first time that women have been included in the team and they played their part. Gemma Clews, like Ashley Chesters and Jimmy Mullen, won all four of her matches and, in the final day’s singles, the women won two-and-a-half matches out of four.
Steve Robinson, their captain, said: “I am really proud of how they have worked this week, how they have risen to the challenge of playing what, on paper, was a very strong Spanish women’s team. Every player has played their part this week.
“I feel it’s been massively beneficial to the women’s squad to have been invited to play in this match.”
The day began in relatively calm conditions and England produced a fighting performance to share the foursomes, thanks to a last-gasp half from the final pair, Nick Marsh and Michael Saunders, who had been three-down after 12 holes.
England’s two wins came courtesy of Gemma Clews and Hollie Muse, and Ashley Chesters and Jimmy Mullen.
In the afternoon, with the wind steadily strengthening, the Spanish started well in the women’s games and were ahead in three of the four until the turn. NuriaIturrios, playing in the first match against Alice Hewson, provided one of the talking points of the afternoon when she drove the 369-yard second hole and sank a six-foot putt for eagle. Boosted by that fast start, the Spaniard got to two-up after 12. However, Hewson clawed her way back into the match and, eventually, ground out a half.
Clews meanwhile, put England’s first full point on the board, followed closely by BethanPopel.
Mullen was the first of the England men to claim his point, with a comprehensive 6&4 win, whilst Ashton Turner also won big, beating his opponent 5&3. Sean Towndrow was in front throughout his match and although Ashley Chesters, the double European champion, trailed towards the turn, he won one-up.
Nick Marsh also staged a grandstand finish, battling back from three-down through ten to earn a gutsy half.
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