British Girls Championship: Sister act books semi-final place for Maguire
Lisa Maguire, the leading amateur in the AIB Irish Open at Killeen Castle last weekend, continued her fairytale run by reaching the semi-finals of the British Girls championship at Royal Belfast yesterday.
The 15-year-old Curtis Cup starlet from Slieve Russell edged to a last-green quarter-final victory over Antonia Scherer — and in doing so gained revenge for the defeat inflicted by Scherer earlier in the day on the other Maguire twin, Leona.
“I could not say that playing the player who beat my sister motivated me but it's nice to have one Maguire in the semi-finals of the British Girls,” said Lisa afterwards.
Crisp iron play was the major feature of Lisa's game — she fired in some excellent shots as she produced a stunning second nine to overturn a halfway deficit in a tense encounter.
Scherer won the opening hole and it needed a birdie at the fifth to square the game — it was then nip and tuck for a long way with a number of exchanges.
A pivotal moment came on the downhill 13th, when Lisa struck a great five-iron second shot to within eight feet of the hole and sunk the putt for a winning birdie to square the match.
The Irish teenager went in front for the first time at the 14th and, when Scherer was bunkered off the tee at the 15th, Maguire went two up.
Scherer kept the match alive by winning the 17th but halves at the last saw Lisa through.
Earlier, Scherer had beaten Leona on the home green while Lisa had disposed of the threat of Spanish player Camilla Hedberg.
Maguire's coach, Alan Ferguson, is Royal Belfast's club professional and he watched the last few holes of Lisa's quarter-final but would not be drawn on what he thought.
“I will comment when it's all over,” said Ferguson.
Maguire will meet French champion Alexandra Bonetti this morning while, in the other duel, Italian Laura Sedda faces Spaniard Andrea Vilarasau. The winners face off this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Chris Selfridge and Dermot McElroy, two of the stars of Ireland's home international success last week surged into the third round — the stage of the last 32- of the British Boys Championship at Kilmarnock yesterday.
Selfridge from Moyola Park was in superb form as he dominated his match with England's Oscar Sharpe who as a 14-year-old was predicted to have a brilliant future after winning major junior events.
But Selfridge was much too good for him racing into a four-hole advantage and going onto complete a 6&4 triumph.
Ballymena's McElroy had a somewhat trickier clash with German Sebastian Van Den Hoff and had to pull out of the stops to record a 2&1 success.
He now faces another Irish player in Alex Gleeson from Castle who played in last month's Junior Open.
Gleeson was involved in a tremendous battle with Welsh boys champion Oliver Baker, edging home on the final green.