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No home comforts as Ireland are hit by shock loss



Beth Coulter. Credit: Stephen Hamilton

Beth Coulter. Credit: Stephen Hamilton

Beth Coulter. Credit: Stephen Hamilton

Hosts Ireland suffered a shock elimination at the hands of Italy in the quarter-finals of the European Ladies’ Team Championships at Royal County Down.

Despite winning both morning foursomes matches to put themselves in a strong position, Ireland were held winless in the afternoon singles and bowed out.

Ulster duo Annabel Wilson and Beth Coulter combined for a 4&3 win over Alessia Nobilio and Carolina Melgrati in the foursomes, but in the singles Coulter was defeated by Melgrati 3&1, while Wilson lost 6&4 to Bendetta Moresco.

The match hinged on the outcomes of the remaining three singles ties, which all went to extra holes, but when Lauren Walsh and Sara Byrne both lost, the Italians’ 4.5-2.5 win was confirmed.

At the men’s European Team Championships at PGA Catalunya, Malone’s Matthew McClean and Robert Moran contributed a 3&2 foursomes win over Hákon Orn Magnusson and Sverrir Haraldsson to help Ireland to a 4-1 victory over Iceland to reach the Flight B semi-finals, where they will face Portugal today.

Meanwhile, at the Senior Amateur Open, Castlerock’s David Mulholland was one of only two players to go under par in the third round at Ganton and he will start today’s final round two back of leader Andrew Woodhead of England.

Knock’s Katie Poots will take a commanding lead into the final round of the Munster Senior Open at Tipperary at eight-under, seven clear of nearest challenger, Douglas’ Clodagh Coughlan.

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At the Connacht Boys’ Open, Galgorm Castle teen Joshua Hill was the best Ulster finisher in a tie for second at Castle Dargan, but that was eight shots behind winner Gavin O’Neill (Malahide).

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