The team dominated the series, winning all three matches by comfortable scorelines, earlier beating Wales 6-3 and Scotland 7½-1½. This is England’s 13th victory in the last 16 editions of the Home Internationals
“It’s fantastic,” said team captain Jenny Clink. “It’s never as easy as it looks and the girls have been terrific. I am thrilled to bits for them and very proud of them.
“This team has been a very successful merging of experienced players with newcomers to the side,” she added.
Of the new caps, Staffordshire’s Rachel Jennings and Buckinghamshire’s Danielle Montgomery formed a formidable, and invincible, foursomes pairing, while Rachel contributed a total of 5½ points out of six to the overall scoreline. Meanwhile, Kent’s Claire Aitken was unbeaten in her two singles games.
The established players, who all contributed a series of valuable wins, were English champion Naomi Edwards and her Yorkshire colleague Rachel Bell, and the Hampshire pair, Kerry Smith and Liz Bennett. The team was completed by Bedfordshire’s Holly Aitchison who stepped in when Derbyshire’s Melissa Reid had to retire with a wrist injury.
In the final day’s play, in cold and windy conditions, England were fast off the blocks, winning two foursomes and halving the third. Rachel Jennings quickly provided the first singles point when she beat her opponent on the 12th. Kerry Smith and Liz Bennett followed up with 3/2 wins to seal the result.
Results. England v Ireland. (England names first).
Foursomes: Naomi Edwards (Ganton) & Kerry Smith (Waterlooville) beat Tara Delaney & Niamh Kitching 6&5. Rachel Bell (Ganton) & Liz Bennett (Broknhurst Manor) halved with Danielle McVeigh & Marian Riordan. Rachel Jennings (Izaak Walton) & Danielle Montgomery (Lambourn) beat Maura Morrin & Gillian O'Leary 5&4.
Singles: Edwards lost to Karen Delaney 2/1. Bell lost to Tara Delaney 3/1. Smith beat McVeigh 3&2. Bennett beat Marian Riordan 3/2. Montgomery lost to O'Leary 3&2. Jennings beat Morrin 7&6.
In the day’s other match Scotland beat Wales 6-3
photos Janos Schmidt