Great Britain and Ireland won the Jacques Leglise trophy on Saturday after defeating Continental Europe 14.5 – 9.5. After the first day’s play at Ganton, the match was in the balance with GB leading by just a single point. But after winning the morning foursomes 2.5 – 1.5, GB found another gear and dominated the afternoon singles 5.5-2.5, to complete a famous victory.
GB captain, James Dunne, was particularly pleased having turned down a place in the Irish men’s team, who were playing in the Home Internationals at Hillside. “It feels great, the boys just played so well. They just took one shot at a time and they kept the ball in play,” explained Dunne.
“I was offered a spot in the men’s team this year but I decided that this was more important to me as I’ve never played for GB before. I won’t get any other chances to play this whereas, hopefully, I can play in the full Irish side for many years to come.”
The glory moment fell to Max Smith as he holed the winning putt to secure not only a victory in his singles match against Toni Hakula, but also the Jacques Leglise trophy. “It’s brilliant,” said Smith. “It’s been a great event which I’ve enjoyed so much. And it’s fantastic to be a part of the team that’s won.”
Andreas Pallauf, Continental Europe’s non-playing captain felt his team hadn’t been at their best: “Our players didn’t play up to the standard they know they can achieve. They had the potential to win but GB were always there.
“They played beautifully; the short-game especially was where there was a difference. Unfortunately, on the day, they were better on and around the green than we were,” concluded Pallauf.
With all 18 boys competing playing to a very high standard, even in some dreadful conditions at Ganton, everyone is looking forward to an equally competitive Jacques Leglise trophy this time next year in Italy.