European drama: Ireland edge thriller 4-3 and meet England in semis

Cormac Sharvin.

Cormac Sharvin won at the 23rd to complete a dramatic 4-3 win for Ireland over Germany and set up a semi-final showdown with holders England in the European Amateur Men's Team Championship in Finland.

On a thrilling day, the drama began in the morning when Sharvin and Gavin Moynihan came back from two down with two to play to beat Maximilian Rohrig and Christopher Herlihy Long at the 20th to share the foursomes series 1-1 following an earlier defeat for Gary Hurley and Dermot McElroy at the 19th.

The Germans looked to have the edge in the singles when Maximilian Rottluff beat Hurley 2 and 1 and Maximilian Mehles defeated Jack Hume 4 and 3.

But Pádraig Hogan's Ireland pulled victory out of the hat when Moynihan won on the 17th and Paul Dunne finished with three birdies to beat Rohrig at the 20th before Sharvin came through on the fifth extra hole to defeat Long.

The result sets up a semi-final showdown with England with the winners to play Scotland or Spain who beat Sweden and France respectively.

Without a win in this championship since those back to back wins in 2007 and 2008, Ireland showed they have the guts to get the job done even if they are not firing on all cylinders.

In the morning foursomes, Sharvin holed a 25 footer at the 17th to reduce the gap to one hole before Ireland took the 18th, where the Germans flew the green, to force extra holes.

The 19th was halved before Ireland took a crucial foursomes point with a birdie at the 20th to leave the sides tied at 1-1.

In the singles, Hume lost 4 and 3 to an inspired Meheles as Hurley came back from three down to take the match to the 17th before eventually going down 2 and 1 to Rottluff.

It all came down to Open championship qualifier Dunne, world No 15 Moynihan and former Irish Close winner Sharvin and they all came up trumps.

Dunne was up early, lost the 10th and 11th to go behind but won the 16th to square the match before Rohrig holed a 25 footer on the 17th to go the last one up.

Under pressure, Dunne hit a driver and an eight iron to 12 feet and knocked in the birdie putt to force extra holes. But there was much more drama to follow.

At the 19th, he hit his drive down the middle, drawing bad lie. But under the rules in operation this week — "lift and replace" as opposed to "lift and place" — he had to put it back exactly where it was.

Despite that he hit a nine-iron to 15 feet and, with his opponent stone dead in two, holed the putt to halve the hole in birdie threes.

At the 20th, Dunne hit his driver right and his approach left before firing a 70-yard approach to 20 feet and holing for his third birdie in a row to close out the match in impressive fashion.

Sharvin hit two huge shots to the par-five 17th, a 340-yard drive and a stellar three-wood to 40 feet to set up a two putt birdie that squared his match with Long.

But having three-putted the last from 50 feet to be taken to extra holes and dodged a bullet when Long missed a 10 footer for the match at the 19th, he halved the 20th in birdie, getting up and down from greenside sand.

The 21st was halved in par as both players got up and down and the 22nd in pars again as both missed birdie chances.

But it all ended at the 23rd when Sharvin two putted from 30 feet for par and looked on as Long, who found rough off the tee and missed the green with his second, chipped to 10 feet and missed the par putt to extend the match.

National coach, Neil Manchip said: "It will be a great game with England and the boys are really looking forward to it. The golf was scrappy at times but they showed great composure under pressure.

"We have a very strong team from one to six, very solid and they are all in good form having done so well in individual events. It's as strong a team as we'd had for a while and they're all looking forward to tomorrow."

There were defeats for the Irish Boys (1.5-3.5 to Iceland) in Norway and Girls (1-4 to the Czech Republic) in Slovakia. But the Irish Women's team had a great, 3-2 win over the Netherlands in the Second Flight and will now face Wales as they battle to finish ninth in Slovenia.

European Men's Amateur Team Championship, Linna Golf, Finland

Flight A


Ireland bt Germany 4-3

England 6 - Switzerland 1; Scotland 4.5 -Sweden 2.5; Spain 4 - France 3

Semi-finals:  Ireland v England; Scotland v Spain 

European Ladies' Amateur Team Championship, G&CC Ljubljana, Slovenia

Flight B (9th-16th spot)

Quarter-finals: Ireland 3 Netherlands 2 

Semi-finals: Ireland v Wales; Denmark v Belgium.  

European Boys' Amateur Team, Oslo GC, Norway

Flight B (9th to 16th spot)  

Quarter-finals: Ireland 1.5 Iceland 3.5 

13th to 16th: Ireland v Netherlands

European Girls' Amateur Team, Golf Resort Skalica, Slovakia

Flight B (9th to 16th) 

Quarter-finals: Ireland 1, Czech Republic 4 

Today: Ireland v Norway,