Ireland make strong start in European Division 2 Boys promotion race
Kevin Le Blanc. Picture; Pat Cashman

Kevin Le Blanc. Picture; Pat Cashman

Kevin Le Blanc leads the individual standings and Ireland the team qualifying stakes after the opening round of the European Boys' Division 2 Team Championship in the Czech Republic.

The Dubliner fired a four under par 68 at Mlada Boleslav to lead by two strokes from Hungary's Bálint Gleff as Ireland took a 13 stroke lead after the first qualifying round to make a strong start in their bid to return to Division 1.

Ireland were relegated from Division 1 when they finished 14th at the 2014 European Championship in Oslo.

A swift return looked likely last year when the boys in green were the leading team in stroke play qualifying, finishing 22 shots clear of Slovenia.

But they were beaten by Portugal in the match play stages and with only two teams promoted, they failed to escape their division and so will be chasing promotion again this week

After two rounds of stroke play qualifying, with the best five cards from each round counting towards the team score, the top four teams will enter the top flight.

The overall winner of the Championship will be decided over two days of match play competition. First plays fourth and second plays third on the opening day of match play with the winners contesting the final as well as gaining promotion.

Munster Boys champion John Murphy from Kinsale opening with a level apr 72 with Irish Boys champion Mark Power from Kilkenny a shot further back.

 Irish under-16 champion John Brady from Rosslare shot 74 with Alan Fahy (75) and Hugh O'Hare (76) completing the Irish scoring.

European Boys' Division 2 Team Championship, Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic (Par 72)

Detailed scores

  1. Ireland +2 362    
  2. Slovakia +15  375    
  3. Switzerland +19 379    
  4. Iceland +22 382    
  5. Poland +26 386    
  6. Estonia +32 392    
  7. Turkey +32  392    
  8. Hungary +43 403    
  9. Croatia +48 408    


  • 1  LE BLANC, Kevin 68
  • 5 MURPHY, John 72
  • 6 POWER, Mark 73
  • 13 BRADY, John  74
  • 15 FAHY, Alan 75
  • 19 O’HARE, Hugh 76