Ireland will face Denmark in the Flight B final for ninth place in the European Amateur Team Championship at Conwy in Wales. They beat Iceland 4-1 but the real action came in the Flight A semi-finals where World Cup winners Scotland beat Italy 4-3 to set up a meeting with England in Saturday's final and the chance of a rare double.
The English boys - 2-0 down and up against it after losing both foursomes - beat Norway 4-3 in a thriller with Walker Cup certainty Luke Goddard clinching the vital point when he beat Espen Kofstad at the 20th in the final singles.
"I knew on the 16th it was probably coming down to my game, so to win is a very good feeling,” he said. “I was three down after four holes, which is obviously not the best of starts but I got it all square through nine. I am just very pleased to put England in the final.
“There is always pressure and as we lost two nil this morning I knew it could come down to the last match. Norway did it yesterday having been two down and winning so we just had to hold our nerve.
“We have been cruising up to here but we certainly had a challenge today and we were up to it. Italy were one of the favourites along with us so it should be a good final. In some ways it is the classic final with Ireland and Wales missing the top flight. Scotland are a good team but we are looking forward to it. We have got a strong team so I think we will beat them.”
With Eisenhower Trophy winners Gavin Dear and Wallace Booth leading the way for Scotland with victories in the singles, the match with Italy came down to Michael Stewart against course record holder Nino Bertasio.
However it was the Scot who came through 2 and 1 to seal the semi-final victory, after the Scots qualified for the top flight in sixth place after the strokeplay.
“We played very well, myself and Glenn did not play very well in the foursomes but the others beat a good pairing,” said Dear.
“We have got a good team bond and we have got the momentum, we are rolling along quite nicely.”
Scotland and Italy halved the morning foursomes, with Booth and Stewart pulling off a victory against Amateur champion Manassero playing with Pavan.
The two Italians bounced back in the afternoon, but in the end their singles matches did not count as the top three Scots in the order won their games as their order meant putting world cup winners Dear and Booth out first.
“For myself and Wallace it is one of our targets to try to hold all three – the worlds, the Europeans and the Home Internationals – and I suppose we are still on target for that,” said Dear.
“Myself and Wallace have taken a lot from winning in Adelaide, it is a massive confidence boost and we are playing against a lot of the European teams we managed to beat there. We know we can do it, so it is trying to pull the other guys along.
“I would rather be world champions than not, I suppose there is some pressure, there is a lot expected with a few people coming to see wherever we tee it up, but it is more about the pressure we put ourselves because we want to do well and win.
“I was thinking it would be nice to play England. It will be a good game, hopefully we can do the business.”
Ireland 4, Iceland 1
Dara Lernihan & Cian Curley bt Sigmundur Masson & Sigurthór Jónsson 3 & 1.
Niall Kearney bt Axel Bóasson 6 & 4
Simon Ward lost to Hlynur Hjartarson 4 & 3
Paul Cutler bt Ólafur Loftsson 3 & 2
Alan Dunbar bt Kristjan Einarsson 7 & 5