Ireland's amateur men were left to wonder what might have been after they beat Denmark 3-2 to clinch ninth place in the European Amateur Team Championship at Conwy in Wales.

A bad performance on the opening day, when not one of the six man side could break par, made it virtually impossible to qualify in the top flight where Scotland eventually came through to add the European title to last year's World Cup success with victory over England.

Kevin Flanagan was charged with bring home the title for the third year in a row following those wins in Italy and Scotland, but the standard of amateur golf is now so high that it was not possible to recover from the slowest of starts.

Denmark won the foursomes with Sebastian Cappelen and Jacob Roth beating Dara Lernihan and Cian Curley by two holes. Andreas Hartoe got another point for the Danes when he beat Alan Dunbar 5 and 4 in the singles - not the kind of the result that will have impressed the Walker Cup captain Colin Dalgleish.

Niall Kearney, Simon Ward and Paul Cutler completed singles wins to give Ireland overall victory but how they would have loved a crack at Scotland or England in the final.

According to the official website: World champions Scotland got off to a flying start by winning the foursomes 2-0. But Eisenhower Trophy winners Gavin Dear and Wallace Booth both lost their singles and the championship came down to Michael Stewart, Paul O’Hara and Ross Kellett, who clinched the points for a 5-2 victory.

O’Hara holed the winning putt on 17 to beat Luke Goddard 2 and 1 in a high quality encounter, then Kellett sealed things by closing out his match to beat Tommy Fleetwood by one hole – sparking Scottish celebrations around the 18th.

For a small nation, it is a pretty big achievement,” said Kellett. “Winning the world title last year was great but to finish it off with a European win just caps it off.

"I had some tough matches and did well, so I am proud of that, but the whole team were really good."

O’Hara, pictured left,was also delighted to have had the chance to win the championships for Scotland.


“I knew the situation so I lagged my first putt to two feet,” he said. “I have holed putts like that hundreds of times in practice, but you still have a wee bit of doubt so it was great to hole it and it is unbelievable to be European Champions.

“At the start of the week it was not looking that good because we just scraped into the strokeplay stages, but we were confident we were good players and could come through – the last three days the guys have played really well.

“We knew England would be determined to come back this afternoon, they were coming out and trying to win every game so for us to stick in there and focus on each shot at a time was amazing.

“It was a really good match against Luke, I am glad I just hung on at the end and pulled it off.

“It has been amazing, everyone enjoys the course, greens are really good, it has been a really well run tournament and we cannot ask for much more.”

England captain Colin Edwards was proud of his team. “Disappointment in the final, but still a good week for us and Scotland played really well to deserve their win,” he said.

“It was an exceptional week for the boys and a lot of them have made the Walker Cup selectors look at them again. I am sure there will be a lot of England playersin the team and they will do well in September.

“Conwy has been a brilliant place for it, a good test of golf and the course has played up to expectations.”

Italy beat Norway to clinch the bronze medal, Amateur Champion Matteo Manassero finishing off a superb week personally with another win.

France were fifth after beating Sweden 5-2 while Finland secured seventh place with a 3-2 win over Germany.