Faithlegg’s Robin Dawson won both his matches as Great Britain and Ireland took a firm grip on the Jacques Leglise Trophy after the opening day at Royal St David’s in North Wales.
Gunning for revenge following last year’s defeat at Portmarnock, Peter McEvoy’s boys won four and halved one of the eight afternoon singles to lead the Continent of Europe 7½ - 4½ going in to the final day of the annual match.
After winning the morning foursomes 3-1 with Dawson partnering Bradley Moore to a one hole win over Kristoffer Ventura and Michael Hirmer, GB&I were quickly pegged back when Germany’s Dominic Foos won the first of the afternoon singles with an 8 & 7 hammering of recently crowned Boys Amateur Champion Ewen Ferguson.
Foos’ morning foursomes partner, Italian Renato Paratore, then beat Ben Amor 6 & 4 with six of the singles matches still out on the course.
It looked bright for the Continent of Europe but then GB&I won four in a row.
Dawson claimed his second win of the day when he beat Spain’s Ivan Cantero 4 & 3, England’s Marco Penge won 4 & 2 against Norway’s Kristoffer Ventura, Bradley Neil had a one hole victory over Paul Elissalde from France, and Scotland’s Connor Syme defeated another Frenchman, Romain Langasque, 5 & 3 to open up a four point lead for the home side.
Spain’s Mario Galiano stemmed the tide for the European team when he holed a 25ft putt to halve his match with England captain Ashton Turner, then Germany’s Michael Hirmer claimed a vital third singles win for Europe in a tight match with Scot Robert MacIntyre.
It was a big disappointment for recently crowned Boys Amateur Champion, Ewen Ferguson, in the opening singles when he lost the first nine holes to German number one Foos, and the match 8 & 7. Foos birdied five, seven, eight and nine and, although he lost the tenth, he halved the 11th for a convincing victory.
Dawson, the Irish Boys’ Open Amateur Champion, claimed GB&I’s first singles point in a match which he led from the first with a winning par.
A par was good enough to win the third and birdies at the fifth and eighth had him four up at the turn. Cantero pulled one back with a birdie at the 12th but Dawson won the 14th with a par and then closed out the Spaniard with a par at 15.
In the morning foursomes, Ferguson and Neil won 5 & 4 against Foos and Paratore, Moore and Dawson won by one hole against Ventura and Hirmer and MacIntyre and Syme won 3 & 2 against Langasque and Manifacier. Galiano and Cantero notched up a point for the Europeans with a 4 & 3 win against Turner and Penge.
Tomorrow’s final day of the Jacques Leglise Trophy will see four morning foursomes and eight singles in the afternoon.
Foursomes draw (GB&I names first):
9.00am Turner and Penge v Paratore and Foos;
9.10 Ferguson and Neil v Galiano and Cantero;
9.20 Moore and Dawson v Elissalde and Langasque;
9.30 MacIntyre and Syme v Ventura and Manifacier.