Four Irish players have been named in the senior and junior Vagliano Trophy teams to face the Continent of Europe at Malone near Belfast from June 26-27.
World No 1 Leona Maguire from Slieve Russell and Royal County Down Ladies’ Olivia Mehaffey have been selected on the senior Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano Trophy side while Killarney’s Mairead Martin and Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson will play for the Junior Vagliano Trophy team for under 16s.
Maguire and Mehaffey are joined in the nine-strong Vagliano Trophy team by English sextet Gemma Clews, Hayley Davis, Alice Hewson, Bronte Law, Meghan MacLaren and Charlotte Thomas with Chloe Williams the Welsh representative in a side captained by Scotland’s Elaine Farquharson-Black.
Maguire, Law, MacLaren and Davis were automatic selections through the Women’s World Amateur Rankings with Hewson and Mehaffey the top two in the Ladies’ Golf Union Order of Merit. There were two wildcards while Castltroy’s Chloe Ryan was named second reserve.
Cork’s Claire Coughlan-Ryan will captain the six-strong Junior Vagliano Trophy team, which features Ireland’s Martin and Wilson as well as Hazel MacGarvie, Shannon McWilliam, Hollie Muse and Emily Price.
VAGLIANO TROPHY TEAM
Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest)
Hayley Davis (Ferndown)
Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted)
Bronte Law (Bramhall)
Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough)
Leona Maguire (Slieve Russell)
Olivia Mehaffey (Royal County Down Ladies’)
Charlotte Thomas (Singapore)
Chloe Williams (Wrexham)
1. Gemma Dryburgh Beaconsfield
2. Chloe Ryan Castleroy.
JUNIOR VAGLIANO TROPHY TEAM
Hazel MacGarvie (The Ladies' Club, Troon)
Mairead Martin (Killarney)
Shannon McWilliam (Aboyne)
Hollie Muse West (Lancashire)
Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer)
Annabel Wilson (Lurgan)
1. Samantha Fuller Roehampton
2. Cloe Frankish Charthills
Team Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black, who played in two winning GB and I teams in the Vagliano Trophy matches of 1989 and 1991, said: "I am looking forward to the match against the Continent of Europe. In recent years, Europe has had the upper hand, but I am feeling very excited about our team.
"We have the world numbers 1 and 3, in Leona Maguire and Bronte Law, but importantly we have strength in depth with players who have already shown that they can perform consistently well on the world stage.
"I am particularly pleased that Alice Hewson and Olivia Mehaffey who were in my Junior Vagliano team at Chantilly two years ago have made the progression to the senior team. Hopefully we will have a strong home support to cheer the team to victory."
The Vagliano Trophy was donated Mr A A Vagliano. Since 1959 it has been at stake in a biennial match between GB & Ireland and the Continent of Europe.
This will be the 29th match in the series. GB and I has won 16 matches and the Continent of Europe 12 but Europe is on somewhat of a roll with four victories in a row since 2007. Their victory at Chantilly two years ago was by 16.5 to 7.5pt, their biggest ever margin of victory.
The 3rd Junior Vagliano Trophy match will also be part of the programme at Malone Golf Club and is contested by a team of 6 players aged 16 and under on the 1st January 2015.
The match was introduced 4 years ago, with the support of the R&A. The Continent of Europe won this first encounter 13-5 at Royal Porthcawl in 2011 and followed that up with a 14-4 victory at Chantilly in 2013.
The GB and I Junior Vagliano team will be captained by former Irish international Claire Coughlan-Ryan who said, “I am really looking forward to the Junior Vagliano match next month. The recent introduction of this exciting new event has really provided a platform for these young players to move to the next level and the skill and youthful enthusiasm that will be on display at Malone bodes well for the future of GB& I golf.”
Helen Hewlett (nee Dobson) will fulfill the role of Team Manager for both teams.