Forrest Little's Julie McCarthy was the late afternoon hero as she came back from dormie three down to snatch a vital half and keep Ireland’s Women’s Home Internationals hopes alive at Royal Wimbledon.
A 4.5-4.5 draw with Wales might not look great on paper, but Ireland can still win a wide open race on Friday after holders England collapsed in the singles and fell 6-3 to Scotland in another thriller.
Sinead Keane’s charges are the only unbeaten team heading into the final day which will see Scotland face Wales and Ireland take on England.
If the Ireland match ends in a draw and Scotland win, a countback will decide the destination of the Miller Trophy.
Either way, a thrilling finale is in store and Ireland clearly have the firepower to avenge their defeat to England in the Europeans earlier this year.
They won the foursomes session 2-1 against Wales but got just two and a half from the six singles after lunch.
The top foursomes pairing remained unchanged from day one as Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson put a 3 and 2 win on the board for Ireland.
The middle point went to the Welsh side as they overcame the Castletroy’s Chloe Ryan and Skerries’ Maria Dunne, but Lisburn’s Paula Grant and Forrest Little’s Julie McCarthy also won 4 and 3.
Mehaffey led out the Irish side out in the afternoon singles and dominated from the start going four up through seven holes en rotue to a 2 and 1 win over Chloe Williams.
Welsh player Katherine O’Connor ensured a vital point against Paula Grant on the 17th, winning 2 and 1 but Lurgan’s Niamh McSherry continued her good form as she beat Samantha Birks 2 and 1.
Wales would not go away and Bethan Morris proved too strong on the back nine for Enniscrone’s Sarah Helly, winning six holes to finish the match on the 17th.
Then came those late heroics from youngster Julie McCarthy, who was dormie three down to Georgia Lwwis but showed her class by winning the last three holes to secure a vital half point.
As for the anchor match, Maria Dunne was on the back foot against Lauren Hillier but won the 16th and 17th to take match to the last only to go down by the minimum.
England will be bruised after their defeat to the Scots, who trailed 2-1 after the foursomes but then won five of the six singles for their first won over the Auld Enemy since their last Home Internationals win in 2010.
Women's Home Internationals, Royal Wimbledon
Ireland 4 ½ Wales 4 ½
- Olivia Mehaffey & Annabel Wilson beat Samantha Birks & Georgia Lewis 3&2
- Maria Dunne & Chloe Ryan lost to Katherine O'Connor & Lauren Hollier 3&2
- Paula Grant & Julie McCarthy beat Chloe Williams & Ella Griffiths 4&3
- Olivia Mehaffey beat Chloe Williams 2&1
- Paula Grant lost to Katherine O'Connor 2&1
- Niamh McSherry beat Samantha Birks 2&1
- Sarah Helly lost to Bethan Morris 2&1
- Julie McCarthy halved with Georgia Lewis
- Maria Dunne lost to Lauren Hillier 1up