Rookies shine as Ireland make winning start in Women's Home Internationals

Donal Scott, Olivia Mehaffey, Annabel Wilson and Sinead Keane at Royal Wimbledon on day one of the Women's Home Internationals. Picture: Irish Ladies Golf Union

New caps Annabel Wilson, Sarah Helly, Niamh McSherry and Julie McCarthy earned crucial points as Ireland beat Scotland 6.5 - 2.5 for the second year running on the opening day of the Women’s Home Internationals at Royal Wimbledon.

A 3-0 sweep of the morning foursomes proved crucial and while the Scots put some points on the board in the singles with Hannah McCook beating Olivia Mehaffey by two holes and young Shannon McWilliam defeating Paula Grant 2 and 1, singles wins for Wilson, Helly and McSherry and a dramatic halved match by Maria Dunne were more than enough for Sinead Keane’s warriors.

England saw off Wales, but only 5-4 and Ireland will have to be on their toes when they face the Welsh on Thursday.

If the new faces perform as well on the first two days, Ireland have a great chance of lifting the title.

Irish Junior Vagliano Trophy team player Annabel Wilson beat Megan Briggs by 4 and 2 after being two up at the turn and then winning the 10th, 11th and 12th.

Niamh McSherry was a 5 and 4 winner against Scotland’s Kate McIntosh, neither player seeing action in the morning foursomes.

McSherry was three up at the turn and clinched victory by winning the 13th and 14th.

Irish champion Sarah Helly came back from two down after six to beat former Scottish champion Gabrielle MacDonald by 2 and 1, winning the 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th to go three up.

Summers was two up on Dunne after four holes and while the next nine were halved, the Skerries battler won the 14th to get back to one down and then took the 18th to secure a precious halved match.

In the foursomes, Olivia Mehaffey and Annabel Wilson beat Megan Briggs and Shannon McWilliam 4 and 3 before Paula Grant and Julie McCarthy beat Ailsa Summers and Chloe Goadby by the same scoreline. 

Then, in the anchor match, Maria Dunne and Chloe Ryan gave Ireland a 3-0 lunchtime lead with a 1 up win over Gabrielle MacDonald and Gillian Paton.

Defending champions England were given a tough opening by Wales and trailed 2-1 after the foursomes before winning the singles 4-2 for a 5-4 win overall.
With the overall score tied at 4-4, everything hinged on the last singles betweem England’s Samantha Giles and Wales’ Georgia Lewis.

Giles was two up after seven before being pulled back to square after 10. 

Then the English player moved up a gear, winning the 11th, 12th and 13th for a three-hole lead with five to play. 

Lewis kept fighting and won back the 16th but Giles won the 17th to finish the match and give England a 5-4 victory.

Live scoring

Ireland 6½  Scotland 2 ½


  1. Olivia Mehaffey & Annabel Wilson beat Megan Briggs & Shannon McWilliams 4&3
  2. Paula Grant & Julie McCarthy beat Alisa Summers & Chloe Goadby 4&3
  3. Maria Dunne & Chloe Ryan beat Gabrielle MacDonald & Gillian Paton 1 up


  1. Olivia Mehaffey lost to Hannah McCook 2up
  2. Annabel Wilson beat Megan Briggs 4&3
  3. Paula Grant lost to Shannon McWilliams 2&1
  4. Niamh McSherry beat Kate McIntosh 5&4
  5. Sarah Helly beat Gabrielle MacDonald 2&1
  6. Maria Dunne halved with Alisa Summers

Thursday's Foursomes