Ireland’s bid for a fourth successive title ended in a shock 3-2 defeat to Italy in the quarter-finals of the European Senior Men’s Amateur Team Championship in Slovenia.
Having blitzed the field to win the strokeplay qualifying by 13 strokes from Scotland and by 38 from the Italians, the title favourites could win just two of the five matches against a combative Italy at Diners Golf and Country Club in Ljubljana.
Foursomes pairing Maurice Kelly and Adrian Morrow lost 2 and 1 to Vincenzo Sita and Massimo Franco and singles defeats for Arthur Pierse and Tom Cleary meant Ireland must now have to settle for the battle for fifth which begins against Sweden on Friday.
Banbridge’s Jim Carvill won 2 and 1 on his first appearance in the event since the age requirement was dropped from 55 to 50 this year while Royal Portrush's Garth McGimpsey also won comfortably.
Italy will now face Germany, who were 3-2 winners over Sweden.
England and Scotland meet in the other semi-final following their wins over Spain and France respectively.
European Senior Men's Team Championship, Diners Golf and Country Club in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ireland 2, Italy 3
- KELLY, Maurice & MORROW, Adrian lost to SITA, Vicenzo & FRANCO, Massimo 2&1
- PIERSE, Arthur lost to SARTORI, Lorenzo 2&1
- CARVILL, Jim bt BOLLA, Gianluca 2&1
- CLEARY, Tom lost to DE ROSSI, Marco 1 Hole
- MCGIMPSEY, Garth bt LANG, Federico 5&4.
- Ireland 2 - 3 Italy
- Germany 3 - 2 Sweden
- England 3 - 2 Spain
- Scotland 4 - 1 France