Welsh juggernaut driving toward win

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ANOTHER Welsh win on Scottish soil is in the offing. Having seen their men record victories in football and rugby at Hampden and Murrayfield respectively already this year, Wales’s women amateur golfers are poised for their own taste of 
triumph at Scotscraig today.

As Scotland’s hopes of a first success in the home internationals in four years were extinguished by a 5-4 defeat against England, the Welsh closed in on the coveted crown.

Winners of the Miller Trophy last time it was played for in the home of golf – at Irvine Bogside in 2009 – they followed an opening-day success over England by also coming out on top in a closely fought second-day encounter with Ireland.

Trailing 2-1 after the morning foursomes, the Irish struck the first blow in the afternoon singles as Leona Maguire beat Amy Boulden 4 & 3 in a clash between two team-mates from Great Britain & Ireland’s Curtis Cup victory at Nairn last year.

Chloe Williams hit back for Wales by beating the other Maguire twin, Lisa, to maintain her 100 per cent record before, incredibly, the bottom four matches each finished all square.

It left the end result 5-4 in the favour of Wales and means a draw, perhaps even a narrow defeat, in their final match against Scotland today will see them claim the title in north-east Fife.

Scotland were 2-1 down after the foursomes, which saw Alyson McKechin and Eilidh Briggs deliver the home team’s point with a splendid 2 & 1 triumph over the star English pairing of Georgia Hall and Emily Taylor.

While Taylor was left out of the singles line up, British champion Hall thumped McKechin, the Scottish champion, who fought an uphill battle after losing the opening two holes to par.

Megan Briggs went down by 
4 & 2 to Gabriella Cowley, but the Scots refused to go down without a fight after finding themselves up against it.

Indeed, they don’t come any tougher in this head-to-head format than the other Briggs sister, Eilidh. She found herself three down at the turn to Sarah Jane-Boyd, the English champion, but battled back with grit and determination to record a 
2 & 1 triumph.

Connie Jaffrey, the 16-year-old Scottish Girls’ champion from Troon, and fellow Grantown-on-Spey rookie Hannah McCook also delivered points for the hosts but, although she battled gamely in the decisive clash, 
St Andrews’s Lauren Whyte succumbed to Annabel Dimmock after watching her opponent hole putts from off the green at both the 14th and 16th.

Having been left holding the wooden spoon for the past two years, the Scots now need to dig deep one more time to halt the Welsh juggernaut and, barring a heavy Irish defeat to England, avoid an unwanted hat-trick.