Monday, May 14, 2012


England Vs France 2012 copyright Tom WardNEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY ENGLAND GOLF
It is said there is no gain without pain and that summed up England’s hard-fought 15-9 victory over France on a dramatic afternoon at Rochester and Cobham Park in Kent.
It was England’s 28th success of the series that dates back to 1934. But few could have been quite as nail-biting as this before Craig Hinton saw his side to a scoreline that appears more comfortable than it was.
Having seen his side beaten in the previous contest at Chantilly two years ago, England captain Colin Edwards was not looking for further agony. But his side gave him a few headaches until Hinton’s 2 and 1 win over Nicolas Manifacier made the result safe.
It was a huge relief to Edwards. “The match was a whole lot closer than the scoreline suggests,” he said. “At one stage this afternoon it could have gone either way, but a couple of big performances turned it in our favour.
“The defeat in Chantilly two years ago really hurt so this is sweet revenge. A win here means a lot to me and the lads played magnificently, their attitude was good and there was a good spirit.”
The match also marked the swansong of French captain Pascal Grizot after eight years of success at the helm. “England were much better than us,” he admitted. “We made too many mistakes and the result is clearly in England’s favour.”
Going into the final series of singles, England required just three points. Yet for most of the afternoon it seemed that France might provide a sting in the tail.
They drew first blood when Edouard Espana inflicted Toby Tree’s first defeat of the match, winning 4 and 3 in the top game. It was the fourth time the pair had faced each other in two days and Espana was determined not to be second best again.
Neil Raymond, the reigning Brabazon Trophy winner, was locked in a titanic struggle with Kenny Subregis, a talented 16 year old. There was never more than one hole between them and it was perhaps fitting that it ended all square, the half marring Subrigis’s perfect record, but both going round in an approximate 67.
But a perfect record was reserved for Callum Shinkwin who was in fine form again. He won the opening two holes against Mathieu De Cottignies-Lafon and was never really threatened, running out a 3 and 2 winner.
But with two points still needed, where were they going to come from? The French were up in several other games but Ben Loughrey provided one. He trailed for most of the way against Lionel Weber, being 3-down at the turn.
But Loughrey got back level with three to play and won the last two holes for a stunning victory.
The all important win fell to Hinton who led for a long time but was pegged back to all square after ten holes. However, the Englishman won the 13th with a concession and put the result beyond doubt by taking the 17th with a par for a 2 and 1 success.
In the other games, Jack Hiluta went down 2 and 1 to Adrien Saddier but Ben Stow and Josh White tied up the bottom two games against Romain Langasque and Antoine Schwartz respectively to round off a clear if less than easy victory.
For more information including scores, interviews and photos visit the England Golf website.
Image copyright Tom Ward Photography.



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