Maggie Whitehead and Rachel Gourley star at Home Internationals

England’s joint men’s and women’s team – which featured Arcot Hall’s Rachel Gourley and Close House’s Maggie Whitehead – snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on a dramatic final day in the Home Internationals at Ballyliffin.

A final score of 11-10 in favour of England allowed the 16-strong combined squad to pip hosts Ireland to the inaugural R&A Trophy following earlier wins against Wales and Scotland.

In the fight for the Men’s Home Internationals title, England also edged out Ireland to win the Raymond Trophy. They were only denied a hat-trick of wins on countback – Ireland’s women pipping their rivals on game points after their head-to-head ended in a 4.5-4.5 draw.

All three trophies were decided right at the death on a dramatic day in County Donegal. Six of the 14 singles games went down to the final hole, with England winning two and halving four of those games.

Rachel picked up a point in the morning foursomes alongside Lottie Woad as Ireland carried a 4-3 lead into the singles. Needing eight points from the 14 matches to win, the decisive moment came in the match involving Rachel – her half point against Sara Byrne ensuring England got over the line by the smallest of margins.