Fabulous finish to Fairhaven thriller

Pictures : Bill Johnson.'The 2011 Astor Trophy played at Fairhaven Golf Club. The Great Britain & Ireland team. From left, Tegwen Matthews (captain), Pam Pretswell, Kelsey McDonald, Kelly Tidy, Amy Boulden and Holly Clyburn.
Pictures : Bill Johnson.'The 2011 Astor Trophy played at Fairhaven Golf Club. The Great Britain & Ireland team. From left, Tegwen Matthews (captain), Pam Pretswell, Kelsey McDonald, Kelly Tidy, Amy Boulden and Holly Clyburn.
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THE Great Britain and Ireland amateur golf team are smiling happily ... and little wonder.

They had plenty to celebrate after retaining the Astor Trophy at the Fairhaven course, beating off a challenge from the rest of the Commonwealth on a tense final day.

They needed to beat Canada to maintain their 100 per cent record and so lift the trophy, which is contested every four years.

But optimism was quelled when Canada took a 2-0 lead in the morning foursomes.

And it needed a remarakable rally by the team of Kelly Tidy, Amy Boulden, Holly Clyburn, Kelsey MacDonald and Pamela Pretswell to salvage victory in the afternoon singles.

A Pretswell victory was cancelled out by defeat for MacDonald, leaving GB and Ireland 3-1 down with three singles to play, knowing there was no margin for error.

The remaining matches could have gone either way but sterling work saw the home team safely through as Clyburn, Boulden and Tidy all claimed wins.

The elation was summed up by captain Tegwen Matthews, who said: “It was an absolutely amazing team win under terrific pressure. To win the last three matches on the 18th green was so exciting.”

GB and Ireland kept up their record of never having lost the Astor Trophy on home soil.

It will be 20 years before it is contested on these shores again, as it is moved around venues in Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.