ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (September 12, 2005) -- Almost 100 years have passed since Ireland last won the Ladies’ Home International matches on home soil but with the momentum of wins in both 2003 and 2004 behind them, they will be looking for a third successive win on the home territory of Dundalk where the match will be played from 14-16 September.
Home support is likely to be crucial in the fiercely contested series, especially since the last win on Irish soil was in 1907 at Newcastle, Co. Down, not too far as the ‘crow flies’ over the Cooley Mountains and further in the distance, the towering Mountains of Mourne.
Ireland will again be led by Curtis Cup player Claire Coughlan, this year the losing finalist in the Tropicana Essentials Ladies British Amateur Championship and they will want to avoid a similar slip-up to last year’s defeat against Wales that almost cost them the trophy. Six of that team have been retained for the title defence with Tara Delaney and Maria Dunn coming in for Helen Jones and Sinead O’Sullivan.
Since the matches started in 1905, England has been the ‘dominating force’ and prior to Ireland’s recent wins had won 10 of the previous 11 contests. In fact, it was the solitary win of Wales at Royal Dornoch in 1999 that interrupted that succession of wins.
England are looking for a return to earlier successes with a strong team led by their National Champion Felicity Johnson while Scotland include Fiona Lockhart, the 2005 Scottish title-holder and Anne Laing, the winner of the title on three occasions since 1996.
Wales, meanwhile, would like to add to their solitary win and will be hoping that Sarah Jones, a Curtis Cup player in 2002, can inspire their young team to another long-overdue victory.
Dundalk Golf Club was established in 1904 and the present layout was designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas. Having hosted the All Ireland Cups and Shields Finals in 1997, further renovations took place for the clubs 2004 Centenary. Entries to many greens were tightened, bunkers relocated and blind shots eliminated so that the course’s reputation as a quality parkland layout has been greatly enhanced.
Details of all four teams can be viewed on www.lgu.org.