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Redlibbets Golf Club’s Edward Richardson helps England to senior men’s European Team Championship title

Edward Richardson of Sevenoaks-based Redlibbets Golf Club played his part to help the England senior men’s team to European Team Championship glory in the Czech Republic.

Richardson was part of the squad that defeated France 3-2 in the match play Final at Marianske Lasne following a third-place finish in the stroke play stages.

Redlibbets' Edward Richardson, seventh from left, and his England team-mates celebrate their Euro triumph
Redlibbets' Edward Richardson, seventh from left, and his England team-mates celebrate their Euro triumph

Andrew Atkinson, England senior men’s captain, said: “From pillar to post the guys have all just played amazing golf this week. It was a fantastic week where everything just fitted into place. We were up till 2am Saturday night so it was very quiet on the bus on Sunday!”

England were 4-1 up over France after six holes but the game swung the other way quickly.

Ian Ashenden (Northwood, Middlesex) and Richard Jones (Rotherham, Yorkshire) managed to win one-up after the French went into the trees and couldn’t get up-and-down, while Trevor Foster (Pleasington, Lancashire) romped home 6&5, as he was six-under for his round.

However, Adrian Firman (Luffenham Heath, Leics & Rutland), lost 2&1 in a tremendous match with Christophe Muniesa and Richardson was defeated 4&3 by Albert Galloy. That left Stephen Creed (Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire) needing to win the final match, despite falling ill during the contest.

Atkinson explained: “I got a call on the 12th from Stephen’s caddy saying he had double vision, stomach cramps and a headache, so we asked the referee for a 15-minute timeout and got a pair of sunglasses and some sugary drinks into him. He went out and lost on 12 and missed a short putt on 15 to win. The match went down 18 and the French’s approach hit a tree and ricocheted onto the green, just 15 feet from the hole!”

However, Creed managed to sink a 38-footer for birdie and the French missed their putt, as the win secured a 3-2 victory for England - the same scoreline for all their team results at the event

On the first day of the stroke play, Richardson and Creed had the two best rounds of the day with 67 and 68 respectively, to see England leading the way. But it wasn’t so good on the second day, with England finishing third overall thanks to Creed’s level-par round seeing him top of the overall leaderboard on -4.

The third-place finish in the top-flight meant a tie against Sweden (sixth) in the Quarter-Finals 0 a team which beat England in last year’s Final.

Creed won 5&4 while Richardson was four-up after five but had to hole one from 18 feet on the 16th to seal victory 3&2. Foster was five-under for the round despite losing 3&2 after the most incredible game with Mattias Pernheden and Firman, who had been struggling with illness, lost down the 18th to Oscar Hertzman.

The match was 2-2 with just the foursomes match to play and it looked as if Ashenden and Jones were going to win when the Swedish pair of Tomas Karlsson and Stefan Nilsson had gone into a ditch. However, Nilsson produced a miraculous 253-yard shot with his three-wood to gimme distance, which meant the teams had to go to a play-off before the English pair held their nerve to win on the 2nd.

An incredibly tight Semi-Final against Ireland saw Ashenden and Jones defeated 4&3 after the Irish duo of Colin Cunningham and Noel Crawford were four-under for their round. In the singles, Creed was two-up with two to play but Eddie McCormack holed from 25 feet to take it down the last, before beating Creed on the second play-off hole as the Englishman hit water.

Richardson holed a 20-footer for birdie on the last hole to win two-up, while Foster birdied the last two holes to win one-up, including a tricky five-footer on the 18th.

The standout win was from Firman, who beat Jody Fanagan - the runner-up at the US Senior Amateur Final. A tremendous game saw Firman three-under when he saw the game out 2&1 against one of the world’s top-five senior amateur players. That contributed to another 3-2 win ahead of Sunday's win over France.

Atkinson added: “Without our wives and caddies, we wouldn’t have got past the first round. They make such a difference. The support these guys get is incredible - Trevor’s wife Debbie has been caddying for him for 44 years, and Adrian wouldn’t have played without his wife and caddy Katy!

“We were the envy of the rest of Europe through our team spirit and camaraderie and I’m so proud of the whole team.”

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