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Golf: GB and Ireland hold on for win

updated 3:35 PM EDT, Sun September 18, 2011
The winning Great Britain and Ireland team parade the Vivendi Seve trophy
The winning Great Britain and Ireland team parade the Vivendi Seve trophy
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Great Britain and Ireland retain Vivendi Seve Trophy in France
  • Continenental Europe side fight back in fina day singles
  • Jean Van De Velde's team win first five matches to draw level
  • Ian Poulter sees off Matteo Manassero to claim crucial victory for his team

(CNN) -- Great Britain & Ireland had to withstand a withering onslaught from Continental Europe before retaining the Vivendi Seve Trophy at St- Nom-La-Breteche in France Sunday.

Victory looked a formality as the Continentals trailed by five points overnight heading into the final 10 singles matches, but Jean Van De Velde's side won the first five singles contests to square the match.

It set up a dramatic finale with Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts taking a half off England's David Horsey, but rookie Scott Jamieson scored a crucial win for Paul McGinley's men as he beat Pablo Larrazabal.

The heavyweight clash between Ian Poulter and young Italian star Matteo Manassero proved even more vital and it was the Englishman who snatched victory on the final green as he again showed his match play abilities with a three birdie run on the back nine.

Mark Foster went one up against Raphael Jacquelin on the 17th to guarantee the 14 1/2 points for victory, going on to wrap up the point as the eventual margin was 15 1/2 to 12 1/2 with Ross Fisher and Peter Hanson all square in the last match out on course.

"Lucky I had the team well balanced out, and had not just experience but guys in form balanced throughout the team, so they came through in the end," McGinley told the official European Tour website.

But his team had suffered a massive scare as Thomas Bjorn led from the front for the Continentals by beating Lee Westwood in the top match 2 and 1.

Bjorn's compatriot Anders Hansen beat Simon Dyson and Francesco Molinari saw off Jamie Donaldson.

Alex Noren then beat Robert Rock 4 and 3 and British Open Champion Darren Clarke lost 4 and 2 to former Ryder Cup partner Miguel Angel Jiménez to leave the contest tied at 11 1/2-11 1/2.

But up stepped Jamieson and former WGC World Match Play champion Poulter to score their wins.

Van De Velde said: "It was extremely close, even going down the stretch.

"All credit to Poulter for making three birdies in five holes. You're rarely going to lose a game when that happens," he added

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