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Norway & Portugal Earn Promotion at Pannonia

Norway have defeated Slovakia in the semi-finals of the European Boys' Team Championship, Division 2, in Hungary.

The number-one seeds faced tough opposition in what would be a tight match at Pannonia Golf & Country Club.

The Slovakian team put the first point on the board, Pavol Mach & Matej Babic defeated Mikkel Antonsen & top individual stroke play qualifier, Bard Skogen on the 15th green.

The second foursomes match was extemely close, and went down the 18th all-square. The Slovakian duo had a birdie putt to take a two-point advantage from the morning session, typically difficult to recover from in European Team Championship medal-contention matches, although an over-hit putt led to a bogey while the Norwegian pair recovered well for par, leaving the score at 1-1.

In the afternoon, Mikkel Antonsen wasted no time in dispatching Matus Brezovsky in the first singles match, closing out the match on the 14th green with a six-hole advantage. 

Pavol Mach responded with a 4&3 win for the Slovakian side, which was quickly followed by a point for Norway from Jakob Stubhaug by the same scoreline, meaning Norway needed just one more point to secure the match.

Bard Skogen claimed the winning point for Norway. The 2017 European Young Masters champion won the 19th hole of his match against Matej Babic to earn Norway a spot in next year's Division 1 Championship.

In the second semi-final of the day, number-two seeds, Iceland, faced Portugal.

Recent Jacques Léglise Trophy player, Daniel Da Costa Rodrigues, and Kiko Francisco Coelho won the second foursomes match 4&2 to put the first point on the board for Portugal.

In what was likely the closest match of the day, Pedro Cruz Silva & Joao Maria Pontes made three birdies in a row on the back nine to recover from three-down and take the match to extra holes. They would eventually triumph over Viktor Ingi Einarsson & Dagbjartur Sigurbrandsson on the 22nd hole to put the second point on the board for Portugal.

This meant Portugal needed just two points from the five afternoon singles to claim the match. A 4&2 win by Kiko Francisco Coelho left the door open for Daniel Da Costa Rodrigues to secure promotion for the Portuguese team on the 17th green. 

Portugal will face Norway in Saturday's final to decide who is crowned Division 2 European Boys' Team Champions, while Iceland will face Slovakia in the match to clinch the third and final promotion spot.

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