Britain and Ireland are leading the United States by three and a half to two points and a half after day one of the Curtis Cup at the Essex Country Club in Massachuusetts.

It was an exceptional first day performance by Britain and Ireland given the star quality of the Americans who have won the last six Curtis Cup matches.

After each of Friday's three opening foursomes resulted in halved matches, Danielle McVeigh from County Down and her English partner Pamela Pretswell gave the Britain and Ireland team their first points of the afternoon fourballs with an emphatic four and three win over the top American pairing of Kimberley Kim and Jennifer Song.

The Americans struck back with a three and two victory in the second match on the course as Alexis Thompson and Jennifer Johnson defeated Leona Maguire and Rachel Jennings

But in the third and final match of the day, which was the closest of the three afternoon encounters, Lisa Maguire holed a three foot putt for a final hole victory with her Engish partner Sally Watson over the American pairing of Jessica Korda and Tiffany Lua.

Britain & Ireland 3.5 USA 2.5

Morning Foursomes (British and Irish names first)

S Watson and R Jennings halved with J Song and J Jonhson.

H Barwood and H Clyburn halved with A Thompson and J Korda.

D McVeigh and L Maguire halved with C Clanton and S Kono.

Afternoon Fourballs

D McVeigh and P Pretswell beat J Song and K Kim 4 & 3

R Jennings and Leona Maguire lost to A Thompson and J Johnson 3 & 2

S Watson and Lisa Maguire beat J Korda and T Lua 1 up