At this rate, Catriona Matthew may be tempted to call herself up to her own European Solheim Cup team next year, writes Nick Rodger.

The captain’s able? She certainly was on day two of the European Golf Team Championships at a bright and breezy Gleneagles as she combined with her partner, Holly Clyburn, to claim a narrow, one hole victory for GB over Norway in the fourballs and inch towards the weekend’s semi-finals.

“Thankfully, I had a good partner over the last three holes,” said Clyburn of Matthew’s hefty contribution to the cause.

Amid the nail-nibbling of an increasingly tense encounter with Marianne Skarpnord and Marita Engzelius, Matthew portrayed an image of reassurance you used to get with those Keep Calm and Carry On posters.

Experience, guile and an unwavering will to win? All those attributes came to the fore as Matthew hauled Team GB to a final green victory with a trio of crucial putts on the run-in.

All-square playing the 16th, Matthew left her initial putt some eight-feet short of the hole but she rolled in her par putt with authority to halve the hole. A fist-pump of considerable gusto underlined the importance of the moment. “I would’ve slapped myself if I’d three-putted,” she said.

The Norwegian’s then seemed to plooter around for so long on the 17th tee, you genuinely felt they would leave themselves with an almighty rush to make Saturday’s mixed foursomes.

Both players finally hit while Matthew pulled her tee-shot left, but she made a nerveless up-and-down for a par with another sturdy eight-footer to keep the match evenly balanced.

Matthew had her game face on. She also had to have her reflexes sharp up the par-5 18th as Skarpnord, who had found a perilous lie in the left hand bank, squirted her hack from the rough into the path of the nearby Matthew amid frantic bawls of fore.

“Oh my God,” shrieked Skarpnord after Matthew was forced into a jolt of evasive action as the ball clattered into her bag. The 48-year-old remained composed, though, and when it came down to a putting contest on the 18th, Matthew held her nerve.

Engzelius’s 10-footer down the hill for a birdie missed and Matthew made no mistake from five-feet for a match-winning four.

“I’d rather have won three holes earlier,” said the Scot with a smile. “But that’s the attraction of matchplay. It can come down to the last putts on the last green.”

On another good day for the various British pairings – five of the six GB teams still have a chance of making the semi-finals - the duo of Michele Thomson and Meghan MacLaren fashioned another commanding victory as they beat Austria’s Christine Wolf and Sara Schober by 5&3.

Thomson, the former Scottish Women’s Amateur champion, put the tin lid on affairs with a nice approach to four-feet on the 15th which spawned a game-closing birdie. “We are the under the radar team,” said MacLaren of this effective alliance.

Laura Davies, partnering Women’s Open champion Georgia Hall, conjured an eagle and a birdie on successive holes to help the GB pair beat Germany 4&3 while Lee Slattery and Callum Shinkwin were 6&5 winners over a Swedish team featuring former Scottish Open champion, Johan Edfors.

Connor Syme, paired with fellow Scot Liam Johnston, finished with a flourish and holed a 45-footer on the 17th to clinch a 2&1 win over Ireland’s Michael Hoey and Neil O’Briain to maintain an unbeaten record.

“I knew he’d hole it,” said Johnston with a confident grin.