Ireland’s first day at the European Youth Championships got off to a disappointing start. First into action was the Cadet Girls, who faced off against Belgium at 9am this morning. Ashley Givan was first into action against Florence Vanacker. Givan raced into a one set lead, but Vanacker fought back to take the next three sets and edge Belgium into a 1:0 lead. Edel O’Reilly, making her debut at the European Championships, was ice cool as she defeated Evi Janssens in straight sets to level the match. Next up were the crucial Doubles, and the Irish duo pushed Belgium all the way in a thrilling 5 setter, before eventually succumbing 11:9 in the 5th set. Givan was immediately back in action, levelling the match at 2:2 in another 5 setter. That set up a final match showdown between O’Reilly and Vanacker. Again, O’Reilly took a one set lead, but Vanacker was on the comeback trail again and took the next 3 sets to take the match for Belgium. But this was an encouraging performance by the Irish Cadets who will look to take a win against either Israel or Ukraine in their next group matches.
At lunch time today, the Junior Boys were into action against Luxembourg. This was a match that the Irish were hoping to win and they will have to work hard to pick themselves up from a disappointing less. Paul McCreery took two wins as expected, defeating Jan Thews and Sven Hansen, dropping just one set along the way. This is a big tournament for McCreery, capping off a fine season for the National No.1, and he will be delighted with his start. Teammates Robinson and Logue would have hoped to pick up that crucial 3rd win. Logue was closest, taking a 2 set lead against Eric Glod. Glod fought back to take the 3rd 14:12 and from there cruised to the victory. Robinson lost out to Jan Thews and Sven Hansen. The Junior Boys will be back in action at 9am tomorrow(7am Irish time) – which will be streamed live here: