European Youths Update

Edel O’Reilly in action

The Irish team in Istanbul at the European Youth Championships swing into action today in the individual events starting with the Junior Mixed Doubles at 14.30 with Paul McCreery and Ashley Givan taking on an Armenian / Georgian pairing and Ashley Robinson and Edel O’Reilly playing two Bosnians. It was an early start for the players with a 9am breakfast call to get some much needed doubles practice as neither pairing has ever played together before! Lack of mixed doubles tournaments in Ireland mean that this will be their first outings together and couple of hours practice is required in the morning! In years gone by Wednesday was traditionally the free day when the young players got to see something of the place they were competing in and I am sure it would be very culturally and educationally interesting to see the historic Gateway to Asia but unfortunately that is all a thing of the past now as not only are the mixed doubles parings in action but the Junior Boys Sam Logue and Ashley Robinson are in action in the singles from 17.00.

The draw for the Singles is as follows:

Junior Boys

2nd Round McCreery v Efstathiou(Cyprus)/Handl(Czech Rep)

1st Round Logue v PANAGIOTOU(CYP)

1st Round Robinson v Wolf(Austria)

Logue and Robinson are first into action in Round 1 this evening. Logue faces PANAGIOTOU, who in the Team event defeated Ashley Robinson. PANAGIOTOU is Ranked 354 in Europe, with Logue at 325. This will be a tough match for the ALSAA player, but he will hope to draw on his recent experiences at the Spanish Open and ITTF Training camp to progress. Robinson faces the Austrian Wolf, which on the surface looks to be a difficult draw. Wolf is ranked 128 in Europe and Robinson will have to produce his best performance of the tournament to progress. McCreery progresses automatically to the 2nd Round due to his ranking of 38 in Europe. Both of his potential opponents are unranked and he will hope to secure a victory that would lead to a 3rd round clash with Fucec of Croatia.

Cadet Girls

2nd Round Givan v TISCHLER(Austria)/HAMZAYEVA(Azerbaijan)

1st Round O’Reilly v HALITI(Kosovo)

The Irish Girls face unranked opponents in the Singles. Haliti from Kosovo is a known quantity for Edel O’Reilly and coach Amanda Mogey, as in the Team event Ashley Givan recorded a 3:1 victory over the Kosovan. O’Reilly would be delighted with a similar result to progress to the next round. Givan will also be hopeful of progressing – Azerbaijan finished in bottom position in the group and Tischler of Austria has struggled for a win in the Team event.

Team Event Results

Junior Boys – Following a disappointing finish in their first group, the Boys team rallied in their 2nd group, with wins over Kosovo and Cyprus. McCreery took his two matches against the Swiss, but that wasn’t enough as the Irish suffered a 3:2 defeat. In to the final positional play-offs, Ireland defeated Macedonia 3:1, with McCreery recording another 2 wins and Robinson finishing the match off. The last match was against the Ukraine, where Ireland fell to a 3:1 defeat, McCreery taking the sole win. This left Ireland in 34th position from an entry of 40 teams.

Cadet Girls – The Cadet Girls had a succesful event at their first European Championships, with Edel O’Reilly scoring a notable win against Israel’s Nicole Trossman(European No.22). In their 2nd group, they recorded 3 wins out of 3, defeating Kosovo, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. Both players were in top form, with two 3:0’s and a 3:1 victory. In the final play-offs they faced Switzerland and Ukraine. Against the Swiss, the Girls took the crucial Doubles and O’Reilly was again in top form, taking the two singles victories against Schemp and Gonzales, 3:0 in both. This set up a rematch with the Ukraine, over whom the Irish recorded a victory earlier in the event. This was not to go the way of the Irish – O’Reilly recorded a single victory, but the match finished 3:1 to the Ukraine, leaving Ireland in 31st position from 37 entries.