EYC Croatia Update

Ireland top their group in Varazdin, earning a playoff against Croatia to progress to the Last 16.

The 2021 European Youth Championships are taking place in Varazdin, Croatia, from 16 July-1 August, with an Irish team travelling outside the island for the first time in 17 months.

The Ireland Junior Boys Team of Dillon Byrne, Owen Cathcart, Tom Colvin and James Skelton are representing Ireland at the event.

Lithuania were first up on Day 1, and the lack of play and match practice over the last year showed for the Irish team, as they went down 2-3 to an efficient Lithuanian side with some awkward styles.  Owen Cathcart took the two rubbers for Ireland, which would prove crucial later on.

The evening match was against Latvia, who had earlier beaten Lithuania 3-1, which meant a win against Latvia would not be enough for Ireland to progress, it would have to be a 3-1 win or better.

A second tough team match in only a few hours could have gone either way, but with Cathcart anchoring the team again with a win in the first rubber, Tom Colvin chipped in with another win, leaving Cathcart to close out the match for a 3-1 victory, Ireland topping the group on countback.

The morning of Day 2 will see Ireland face a tough match against 5th Seed Croatia, with both teams then progressing to the evening matches, the winner entering the Top 16 Knockout, while the loser of the morning match enters playoffs for positions 17-30.