Outstanding performance: Team Ireland run comes to an end in Malaysia

Ashley Robinson in action

Following their outstanding run against all odds, the Irish men have eventually gone down at the last 12 stage in division 3 at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

They lost their knock-out tie in a closely contested affair to Finland by 3 matches to 1. Irelands talisman of the tournament, Ashley Robinson, took the sole victory for the Irish as he beat the Finnish number 2 Mikka O’Connor in 3 straight sets, but that was as good as it got unfortunately. 

Finland’s main man, Benedek Olah, a former clubmate of Ashley in Eslov, did the damage as he accounted for Paul McCreery 3-0. After Ashley had levelled matters by beating O’Connor, Gavin Maguire lost the 3rd match to 3-0 to Samuli Soine, before Olah ended Irish hopes by beating Ashing in a close match, 3-1.

Despite the defeat, there were massive positives to take away for our young men’s team, with the coming of age of Ashley Robinson, amongst other things, a great sign for years to come.

On Friday, the men had one more match, as they faced Uzbekistan in their play-off match. Making his Senior debut here was 13 year old rising star Owen Cathcart. With Ashley taking the first match 3-0, Owen was straight in to the pressure cooker. He was eventually beaten in an epic contest 12-10 in the 5th set. Paul then put us ahead 2-1 after a confident display. Owen was then in again but unfortunately couldn’t quite get the victory, as he again went down narrowly, this time 3-1. In the decider, Ashley stepped up again, and going with form, he sealed the victory in 3 very tight sets to end the tournament on a high. 

On behalf of TTI, we would like to congratulate the men on an outstanding performance in Kuala Lumpur. Great signs for years to come for this young mens team!