World Schools: Report from Colaiste Choilm

The Coláiste Choilm team, Ballincollig Co. Cork, represented Ireland from the 23rd of March 2010 to 31st March 2010 in Brno, Czech Republic. The team consisted of Declan O’ Brien, Alex Cooney, Eoin Murphy and Ben Aherne. After putting up a great display they finished 11th overall in the Championships.

Day One

The first match was against Malta. After a thrilling close encounter with the match level at 3-3 it was down to Declan O’ Brien against the Maltese number 2. Fortunately Declan prevailed as the winner with a confident 3-0 score line. This gave the boys confidence going into tough opposition against Poland. Despite a valiant effort by the boys the more experienced Polish Team prevailed.

Day Two

After a disappointing loss against the Polish team the boys found it difficult to find their form and lost to Slovakia in the morning session. Confidence was low in the Irish camp however Coach Ivan Shorten had a pep talk with the boys and they came out a different team. In the afternoon session they faced England who were in the same position as Ireland, fighting for 3rd place in the group. With heroic performances from Alex Cooney and Declan O’ Brien who both won their singles matches and also their doubles gave Ireland a 5-2 victory over our nearest rivals. This was an excellent result and gave Ireland 3rd position in the group.

“I am very pleased with finishing 3rd in a very tough and talented group. The team all played very well throughout the group showing great character after the disappointment of the Slovakia and Poland matches to eventually beat England which is always a sweet victory to claim!!!” said Declan O’ Brien.

Day Three

In the morning session the Team had a very comfortable 4-0 victory over the Italians which set up a match with the highly regarded German team. Unfortunately the Germans proved to be the better team eventually winning 4-0. Despite this result some of the matches were very close with the doubles going to 5 sets, losing 12-10 in the fifth. This left the Boys with an 11th overall position in the championships.

Day Four

After the team events coming to a close with China winning all team events the boys had a rest day in which to embrace the culture and scenery of Brno.

Day Five

This was the singles day. However the boys were unsuccessful in some very close contested matches. As per usual the Chinese proved to be world class gaining number one position in all events.

 “Overall I thought it was an unforgettable experience which will hopefully prove beneficial for my final year as a junior next season” – Alex Cooney

 “This was my first experience representing Ireland at international level and I was pleased with finishing 11th overall” – Ben Aherne

 “It was an amazing and invaluable experience especially both playing and watching some of the best players in the world” – Eoin Murphy

 “Having won 9 of 14 matches I was extremely pleased with my performance” – Declan O’ Brien

 Well done to all the lads and travelling party which included Ivan Shorten (Coach), Ellen O’ Brien (Head of Delegation) and Tom Mitchell (Umpire).