Match One Ireland V Slovenia
On paper this match was going to be evenly balanced with both teams hoping to come away with a win. Ireland started well taking the men’s singles before Slovenia bounced straight back by winning the women’s singles.
The next match was a thrilling encounter as the Slovenian men’s doubles pairing of Lesničar and Lonaric came out of the block fast as they blew the Irish away in the opening game 21-10. The Irish pair of Kinnerk and O’Mahony made a quick change of game plan and the match became much more evenly balanced as both pairs fought to gain the attack. The Irish evened the match winning the second game 21-19 with some good control of the first three shots and midcourt. This setup a fiery deciding game that went point for point all the way until 20-18 where Slovenia had two match points. The Irish players held their nerve with some high level serving to gain a match point of their own, however it took another two opportunities before they were able to win the deciding game 24-22.
This match really changed the momentum for Ireland as they then won a very convincing women’s doubles followed by the mixed doubles. The final score was Ireland 4 and Slovenia 1.
“Our players had to dig deep today, Slovenia are a similar level to us, so the game could have gone either way. Our men’s doubles pair showed some great character during the big points in their game and that really changed the momentum of the match in our favour. We now look forward to the next matches in our group” Irish under 19 coach Daniel Magee
Match 2 Ireland V Turkey
In the second match of the day Ireland faced the number 5/8 seeds Turkey. Turkey were the dominant team in the match winning with a 4-1 scoreline. The stand out match for Ireland came from the men's doubles pairing of O'Mahony and McAllister who beat Basakin and Ugurlu of Turkey to gain a valuable point for their team. Tomorrow Ireland will face Austria and Cyprus which will conclude the matches in the group. After day one it is still all to play for in group seven of the European Junior Championships.
For a full list of the results from this match and the upcoming Irish matches click on the following link
Report by team coaches Daniel Magee and Aisling Ryan