The 2015 European Mixed Team Championship began today at Leuven in Belgium and Team Ireland has made a brilliant start in their bid to be ranked as one of Europe’s finest with a convincing win in the first tie. Ireland faced host nation Belgium in their first match of the championship, a pivotal tie as they needed a win before facing England tomorrow who are currently ranked second in Europe.
Sam and Chloe Magee were first on court in the mixed doubles event and the Magee brother and sister paring triumphed again beating Nick Marcoen and Flore Vandenhoucke in two games 21-10, 21-17. Next up was Scott Evans to face Yuhan Tan. The Irish number 1 continued his run of good form and secured the second victory of the day for Ireland beating the Belgian 21-13, 21-17. Chloe Magee was back on court for a second time in the women’s singles to face Belgium’s Lianne Tan who tried hard to match Magee’s game but it was the Irish double Olympian who took the match in 2 games, 21-12, 21-17.
Ireland first real struggle of the day came in the men’s doubles when Scott Evans and Sam Magee paired up to take on Matijs Dierickx and Freek Golinski. It was the second time on court for both Evans and Magee which gave the Belgian pair an advantage and they took the first game 21-14. Not to be outdone the Irish boys fought back to win the second game 21-17. The deciding game was a tense affair with Evans and Magee trailing for much of the game. Despite their valiant attempt it was the Belgians who finally took the final game 21-15 and secured the first victory of the day for Belgium.
The final match of the tie was the women’s doubles. Sara Boyle and Rachael Darragh took on Steffi Annys and Flore Vanerhoucke. The young Irish girls faced a more experienced Belgians pairing and despite their best efforts were sadly beaten in 2 games 21-13, 21-12
Beating Belgium was a big step in the right direction for Ireland and our hopes of reaching the quarter finals of the championship.
“We came here to beat Belgium and we did that so we are all very happy. Bigger challenge tomorrow but good chance we can make quarter finals now and that's very exciting for us to look forward to” said Chloe Magee
Team Ireland will face England tomorrow at 9am Irish time. Don’t forget to follow @bad_min_ton for live updates. Use the hashtag #EMTC15 and tweet your messages of support for the Irish team
Ireland v Belgium
XD – Sam Magee/Chloe Magee v Nick Marcoen/Flore Vandenhoucke - 21-10, 21-17
MS – Scott Evans v Yuhan Tan – 21-13, 21-17
WS – Chloe Magee v Lianne Tan – 21-12, 21-17
MD – Scott Evans/Sam Magee v Matijs Dierickx/Freek Golinski – 14-21, 21-17, 15-21
WD – Sara Boyle/Rachael Darragh v Steffi Annys/Flore Vandenhoucke – 21-13, 21-12