Interim coach Yvette Yun Luo’s squad can take great heart from their performances against stronger opposition in the shape of Russia, Germany and England.
There was no disgrace in not progressing from the group. They were in good company as second seeds England couldn’t do that either after today’s surprise defeat by Germany in the shootout for second place.
While 18-year-old Nhat Nguyen grabbed the Irish limelight with his men’s singles win in the opening contest with Germany on Wednesday, today it was the turn of Sara Boyle to take the honours.
The 21-year-old gave the Irish a winning start by forcing her way past Anstasiia Semenova 21-18 21-17 in the opening women’s singles. What was particularly satisfying is that the Russian is more than 100 places above Boyle in the world rankings but Boyle fought back from 14-9 down in the opener to draw level at 15-15 before going one up. She trailed 11-8 in the second before a six-point charge gave her a winning platform.
Afterwards she said: “Very happy to put point on board for Ireland. It’s been a tough week. We were really happy to qualify for here and now we want to try to push on and challenge the big players. It’s great to have that opportunity..
“We want to try to keep a good team spirit so we can all stay together"
“All my team. we all spar together at the National Centre and we have a good relationship and team spirit. We’ve all been training together and work together.
“Next for me is Portuguese International in March. A few are playing the Spanish International and Austria next week so there are great opportunities to take this team spirit forward.”
Ireland 1 Russia 4
Women’s singles: Sara Boyle bt Anastasiia Semenova 21-18 21-17
Men’s singles: Joshua Magee lost to Vladimir Malkov 21-10 21-17
Women’s doubles: Sara Boyle & Rachael Darragh lost to Ekaterina Bolotova & Aalina Davietova 21-11 21-16
Men’s doubles: Joshua Magee & Paul Reyholds lost to Vladimir Ivananov & Ivan Sozonov 21-8 21-12
Mixed doubles: Rodion Alimov & Alina Davietova lost to Rodion Alimov& Alina Davietova 21-13 21-18
Report by William Kings