• European Team Championships 2010 • 27-Apr 01-May • Aix en Provence • 





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XTRAS: Minnows Diary

TODAY at the EuroTeams:
Wed 28th, Day TWO

Another 27 matches at Set Squash today, again in six sessions, as the pool stages continue.

In the top pools most of the semi-final places were decided, but Men's Pool B could yet throw up a surprise in tomorrow's final matches.

Match of the day was Wales' narrow 3-1 win over Scotland, which leaves the Welsh in pole position to join England France and Holland in the men's semis, but the Irish could still spring a surprise.

The women's semis will be between England, Holland, France and Ireland, who plays who to be decided in tomorrow's group deciders.

Session 1:
Poles delighted

The day opened with Men's Pool D and D matches. Spain eased past Israel 4-0, although Borja Golan was given much tougher workout today, Ido Avron getting close in the first two games before the Spaniard  eased ahead in the third.

recorded their first win, 4-0 over Turkey to give themselves a chance of further progress.

The Polish squad was delighted to record a first win, beating Cyprus 3-1 to reach the 21-24 playoffs for the first time, guaranteeing themselves a best-ever finish.

Meanwhile 10th seeded Denmark found themselves in a tougher than expected battle against Austria. Austrian #1 Aqeel Rehman continued his good form with a 3-2 win over Kristian Frost Olesen, largely through playing more steadily at the business end of the match. Denmark still look like winning 3-1 though ...

Session 2:
England & Ireland book semi-final places

England and Ireland booked their places in the women's semi-finals as both recorded their second wins in Pool A.

England were comfortable enough as Dom Lloyd-Walter and Jenny Duncalf gave them an unassailable lead over Italy, while Ireland were grateful for a battling performance from Laura Mylotte in the opening tie of their crunch match with Germany.

Mylotte won 11/7, 12/10, 12/10 with Pamela Hathaway serving out at 10-all in the third to gift the Irishwoman a matchball which she gratefully accepted. Madeline Perry wasted no time in wrapping up the match with a convincing 3/0 win over Sine Wall.

 Comfortable wins for Belgium and the Czech Republic too, over Cyprus and Greece.

In the men's matches the two smallest countries, Luxembourg and Gibraltar, were both happy with their performances despite going down to Sweden and Slovakia respectively.


Session 3:
France & Holland join the semis,
Wales hold off the Scots ...

The top two in women's group B was also decided, hosts France easing through against Denmark with Coline Aumard starting the ball rolling and  Line Hansen unable to repeat yesterday's heroics as she lost to Camille Serme in straight games.

It wasn't so easy for the Dutch though, who were resting number one Vanessa Atkinson. Margriet Huisman put them ahead with a tight 3/0 win, then Annelize Naudé needed all five games to see off Gaby Schmol, who recently won the Swiss Open unseeded.

Finishing the women's action for the day, straightforward wins for Finland, Austria and Sweden. Their big matches come tomorrow.

There was a ding-dong men's Pool B battle out on courts 9 and 10 as Wales took on Scotland.

Alan Clyne put the scots ahead at top string with a 3/0 win over Jethro Binns, Alex Gough levelled with a hard-fought 3/1 win over Harry Leitch, both players unhappy with the referees several times.

Wales' other veteran David Evans put Cymru ahead with a comprehensive win over Chris Small, just moments before the final match finished on the adjacent court.

Peter Creed and Stuart Crawford (who took a game off Thierry Lincou yesterday, contrary to the report, apologies) were level at two-games all ... the Welshman took a 5/1 lead in the decider but the Scot fought back to earn matchball at 10/9.

A cracking crosscourt volley into the nick levelled it for Creed, who then floated another volley into the opposite corner nick to move to match point for himself and the team.

Crawford put in a tight drop to the front right, Creed flung himself into the corner to just scrape the ball back into the middle. Crawford was expecting an easy putaway, but played it too loose, meanwhile Creed was back on his feet, sprinted to the middle to earn himself a stroke which left the Welsh elated and the Scots deflated. Phew ...

A good way to save match ball ...

... a strange way to win it

Session 4:
Red, White, Blue ... and Green

What with the excitement of the over-running Wales/Ireland match I missed most of the matches in this session ...

Switzerland beat Greece 4-0, although Greek veteran Petros Tzamaloukas, appearing in his 16th EuroTeams, reckoned he had good chances in two of his games against Benjamin Fischer, as did Declan Christie in his loss to Lukas Burkhart.

Hosts France made certain of a semi-final place with a 4-0 win over Ireland, resting Gregory Gaultier as captain Renan Lavigne tested out his injured hand with no apparent ill-effects.

Meanwhile Italy eased past the Ukraine, boosted by Stéphane Galifi's very own Tricolore fan club ...

Session 5:
Matthew pulls it out, Dutch deny Germans ...

Defending champions England made it two wins out of two, but Finland's Olli Tuominen came close to creating a sensational upset when he went two games up against world number two Nick Matthew.

By the time Matthew had clawed himself back to parity, Daryl Selby and Peter Barker had put England two-nil up, and when Matthew completed the recovery, 11/8 in the fifth after 82 minutes in front of a packed and noisy court one crowd (it's a good job they installed an industrial-strength fan there, it's getting pretty hot!) England were in the semi-finals.

In the other Pool A match Holland were locked at one-all against Germany after LJ Anjema and Rudi Rohrmuller chalked up opening wins.

It was looking close as Jens Schoor levelled at one-all with Dylan Bennett, but Dylan reasserted to take it 3/1 and Piedro Schweertman finished off a 3-1 win in style to set up a Poll decider with England.

"Dylan played very well," said Dutch manager/coach Lucas Buit, "he dug in to pull us out of a tight situation. We expected a win from LJ of course, number eleven in the world, and Sebastiaan [Weenink] is a promising player but he got a bit frustrated at himself and with some decisions, he'll learn from that. Piedro had a bad loss yesterday but he bounced back well from that.

"As a coach I'm happy and proud, our target is still to make the podium, so far so good, but it will be difficult against England tomorrow. You want to go all out for the win but you know that even if you do you still have another match to make the final."

Play Belgium, get Chocolates .... Marton hits his own his leg with his racket (ask him to see the mark)

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