TODAY at the EuroTeams:
Thu 29th, Day THREE After the third and
final day of pools action the scene is set for the playoff
stages over the next two days.
The semi-finals will be contested by the top four seeds in both
events, but hosts France will feel happiest as their women's
team beat second seeded Netherlands, and will play Ireland in
the semi-finals, while defending champions England meet the
In the men's event top seeds England and France both kept their
unbeaten records and will face Wales and the Netherlands,
respectively, in the semis.
up were the Men's Pool C deciders - unbeaten Spain v unbeaten
Belgium for the winner's spot, Israel v Croatia battling for
third place with Turkey already in bottom place.
It was a comfortable 4/0 win for Israel, taking them into
the 13-20 playoffs, while Spain claimed top spot.
Stefan Casteleyn gave Borja Golan a good workout in the first
game, losing it 14/12, the Spaniard going on to win with
Women's Hour ... but Czech men surprise
Lots of women's matches, including the Pool A decider between
England and Ireland.
Sarah Kippax put England one up, 3-0 over Aisling Blake,
then Madeline Perry levelled it with a sensational win
over world number two Jenny Duncalf. At 9-3 in the fourth it
looked as though the Irishwoman was going to take it 3-1, but
Duncalf fought back, taking the next eight points to force a
The Englishwoman carried that momentum into the fifth, going 8-3
up, but then the tables turned again and it was Irish eyes
smiling at the end.
Euroteams veteran Tania Bailey steadied the ship with a
convincing 3-0 win over Laura Mylotte to maintain England's
unbeaten record and put them at the top of the pool.
In the other pool A match Germany beat Italy, thanks to another
five-game victory in the second match, this time by Sina Wall
over Manuela Manetta, who recovered from two down but
couldn't complete the comeback.
who successfully came from two down was Wales' Deon
Saffery, the newly-crowned British U23 champion. Her
comeback against Lucie Fialova gave Wales the win over the Czech
Republic, Natalie Pritchard having already put them one
up, and in top spot in Pool E.
No comebacks needed for Scotland, Lisa Aitken and
Frania Gillen-Buchert putting them two up against the
Swedes to win Pool C.
One that went to the decider was Spain v Finland, Stella
Carbnonell winning the deciding tie for the Spanish.
The Czech Republic pulled off an upset 3-1 win over
Denmark to top Men's Pool D.
A 20th ETC for Pamela Pancis
Session 3: Aiming to avoid England ...
The final two matches in Women's Pool B are of different species
- hosts France and perennial runners-up Netherlands were both
through to the semis, but the winner will avoid England. For
Switzerland and Denmark the reward will be a meeting with
one the Pool C/D/E/F winners regardless, so less rests on that
match (the Danes won 2-1).
Isabelle Stoehr put the French ahead with a hard-fought
3-1 win over Annelize Naudé, the Dutchwoman particularly
aggrieved at being given a no let on 9-10 match ball.
France booked a semi-final against Ireland when Camille Serme
came through against Vanessa Atkinson, 14-12 in the fourth. So
the semis will be England v Netherlands and France v Ireland.
Cyprus came out on top
with their match against Turkey - an example os sport bringing
people together ? - while Austria overcame Belgium
2-1 in a long gruelling match that really had the crowd on court
ten court going, to top Pool F.
In the men's matches minnows Luxembourg registered their
first win in Pool E (and 4-0 to boot), beating Gibraltar to
avoid the dreaded 25-27 round robin - they head for the 21-24
playoffs instead - while Sweden beat Hungary 3-1 to win
the group ...
Session 4: The final Pools ...
With the women's pools complete there's just a few men's matches
to play to conclude stage one of the event.
Italy, who everyone will want to avoid in tomorrow's 5-12
first round, topped Pool with victory over Switzerland -
technically an upset but the seedings are based on last year's
finish and the current Italian team, with the addition of
Stéphane Galifi, is much better than that. Niucolas Mueller
provided the only Swiss success, underlining his improvement
with a 3-0 win over Davide Bianchetti.
Schoor put Germany one up against Finland, looking
comfortable at 10-5 in the third, but after being denied what he
thought were two strokes, and having his opponent's ball called
out only for the referee to overrule, he must have got the
feeling that someone didn't want him to win the match,
especially when Matias Tuomi reached 11-10. Schoor took the next
two points, muchg to his relief although his mid-game smiles had
long since disappeared.
Germany went on to win 4-0, with Finland resting number one Olli
rested Nick Matthew for their table-topping clash with
Netherlands, who also rested their number one LJ Anjema, and
James Willstrop and Peter Barker put the defending champions
firmly on course for top position.
Adrian Grant was two up against Sebastiaan Weenink before going
over on his ankle, went back on to win the match then was off to
hospital to see how bad the damage is. Daryl Selby completed the
France duly won Pool B, beating Wales 4-0, although much
Welsh interest was centred on the Scotland v Ireland match on
the adjacent courts - a 4-0 victory for Ireland would
have denied Wales their customary spot in the semis, but Alan
Clyne rather spoiled the suspense by winning the top string 3-0
against Arthur Gaskin.
The Irish bounced back though, wins from Steve Richardson, Niall
Rooney and another last-gasp 11-9 in the fifth from Mr "I'm
going to get my money's worth" Derek Ryan claimed third place
for the Irish and a playoff place against the Czechs.
So the men's semis are as per the seedings, England v Wales and
France v Netherlands.
Two weird ones ... the world's smallest camera pit, and the
world's worst scoresheet ...