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





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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 Dutch.

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.

XTRAS: Minnows Diary #3 ... Irish Eyes #2

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Draws & Results


Session 1:
Pool C deciders ...

First 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 increasing assurance.

Session 2:
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 decider.

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.

One 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.

Jens 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 Tuominen.
England 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 4-0 win.

Hosts 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 ...

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