The 2012 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships got under way in Amsterdam yesterday when Ireland competed against Slovenia (women) and Israel (men).
To add some extra spice to the event there was some valuable Olympic qualifying points up for grabs in the singles as Irish number one’s Scott Evans and Chloe Magee led their teams into battle.
European Women’s Team Championships: Ireland Vs Slovenia:
In the Ladies singles Chloe Magee world ranked 46 started the Irish campaign well with a 3 set Victory over Slovenia number one Maja Tvrdy in a match that lasted over an hour. Sinead Chambers continued the charge but was unable to close out a victory narrowly losing out to Spela Silvester 21-19 22-20. In the last of the Singles it wasn’t a case of the ‘luck of the Irish’ but a case of No luck for the Irish as 15 year old Alannah Stephenson on her first Irish cap was edged out in a 3 set marathon 21-18 in the final set against Kaja Stankovic.
In the ladies doubles Sinead Chambers and Jennie King ranked 37 in Europe were unable to beat an in form pairing of Spela Silvester and Kodric Tina. The girls started poorly in the opening set but found some good form in the second game pushing their opposition all the way to 18 all, the Slovenians had some good luck and took the next 3 points to win the match.
In the last of the Lady doubles Chloe Magee took to the court partnered by Alannah Stephenson who was looking eager for a first win at senior international Level. Alannah rose to the occasion as the teenager displayed some great power as herself and the inform Magee blew the Slovenian duo of Maja Tvrdy and Kaja Stankovic off court with a 2 set 21-13 21-11 scoreline victory. Good start for the ladies with a tie that could have swung either way.
Final score Ireland 2 Slovenia 3.
European Men’s Team Championship: Ireland Vs Israel:
In the Men’s singles Scott Evans,world number 65, was first on court for the Irish. Scott didn’t start well but showed some good composure and experience to come back and win the Opening set 21-19. From here Scott found his form and played a much more tactical game seeing of Israels number one Misha Zilberman With a 21-19 21-11 scoreline to earn him some more valuable Olympic Qualifying points in the process.
Tony Stephenson was next on court for the Irish against Israels Vladi Cheslov. Tony eased through the first set 21-8 ; in the second set Tony lost focus but was able to regain his winning ways seeing off the Israel fight by ending the match 24-22. Next up on court for Ireland was Niall Tierney against Alexander Bass. Niall took a while to ease into the match, but found his rhythm in the second set winning 21-12. In the final game Niall worked hard in a tough fought match to win the tie for the Irish men in a 50 minute match.
In the men’s doubles Ireland’s number one ranked player Sam Magee world number 81 partnered with Scott Evans faced Vladi Cheslov and Daniel Chislov of Israel. Sam and Scott never looked like losing this match and closed out a comfortable 2 set victory 21-15 21-4. Tony Stephenson World ranked number 88 partnered with Niall Tierney were the last on court for the Irish but were unable to make the match a clean sweep as Israel finally took a point from the match with a 21-13 21-16 scoreline.
All in all an excellent start to the campaign for the Irish men winning the opening Match with a 4-1 victory.