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16 April 2015

Semi-finals are set at inaugural IWRF Div. B Championship

By Nathan Bragg

 

The semi-finals are now set at the inaugural IWRF Division B Championship after final day of pool play.

 

France, Ireland, Switzerland and Poland advance as top four.

 

Pool A

 

France 58 (3-0) vs. Ireland 42 (2-1)

In the match to decide who finished top of the group, the experience of the French side led them to victory despite a spirited effort by a young Irish team that had the lead at halftime behind a strong team effort from their first line and the Thomas Moylan’s ability to match-up with any of France’s hi-point players. In the third quarter France was able to build a five point lead going in the third quarter. In the fourth, Ireland ran their other lines as France continued to stretch their lead ultimately winning by 16, solidifying their place as the gold medal favorite.

 

Austria 58 (1-2) vs. Italy 25 (0-3)

In the game to determine third and fourth place in the group, Austria routed Italy as their experience and advantage in team speed made the difference. They had double the score of the Italians at halftime and rolled their lines throughout the game as 2.0 Peter Schloffer enjoyed a great game. The Italians remain winless but will still have two more chances to get a victory in the consolation round.

 

Pool B

 

Czech Republic 37 (1-2) vs. Switzerland 46 (3-0)

Switzerland tops Pool B after a strong performance against the host team. Behind a great game from 2.5 Jeremy Jenal, the Swiss worked hard to silence the loud crowds in a closely fought game. At halftime Switzerland led by four, 21-17, but the Czech continued to push back relaying on smart ball movement and spacing as their balanced line-ups favors a pass heavy approach. Switzerland used a lot of deep passes to score goals and got their low-point players on the scoresheet to won the game by nine and remain undefeated.

 

Poland 59 (2-1) vs. Russia 30 (0-3)

Poland cruised by Russia to earn a spot in the semi-finals. They pressed the Russians hard from the start and forced several early turnovers as their speed and size proved to be too much for the inexperienced Russian side. Poland had an 18 point lead at halftime and saw an improved third quarter from Russia. Poland continued to add to their lead throughout the second-half leaving Russia winless in the competition so far.

 

Final Pool Standings

Pool A

Team

 

Wins/Losses

 

Goal Difference

France

3-0

+72

Ireland

2-1

+35

Austria

1-2

-1

Italy

0-3

-106

Pool B
Team

 

Wins/Losses

 

Goal Difference.

Switzerland

3-0

+36

Poland

2-1

+25

Czech Republic                

1-2

+5

Russia

0-3

-67

 

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About the Author
Nathan Bragg is a third-year journalism and communications student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He writes on a variety of Paralympic sports, but his focus is on wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. He is interested in the development and progression of Paralympic and para-sport media, and how Paralympic sport continues to carve its place in the mainstream media. Nathan was a member of the 2012 Canada Cup Communications Team, and a host for their webcasts and is currently looking for work in sports communication. Follow Nathan on Twitter @WheelNbragg