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17 April 2015

Ireland and France qualify for European Div. A Championship

France and Ireland will play for gold in Saturday's IWRF European Division B Championship

By Nathan Bragg

 

The fifth day of competition at the IWRF European Division B Championship saw France and Ireland advance to Saturdays gold medal game. Poland and Switzerland will battle for bronze.

 

Here's a recap of Fridays crossover matches.

 

Medal Round 

 

France 52 (4-0) Poland 33 (2-2)

France continued their undefeated run through the tournament, beating Poland by 19 in the first semi final. The Polish side worked hard, but just didn’t have the speed to match France’s hi-pointers as Ryadh Sallem and Jonathan Hivernat continued their strong form to lead France to victory in a game where all of the players saw the court. They move on to a rematch with Ireland in the finals who they dispatched on Thursday with a strong fourth quarter. Poland will play Switzerland in the bronze medal game.

 

Switzerland 42 (3-1) Ireland 50 (3-1)

Ireland beat Switzerland in the day’s final game thanks to a brilliant fourth quarter. The two teams battled hard throughout the first quarters with neither team able to take more than a three goal lead. The Swiss held a brief two goal advantage late in the third, when Ireland hit another level. Thomas Moylan scored with seconds on the score clock and the Irish generated three consecutive turnovers to take 34-33 into the final frame. Ireland started the fourth on 3-0 run and continued to force turnovers throughout the quarter. Their ironman line of Moylan-Dineen-Lynch-Duggart overwhelmed the Swiss to win by eight. The surprise team of the tournament is in the final, while Switzerland will have to settle for an appearance in the bronze medal game against Poland. Ireland will be hoping they don’t run out steam in their rematch against France.

 

Consolation Round

 

Czech Republic 43 (2-2) Italy 40 (0-4)

Italy played their closest game of the tournament in the consolation round, but it wasn’t enough to get past the host Czech Republic. Encouraged by a supportive crowd, the Czechs battled hard and ultimately came out on top thanks to some timely defensive plays late in the game. The Czechs ability to play four ball-handlers made things difficult on Italy at the other end, and was a factor in the win. Czech Republic will play for fifth place tomorrow and the Italians will look for their first win in the seventh place game.

 

Austria 54 (1-3) Russia 30 (0-4)

Austria earned their first win of the tournament at the expense of inexperienced and winless Russia, who continues to work hard despite not getting the desired results. Austria got on top of the scoreboard early and never let up ending the game with a 24-point victory. With the win Austria moves on to play the Czechs for fifth, while Russia gets one last chance at victory against fellow winless team Italy in the seventh place game.

 

Four games will be played tomorrow to determine the final standings and medalists, but France and Ireland have already achieved their primary goal of qualifying for the A Division Championships that will take place in September.

 

  • Click HERE for complete webcast schedule and tournament results
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