ESF U15 & U17 Mixed Team Euros Round-up

It was a terrific few days in Porto for the ESF U15 and U17 Mixed Team Championships where our Irish young guns battled some of Europe’s most exciting prospects.

The U15 team was represented by John Day (Munster), Adam Power (Munster), Eoin Mullery (Connacht), Rebecca Jackson (Leinster), Lucy Walsh (Leinster) and were placed in Pool C alongside Poland, Switzerland and Norway.

The team got a dream start when they defeated Switzerland 2-1 in a tight match with John Day and Rebecca Jackson delivering the goods for the team. In the second pool game, Ireland were narrowly defeated by table-toppers Poland but bounced back to claim second spot in the group with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Norway with Day, Jackson and Mullery claiming victories. 

In the 01-08 place play-offs, we were narrowly defeated by eventual 3rd place Germany, 2-1 with Lucy Walsh’s win not enough to secure victory. Defeat to the Germans set up a clash with Hungary, where once again, we were on the wrong end of a tight match, losing 2-1. This set up a 07-08 place game with Denmark to close the tournament. Once again, despite some immense performances, we succumbed to a 2-1 defeat and ultimately finished 8th.

Our U17 team made up of Conal Jackson (Leinster), Christian Dromgoole (Leinster), Aaron Knox (Munster), Zoe Yeomans (Leinster), Shriya Drawid (Ulster) was also in action and were drawn in Pool D with Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Greece. 

The pool stages saw some terrific results including 3-0 demolishings of Greece and Germany and some spirited performances in tight 2-1 losses to eventual 4th placed Czech Republic and Poland. This meant we finished 3rd in the group and entered the 08-16 place play-offs. 

In the play-offs, we narrowly lost to Norway 2-1 but bounced back in style dispatching Netherlands 3-0 to set up a 13-14 place showdown with Switzerland in which Conal Jackson and Zoe Yeomans provided wins to get us over the line.

Overall, a very promising campaign from both teams with some brilliant performances from all players throughout the tournament. We were competitive in every match and had the opportunity to win against some of Europe’s best which can only bode well for the future.

Congratulations and well-done to both teams, their coaches and managers.