Euros – Full Match Reports – Men

DAY 4 – 3rd  MAY




The final match of the tournament was against the hosts Italy for 5th place in Division 2, it wasn’t going to be the easiest match with the partisans home crowd.

Arthur Gaskin started off the day’s play at one against the very experienced Marcus Berrett. The match started with some great play from both players but Marcus came out on top winning the first 11/9. The second started off in the same manner with Arthur always being in front but at 11/11 Marcus Played two great winners to win 13/11. Unfortunately in the third Arthur couldn’t keep the pressure on like the first two sets loosing 11/6.


Brian O’Brion played next at two against Jose Facchini. Brian won the first set 11/8 with some of his trade mark retrieving which frustrated his opponent. The next two sets didn’t go to plan with Jose playing some great squash to win them 11/5 11/9. With Jose now tiring the game started to become very broken up with the Italian arguing with the ref and time wasting, this didn’t bother Brian at all with him wining the fourth 11/8. Now with the pressure on, Jose started to revert to a lot of deliberate blocking and gamesmanship which got him to a 7.1 lead. Brian not fazed about the whole situation, started to claw back the deficit with some great squash but once again the game changed at 9/9. Jose played a shot with an over aggressive swing resulting in his racquet hitting Brian in the face.  Brian asked, but didn’t get a let which gave Jose match ball. The next point can only be described as blatant cheating Jose deliberately hit the ball at Brian to win the set 11/9 and match 3.2.


Ireland were now really up against it, two nil down and needing to win the remaining two matches and only able to drop one set between them. Michael Craig stepped on court at three against Andrea Torricini, Michael raced to an early lead which he held well to 10/6, 4 game balls later it was 10 all Michael then saved 3 game balls to eventually win 16/14. This took a lot out of Andrea and Michael won the next two sets easily enough to win 3/0.


So it all rested on one of Ireland’s most capped players Steve Richardson at No 4 he played the youthful Michelangelo Bertocchi. Steve won the first easily 11/8 by controlling the T and playing some great lengths. The second went the same way with Steve having the upper hand the whole way through the set winning it 11/6. The third was a totally different set with Michelangelo making a lot less mistakes. It also didn’t help Steve that the ref was starting to make some strange decisions which Steve didn’t take to well. 11/7 to Michelangelo, with the tension growing and the Italian crowd growing by the minute, the forth was going to be a big battle for Steve as he was having to play his opponent, the hostile crowd and most importantly the ref and his strange decisions. It all started well with a 5.2 lead but  Michelangelo kept fighting back and at 7/5 Steve received a conduct point for racquet abuse after another bad call against him. Then at 9/9 Steve played two great rallies to win 11/9 and the match 3.1 which also meant Ireland won the tie on count back of sets 8/7.


So after a long hard four days of squash Ireland finished in a very respectable 5th place, a great effort by the team which hopefully they can build on for next year to gain promotion to Division one.




Ireland played Austria today in the 5th/8th play-off in Riccione, Italy

First on today was Conor O’Hare who played against the Austrian No. 4 Daniel Haider. Conor played well in the first two sets but couldn’t capitalise on some good play going down 11-6 11-6. In the third Conor let Haider dictate the pace who rushed to a 10-5 lead Conor then saved four match balls but couldn’t just keep it going and went down 11-9 to lose 3-0. (6-11, 6-11, 9-11)

Next on court was Arthur Gaskin playing Aqeel Rehman, the Austrian No.1. Having played in every match this week this was another hard fought match with Arthur winning the first set 12-10, but Rehman came back in the second set to win 12-10.  The third went the same way with Gaskin pushing all the way but going down again 10-12.  The Austrian then took the 4th 3-11 winning the match 3-1. (10-12, 12-10, 10-12, 3-11)

Brian O’Brion took the court next against Jakob Dirnberger at No 2 needing to get a win on the board to keep the tie alive in the first he played some great drives and drops to win a very close set 11/8. The second was again another close encounter with Brian winning it 11/8. The third was over in minutes with … Couldn’t couple with Brian’s consistent pressure and pin point shots the seat was won 11/3 and match 3/0. (11-8, 11-8, 11-3)

Last on court was young Michael Craig who played Markus Grelehner the Austrian No.3.  After a difficult match yesterday against the Welsh, Craig came out with something to prove and needed to win in straight sets to get Ireland into the next match against the host nation Italy. Michael the first was over very quickly with Michael playing some great attacking shots to win 11-5 in the second set was closer with Greslehner caming back with more pressure and some great play but Craig came through with an 11-8 win.  With the tension mounting Michael played the set of his life with some unbelievable kills to win 11/7 and the match 3/0. (11-5 11-8 11-7).

The final result was 2-2 with the Irish lads going through on count back 7-6.  They will now meat Italy tomorrow for the 5/6 position at 11.30 (local time)


Match overview
Order Event Ireland MIRL AUTAustria M Score Points Duration
1 MS4
Conor O’HARE Ireland
Austria Daniel HAIDER
6-11 6-11 9-11 0-1
2 MS1
Arthur GASKIN Ireland
Austria Aqeel REHMAN
10-12 12-10 10-12 3-11 0-1
3 MS2
Brian O’BRION Ireland
Austria Jakob DIRNBERGER
11-8 11-8 11-3 1-0
4 MS3
Michael CRAIG Ireland
Austria Markus GRESLEHNER
11-5 11-8 11-7 1-0




Ireland Men played an experienced Welsh team in the Quarter Finals today in Italy.

First up was Ireland No. 2 Brian O’Brion who was up against a strong Joel Makin, both players were evenly matched and some of the most exciting rallies were played in this match, but unfortunately Brian came out on the wrong end of each of them losing 3-0 (11-5,11-5,11-2)

Next up was Arthur Gaskin, the Irish No1 who was playing Peter Creed a player who has beaten Arthur in their last 2 matches.  The first set was extremely tight and Arthur won it with some great deep drives 7-11 but was under pressure throughout. The Ireland No1 won the next 2 sets 9-11 in one of the best performances of the week. (7-11, 9-11, 9-11)

With the game evenly balanced at 1-1 Steve Richardson was up next against an opponent half his age, David Haley playing at No. 4.  Steve took a 2 -0 lead by putting the young Welsh player under great pressure. In the 3rd set Steve was 8-4 up when David started to play some great squash coming back with a volley nick to win the 3rd 11-9.  With the match at 2-1 to Ireland, Steve got a wakeup call between sets and came out to beat David in the 4th 5-11.  This put Ireland in front 2-1 with only needing 2 sets for them to progress. (7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11)

Last up was Michael Craig playing the Welsh No. 3 Scott Fitzgerald.  Scott played some unbelievable squash in the first set to win 11-8 but Michael came back in the second with some aggressive and attacking play to win 11-6 levelling the match at 1-1.But unfortunately in the 3rd & 4th sets Scott came back and put Michael under a lot of pressure winning both sets 11-5. (11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5)

The match ended 2-2 and 7-7 with Ireland losing on count back, the players put everything into this match and deserved a little more luck, but they all played some of their best squash this week in parts.

Next up for Ireland is Austria who are coached by Ireland’s Colin White.

Match overview
Order Event Wales MWAL IRLIreland M Score Points Duration
1 MS2
Joel MAKIN Wales
Ireland Brian O’BRION
11-5 11-5 11-2 1-0
2 MS1
Peter CREED Wales
Ireland Arthur GASKIN
7-11 9-11 9-11 0-1
3 MS4
David HALEY Wales
Ireland Steve RICHARDSON
7-11 7-11 11-9 0-11 0-1
4 MS3
Ireland Michael CRAIG
11-8 6-11 11-5 11-5 1-0



Ireland took on Norway in the first match on Day 1 of the Europeans Team Championships in Riccione on the East coast of Italy.

First on court was Arthur Gaskin, the Irish No.1 who beat Norway’s Kim Killingberg 3-0 but was pushed in the 3rd 13-11 but came through to win 11-9, 11-4, 13-11.

Also playing at the same time was Ireland No.3 Michael Craig who also won 3-0 against Ronny Aasbo 11-4, 11-4 & 11-6.

Up next was Irish No. 4, Conor O’Hare who played the Norwegian, Edvard Egbom.  He continued the winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win 11-5, 11-5, 11-2

Last but not least! was Brian McBrion playing at No 2 against Kristian Solhuag, after winning the first 11-8 he dropped the second game in a tight 12-14 set but went on to win the next two sets 11-4 and 11-7 winning 3-1.

This was a great start the Men’s event with a 4-0 win, next up this evening is Sweden at 1800hrs (local time) which is expected to be a much harder match for the Irish team.

Order Event Ireland MIRL NORNorway M Score Points Duration
1 MS3
Michael CRAIG Ireland
Norway Ronny AASBO
11-4 11-4 11-6 1-0
2 MS1
Arthur GASKIN Ireland
11-9 11-4 13-11 1-0
3 MS4
Conor O’HARE Ireland
Norway Edvard EGBOM
11-5 11-5 11-2 1-0
4 MS2
Brian O’BRION Ireland
Norway Kristian SOLHAUG
11-8 12-14 11-4 11-7 1-0


The Second match of the day against Sweden was delayed due to terrible weather conditions with thunder and lightning and torrential rain which flooded some courts. Was this a sign!

When the match eventually started Michael Craig playing at No.3 played the very experienced Swedish Christian Drakenberg.  Unfortunately for Michael his youthfulness couldn’t break down Sweden’s No.2 and he went down in a very close 3.0. (9-11, 8-11. 8-11)

Next up was Irish No. 1, Arthur Gaskin playing who took on Romain Tenant. The two players were well matched and at 2 games all the fifth was going to be a fight to the end. In the 5th  Arthur played some great squash to move to 10-5 but 4 match balls later it was 10 all, he then saved 3 match balls to eventually win 16-14 after 109 minutes of play one of the best matches so far.

Steve Richardson played his first match of the day at No.4 against the experienced Swedish player Alex Christensson. This match also turned out to be another five set marathon with Steve playing some fantastic squash plus he helped to educate the referees at the same time with his many years of wisdom in a way only Steve can!

Steve eventually won the 5th 11-6 to put Ireland 2-1 up going into the last match. For the record the match result was 10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 6-11 & 11-6.

Rasmus Hult was next up the Ireland’s No.2 Brian O’Brion.   Brian’s opponent had a very unusual style playing with a two handed back which made it hard to read where the ball was going most of the time. Brian played some great squash in the first two sets but lost them 8-11 and 10-12. In the third set he dominated from the start and didn’t let his opponent in to take it 11-3 unfortunately he couldn’t keep it up in the fourth to lose 6-11 in a well fought match.

The match finished 2-2 with Ireland losing out on count back of games 10-7. Next up is Wales in the Quarter Finals which will be another hard match for the men.

For more information

Match overview
Order Event Ireland MIRL[IRL] SWE[SWE] Sweden M Score Points Duration
1 MS3
Michael CRAIG Ireland[IRL]
Sweden[SWE] Christian DRAKENBERG
9-11 8-11 8-11 0-1
2 MS1
Arthur GASKIN Ireland[IRL]
Sweden[SWE] Romain TENANT
8-11 11-5 11-9 3-11 16-14 1-0
3 MS4
10-12 11-6 12-10 6-11 11-6 1-0
4 MS2
Brian O’BRION Ireland[IRL]
Sweden[SWE] Rasmus HULT
8-11 10-12 11-3 6-11 0-1