Ireland bid for European Nations Cup semi-final spot
IRELAND'S Powerchair football team go into their final group games of the inaugural European Nations Cup tomorrow looking to progress to the semi-finals.
After their historic opening day victory over Switzerland, Ireland faced two big tests at the University of Limerick today. They produced an excellent performance to draw 1-1 with Denmark in their morning fixture before suffering a 14-0 loss to favourites France in the evening tie.
The Danes were rocked early on when Emer O'Sullivan turned the ball home for the opener in the fifth minute and despite Ireland coming close to extending their lead – Thomas Winters being particularly unlucky – No 2 would not come for the team in green.
Denmark equalised with five minutes left to deny Nick Harrison's side the full points so the two sides had to be content with a share of the spoils.
The France game was a different test for the Irish and there is no doubt that the experience their visitors brought to the occasion played it's part – but Ireland remain focused on the challenges against England and Belgium tomorrow.
"Along with the US, France are one of the best teams in the world – they have been playing at this level for 30 years," said Harrison.
"We did a lot of good things and we are still alive in this tournament. Everybody knows we have a chance of qualification tomorrow and we're hoping for a semi-final place.
"The Denmark game was pleasing and we were unlucky not to get the three points from that one."
IRELAND: Thomas Winters, Aoife McNicholl, Thomas Donogher, Emer O'Sullivan (C), Patrick Flanagan, Emmet Daly, Keith Hayes, Neil Sheehan.
FIXTURES & RESULTS
Thursday, July 17
Ireland 1-0 Switzerland, University of Limerick.
Friday, July 18
Ireland 1-1 Denmark, University of Limerick;
Ireland 0-14 France, University of Limerick.
Saturday, July 19
Ireland v England, University of Limerick (1.15pm)
Ireland v Belgium, University of Limerick (3.45pm)
Sunday, July 20
Final, University of Limerick (3pm)