Ireland bid to reach CPISRA European Final
THE Irish Paralympic soccer team continue their brilliant chase for gold at the CPISRA 7-a-side football European Championships on Thursday when they meet the Netherlands at the semi-final stage in Maia, Portugal.
Ireland will meet the Dutch for the second time in the competition having defeated the hosts Portugal 6-2 in the quarter-finals. The Irish won 1-0 when they met the Dutch in the group stages thanks to Darragh Byrne's goal.
The other semi-final will see Russia meet Ukraine with the final scheduled for Saturday evening and JJ Glynn's side have real aspirations of making that decider although their opponents are ranked higher in Europe.
A superb long range strike by Gary Messett after 12 minutes gave Ireland the lead against the Portuguese. This was followed up by two goals from schoolboy Tomiwa Badun, who was a troubling presence for the Portuguese throughout the first half before Striker Tiago Ramos pulled one back for the home side going into the break.
Portugal started the better after that break but the Irish side didn't panic and began to take control. Dillon Sheridan made it 4-1 before Corbally United's Arron Tier made it 5-1 with a couple of minutes left. The home side immediately countered to make it 5-2 through Tiago Carneiro before Tier got a second with the last kick of the game to leave it 6-2; just reward for tireless performance from him throughout.
Glynn commented: "There was a little bit of fatigue in our performance against Portugal; the heat is a factor, and the games in quick succession but that said we've got the win and we now have a semi-final to look forward to on Thursday."
This Irish team is currently ranked sixth in the world, and fourth in Europe behind Ukraine, Russia and Holland respectively, following an impressive fourth place finish at the CPISRA Intercontinental Cup last year. Russia are the current Paralympic champions from London 2012 with Ukraine the number one ranked team in the world at the moment, and former Paralympic champions from Beijing 2008.
IRELAND 7-A-SIDE SQUAD:
Simon LeStrange (Newbridge), Daragh Byrne (Willows), Joseph Markey (Rosemount), Luke Evans (St Brendan's), Paraic Leacy (Ferns Utd), Dillon Sheridan (Ballyfermot Utd), Gary Messett (Glencormac Utd), Ryan Nolan (Glencormac Utd), Tomiwa Badun (Muiche Avennanor), Peter Cotter (College Corinthians), Aaron Tier (Corbally Utd), Brian McGillivary (Bluebell Utd), Carl McKee (Manor), Eric O'Flaherty (West Utd).
STAFF: Team Manager & Coach ' Gerard Glynn; Coach ' Derek Kavanagh; Performance Analysis ' Cormac Glynn; Physiotherapist ' Kevin O'Connor; Medical Officer ' Dr. Joe Conway; Kit manager ' Bobby Moore
Thursday, July 24
Ireland 10 ' 0 Finland
Goalscorers; Joseph Markey, Gary Messett, Ryan Nolan, Peter Cotter, Aaron Tier (all one goal each), Paraic Leacy (2), Dillon Sheridan (3).
Friday, July 25
Ireland 12-0 Denmark
Goalscorers; Darragh Byrne, Paraic Leacy (one each), Gary Messett, Eric O'Flaherty (two each), Luke Evans and Tomiwa Badun (3 each)
Sunday, July 27
Ireland 1-0 Netherlands
Goalscorer; Darragh Byrne
Tuesday, July 29
Ireland 6-2 Portugal
Goalscorers; Gary Messett (1), Tomiwa Badun (2), Dillon Sheridan (1), Aaron Tier (2)
Thursday, July 31
Semi-final: Ireland v Netherlands (3.30pm).
About Cerebral Palsy 7-a-side Football
The first football 7-a-side matches for athletes with Cerebral Palsy took place in 1978 in Edinburgh during CPISRA's International Games. This sport debuted at the 1984 Paralympic Games and the first 7-a-side soccer World Championships took place in 1986 in Belgium.The sport is similar to football for able-bodied players with a few variations. There are seven players on the field at a time rather than 11, the measurements of the playing field are smaller, there is no offside rule and throw-ins may be made with just one hand. Matches consist of two halves of thirty minutes each.
About Paralympics Ireland Paralympics Ireland is responsible for the preparation and management of the Irish team at each Paralympic Games, in addition to the development and implementation of the annual Paralympic performance plan funded by the Irish Sports Council. As the National Paralympic Committee of Ireland Paralympics Ireland is also the governing body for the sports of Paralympic Athletics and Paralympic Swimming nationally.
About Classification in CP 7-a-side Football Classification is a unique and integral part of disability sport. It provides the structure to separate athletes with similar levels of impairments into groups, or classes as they are commonly known, so they can compete in fair and equal competitions against one another, and ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This same principle exists in non-Paralympic sports where athletes are classified according to age, gender or weight divisions to allow for as fair competition as possible.
Ambulant athletes with Cerebral Palsy (CP) classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 play 7-a-side soccer. Class 5 represents those athletes with the more severe level of CP, with those in class 8 the least impaired. Teams must feature players from each class during a game with a recent rule change meaning only one class 8 player can be on the field at any one time.
For more on the tournament including live coverage, and full match stats for each game visit www.eurofootball7aside.com