Ireland through to European Nations Cup third-placed play-off
IRELAND'S Powerchair football team will take part in the bronze medal game on the final day of the inaugural European Nations Cup tomorrow after defeat by France in tonight's semi-finals.
Ireland will meet Belgium in the third-place play-off while red hot favourites France will look to complete their perfect performance against England in the final at the University of Limerick.
On a testing day for the Irish, coach Nick Harrison could only be proud of the performance his side produced – particularly in scoring against France in the semi-final as the French defence have been formidable this week.
Aoife McNicholl scored Ireland's goal against the top ranked French and that will give the Irish a lot of heart heading into their play-off encounter with Belgium – who beat Ireland 2-0 in a very keenly contested tie this afternoon. Two goals in three minutes midway through that game was all that separated Ireland and Belgium.
The morning meeting with neighbours England was a tremendous clash and Ireland gave their more experienced rivals a real scare. Although England led 3-0 at the break the Irish pulled one back through Thomas Donogher and pushed hard to grab a breakthrough result before conceding a late fourth.
"I can't fault the effort we've put in today and it was a good display against England - they're a strong side. We were great against Belgium and it was a really spirited performance against France in the semi-final," said Harrison.
"I was so proud of them against France. We scored – and only us and England have done that against them."
IRELAND: Thomas Winters, Aoife McNicholl, Thomas Donogher, Emer O'Sullivan (C), Patrick Flanagan, Emmet Daly, Keith Hayes, Neil Sheehan.
Thursday, July 17
Ireland 2-0 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 1-4 England, University of Limerick
Ireland 0-2 Belgium, University of Limerick
Semi-final: Ireland 1-16 France, University of Limerick
Sunday, July 20
Third-Fourth Play-off: Ireland v Belgium, University of Limerick (1.30pm)
Final: France v England, University of Limerick (3pm)