8:41 pm
18 Oct 2018

England Maintain European Supremacy In Austria

30 Apr 2006

Favourites and defending champions England survived two tough finals in the 34th European Team Championships in Austria to maintain their squash supremacy on the continent. The English men prevailed in their seventh successive final against France, drawing 2/2 in the best-of-four-match tie, but claiming the title 9-6 on games countback. The victory was England's 14th in a row since 1993 and the 31st since the competition began 20 years earlier.

England extended their unbeaten record in the women's event since the inaugural event in 1978 with a 3/0 victory over Netherlands. The triumph marked the fourth successive final win over the second-seeded Dutch team - and the 29th title in a row.

Team newcomer Peter Barker put England's men into the lead on the all-glass court at the Wellness Park Oberlaa in Vienna with a 9-3, 9-3, 9-0 win over France's Laurent Elriani. Barker, the 22-year-old from Essex who was making his England debut in the championships, appeared in the final at the last-minute after replacing the injured squad No3 Nick Matthew.

The momentum then swung France's way after former world number one Thierry Lincou beat the England number one James Willstrop 9-5, 2-9, 9-4, 9-6 in 50 minutes - and fast-improving French No2 Gregory Gaultier twice fought back from behind to overcome England stalwart Peter Nicol, recent winner of two Commonwealth Games gold medals, 6-9, 9-4, 6-9, 9-1, 9-3 in a dramatic 83-minute marathon.

Victory in the fourth rubber was vital for both teams, but experienced Lee Beachill delighted the England camp by grinding out a 9-2, 9-4, 9-4 win over Frenchman Renan Lavigne in 84 minutes to keep the title in English hands.

The opening match in the women's final was both players' biggest test in the four days of the competition. England No1 Vicky Botwright, the world No5, faced Vanessa Atkinson, the world No1 whom she not beaten in five meetings since 2003. Atkinson took the opening game, but Botwright fought back to move 2/1 up when the Dutch star fell awkwardly on the court, badly straining her ankle.

Atkinson ultimately had to concede the match with the score at 8-10, 9-4, 9-3 - then British champion Tania Bailey wrapped up the victory for England with a 9-0, 9-4, 9-4 in 29 minutes over Dutch opponent Annelize Naude. England No3 Jenny Duncalf earned maximum points for the defending champions with a 9-2, 7-9, 9-5 win over Orla Noom in the best-of-three dead rubber.

In the play-offs for third place Wales beat Netherlands 2/1 in the men's event to secure third place for the fourth time in five years, and Germany beat France 2/1 in the women's competition to claim their best finish for four years.

Men's final:
[1] ENGLAND 2 [2] FRANCE 2 (England win 9-6 on games countback)
James Willstrop lost to Thierry Lincou 5-9, 9-2, 4-9, 6-9 (50m)
Peter Nicol lost to Gregory Gaultier 9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 1-9, 3-9 (83m)
Lee Beachill bt Renan Lavigne 9-2, 9-4, 9-4 (84m)
Peter Barker bt Laurent Elriani 9-3, 9-3, 9-0 (43m)

Women's final:
[1] ENGLAND bt [2] NETHERLANDS 3-0
Vicky Botwright bt Vanessa Atkinson 8-10, 9-4, 9-3 ret. (29m)
Tania Bailey bt Annelize Naude 9-0, 9-4, 9-4 (29m)
Jenny Duncalf bt Orla Noom 9-2, 7-9, 9-5 (39m)

Men's 3rd place play-off:
[4] WALES bt [3] NETHERLANDS 2-1
Alex Gough bt Laurens Jan Anjema 9-8, 9-1, 9-3 (80m)
Gavin Jones lost to Tommy Berden 7-9, 2-9, 9-5, 3-9 (99m)
David Evans bt Dylan Bennett 9-1, 9-7, 9-0 (43m)
Ricky Davies drew with Lucas Buit 7-9, 9-3
5th place play-off:
[10] IRELAND bt [7] GERMANY 3-0
Liam Kenny bt Simon Rosner 9-3, 3-9, 8-10, 9-5, 9-2 (85m)
Derek Ryan bt Simon Baker 9-6, 9-1, 9-3 (51m)
John Rooney v Stefan Leifels (dead rubber - match not played)
Angus Kirkland bt Jens Schoor 9-7, 9-3, 3-9, 4-9, 9-0 (69m)
7th place play-off:
[8] SPAIN 2 [5] SCOTLAND 2 (Spain win 8-7 on games countback)
Borja Golan bt John White 9-6, 9-4, 9-1 (35m)
Alejandro Garbi Caro lost to Stuart Crawford 10-9, 3-9, 2-9, 9-6, 5-9 (99m)
David Vidal lost to Harry Leitch 1-9, 1-9, 7-9 (50m)
Albert Codina bt Graham Melvin 9-0, 9-10, 9-4, 9-5 (52m)
9th place play-off:
[6] SWEDEN bt [11] DENMARK 3-1
Badr Abdel Aziz bt Morten W Sorensen 9-1, 9-0, 8-10, 9-5 (62m)
Christian Drakenberg bt Michael Frilund 9-2, 9-6, 6-9, 9-1 (60m)
Rasmus Hult lost to Rasmus Nielsen 10-8, 9-5, 4-9, 4-9, 4-9 (53m)
Sebastian Victor bt Rene Jepsen 9-6, 9-0, 3-9, 9-3
11th place play-off:
[12] SWITZERLAND bt [9] FINLAND 3-1
Andre Holderegger lost to Olli Tuominen 1-9, 0-9, 0-9 (26m)
Marco Datwyler bt Matias Tuomi 9-0, 9-0, 9-0 (25m)
Marcel Straub bt Juha Raumolin 9-0, 9-5, 9-1 (28m)
Nicolas Mueller bt Tatu Murronmaa 9-2, 9-6, 9-5 (36m)
13th place play-off:
[15] BELGIUM 2 [13] HUNGARY 2 (Belgium win 8-7 on games countback)
Steve Dries lost to Mark Krajcsak 3-9, 0-9, 9-6, 3-9
Wim van Asten lost to Andras Torok 3-9, 10-8, 7-9, 4-9
Rik Smet bt Sandor Fulop 9-3, 9-6, 6-9, 9-7
Gregory Lecerf bt Balazs Welesz 9-1, 9-3, 9-4
15th place play-off:
[17] AUSTRIA bt [14] CZECH REPUBLIC 3-1
Gerhard Schedlbauer lost to Jan Koukal 9-2, 2-9, 6-9, 0-9 (38m)
Aqeel Rehman bt Martin Stepan 9-3, 9-0, 2-9, 9-0 (32m)
Wolfgang Rothbacher bt Pavel Sladecek 9-2, 3-9, 4-9, 10-8, 9-2 (71m)
Jakob Dirnberger bt Jaroslav Cech 1-9, 9-3, 9-6, 9-2 (38m)
17th place play-off:
[16] ISRAEL bt [18] ITALY 3-1
Ron Levy lost to Simone Rocca 7-9, 9-7, 9-3, 8-10, 5-9 (94m)
Nadav Wilensky bt Andrea Torricini 9-7, 9-4, 3-9, 10-9 (67m)
Tomer Noach bt Matteo Vaccari 9-6, 1-9, 9-3, 9-7 (63m)
Nir Arkin bt Domenico Cerabona 9-3, 9-4, 10-8 (54m)
19th place play-off:
[21] SLOVAKIA bt [19] UKRAINE 3-1
Roman Celler bt Roman Dolynych 9-7, 7-9, 9-6, 9-2 (55m)
Andrej Schmidtmayer bt Dmytro Shcherbakov 9-0, 9-2, 9-6 (27m)
Marek Manik bt Oleksandr Molodukha 3-9, 9-4, 9-1, 9-2 (45m)
Martin Kostolansky lost to Artem Shandybin 9-1, 5-9, 3-9, 3-9 (52m)
21st place play-off:
[22] TURKEY bt [24] GIBRALTAR 3-1
Zulfi Kan bt Anthony Brindle 9-4, 9-2, 9-4
Hursit Kara bt Stephen Shacaluga 9-2, 9-7
Selahattin Kara bt Christian Navas 10-8, 9-6, 9-0
Gunal Gunsav lost to Nicholas de Haro 5-9, 1-9, 4-9
23rd place play-off:
[20] RUSSIA bt [23] ISLE OF MAN 4-0
Alexei Severinov bt David Norman 9-6, 8-10, 9-7, 9-0
Roman Fetisov bt Kevin Watterson 9-6, 7-9, 9-8, 9-8
Pavel Sergeev bt Richard Corlett 4-9, 9-4, 10-8, 9-0
Andrey Bratter bt Robert Smith 9-7, 8-9, 9-7

Women's 3rd place play-off:
[6] GERMANY bt [5] FRANCE 2-1
Daniela Schumann lost to Isabelle Stoehr 2-9, 3-9, 2-9
Karin Beriere bt Camille Serme 9-6, 9-7, 7-9, 3-9, 9-2 (59m)
Kathrin Rohrmueller bt Celia Allamargot 9-2, 9-2, 9-4
5th place play-off:
[7] DENMARK bt [12] CZECH REPUBLIC 2-1
Line Hansen bt Jana Smeralova 9-7, 9-5, 9-0
Ellen Petersen bt Zuzana Vackova 9-3, 9-1, 9-3
Marie-Louise Krag lost to Lucie Fialova 6-9, 9-0, 6-9
7th place play-off:
[10] SWITZERLAND bt [8] SPAIN 2-1
Agnes Muller bt Chantal Moros-Pitarch 9-3, 9-1, 9-0
Gaby Schmohl lost to Elisabet Sado 3-9, 5-9, 6-9
Olivia Hauser bt Alicia Alvarez 9-2, 9-0, 9-3
9th place play-off:
[16] WALES bt [3] IRELAND 2-1
Tegwen Malik bt Aisling Blake 1-9, 9-1, 9-0, 9-3
Jenny Wright bt Eleanor Lapthorne 9-10, 5-9, 9-5, 9-7, 9-2 (64m)
Gemma Davies lost to Tanya Owens 2-9, 9-2, 5-9
11th place play-off:
[14] ITALY bt [4] SCOTLAND 2-0
Manuela Manetta bt Frania Gillen-Buchert 5-9, 0-9, 9-3, 9-0, 9-3
Sonia Pasteris bt Louise Philip 9-3, 9-3, 9-0
Chiara Ferrari v Lisa McKenna (dead rubber - match not played)
13th place play-off:
[9] BELGIUM bt [11] AUSTRIA 2-1
Charlie de Rycke bt Pamela Pancis 9-4, 9-6, 9-1 (22m)
Annabel Romedenne bt Birgit Coufal 3-9, 9-5, 10-8, 9-4 (46m)
Julie de Bellefroid lost to Bettina Greslehner 4-9, 9-2, 6-9 (17m)
15th place play-off:
[13] FINLAND bt [15] NORWAY 2-0
Lotta Vuorela bt Lotte Eriksen 6-9, 9-6, 6-9, 9-6, 9-2
Eevamaria Vuolo bt Nina Martinsen 9-0, 9-2, 9-3
Elina Kononen v Maren Myhre (dead rubber - match not played)
17th place: [17] SLOVAKIA