Dylan Delivers Dutch Delight In Riccione
5 May 2007
In the most dramatic semi-final in the history of the event, Netherlands beat France, the second seeds, by the narrowest possible margin to reach the men's final of the European Team Championships in the Italian resort of Riccione for the first time ever.
With the final score between the two four-man teams standing at 2-2 in matches, 6-6 in games and 76-76 in points, the decision was made in the fourth seeds' favour as a result of the first string win by Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema against Renan Lavigne.
But the Dutch hero was third string Dylan Bennett, who fought from 4-3 up in his third and final game to beat Julien Balbo 9-5, 9-3, 9-3 in 80 minutes - thus denying the Frenchman an all-important fourth point which would have swung the tie in the second seeds' favour.
The delighted Dutch squad will face favourites England in the final after the defending champions beat third seeds Wales 4/0 in the other semi-final.
The women's final will also be an England/Netherlands affair after title-holders England beat third seeds Germany 3/0 and second seeds Netherlands defeated surprise opponents Denmark, the No5 seeds, 3/0 in the other semi.