by Simon Daish
Spectators witnessed a dramatic 1st leg encounter in Croatia as Dr. Casl played host to Polish side KTS Tarnobrzeg on Friday March 16th.
All five fixtures were required to find a winner as the visitors came away from the tie with a narrow 2-3 lead: Zhou Xintong put Dr.Casl ahead early on in the match with a straight games win against Li Qian (11-6, 11-2, 11-4) but the away team responded well through Elizabeta Samara and Han Ying, who emerged victorious over Li Jie (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5) and Fu Yu (3-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8).
With the scoreline sitting at 1-2 in the visiting team’s favour, Dr. Casl needed boost which came courtesy of Zhou Xintong; she beat Elizabeta Samara across four games (11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9) to force a deciding fixture. However, it was not to be for the hosts as Li Jie fell victim to Li Qian (5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 14-12) to hand KTS Tarnobrzeg the advantage heading into the return leg.
The other semi-finals tie pitted reigning ETTU Cup champions Bursa Buyuksehir Belediyespor against the defending Champions League title holders TTC Berlin Eastside; meeting in Turkey on Sunday 18th March it was the home side who came out on top with a significant 3-0 victory.
TTC Berlin Eastside entered the match at a disadvantage with the German duo of Shan Xiaona and Petrissa Solja missing from the line-up and Bursa Buyuksehir Belediyespor took full advantage of the situation.
Lee Ho Ching got the ball rolling for the Turkish side, triumphing over Irina Palina in straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-9) before a narrow victory for Hu Melek against Georgina Pota (11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-8) doubled the lead. Yana Noskova then stepped up to complete the job, defeating Shiho Matsudaira (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9).
Bursa Buyuksehir Belediyespor will travel to the German capital to face TTC Berlin Eastside in the 2nd leg of the semi-final on Friday 6th April while KTS Tarnobrzeg’s home fixture against Dr. Casl will be played on Saturday 7th April.
European Champions League: Results and Fixtures