by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
It was very much the same for the Northern Ireland trio formed by Ashley Robinson, Paul McCreery and Owen Cathcart; they overcame the Mauritius outfit comprising Brian Chan Chan Yook Fo, Rhikesh Taucoory ans Akhila Yogarajah.
Three-nil wins; for Australia it was the same margin of victory but it was a most hard fought encounter.
Heming Hu gave the host nation the ideal start by beating Rohan Manamendra Gedora (13-11, 11-2, 11-3). Next Xin Yan recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Imesh Ranasingha (8-11, 13-15, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6), before Heming Hu returned in harness with David Powell to overcome Buwaneka Jayadinghe Mudiyanseluge and Rohan Manamendra Gedora (6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 10-12, 11-2).
“In the first match the first game was a confidence builder, I think it’s always the same, win the first game, you find your way. They are very capable players. In the doubles they were good in patches, we were good in patches.” Heming Hu
A hard fought success but the hardest of all was that involving Malaysia against Scotland, a three-one verdict was the order of the day.
Muhammad Ashraf Haig Muhamad Rizal proved the mainstay of the Malaysian success; he beat both Craig Howieson (11-9, 11-4, 11-5) and Colin Dalgleish (11-6, 15-13, 11-8), the wins coming after in the opening match of the fixture Chee Feng Leong had accounted for Gavin Rumgay (12-10, 7-11, 8-11,. 11-8, 12-10). The one success for Scotland was recorded in the doubles when Colin Dalgleish and Craig Howieson beat Jeven Choong and Chee Feng Long (11-7, 11-8, 12-10).
At the quarter-final stage; in the top half of the draw India plays Malaysia, Canada opposes Singapore. In the lower half Nigeria meets Australia, Northern Ireland confronts England
The fixtures are scheduled for Saturday 7th April.