by Ian Marshall, Editor
Both Italy and the Netherlands had started proceedings as Level Two teams; finishing in first places in their respective groups; the play-off round gave them the opportunity to face outfits from Level One who had not finished in one of the top two places in their respective groups.
The Netherlands with Men Shuohan, Rachel Gerarts and Karlijn Van Lierop on duty beat the Norwegian outfit comprising Sunniva Skoeholt, Rikke Skattet and Anne Kalvatin by three matches to nil.
An impressive victory margin, for the Italian trio comprising Jamila Laurenti, Gaia Monfardini and Valentina Roncallo it was a much closer call in opposition to Belgium’s Jana Bernard, Natacha Koszulap and Maelys Dahy. A three-two victory margin was the order of the day with Jamila Laurenti, the mainstay; she beat both Jana Bernard (7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-7) and Natacha Koszulap (11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7). The one further win for the Italians was secured in the vital fifth match of the fixture when Gaia Monfardini accounted for Jana Bernard (11-9, 12-10, 12-10).
Victory by a narrow margin for Italy, for Romania in the Cadet Boys’ Team event, who had also started play in Level Two, life was less testing. The partnership formed by Andrei Tomica and Darius Movileanu recorded a three-nil win in opposition to Ireland’s Thomas Joyce and Art McLaughlin.
Ireland, like Belgium and Norway in the Junior Girls’ Team competition had finished in fourth position in their initial stage Level One group.
Success in the play-off stage for Italy and the Netherlands in the Junior Girls’ Singles event; there was also success for Germany, Belarus, Croatia and Spain; they now join Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, France, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey in the main draw.
Meanwhile, in the Cadet Boys’ Team competition, additional to Romania; Germany, Greece, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland emerged successful in the play-off round. In the main draw they line up alongside Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine.