by Simon Daish
The hosts established an early lead through Li Fen, who needed just three games to prevail in the opening fixture against Aurore Le Mansec (12-10, 11-3, 11-5) but the French visitors hit-back immediately with Zhang Mo cruising past Daniela Monteiro Dodean (11-7, 11-5, 11-1).
Zhenqi Barthel Apolonia restored Sporting’s advantage with a narrow five-games victory over Polina Mikhailova (10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9) only for Saint Quentinois to draw level once again as Zhang Mo registered her second win of the match, beating Li Fen 3-2 (6-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4). In the deciding fixture, Daniela Monteiro Dodean came out on top against Aurore Le Mansec (6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9) to seal the win for the Portuguese club.
Etival Clairefontaine ASRTT is up-and-running in Group B after the French team emerged victorious by a 3-1 score-line on its travels to Spanish rivals UCAM Cartagena TM. Jieni Shao led by example for the visitors, beating both Maria Xiao (11-7, 7-11, 14-12, 11-7) and Silvia Erdelyi De Souza (11-5, 11-5, 11-8) while Maria Dolgikh saw off Viktoria Lebedeva with little difficulty (11-9, 11-4, 11-4).
The situation in Group A is beginning to look a little brighter for Metz TT following a successful away outing against SH-ITB Budaörsi 2i Sport Club. Carole Grundisch put in an impressive display against Szandra Pergel to put Metz ahead before victories from Ding Yaping and Adina Diaconu sealed the points for the away team.
In Group D it’s a case of two matches played, two defeats for LZ Linz Froschberg after falling to a 1-3 home defeat at the hands of Czech opponents SKST Mart Hodonin – Stavoimpex. Wu Yue actually handed the hosts an early lead thanks to a decent showing against Iveta Vacenovska but a brace from Guo Ruichen along with a narrow victory from Natalia Partyka condemned Linz to remain rooted at the foot of Group D at the halfway point of the group stage.