June 21, 2015, by Lee Chrimes
European University Table Tennis Championship 2015 – Day Two
Event report by Jonathan Spinks, UoN Table Tennis
Today saw the conclusion of the team matches for both the men and women, and another early start. Perhaps it is best to keep the men’s section short, as it was not perhaps our finest hour.
In truth the men suffered unluckily from a number of factors, especially when the day kicked off in controversy as myself and the other delegation heads were called into an emergency meeting to explain that the draw had been incorrectly followed. Cyprus and Slovenia strongly objected to plans to revert to the original draw, meaning our men were left with a tough 1st match against the unlikely but most certainly likeable Armenia.
Unable to pull through, with Paul McCreery losing an unbelievably close decider, they proceeded to play Vienna, where our team showed signs of tiredness, losing 3-0.
They were then left to play for the wooden spoon against Porto, but were dealt a cruel blow when our number 1 Paul had to pull out through injury. Reserve James Grayson stepped up to the plate admirably, but it was not enough to stop Porto.
The girls started the day however still in the hunt for a medal, and were drawn against Russia in their quarter-final. They were to come up against the eventual runners-up however, who despite a valiant effort from UoN, proved to have a touch too much class and took a 3-0 victory.
This meant the girls were now playing for the 5th-8th places, and came up next against Utrecht from the Netherlands. Yolanda King again opened with a win, before Tressa was unlucky to lose a tight match with their number 1. Perhaps the star performer of the team so far was Marina Nazarova, who again took a strong victory to regain the lead. Yolanda was then presented with a number of chances to win the tie, but was unfortunately pipped by a late comeback. It was then down to Tressa to bring home the win, who did so in confident style.
The girls final match was to determine 5th/6th place, and saw the girls pitted against a second German team, Munich. In consistent fashion Yolanda was once again able to win her first match.
Up next both Tressa and Marina can count themselves deeply unfortunate not to have come through victorious in two close 5 setters. Needing a win to stay in the tie, Yolanda flirted dangerously close to a loss, but eventually triumphed in great fashion, spurred on by the big hitting backhands of the adjacent men’s final. Once again the mantle fell to Tressa, who was able to pull out a great performance to secure the women a brilliant 5th place overall.
Tomorrow we move on to the doubles in the morning, before the singles in the afternoon, where we wait to see if Liam ‘Slothslayer’ McTiernan can dream big and go one better than Trent’s Chris Doran and win the overall title.