European Small Nations Squash Tournament (3)

An important day for for both teams on Thursday. The Ladies knowing that winning convincingly could see them clinching gold for the 4th consecutive time. However they were also coming up against a strong Monaco team who had the same idea.
Likewise the men were facing a Monaco team equal on points after two days of the competition.
Niall Woodger and Claudia Mich went on for the first matches. Niall continued with his winning ways comfortably winning 3/0. It was not so easy for Claudia though as she was playing last years #1 rep for Monaco Violaine del Ponte and went 0/3. Francoise Donven who is playing exceptionally well in the 2nd position for Luxembourg, won 3/0 in a physically draining match against Laurence Vada. Sandra Denis was again ruthless in her match winning 3/0, this has ensured that the Women have collected gold for the forth consecutive time that is a massive milestone. However today their thoughts are solely on making this tournament a clean sweep, something they did not accomplish last year. This would put another feather in their cap. Daniel Hutchines finding it tougher this year in comparison to last which is evidence of better strength in the other teams fought well to win 3/0. Slight unfortunate for Monaco who strained his groin after leading Neal Raval 1/0 – Therefore Monaco would win the tie on 3/1. The benefit for Luxembourg that Neal is fresh for Iceland tomorrow. Stephane turned in a great performance after his two initial losses and won 3/1. It would not all go Luxembourg’s way however when Sanjay was outplayed by Christian Boullion 3/0.

So while we lead the way in the Men’s competition, a victory against Iceland is a necessity as Cyprus will undoubtedly put pressure on us by a win over Liechtenstein.

European Small Nations Squash Tournament (2)

The National team continues their winning ways yesterday against Cyprus.

The Women’s team played very well to beat Cyprus 3/0 – Sandra Denis collected her first win over Vasos in the history of the tournament which was a great milestone for her. Both Francoise Donven and Claudia Mich got the team off to a great start by winning their matches 3/0.

Niall Woodger still on top of his game won 3/0. Daniel Hutchines won 3/1, and this put the team in a very positive situation, knowing that they had just won the past five matches. Neal Raval who was playing his first match of the tournament played tactically well and clinched the victory for the Luxembourg Men’s team winning 3/1. The last two matches however did not go Luxembourg’s way. Sanjay Raval lost 1/3 in an exhibition styled match to Panos, and Stephane Ayache lost 3/0 to Nasos. Steph had a game ball in the first and third set but could not finish the winning points.

Next match today is against Monaco. This is the big match for the ladies. Monaco have a reversed order of team this year, whether our Ladies can cope with this situation…. we will soon find out! I can assure that today they will be playing with a lot of of heart. It will be no plain sailing for the men either. Monaco slipped up against Iceland on day 1 and are trying to make a revenge. Hopefully it will not be against us.

Will let you know!

Nathan

European Small Nations Squash Tournament (1)

The European Small Nations Squash Tournament 2007 takes place in Reykjavik, Iceland, from the 3rd to the 8th of October. Both of our teams are there to defend their titles, so lets cross our fingers!!! This year’s men’s team is: Sanjay Raval, Stéphane Ayache, Neal Raval,  Daniel Hutchines, Niall Woodger and Vincent Pauli. The women’s team is: Sandra Denis, Françoise Donven and Claudia Mich.

The Luxembourg National Squash Team got off to a great start on Wednesday beating Liechtenstein rather convincingly. The scores were, 4-1 in the Men’s and 3-0 in the Ladies competitions of the ESNST that is being held in Reykjavik in Iceland.

 

 

 

Vincent Pauli was the only debutant today. Early nerves cost him the first set narrowly losing 10/9, but from that moment on Vincent took control to win the next three games.

 

Neal Woodger was the player of the day winning 3/0. Daniel Hutchines also claimed a 3/0 victory and remains unbeaten in the ESNST along with Woodger.

 

Sanjay Raval played tactically well to beating Marcel Rothman 3/2. Sanjay changed the pace of the game well and made his opponent work very hard.

 

The only loss was Stephane Ayache who was outplayed by a very strong Ralf ???. Stephane is playing second position for this year’s ESNST

 

 

 

The Women, who are going for a fourth consecutive victory in the ESNST, continued with their winning ways. Sandra beat Nicole Rothman 3/0. Both Francoise Donven and Claudia Mich playing in position 2 & 3 all collected comfortable 3/0 wins too.

 

 

 

Neal Raval now joins the team which will bolster the team for the second match for Luxembourg which is today (10/04) against Cyprus at 14.00.

 

Cyprus has entered a women’s team this year but their strength is unknown. The Cypriot Men’s Team who beat Luxembourg last year will be a huge challenge for Luxembourg. National Coach believes that this tie is effectively the final going on last years results, even though there is a long road ahead for the team.

 

 

 

Other notable news is that Iceland has shocked both Monaco & Liechtenstein to lead the men’s competition after day 1. This is wonderful news for the Icelanders who for many years have been collecting the wooden spoon.