The following morning Irelands next opponents were France. Having never lost to the French, Irish confidence was high but they knew that the French would still make them work for every goal. In the end though it was pretty straight forward for the Irish. They forced their game on the French and took full advantage of every error they made. The final score was 51 - 37 to Ireland. Having beaten France, Ireland now needed only one more win to guarantee a place at the European Championships. Once again they faced up to the Czech Republic. This game was a similar affair to their first game. With the Czech’s only having 2 strategies, one of which seemed to be trying to injure the Irish with some dangerous fouls. Again the Irish Team were able to maintain control of the game and won 40-36.
The final day of competition saw a much more relaxed Irish Team emerge onto the court. Qualification was now guaranteed to the European Championships in Denmark and with only the French left to play the focus now was putting on a good display of Wheelchair Rugby for everyone who had come to cheer them on. Starting out with their strongest line up Ireland went into an early three point lead and from then on rotated their bench. They went on to stretch the lead to 6 to win the game comfortably 51-45.
All the time, effort and commitment in the months leading up to the qualifiers was worth it as the Irish team won all their games and two of our players, Alan Lynch (Captain) and Stephen Aylmer received MVP in their class.
Huge thanks go out to all the team staff, Ulster Bank, everyone at IWA Sport, and all the fans for their wonderful support!!