On Sunday 22 January, the Northern Ireland Futnet League resumed after the Christmas break with 4th round and record participation of 10 teams, among them some new faces.
Here are two accounts of the competition: first by the team from Wales for whom it was their first appearance in the league and then by the experienced Irish sides who are among top favourites for the league cup winners.
Wales Futnet Team:
“This weekend the newly formed Wales futnet team ventured to Belfast to compete in The Northern Ireland Futnet League. The Saturday was taken up by a long, hard training session with the strong host team from Northern Ireland, which culminated in an entertaining match which ended in a draw, one set all.
On Sunday the futnet league competition took place. There were seven teams competing in the league, including teams from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The matches were two sets long, allowing the possibility for draws to occur. It was an exciting tournament with many long rallies and moments of brilliant play.
The eventual winners of the tournament were the team from the Republic of Ireland, with Wales being the only team who managed to take points of them as they drew, taking the first set 11 – 9 but being defeated 11 – 7 in the second. Wales enjoyed more success in the tournament, taking two victories and two draws and eventually finishing in 4th place, behind only the Republic of Ireland sides and the most experienced eastern European team.”
Irish Futnet Team:
“FootballTennis Ireland teams Maynooth and Mayo had great success in Belfast last Sunday, winning the 4th round of the NIFTA Futnet League in Shankhill. The competition was very well organised and the competition was the tightest it has been since the competition began last September with the overall level of play being the highest it has ever been.
Maynooth (Holkovic, Hynes, Sheeger G.) were the best of the 8 teams that played by winning every match and some great individual perfomances with an injured Juraj Holkovic having a great day on smash.
Mayo managed to finished second by a very narrow margin after drawing with Checkmate 1-1 (11-6,8-11) in probably the most entertaining match of the day with the Irish lads winning on points difference by just 2 points.
Also we managed to meet the new Welsh team who looked very promising and had a great defence which was difficult to breakdown. There is also going to be a tri-nations cup in the near future as they have made the decision to hold the games in East London on either March 24th or April 14th! Hopefully we can bring the 1st Tri-nations Trophy back to Ireland where it belongs ”
Next 5th round of the league is due on 5 February, preceded on 4 February by a foundation coaching course by EFTA Technical Committee.