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Europe Netball U17 Challenge update - Gibraltar's next opponents faced confidence-denting defeat against Ireland

After facing two big defeats at the hands of UAE and then the Isle of Man, Switzerland had many reasons to want to prove themselves in the Under 17 Netball Europe Challenge.
They were to start with some passion against the Republic of Ireland maintaining themselves in the match and keeping the scores level to 6-6 before the Irish side were to eventually take the lead with a 7-6.
Ireland had already inflicted a heavy defeat against hosts Gibraltar which had set them up as one of the teams to beat in the competition and leaving Gibraltar looking at merely fighting for lower positions after also losing against the United Araba Emirates.
For Gibraltar this match was one in which they hoped the Irish side would come out eventual winners, reducing Switzerlands position in the overall table.
Ireland eventually found their way into the lead as they went 11-7 ahead with two minutes left of the first quarter.
The first quarter was to finish 12-9 with Switzerland’s initial confidence dented once again.
Switzerland responded in the second quarter by taking the game to their opponents and reduced the deficit to 12-11 withing minutes of starting. Ireland reacting and not allowing the Swiss to level.
A tight contest was seen with the Swiss side showing greater confidence on the court.
Interceptions on both sies kept score static for a while with the score staying at 13-11 until five minutes into the match. A contrast to the previous day of action in which spectators were treated to a point a minute or less in average throughout the four matches played.
With both sides more equally balanced this was to be one of the tightest contest seen, something which would have concerned Gibraltar officials after having seen how Ireland runaway with victory on Friday against them. Knowing too that their next opponents would be Switzerland who had stepped up their game although having struggled against both UAE and then the Isle of Man.
Switzerland came to level the score at 18-18 and then took the lead at 18-19.
Ireland walked into the halftime break able to level the score in the final seconds against Switzerland and leaving it at 19-19 after a Swiss comeback.
Ireland started the third quarter scoring first and moving two points ahead from early on.
Changes at halftime brought in some height into their line-up adding that advantage. The attempt to rest players before their next big match stopped by Switzerland’s revival. Ireland forced to make big changes across the court which saw a transformation of their fortunes.
Within minutes Ireland showed why they had run away with the match against Gibraltar the previous day as they went 25-19 ahead after just four minutes.
Although the Swiss side battled one and contested with some determination Ireland was moving away going 27-21 ahead halfway through the quarter and driving the route of the match.
With just five minutes left of the quarter and with Harte making an impact through the centre Ireland went 32-23 ahead, a massive transformation which Switzerland did not look as if they could come back from this time.
Again and again passes through the centre were being intercepted deflating Swiss morale as the minutes ticked away.
The third quarter finishing at 39-26 for the Republic of Ireland who looked at repeating the type of result they had against Gibraltar.
Ireland maintained their momentum into the final quarter and finished with a resounding 53-32 victory against Switzerland.
The result with a similar goal difference than that Ireland had against Gibraltar where they won 45-23. The Swiss, who next face Gibraltar this evening faced their third defeat in the tournament. The way in which Switzerland played, providing strong opposition at first before Ireland made changes likely to have been duly noted by Gibraltar officials who will be calling on their players to secure a victory so as to have a fighting chance to finish in the top three.
Ireland and UAE now looking as the favorites alongside the Isle of Man who next face the UAE this midday. A crucial encounter to determine the top positions.

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