Alpha’s Norman Lau might have had to sit out Ireland’s two opening wins against Cyprus (3-2) and Romania (3-2) in the European Junior Team Championships in Lubin, Poland but he did come into the side for the victory over Norway (3-2).
Lau found it difficult to get into the opening set against Peter Roen Stensaeth of Norway, ranked 86, and from 4-2 in arrears, saw his opponent romp through to a 21-12 victory and in the second the Norwegian player raced into a six point advantage before getting any points on the board, winning 21-12 in just 23 minutes.
Next up for Ireland – and Lau - was against the seeded Spanish side and the enormity of the task was shown in the final analysis as none of the matches went to three in the 5-0 defeat with Norman going down in straight sets to Luis Enrique Penalver.
Lau lost the opener 21-11 and, in the second, from 6-5 in arrears the Spanish player, who went on to record a three set victory over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, won 15 of the next 18 points.
There were really no surprises when the Irish Under 15 selectors announced their squad for the Quadrangular Series to be played in Milton Keynes from 1-3 May.
With Rachael Woods recording two successive victories over the highly regarded Clodagh Dunne over the past couple of weeks and Beth Stephenson winning her first senior Ulster Open title their selection was automatic but the inclusion of Rachael’s twin Rebecca is also justified.