Jul 04 2024

FIMBA European Championships action comes to a close in Pesaro

Seven Irish Masters teams competed in the FIMBA European Championships, across the past ten days in both Men's and Women's tournaments ranging from over 40 to over 65, in Pesaro, Italy.

It was the largest contingent of teams that have represented Ireland in the annual competition to date. The tournament came to a close on Sunday with the final games and the closing ceremony taking place at the FIMBA Village in the centre of Pesaro, with four out of seven teams making the quarter-finals of their respective tournaments, and two making the semi-finals.

The Ireland men's O40's team began their group phase with a narrow 65-59 loss to Great Britain at Baia Flaminia, they then faced a tough Austrian side and were defeated 67-93. Ireland ended the group stage on a high note by securing a 53-37 win against Germany in their final game. This wouldn’t be enough to progress to the knockout stages though, as they finished 11th following their final classification games.

Our O40’s women’s team got off to a strong start with an impressive 50-46 win against Serbia at Smash Sports Hall, unfortunately they were not as successful in the following two group games, falling to a 45-59 loss to Germany and a 63-75 overtime loss to Austria.

It was a case of double delight for the O50’s men’s team, as they secured two wins from their opening two games, beating Italy ‘C’ 76-34 in the cross-group qualifying game to progress for the quarter-finals, just falling short against Italy ‘A’ in the quarter-finals, losing 37-54.

The Ireland women’s O50’s and O60’s sides led the way in terms of final classification, both ending with a 4th place finish overall. The O50’s had a mixed Pool A with a narrow 38-42 loss to Italy Baia Flaminia. They rebounded quickly with victory against Great Britain, 58-53 win at Celletta – which saw them advance to the last eight. Further success followed as they won out 71-29 against Germany to progress to the semi-finals, where they lost 60-37 to Hungary. Another defeat to Italy, 53-37 in the 3rd / 4th place play-off, left them with a hugely creditable 4th place.

Mike Lydon's women's O60 team competed in Pool B and began with a 38-33 win against Italy. They suffered an agonising 40-35 loss to Germany, before ending the group phase on a high against Hungary, winning 43-17. This earned them a quarter-final berth against the Czech Republic, which saw the Irish side grind out a 38-25 success. Estonia proved a bridge too far in the last four, with Ireland would going down by the finest of margins, 24-23. Unfortunately, it was a similar fate in the 3rd / 4th Place play-off against Germany, losing 27-26, for a 4th place finish. 

In Pool F, the O 60 team found it tough in their opening game against Germany, losing 22-47, though they creditably bounced back, securing a 50-36 win against South Korea – they lost 88-37 to Estonia in the cross-group qualifying game which saw them placed 15th for the tournament.

The Ireland men’s O65 team started off with a tough 35-55 loss to Germany. That appeared to be a catalyst for the group as they returned with an impressive 52-25 win against Italy in their second match of the tournament. They continued that momentum via a 39-34 win against Italy ‘B’, but suffered a 45-36 loss to Italy ‘A’ in the quarter-finals, placing them in 6th for the tournament.

Final Places

M40; 11th Place, M50; 6th Place, M60; 15th Place, M65; 6th Place, W40; 9th Place, W50; 4th Place, W60; 4th Place

View all images from the tournament on our Facebook page here.