"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Irish Magic works again in SMPT World Cup

England’s quest for SMPT World Cup glory goes on after Ireland lifted the title for the fourth year in a row. In a hard fought final Ireland beat Sweden by 4.5 to 1.5 after four close games left them just 38-37 up on shots. P.J Gallagher beat Jörgen Karlsson 11-9, Nathan Haire beat Jonas Häger 9-8 while Joseph Beattie drew 9-9 with Benny Sjogren. Joel Häger earned Sweden’s only win beating Mark Beattie 11-9. In the semi-finals top seeds England were beaten 5-1 by Ireland. Mark Beattie won 13-8 against Edward Sawbridge, Nathan Haire beat Mark Chittock 14-7, Joseph Beattie beat Alex Kley 14-9 while James Trott scored England’s only win beating P.J Gallagher 11-10. In the other semi-final between Sweden and Wales three of the games were as close as you get. Benny Sjogren drew 10-10 with Martin Harries, Jonas Häger drew 10-10 with Cennydd Howell and Jorgen Karlsson beat Andrew Jones 10-9. But the match was decided with a resounding 17-6 win by Joel Häger against Welsh number one Stephen Williams which saw Sweden record a 5-1 points win. In the Group stages Ireland opened with a 5.5 to .5 points win against Belgium, 50-22 on shots, with Joseph Beattie’s 19-4 win against Marc Verzee and Nathan Haire’s 14-2 win against Raf Van Bouchaute giving them a great start to Group “B” in the World Cup. Ireland then beat the Rest of the World team by the same score with John Pajak of Poland earning his team their only share of the points with a 7-7 draw against Mark Beattie. Ireland’s third match resulted in a 5-1 points win against Scotland as Mark Beattie returned to winning ways beating Kevin Peacock 17-3. Sandy McDonald earned the Scots their only win beating Nathan Haire 11-5. This left Ireland on 16 points with their toughest match of the group still to play against a Welsh team sitting top of the group on 16.5 points. But Ireland again raised the bar as they beat Wales on all four mats for a 6-0 points win to finish clear winners of Group “B”. Nathan Haire won 13-5, P.J Gallagher won 10-9, Joseph Beattie won 8-7 while Mark Beattie beat Stephen Williams 8-4. In Group “A” top seeds England won their first match by 4-2 against Norway with Edward Sawbridge winning 12-2 and James Trott winning 9-5. But valuable points were dropped as Alex Kley lost 9-6 to Gunnar Frantzen and Mark Chittock lost 7-5 against Ferdinard Frantzen. England’s second match saw them collect the expected 6-0 points maximum win against United Arab Emirates with Alex Kley winning 20-1 against Chudree Shakeel, Mark Chittock beating Muhammad Ajmal 21-3, James Trott winning 21-4 against Fahad Ali and Edward Sawbridge beating Ali Akbar 14-2. Another 6-0 win followed against the Isle of Man with Mark Chittock leading the way with a 16-6 win against Christine Holland. This left England top of the group on 16 points, just one point ahead of their last opponents Sweden. The inform James Trott beat Jörgen Karlsson 10-8 with Mark Chittock beating Jonas Häger by the same margin. But England’s hopes of a place in the final disappeared as Joel Häger beat Edward Sawbridge 13-5 and Benny Sjogren beat Alex Kley 10-5 to give Sweden a 4-2 points win to finish top of the table on 19 points with England on 18 points.