Grand National weekend it may be, but there’s a decent weekend of international sport in Dublin this weekend, with international handball at DCU and the Davis Cup quarter-finals at Castleknock.
Ireland’s men’s handballers went down 28-12 to Belgium last night, and face Estonia Saturday afternoon at DCU at 2pm in a bid to keep their European qualifying hopes alive – having fallen in Tallinn at Hallowe’en.
Tennis-wise, after dispatching Estonia in the first-round, it’s Finland now for Ireland in the Euro/Africa Zone Group II quarter-final at Castleknock – ticket sales have been brisk, and the opening day’s action is live on Setanta Ireland from 2:55.
Colin O’Brien joins Sam Barry and James McGee, who both won a singles match each against Estonia along with a winning doubles combination in the middle rubber.
The weekend schedule reads –
R1: James McGee (IRL) v Harri Heliovaara (FIN)
R2: Colin O’Brien (IRL) v Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)
R3: Sam Barry/James McGee (IRL) v Henri Kontinen/Jarkko Nieminen
R4: James McGee (IRL) v Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)
R5: Colin O’Brien (IRL) v Harri Heliovaara
The last remaining tickets can be bought here
It will be a difficult encounter for the Irish to win, but Nieminen apart, the rankings are somewhat even.
- Date of birth: 10 Jun 1987
- Singles ranking: 276
- Date of birth: 27 Jan 1992
- Singles ranking: 595
- Date of birth: 13 Nov 1988
- Singles ranking: 854
- Date of birth: 17 Apr 1984
- Singles ranking: 1004
- Jarkko NIEMINEN
- Date of birth: 23 Jul 1981
- Singles ranking: 47
- Harri HELIOVAARA
- Date of birth: 04 Jun 1989
- Singles ranking: 696
- Micke KONTINEN
- Date of birth: 18 Dec 1992
- Singles ranking: 943
- Henri KONTINEN
- Date of birth: 19 Jun 1990
- Singles ranking: 1675=
It’s winnable. The all-time record has Finland in front 4-3, and the winners face either Latvia or Monaco in September.
2006 – FIN d. IRL 3-2 in FIN – Tali Tennis Center, Helsinki
1989 – FIN d. IRL 5-0 in IRL – Fitzwilliam LTC, Dublin
1984 – IRL d. FIN 3-2 in FIN – Helsinki
1982 – IRL d. FIN 4-1 in IRL – Fitzwilliam LTC, Dublin
1971 – FIN d. IRL 5-0 in FIN – Helsinki
1956 – IRL d. FIN 4-1 in IRL – Dublin
1953 – FIN d. IRL 4-1 in FIN – Helsinki