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u20 Men’s SCA Championships – Updates

Welcome to the updates page for the u20Men Small Countries Association Championships in Dublin, Ireland. This page will be updated with match reports, live results and official match photos.

CEV Small Countries Association Programme

Schedule & Results

Tuesday April 12th
Game 1: Ireland 0
Andorra 3
10-25, 19-25, 17-25
Game 2: N. Ireland 3
Luxembourg 2
25-22, 16-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12

Wednesday April 13th
Game 3: Andorra 1
Luxembourg 3

25-14, 13-25, 18-25, 26-28

Game 4: Ireland 3
N. Ireland 2

25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 29-31, 15-11.

Thursday April 14th
Game 5: N. Ireland 0
Andorra 3

17-25, 19-25, 18-25

Game 6: Ireland 1
Luxembourg 3

13-25, 28-26, 11-25, 19-25


Luxembourg claimed gold on a dramatic, exciting and exhilarating final day of competition at the u20 Men’s Small Countries Association Championships in Dublin, Ireland.

All four teams entered the final day of competition on one win and one defeat, but the grand duchy positioned one point clear knew that a 3:1 or 3:0 victory would be enough. And so that proved when outside hitter Christian Galoppo, the tournament’s stand out player led his team to win the final match of a brilliant event with what all important 3 point win over Ireland 3 sets to one (25-13, 26-28, 25-11, 25-19).

Andorra finish with the silver medal with two wins from the three games, and the hearts of all that attended the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena. Their stylish play and dance routines adding a vibrant dynamic to the event.

Northern Ireland claim third with three points after a brilliant win over the eventual winners. The hosts Ireland take fourth and lots of positives after a close knit win over the neighbours and a set off the champions.

Final Standings:

LUXEMBOURG, Wins = 2, Points = 7

ANDORRA, Wins = 2, Points = 6

NORTHERN IRELAND, Wins = 1, Points = 3

IRELAND, Wins = 1, Points = 2

MVP Team of the Tournament:
Setter: Chaster Andreu, AND
Wing: Christian Gallopo, LUX
Wing: Eric Forne, AND
Middle: Scott Craig, NIR
Middle: Nicolas T’Joen, LUX
Opposite: Xavier Mas, AND
Libero: Ciagan Davoren, IRL

Game 1: Ireland 0
Andorra 3
10-25, 19-25, 17-25

Andorra sent out an early statement in the SCA event’s opening game in Dublin. The traveling team raced into a 12-1 lead through a combination of powerful serving of Eric Forne and precision hitting from Joel Bosma. Ireland Coach Andrei Molnar was forced into using both his time outs early on and the substitution of Aiden Grace made a difference as Ireland began to claw back a few points and get into a rhythm. However, it was the Andorran team that kept their composure in the opening set and even with an array of substitutions they powered home 25-10, setting a benchmark for the competition ahead.

The Irish nerves settled as they entered the 2nd set and early on tied up at 4 – 4. Ireland began to find their rhythm and setter Sam Harman linked up well with hard hitting Sonny Yamada to keep Ireland within touching distance. Ireland’s spirited fightback cheered on by home support made for a tense finish until setter Mateo Ferreyra seized control of the game and led his team to a 25-19 putting Andorra 2 sets up.

The third set started like the second as both teams took points in the early stages. Ireland’s Ben O’Sullivan continued to find gaps between the Andorra players and pulled the set back to a 2 point difference at 15-17.

It was a much improved performance from the Irish who grew as the game went on. Wing Cian Humphreys complementing Yamada and Ireland were building play nicely.
Some clever play from Mateo Ferreyra provided some breathing space as Andorra relaxed again to take 6 points in a row before an Irish reply. Ireland battled hard but it was to be Andorra’s day as they took the set 25-17 and the match 3-0, setting an early marker.

MVP: Mateo Ferreyra AND

Game 2: N. Ireland 3
Luxembourg 2
25-22, 16-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12

The likely match of the tournament was the second one, with an evenly contested, passionate and times tempestuous encounter that ebbed and flowed throughout the five set thriller.
The first set saw both teams use their heavy hitters to great effect. Jack Mc Murray for Northern Ireland had great joy as did Luxembourg’s William Le Drezen as both teams moved quickly to 17 -17. Sam Edgar put in a fantastic defensive display that propelled the Luxembourg attack from all sides to send the Northern Ireland team into a 22-19 lead. A couple of errors under pressure from Northern Ireland gave the Luxembourg team some hope but a service fault at just the wrong time handed the set to Northern Ireland 25-22.

Luxembourg came out strong in the second set with Valerio Brignardello’s float serve causing havoc among the Northern Ireland back row. Paddy Daly was able to pull his Northern Ireland side back within 5 points but Luxembourg’s Ryan Matilde De Luz solid blocking display as well as hitting kept the scoreboard for Luxembourg moving towards that first set victory in this year’s tournament. Nicolas T’Joen obliged in style with a powerful spike to give his team the 25-16 win.

Northern Ireland regained their form in the third set and it was Jack Mc Murray once again from the wing doing all the damage. Luxembourg had used all time outs as they trailed 6-12 but Northern Ireland were able to maintain their six point gap until 17-11. Luxembourg’s David Felber was able to bring the game back for Luxembourg through some fine spiking but ultimately Northern Ireland hitting and fantastic cover play was enough to send them back into the lead.
Nicolas T’Joen keen to level his side once more put together a string of successful serves at the start of the fourth set but a determined Northern Ireland refused to let the gap widen by more than a point as we moved midway through the set. Jack Mc Murray continued in his good form but this time with
service as Northern Ireland moved into 15-12 lead. Both teams gave all they had to ensure each point was theirs but Luxembourg captain Christian Galoppo rallied his team and pulled them over the line 25-17 with some fantastic hits.

The fifth set started as it ended with Christian powering spikes down into the Northern Ireland court. Ireland responded with their own through Zak Kincaid and as team switched sides it was Northern Ireland with a slender lead 8-6. The boys in green were able to drive forward as a well drilled unit and overcome the late Luxembourg fightback to take the vital first match win 15-12.
MVP: Zak Kincaid NIR

Wednesday April 13th

Game 3:          Andorra 1, Luxembourg 3

                             25-14, 13-25, 18-25, 26-28

Both teams came into today’s encounter after mixed results in yesterday’s opening games. Andorra buoyed by a 3 nil win over Ireland and Luxembourg re-energised after a gruelling five set defeat to Northern Ireland.

That form showed in the early stages with Andorra taking an early 12-6 lead through the explosive hitting from Eric Forne who was supplied well by setter Chaster Andreu, the double act combing smartly. In fairness, Andorra cruised the first set playing with style. Marc Garcia with a massive monster block at the net defying Luxembourg’s talisman Christian Galoppo, and Andorra took the first 25-14.

Galoppo, as he did in his team’s first game rallied his troops and soon the Grand Duchy were all square. In fact, the second set was a complete reverse of the first with Matilde De Luz, the giant middle dominating centre court. They were also getting the rub of the green when a misplaced block from Galoppo rebounded fortuitously off the unaware de Luz falling just in, giving the team in red a nine point lead which was only extended running out 25-13.

The game settled somewhat in the third with both defences cancelling each other out. Vincenzo Nadilini and Jan Manuel Garcia the two liberos in fine form. Nadilini’s Luxembourg edged ahead with Nicolas T’Joen sharp and Nicolas Brignardello conducting a stream of attacks that stretched the Andorran middles across the net. Luxembourg now finding their flow to move 2-1 up 25-18.

With the overall championships table looking tight Luxembourg were pressing hard for a 3:1 and full points that move them ahead of their opponents in the standings. William LeDrezen firing hard down the middle to open up an early advantage. The Andorrans battled hard though, easing back into the game with the tournaments stand out setter Andreu back on form after a rest in the second.

The game was evenly poised at 12 each when Andreu found Forne for a boom and the principality had a slender lead. But with both teams so evenly matched this was always going to the wire and it was no surprise when Luxembourg saved two set points and Andorra a match point with a special hit from captain Nil Panades.

But it was Luxembourg who snook home taking the fourth and final set 28-26 to join Andorra at the top of the table on four points each.

MVP: David Felber LUX


Game 4:          Ireland 3, N. Ireland 2

                            25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 29-31, 15-11.

This game was special. A first ever win for Ireland at Junior International competition level and what a way to do it, overcoming their friends and rivals from the North in a dramatic five-set thriller that had spectators in raptures.

The guests came into this game as heavy favourites and buoyed after a brilliant five-set win over Luxembourg on day 1. The hosts came into the game bottom of the standings and apprehensive after a 3-set defeat to Northern Ireland one month ago in this same venue.

But it was the underdogs who started better with Sam Harman linking brilliantly with Cian Humphreys on the wing to shell shock the North and soon Ireland were 9-6 up. The star of the first set though was undoubtedly Noah Leamy whose blistering serves opened up a 9point lead. Paddy Daly was doing his best to drag his team back into but Ireland held on 25-19.

Northern Ireland captain Myles Reilly rallied his troops and Zak Kincaid was stepping up to the plate as the men in red kept Ireland at arm’s length throughout the set. Isaak Finch was serving with pace and accuracy targeting Ennis man Humphreys, and the tactic worked as Northern Ireland ran out 25-17 winners.

Northern Ireland were well into their stride by now, leading 15-11 with Niclas Skansen excelling. But the resilient and defiant Irish team kept their cool with coolness personified Sonny Yamada hitting well, Ireland fought back and then all of a sudden had a set point and when Kincaid’s serve went long the raucous crowd were delirious and sensing an upset.

Ireland started the fourth in great form with Loughrea libero positional sense ensuring Harman had clean ball and options to hit Humphreys or Yamada. The young middles Ben O’Sullivan and Lochlan Donnelly were raising their game to new levels and going toe to toe with the impressive Skansen.

But it was the Ennis man Humphreys who was leading the charge mixing up hard attacks and cute tips to keep Mark Christie guessing in back court. Ireland were flying with Humphreys on fire and when Jack McMurray serve hit the net Ireland had three match points.

The crowd were on the feet and courtside now tempting fate when Skansen saved the first point. Northern Ireland kept their nerve phenomenally with Edgar serving aggressively targeting the back line it was 24 a piece. Kilkenny man Donnelly monster blocked and Ireland had a fourth match point which was saved with Skansen going cross court. Daly aced to give Northern Ireland a set point and looked to have caught the line again but 1st referee Bob Bauer called a replay ball the margins were so tight.

Reilly was looking for Skansen but setter Harman blocked to give Ireland another match point, again saved by Skansen. Christie saved a ripper from Humphreys but a net touch gave Ireland a fifth chance to win it before McMurray went down the line with perfection and then a tip allowed Reilly to serve for the set. Ireland touched the block and we were going to a fifth.

At this stage you’d forgive the Irish time for thinking their chance had passed, especially with Northern Ireland’s leaders at the fore.

In the fifth, the teams exchanged points before MVP Humphreys took over and drove Ireland into a 9-2 lead. But Northern are nothing if not resilient and came back to a 2 point game. Sam Harman served a sixth match point which Christie put out and the Irish team were dancing with joy for a memorable victory that will live long in the memory.

MVP: Cian Humphreys IRL