A SECOND DEFEAT for Conor Niland in Hungary means that the Irish Davis Cup team will have to travel to Egypt for a Group II, Europe/Africa relegation play-off in April.
Trailing 2-1 going into the final reverse singles match in Szeged, the Irish number one was beaten in straight sets 6-2 6-1 6-1 by Attila Balazs, a late replacement in the hosts’ team.
Niland had narrowly lost out to Marton Fucsovics on Friday night before James McGee kept Irish hopes alive with a five-set win over Adam Kellner. The Irish were subsequently beaten in a tough doubles rubber.
Ireland beat Tunisia 3-2 in a similar relegation play-off in 2011.