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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018

Ireland cap historic week at U19 European Championships with silver medals

What a run they had in Italy.

Image: Christina McGrath Twitter.

THE IRELAND U19 softball team settled for silver at the European Championships in Italy earlier today, as they lost out to the tournament hosts in this evening’s decider.

It was an all-round historic occasion, as the Girls in Green broke ground that hadn’t been reached by Softball Ireland ever before.

Italy came out on top on a scoreline of 7-3 at the Ronchi Ballpark. The Italians started the brighter of the two sides but Ireland battled gamely to bite back with a 2-1 lead.

The fourth innings was the crucial one, as the eventual winners scored three runs to Ireland’s zero and while they put up a brave challenge, Ireland couldn’t just mount the comeback needed to get the win.

Reaching the decider alone is an absolutely massive feat and means that they’ll be heading to the World Championships next year in California.

It’s been a fantastic tournament for 18th seed Ireland — it was their first time getting into the top eight, and then they beat the number one-ranked team The Netherlands in that group en route to today’s showpiece.

You can read an in-depth feature — and find out more about softball — with one of the players, Maeve Óg O’Leary, here.

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Emma Duffy

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