European Championships B 2021 after cross finals

The last day of the pool games, Turkey does what is expected of them and beats Wales 15-9. In the same group, next Slovakia does the same with Greece, 8-15 for the central European country. With these two results, Turkey and Slovakia strengthen their positions as first and second in their group.

The Commonwealth clash between Scotland and Ireland has a surprising winner. Not the country with already two victories is the winner, but the country without any victories yet. Ireland beats Scotland 12-13. The final ranking in the group stays the same, but it is an unexpected result looking at the games the first two days. Finally Poland plays Switzerland. Where the Swiss show tight defense, Poland rushes to a comfortable 9-1 lead in the first quarter. The end result is a comfortable 18-9, making Poland the clear number two in this group.

Based on these three days, Poland has a very unlucky start, but seems stronger and stronger. A good result, knowing the squad has a lot of new players. Also a suboptimal result, based on the two last games. Scotland could have been beaten as well.

On the cross final day, Switzerland and Greece start with the first game for places five to eight. After a good start from the Swiss, Greece comes back in the game and we see a tight game with both countries getting the lead in turns. Greece is able to get their first win in an end round, making them one of the squads that grows in the event. A disappointment for Switzerland, who start strong in the tournament. Two years ago, the result between Switzerland and Greece was the other way around.

In the second game of the day, the second Commonwealth clash again has Ireland as the winner. Now they beat Wales 9-12. This means that Wales will face Switerland in the game for seventh place. Ireland gets the reward for their two victories over their neighbours and gets to meet Greece in the game for fifth place.

The first cross final to get to the final beforehand seems like what should have been the final. Turkey meets Poland. Turkey with three solid victories and Poland with two very strong games and the home crowd. Poland again has a flying start and leads 8-2 after the first quarter. They appear to be in the flow and keep scoring well against a Turkey that can't counter the Polish tactics. The score is clearly in the advantage of Poland, while on the pitch both squads fully go to the limit. The game ends 21-11 for Poland, a deserved win and a place in the final. Turkey will have to play for the bronze.

The last game of the day between Scotland and Slovakia is closer in scoring, more like the first game of the day. Scotland is the first country to be in the lead, but in the second quarter, Slovakia turns the tables and stays in control the rest of the game. The final result is 16-21 and means that Slovakia gets their dreamed final game, a final against neighbours Poland. Scotland will have to go up against Turkey.

Looking at the final games, they seem to be unpredictable. Firstly Switzerland versus Wales would have the Swiss as slight favourites, but they seem to have problems keeping the level up. Still they beat the Irish, that beat both the Welsh and the Scots. That gives them a small mental advantage.

The second game between Greece and Ireland also can be tight, now the Greeks have tasted their first victory. At the same time, the Irish may have confidence from their victories against their neighbours. The odds still seem to be with Ireland.

The result of the game for bronze between Scotland and Turkey largely depends on how the Turks recover from today's beating. Their tall men should have more dominance against Scotland than against Poland. Still Turkey is a qualifier in these European Championships, so Scotland may go into this bronze game with some confidence. The odds can be in favour of Turkey.

Then the final between Poland and Slovakia, two squads that have been cheering for each other the last days, now have to face each other. Based on the last days, Poland should win this final. At the same time, also Slovakia has more focus since their first game and shows they keep going. If the Slovaks can block a flying start for Poland, then we will see a close and interesting final. Clear is that the winner is a central European country.