Croatia Prevail Against Ireland

Croatia emerged the clear victor in a bruising fifth round encounter with Ireland in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship, winning the match 4–0.

Karl Irwin’s was the first head on the block, his match taking place on Monday evening. Karl pinned everything on central influence, building a massive moyo. His framework ultimately proved too porous, and his opponent won by a substantial margin.

Nothing daunted, John Courtney set out to build an equally large moyo and indeed seemed to be leading as territories solidified towards the end of the middle game. John chose to tenuki an apparently slow move from his opponent, only to pay the price some moves later when his opponent cut off four stones, reversing the lead, and ultimately winning the game by 5.5.

Matei Garcia fought hard to overcome an early error, launching an all-out attack on a large dragon, securing an unexpected seki, and successfully invading his opponent’s largest territory, but still came up a little short, losing by 7.5.

The last game to end was that between the two captains, Philippe Renaut and Stjepan Mestrovic. It was an incredibly tense, no quarter given battle with fewer than a hundred moves played in the first two hours. Philippe looked to have got the better of the early fighting, but Stjepan cut a thin connection in the centre of the board, threatening a kill that would connect all his weak groups. Increasingly desperate measures ultimately proved unsuccessful and Philippe tendered an honourable resignation.

Ireland now find themselves bottom of the table. However with six teams within two points of each other, a single win could change the standings dramatically. But Ireland will have their work cut out to get that elusive win in their sixth round match, against League B leaders Turkey. Tune in Tuesday, 5th March to cheer the team on!

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