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The Emerald Cup took place over the weekend of the 24th and 25th of October , the event was hosted by ITF …ireann and was held in The Clarion Hotel ,Liffyvalley, Dublin ,Ireland. This was the first year of its existence and saw three teams fight off to be crowned Emerald Cup Champions of 2009,
The teams fought off in a round robin system, in the female section team USA meet a very strong team England, England took the first fight with a very powerful performance Carol Van Zile stepped up next for the US and with her axe kick working a treat won the second fight which left the teams level at 1 bout each and all down to the last fight which saw Englandís Laurie Cornwall securing a victory for team England. Next on the floor was Ireland who faced the US .Irelands coach Kevin O Sullivan called on Shireen Mansori to take to the mats first and in doing so she secured Irelandís first win with the use of her lead leg side and hook kick. Next up was Mandy Lonergan, The US had to win this bout for their team to survive but again Mandy proved to be to strong for her opponent, wining the bout comfortably, leaving Ireland with two wins and victory for the Irish ladies in this round. This left Ireland and England to faced each other with both teams desire to be crowned champions, who was going be crowned the 2009 Emerald Cup champion, Pressure was rising and you could hear a pin drop as both as both teams were called to the floor by the centre referee Mr Ruairi O Brien .both teams left the floor to prepare their fighters, first up saw Irelands Shireen Mansori face Katerina Todd, Both fighters began moving and using the ring trying to pick off the first few scores. Eventually Katerina overpowered her opponent and ran out a comfortable winner. Laura Cremen was called upon to keep Ireland in the hunt for the Emerald Cup .Laura did just that with a fine win over Hayley Parker leaving both teams tied and all down to the last fight. Irish coach Kevin O Sullivan was left with two fighters Shauna Hogan and Mandy Lonergan. Mandyís experience was the deciding factor as she took centre stage to face Laurie Parker .from the beginning it was kick for kick punch for punch with neither of the girls giving a inch , finally after an exhausting battle ,the decision went Ireland way . The place went wild with delight that the ladies Irish team had become The 2009 Emerald Cup champions.
The nightís entertainment wasnít to end there, next came the opportunity for the men to showcase their talent, and first on the mats was home team Ireland to face their neighbours team England. Ireland stormed into a 2 to nil lead with wins from Chris McCabe and James Whelan against England's Jamie McAvoy and Reece Nicholls. Things were looking good for Ireland at this stage and England couldnít afford to lose any more bouts which they didnít from there on. The third bout went to England's Mitchell Ross. In the fourth Alvydas Jankauskas put on a sparkling performance but this was matched by his opponent Dave Gurney who clinched a draw for England. England continued to progress and secured victory in the last bout with Matthew Brunger leaving both teams on equal terms. It was time again for both coaches to work tactics by nominating the fighter they thought would bring victory. James Whelan was selected by coach Mick Whelan to do the honours against Mitchell Ross from England, in a very closely fought contest James narrowly lost out with England wining out. All that stood in Englandís way to lift the title was the US. From the offset England looked to be the stronger of the two having taken the first bout .The US did pull one back through a splendid performance from Jonathan Van Zile, but eventually England ran out winners taken the title of The 2009 Emerald Cup Champions .This left Ireland and the US to battle it out to take the silver. This match up between these two countries was nip and tuck all the way to the end, with Ireland wining the first bout through Alvydas Jankauskas and the second going to the US, this followed with a draw. It went down to the last fight with Chad Morishita of the US and Sebastian Barwich for Ireland. With very little separating both fighters, Sebastian just about did enough to pull off the win and silver for team Ireland.
ITF …ireann would like to pay special mention to Master Trevor Nicholls VIII and to Imperial Taekwon-do for offering their support and also to Mr Skyrme would who providing us with the electronic scoring system and for educating the officials on its use prior to the event. Thanks to the external umpires for their fair and impartial judging of the competitors
2009 Emerald Cup Winners
1st Ireland 2nd England 3rd USA
1st England 2nd Ireland 3rd USA
Written by: Liam Corkery ITF …ireann - 9th November 2009
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