SQUASH Israel finished third at the Under 15 European Team tournament in Prague.
Seeded fourth, they set out to defy the form book, led by Millfield scholar Daniel Poleshchuk. Reaching the quarter-finals, the team was drawn against the second seeded and highly-fancied French team.
Israel started well with Poleshchuk winning a five-set thriller. Ya'ara Orlev, who, in a previous match beat her Dutch counterpart 3-0, was forced to retire after sustaining an injury. However, Roee Avraham won his match 3-2 after a defeat by eventual winners England to take the team into a 3rd/4th playoff.
Poleshchuk again set the scene, winning 3-0 win. Eden Yona came out second best against a highly regarded Finnish girl. With the match poised at 1-1, Avraham kept his nerve to win 3-2.
Yona and Orlev are products of the Israel Squash Academy, an initiative set up by expat Brit Stan Tannen, to provide squash tuition for children in areas where no squash clubs exist, playing on courts either privately owned or within local sports centres.