Three finals but no medals summed up the day for Ireland rowers at the European Championships in Bled today.
The women’s four (above) struggled in the early part of their race, and while Aifric Keogh, Tara Hanlon, Fiona Murtagh and Eimear Lambe did improve, the most they could do was to take fifth ahead of Spain. Romania came pulled out a stunning final 500 metres to take the gold away from Britain.
Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen recorded 50 strokes per minute at the start of their final of the lightweight women’s double. It kept them in the hunt, but not for long. The Irish fell out of the main battle and would finish fifth. Britain won: they had a good day overall and wrapped up the action with a great win in the men’s eights.
The omens for the men’s lightweight double were not good. Hugh Moore and Fintan McCarthy took third in their semi-final behind a hard-driving Switzerland. The final again featured a sweet and fast 2,000 metres by Jan Schaeuble and Raphael Ahumada Ireland, and again the Irish crew were not able to match it. Moore and McCarthy finished sixth, while Italy’s new combination of Stefano Oppo and Gabriel Soares pushed the Swiss hardest and earned their silver. Greece took the bronze.
The one consolation on the day was the performance of the men’s double. Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch, a new unit, were at the back of the field early in their semi-final. But they came through with real intent and took second behind Croatia’s Valent and Martin Sinkovic.

The programme for Sunday sees Ireland in four finals (times Irish)
10.01 Lightweight women’s single sculls (Siobhán McCrohan)
11.20 PR2 mixed double sculls (Katie O’Brien, Steve McGowan)
11.37 Women’s Double Sculls (Zoe Hyde, Sanita Puspure)
11.53 Men’s Double (Daire Lynch, Philip Doyle)