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Malta golf team win silver at the European Men’s Team Shield Championship in Greece

The Malta golf national team came agonisingly close to winning the European Men’s Team Shield Championship after losing a close final against hosts Greece 2-1 last weekend.

The Maltese selection was formed by Ruud Critien, Oliver Stuart, Laurens Schulze Doering and Liam Debattista. Andy Borg was the team captain while the delegation was spearheaded by William Beck, president of the Malta Golf Association.

Malta opened their commitments with a quarter-final clash against Serbia.

Ruud Critien and Liam Debattista beat Serbian duo Sabah Hariri and Nikola Bojanic by two holes to give their team a dream start.

Dane Cvetkovic pulled Serbia level when he overcame the challenge of Laurens Schulze Doering.

However, it was the Maltese who prevailed as Oliver Stuart overcame Nikola Cuic by two holes to hand the team a 2-1 win.

Next up for Malta was a semi-final clash against Bulgaria who in the last eight stage had the better of Luxembourg 2.5-0.5.

The Bulgarians started strongly as Lyubomir Tushev and Philip Kittoff put them ahead after overcoming Ruud Critien and Liam Debattista.

But the Maltese kept their composure and Laurens Schulze Doering levelled the tie when he beat Hristo Yanakiev.

Oliver Stuart then went on to secure the win for his team when he beat Kristian Tsvetanov to secure a 2-1 win and put the Maltese in the final of the competition for a second successive season.

In the final, the Maltese quartet were up against hosts Greece who had knocked out their neighbours Cyprus 2-1 in the other semi-final.

Vasileios Koumbakis and Nikolaos Efthymiadis put the home side ahead when they beat Ruud Critien and Oliver Stuart.

Ruud Critien and Oliver Stuart put Malta ahead when they beat Vasileios Koumbakis and Nikolaos Efthymiadis.

But the Greeks turned the match around when Panagiotis Pantazopoulous overcame Schulze Doring to pull the game level.

In the decider Liam Debattista was beaten by Christos Pantazidis.

This was the third successive edition that Malta had lost the final of this tournament. In 2021 Malta were beaten by Lithuania while last year they went down to the Greeks.

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