Ireland’s women will face champions England in the semi-finals of the European Squash Championships after losing their final group match against France in Riccione, Italy today.

Ireland, silver medallists at the 2013 championships, went into the clash on the back of two group wins over Denmark and Wales but could not maintain their unbeaten start as France prevailed 2-1.

World number nine Madeleine Perry lost 3-1 (7-11, 11-3, 9-11, 7-11) to Camille Serme, the world number five. Laura Mylotte also went down 3-1 (7-11, 11-13, 11-4, 4-11), to Cyrielle Peltier, while Aisling Blake managed a 3-1 victory over Laura Pomportes (7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-0).

Defeat means Ireland face the tougher of the two semi-finals, against holders England on Friday in a repeat of last year's final, and France play the Czech Republic.