Ireland take seventh at European Team First League in Dublin

Ben Reynolds secured 10 points for Ireland in the 100 metres hurdles

Ireland finished in a best-ever position of seventh at the European Athletics Team Championships First League meeting at Santry in Dublin.

The Irish team finished on 242 points, with the Czech Republic winning on 351.5, Sweden second on 311 and the Netherlands third with 299.

Among the highlights of the second day was a 110 metres hurdles heat win for Holywood athlete Ben Reynolds.

Amy Foster was third in the women's 200m heat in a time of 24.25 seconds.

The results saw Reynolds take third overall in his event, while Foster was ninth overall.

The men's and women's 4x400m teams were both successful in their heats to provide a strong finish for the host nation, the men picking up a maximum 12 points and the women 10 points.

Jason Harvey was part of the men's 4x400 group.

Ireland went into the second day lying in sixth position, but will be happy to have comfortably secured their First League status.

Reynolds secured 10 points by winning in a time of 13.71 seconds, a quarter of a second faster than the time he clocked at the Northern Ireland and Ulster Championships at the Mary Peters Track last week.

The time was a new Northern Ireland record, which took .04 seconds off his own two year old record and ensured qualification for next year's Commonwealth Games.

Among the other notable Irish performers on Sunday was David McCarthy, who took fourth in the men's 3000m.

On Saturday, Paralympic gold medallist Jason Smyth was third in the men's 100 metres in 10.78, with Foster fifth in women's 100m heat two in 11.96.

Harvey was fourth in the second heat of the 400m hurdles in 51.86, while Brian Gregan won 400m heat two.

Gregan was an emphatic winner and received a rapturous reception from the Dublin crowd, who appreciated the efforts of their young team.

Olympic finalist Churandy Martina won Smyth's 100m heat in 10.45.

The competition is the second tier of the European team competition and Ireland needed to finish in the top 10 to avoid relegation.

The top three teams from the event, which Ireland was hosting for the sixth time, are now promoted to the Super League.

Sprint hurdler Derval O'Rourke, steeplechase star Finnuala Britton and middle distance runner Mark English were among the big-name absentees from the Irish team at Santry stadium.

The other teams taking part were Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland.