Fermanagh’s Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney will be aiming for a place in the World Championship final today (Thursday) when they compete along with John Kearney and Jack Dorney in the Men’s Fours semi-final in Racice in the Czech Republic.

The Ireland crew produced an impressive performance in their heat, placing second behind Great Britain.

Two spots were up for grabs for direct progression to the A/B Semi so the crew from Ireland are straight through to today’s race.

Timoney was pleased with how the heat went for the crew but knows that there is still room for improvement.

“We approached the heat with the intention to race our own race and do what we knew we were capable of.

“We started off very well, leading the field at 350m in then held close contention with Great Britain until the 1,000m mark.

“Performance wise we had a very solid first half but know we have much more potential to give in the second. We obviously knew it was two to qualify straight through to the A/B Semi’s so I suppose subconsciously in the race we remained content with our position going into the second half.

“We’ve been out training the last few days making a few tweaks here and there that can help us sharpen up and improve going into the Semi on Thursday.

“It’s very positive for us knowing that there was room for improvements as it leaves an opportunity open for the next race,” he said.

This was the crews first race at this level and Timoney feels that they will take confidence from the fact that they showed they are competitive

“At one point in the heat there was the realisation of knowing that we were up there with the big guys or as our coaches would say, competitive.

“It clicked in the first part of the race when leading at the start and holding Great Britain while moving away from the rest of the field.

“In the moment it’s exciting but you’re also telling yourself to stay composed and relaxed because at this level, anything can happen at any point in a race.

“The Italians who were racing on our left are known for their last 500m sprint and it was definitely something we anticipated from them.

“When we got off the water we got a little nod from our high performance director and coach so it really is a boost of confidence to reach this point and be within seconds of successful renowned countries in the sport of rowing,” he added.

And now the target is to try and book their place in the world final with the top three in the semi progressing to the A final.

“As we have a chance to make history we’ll go in gunning for it but regardless of the outcome we’ll do what we can do and hopefully find that extra gear we can go to.

“The line up is USA, France, Switzerland, Romania, Netherlands, and ourselves.

“We are expecting a performance from Netherlands and Romania as the strongest competitors but for that third spot it will be a dogfight.

“Some crews can play games during heats and pull something unexpected out of the bag in major races so it’s all on the table for the Semi’s.

“Our approach will be the same as for all races, we’ll go in to race our own race, produce the best performance we can possibly give and take a risk if we need to.

“Whatever the outcome, we are expecting a hell of a race,” he said.