Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker on the table against Ghana (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

England begin with victories in Gold Coast

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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England’s men and women are both safely through the Commonwealth Games team group stage with unblemished records.

Both the men’s and women’s teams won both their matches 3-0 in Australia today, with neither team dropping a game.

The women were first up, defeating Guyana as Tin-Tin Ho and Kelly Sibley won their singles matches and Sibley & Maria Tsaptsinos completed victory in the doubles.

Speaking after the match Sibley said: “It was very positive to get off the mark and to win 3-0 is even more positive really.

“It is always good to get the first win and first match under your belt.

“We have been in Australia for over a week and a half now so we are all kind of ready to get underway and raring to go.

“I think all three of us put in a good strong performance there and 3-0 win for the first match is really positive.”

Ho added: “Every country we play we just give our best. Everyone here can play good table tennis so we are just expecting that and they [Guyana] can play really good and they did play really good.”

The women then took on Vanuatu in their second and final match of the day, winning 3-0, with Sibley in particularly ruthless mood as she conceded only five points against Stephanie Qwea.

The men saw their first action against Ghana and it was another one-sided clash as Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford won their opening singles and Drinkhall teamed up with Sam Walker to take the doubles.

Pitchford said: “I think we were all really professional. Probably not the best we’ve played but, first match, to get a 3-0 victory is good.”

David McBeath made his Commonwealth Games debut as Pitchford was rested against Guyana in the second fixture, and he set the team on their way to another 3-0 triumph, completed by Walker in the second singles and Drinkhall & McBeath in the doubles.

Elsewhere, Wales women were beaten 3-1 by India in their first match. Charlotte Carey was defeated 3-1 (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4) by Manika Batra and Chloe Thomas then lost 3-0 (12-10, 11-7, 11-7) to Mouma Das. Carey & Anna Hursey reduced the arrears in the doubles, overcoming Das & Madhurika Patkar 3-2 (11-8, 11-5, 5-11, 7-11, 13-11), but Patkar then beat Thomas 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 12-10) to complete victory.

Northern Ireland were also beaten by India, 3-0 in the men’s event. Sathiyan Gnanasekaran started off with a 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-4) defeat of Ashley Robinson and it was 2-0 when Sharath Achanta overcame Paul McCreery 6, 8, 4. The doubles saw Gnanasekaran & Harmeet Desai beat McCreery & Zak Wilson 3-1 (11-2, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7).

Scotland men’s opening match also resulted in a 3-0 defeat, to hosts Australia, but it was a close match. The two singles matches went to five as Xin Yan beat Craig Howieson (11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-13, 11-7) and Heming Hu saw off Gavin Rumgay (11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-13, 11-8). In the doubles, Hu & David Powell won 3-1 (11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5) against Howieson & Colin Dalgleish.

After two of the three rounds of group matches, both England teams are guaranteed to top their groups. The final round will be played early tomorrow UK time, including Wales versus Sri Lanka in the women’s and Northern Ireland v Trinidad & Tobago and Scotland v Kiribati in the men’s. The draw will be then made for the knockout stages.

Coverage of the table tennis event can be seen on the BBC Sport website by clicking here.

Results

Women’s Group 4
England 3 Guyana 0
Tin-Tin Ho bt Natalie Cummings 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-3)
Kelly Sibley bt Trenace Lowe 3-0 (11-2, 11-9, 11-6)
Sibley & Maria Tsaptsinos bt Cummings & Priscilla Greaves 3-0 (11-1, 11-5, 11-3)

England 3 Vanuatu 0
Ho bt Priscilla Tommy 3-0 (11-2, 11-6, 11-7)
Sibley bt Stephanie Qwea 3-0 (11-1, 11-2, 11-2)
Sibley & Tsaptsinos bt Tommy & Anolyn Lulu 3-0 (11-6, 12-10, 11-5)

Men’s Group 2
England 3 Ghana 0
Paul Drinkhall bt Derek Abrefa 3-0 (11-8, 11-1, 11-8)
Liam Pitchford bt Felix Lartey 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-7)
Drinkhall & Sam Walker bt Abrefa & Bernard Sam 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-4)

England 3 Guyana 0
David McBeath bt Shemar Britton 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-6)
Walker bt Christopher Franklin 3-0 (11-4, 11-3, 11-4)
McBeath & Drinkhall bt Britton & Nigel Bryan 3-0 (11-1, 11-7, 11-5)

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