Paul Drinkhall (ETTU photo)

England into quarter-finals with 3-0 victory over Slovakia

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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England are into the quarter-finals of the European Championships in Romania after topping their group thanks to a 3-0 victory over Slovakia today.

Their opponents in the last eight will be Denmark, with the match scheduled for Table 2 at 2pm on Friday UK time – click here to watch live on ETTU TV.

Today’s match was winner-take-all, with both nations having already defeated Serbia in Group C, in England’s case in dramatic circumstances.

The 3-0 margin might have been closer as England were pushed hard, but the qualities of Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker saw them come through in the key moments.

Pitchford started on the front foot against Lubomir Pistej and then held firm as his opponent fought hard, completing his 3-0 win with a 14-12 game in the third.

Drinkhall twice trailed to defensive master Wang Yang, but remained confident and was always in front in games four and five.

Walker, fresh from yesterday’s heroics, may have wondered if the boot would be on the other foot today as opponent Jakub Zelinka saved three match points at 10-8 and 11-10 in the fourth to level the match at 2-2. However, Walker was not about to let it slip and took the decider 11-6 to seal the quarter-final place for England.

England’s women were knocked out in the group stage earlier in the tournament.

Results

Group C
England 3 Slovakia 0
Liam Pitchford bt Lubomir Pistej 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 14-12)
Paul Drinkhall bt Wang Yang 3-2 (9-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6)
Sam Walker bt Jakub Zelinka 3-2 (9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6)

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