Parker and Drinkhall reach final day

Russell Moore

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Joanna Parker and Paul Drinkhall won excellent final matches on day four in Luxembourg to keep their respective dreams alive.

Both recorded high ranking wins; Parker a 4-2 win over world number 82 Yana Noskova while Drinkhall recorded a massive win against Croatian world number 58 Andrej Gacina.

However, Liam Pitchford fell to defeat to Swede Jens Lundqvist to end his hopes. The day has started poorly for all three with back-to-back defeats.

Pitchford was the first to be beaten as he fell to Daniel Kosiba (HUN, 212) 4-1. It seemed as though the Derbyshire youngster would continue his form from yesterday when he took the first game 11-2.

However, this went wrong after that with four consecutive tight games being won by the Hungarian to progress.

The story was similar for Drinkhall against Bora Vang (TUR, 117) as he lost 4-1 with four tight game losses. He was never far from the Turkish player but fell 3-0 behind before ultimately winning a consolation game.

Joanna Parker almost pulled off a remarkable win in her group match as she recovered from 3-1 down to force a deciding game with Tian Yuan (CRO, 139) after a spirited fightback.

However, she was unable to take her chance, losing the final game 11-6 to the Croatian.

The day ended well with Drinkhall and Parker recording their big wins to set up ties with Li Qiangbing (AUT, 71)  and Tiago Apolonia (POR, 49) respectively to begin tomorrow. Although Pitchford’s loss will mean he will have to hope to be selected for the host nation places in May.

Tian Yuan (CRO, 139) bt Joanna Parker 4-3 (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6)

Daniel Kosiba (HUN, 212) bt Liam Pitchford 4-1 (2-11, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9, 12-10)

Bora Vang (TUR, 117) bt Paul Drinkhall 4-1 (11-9, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8)

Joanna Parker bt Yana Noskova (RUS, 82) 4-2 (9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10)

Jens Lnndqvist (SWE, 43) bt Liam Pitchford 4-0 (11-4, 16-14, 11-8, 11-4)

Paul Drinkhall bt Andrej Gacina (CRO, 58) 4-2 (11-9, 10-12, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9)

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