England men win 3-0 in Netherlands

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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England Leopards men made it two out of two in their European Championships qualifying campaign as they won 3-0 away to Netherlands tonight.

Following up their 3-2 home victory over Greece, it was a much less dramatic match for the trio of Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker.

Walker had the honour of leading off the match against Ewout Oostwouder, ranked No 258 in the world, and the Worksop player was always in control as he recorded a 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 12-10) victory.

Pitchford was next up, against Rajko Gommers and although his left-handed opponent, ranked No 283, took the second set, it was still comfortable for the Englishman in the end as he won it 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4).

It was left to Drinkhall to seal the overall triumph, though he too dropped a set before coming home 3-1 (11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5) against Laurens Tromer.

Sam Walker said:

“It was a great experience for me to play the first match in an England team match for the first time, and I was happy to start us off with a win – it’s always important to start that first match well.

“They’re a dangerous young team, so it was great to get that 3-0 win and for it to be fairly comfortable.”

Paul Drinkhall added:

“We always felt we were going to win, but they put up a good performance. They had a good crowd and it was a decent atmosphere.

“It was very important to win this match – if we had lost I think it would have been very difficult to go away to Greece and put in a performance to win the group.”

Liam Pitchford said:

“We always expected it to be easier than the match against Greece but it was still a tough match. They were playing at home and wanted to show their fans a good performance, but in the end we were stronger.”

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