England miss out on top Euro division

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

Please note - this news article was published more than six months ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

England men’s ambitions of playing in the top division at the European Championships later this year were ended in Slovakia tonight – while the women’s team lost in Spain.

The men, who lost the first leg 3-1 at home last week, won 3-2 in the return but will have to settle for playing in the second tier at the Championships in Luxembourg.

Liam Pitchford gave England hope when he came from 2-1 down to beat Lubomir Pistej 3-2 (11-4, 9-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9) in the first match to reduce the deficit to 3-2 overall.

When Paul Drinkhall took a 2-0 lead against Peter Sereda, it looked as if the tie would be all-square. However, his opponent came back to take it 3-2 (5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10) to put Slovakia 4-2 ahead, overcoming two Drinkhall match points in the fifth.

It left England needing to win all three remaining ties, starting with Sam Walker against Wang Yang. It was a tough task on paper against renowned defender and world No 64 Wang and a 3-0 defeat (11-7, 11-4, 12-10) sealed England’s fate.

There was still victory on the night to play for and David McBeath was given his chance in match No 4 against Pistej and he made light of a 84-place difference in world rankings to make it 2-2 on the night with a 3-1 (11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8) victory.

It was then left to Pitchford to defeat Bai He in three straight (11-9, 11-9, 13-11) to give England a positive outcome on the night.

In Spain, England women went into the return leg trailing 3-0, and it was a repeat scoreline – though every match went to a deciding game.

Maria Tsaptsinos was first up against Maria Xiao and led 2-0 before seeing her opponent recover to win 3-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9).

Tin-Tin Ho, by contrast, fought back from 2-0 down to Galia Dvorak but was unable to complete the comeback as th Spaniard won it 11-8, 11-6, 12-14, 9-11, 11-8.

In the final match, Karina Le Fevre also held a 2-0 advantage but again saw the host nation player claw back. In this case, it was Claudia Carmel who won 7-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.

Share this article

MENU

profile