Pitchford edges vital England win

Chesterfield table tennis ace Liam Pitchford won an epic match as England beat Netherlands 3-0 to cement their place in the European Team Championships qualifying play-offs.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 8:22 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:03 am
Liam Pitchford. Photo by Michael Lovede
Liam Pitchford. Photo by Michael Lovede

Playing the second match against Laurens Tromer with England leading 1-0, Pitchford used his experience and skill to save three match-points in a five-set thriller before taking his own second match-point.

Pitchford, who won 3-2 (12-14, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10, 14-12), said: “I knew he was going to come out with nothing to lose.

“I’m not playing my best but I’m trying to find something in every match, and this was a good opportunity to do that.

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“I played some good stuff in parts but not as clever in others and he took his chance.

“Fair play to him, he played really well but somehow I came through it in the end.”

David McBeath won the first match 3-1 against Rajko Gommers and Paul Drinkhall completed the victory 3-0 against Ewout Oostwouder.

England finished second in their group behind Greece and will face Slovakia, home and away, in the play-offs in April. The winners will qualify for the top division at the Europeans later this year.