Liam Pitchford proud of Commonwealth Games bronze for England

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09:  Liam Pitchford of England competes against S.F.E.Poh of Singapore during the Men's Team Table Tennis Bronze Medal Match on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Oxenford Studios on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Liam Pitchford of England competes against S.F.E.Poh of Singapore during the Men's Team Table Tennis Bronze Medal Match on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Oxenford Studios on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Liam Pitchford was proud of the way England recovered from an agonising semi-final defeat to claim team bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

The squad went into the event with high hopes of gold, but were beaten in a thriller by Nigeria in the last four, despite Paul Drinkhall giving them an ideal start with a 3-2 victory over Segun Toriola.

Bode Abiodun came from 2-0 down to beat Pitchford 3-2 and Nigeria moved ahead when Toriola & Olajide Omotayo beat Drinkhall and Sam Walker.

Pitchford, 24, revived England’s hopes with a 3-2) defeat of Omotayo, but Abiodun was the hero as he sunk Walker 3-2 in another dramatic match.

It was a sixth Commonwealth Games medal for Pitchford, who moved level with Andrew Baggaley as the English table tennis athlete with most medals.

He said: “It was tough especially to come off after a loss and have to reset and get ready for a bronze medal match.

“It’s not easy but I was really proud of the boys. I thought we performed really well in that match. It wasn’t the medal we came for but it’s a medal, so I’m really happy.”

England had reached the semi-finals with routine 3-0 group victories over Ghana and Guyana and another 3-0 scoreline, against Northern Ireland, in the quarter-finals.