England’s men are in good shape to qualify for the European Championships after two victories today, while England’s women must beat Belgium tomorrow if they are to qualify.

England women, competing at BATTS TTC in Harlow, were beaten 3-0 by Spain tonight – their opponents having earlier defeated Belgium by the same scoreline.

Tin-Tin Ho took a game off Galia Dvorak in the opening match, but Maria Tsaptsinos and Denise Payet lost in three straight.

With two teams from the three-nation group qualifying for the European Championships finals in France in September, it comes down to tomorrow’s match between England and Belgium at 11am on Sunday.

Here is what Tsaptsinos had to say about today’s match and tomorrow’s clash with Belgium:

The men’s team are competing in Estonia, where they are taking on Ukraine and Italy as well as the host nation, with two teams to qualify.

They dug deep to beat Ukraine in their first match, getting home 3-2 as four of the five matches went to a deciding game. With Paul Drinkhall winning twice and Liam Pitchford twice going down, Sam Walker’s victory in the third match against Yaroslav Zhmudenko, coming from 2-0 down and winning the decider 13-11, was the result which tipped the balance.

It was a win which showed great fortitude as Walker saved no fewer than nine match points before finally getting himself over the line.

They followed up with a routine 3-0 win over Estonia, with victories for Drinkhall, Walker and Tom Jarvis.

England face Italy in their final match tomorrow and need a victory to be sure – an Italy win and the likeliood of Ukraine beating Estonia would leave a three-way countback.


Women’s Group 2
Spain 3 Belgium 0
Maria Xiao bt Margo Degraef 3-1 (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4)
Galia Dvorak bt Lisa Lung 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-5)
Xuan Zhang bt Nathalie Marchetti 3-0 (11-5, 11-1, 11-8)

Spain 3 England 0
Dvorak bt Tin-Tin Ho 3-1 (11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9)
Xiao bt Maria Tsaptsinos 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8)
Zhang bt Denise Payet 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-5)

Men’s Group 3
England 3 Ukraine 2
Paul Drinkhall bt Yevhen Pryshchepa 3-2 (7-11, 14-12, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7)
Viktor Yefimov bt Liam Pitchford 3-2 (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-8)
Sam Walker bt Yaroslav Zhmudenko 3-2 (11-13, 9-11, 16-14, 11-8, 13-11)
Pryshchepa bt Pitchford 3-2 (7-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9)
Drinkhall bt Yefimov 3-1 (6-11, 11-2, 11-2, 11-7)

England 3 Estonia 0
Walker bt Aleksandr Lushin 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-8)
Drinkhall bt Alexey Smirnov 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 12-10)
Tom Jarvis bt Oskar Pukk 3-0 (11-1, 11-5, 11-5)

Other results: Italy 3 Estonia 0; Ukraine 3 Italy 0