Kelly Sibley was narrowly unable to overturn the odds

Despite their best efforts, England’s women’s team were unable to cause a shock in the final of the team event in New Delhi as Singapore retained their Commonwealth Championships title.

England began as the severe underdogs and when the teams were announced there was a combined 635 world ranking places between the two sides.

First onto the table was England no. 1 Joanna Parker who faced world no. 4 Feng Tianwei – the highest ranked player in the tournament. Tianwei began well and claimed the first game 11-6, but Parker fought back in the second to level. In a crucial third end the Singaporean was pushed to the wire by the English defender but managed to just come out on top before sealing the win at the next visit to the table in the fourth end.

Next up for England was National Champion Kelly Sibley who was unfortunate to lose her match with Yu Mengyu (27) after a brace of close opening games. Matching her prestigious opponent blow-for-blow, despite an over 200 place ranking differential, Sibley was just unable to seal either of the opening games – losing them both narrowly 14-12 and 16-14.

However, not finished there, Sibley – who has been in inspired form in India so far, took the third game off her illustrious opponent to keep herself in contention. In the end, despite another close game in the fourth, her efforts were not rewarded as Mengyu’s 11-9 hold meant that Singapore moved 2-0 ahead.

In what turned out to be the final fixture, England’s big future hope, 14-year-old Tin-Tin Ho faced a 299 ranking place gap to Zhou Yihan in a great taste of high-calibre table tennis. Although defeated in straight games, the youngster was able to force Yihan into a couple of difficult ends as her experience grows.

Full results from the previous stages of the team event can be found here

Singapore 3-0 England
Feng Tianwei (wr 4) bt Joanna Parker (138) 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7)
Yu Mengyu (27) bt Kelly Sibley  (229) 3-1 (14-12, 16-14, 8-11, 11-9)
Zhou Yihan (102) bt Tin-Tin Ho (401) 3-0 (11-4, 12-10, 11-8)