England Stages Dramatic Comeback to Top Group at European Team Championships


Let’s just say, when you’re talking about edge-of-your-seat action, the European Team Championships held today had it all. No one could have predicted the rollercoaster of a match between England and Romania. Going into the match, the English team, having already bested Norway 3-1, needed a win to secure not just a last 16 place but also top their group.

First Blood to Romania

You’d be forgiven for thinking it was all over before it even started. Romania’s Ovidiu Ionescu (World Rank 152) had Paul Drinkhall biting his nails, clinching the first game 13-11. Drinkhall managed to even things up in the second game but eventually fell to Ovidiu’s relentless gameplay. Eduard Ionescu, a more highly-ranked player at No. 69, extended Romania’s lead by defeating Liam Pitchford, making it 2-0. A win seemed improbable, if not impossible, for England at this point.

Turning the Tables: Tom Jarvis to the Rescue

The unsung hero of the match has to be Tom Jarvis. Faced with immense pressure, Jarvis took on Iulian Chirita (WR 163) and pulled off a stunning 3-1 victory. What’s more impressive is the way he turned the tide.

  • Game 1: Saved three game points to win 13-11
  • Game 2: Lost 2-11
  • Game 3: Won 11-7
  • Game 4: Sealed it with an 11-4 victory

Liam Pitchford’s Show of Grit

Pitchford had his back against the wall against Ovidiu Ionescu. Down in the scoreline and fighting to keep England’s hopes alive, he found himself in a ‘do-or-die’ fourth match. Pitchford’s resilience shone through as he saved three match points to stay in the game.

  • Match Points Saved: 9-10, 10-11, 11-12
  • Final Score: 11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 15-13, 11-8

The Final Showdown: Paul Drinkhall Closes It

With the scores leveled at 2-2, it was up to Paul Drinkhall to bring it home. Facing Eduard Ionescu in the final tie, Drinkhall proved why he’s considered one of England’s finest.

  • Game 1: 11-7
  • Game 2: 11-9
  • Game 3: 13-11

And just like that, England not only completed an amazing comeback but also secured the top spot in their group.

Liam Pitchford

What’s Next?

The team will find out their last-16 opponents when the group stage wraps up tomorrow. 

For die-hard table tennis fans, the action is being broadcast live. You can catch England’s women team face off against Austria in their second group match, airing on Tuesday at 6pm.


Ovidiu Ionescu vs Paul Drinkhall3-1
Eduard Ionescu vs Liam Pitchford3-1
Tom Jarvis vs Iulian Chirita3-1
Liam Pitchford vs Ovidiu Ionescu3-2
Paul Drinkhall vs Eduard Ionescu3-0

There’s a reason they call it a ‘beautiful game.’ This match is destined to go down as one of the most memorable comebacks in the history of the European Team Championships. The English team showed that in sports, it’s not over till it’s over.

Tennis Expert Andrew Huggard
reviewed by: Andrew Huggard (Tennis Expert)

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