Table tennis: Liam aims to pitch in and end Paul’s streak

Paul Drinkhall and Joanna Parker .
Paul Drinkhall and Joanna Parker .
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CHESTERFIELD’S Liam Pitchford is set to be the biggest threat to Paul Drinkhall’s attempt on a fifth English National Table Tennis Championship, writes Richard Fidler.

Drinkhall, aged 23, will be favourite again when the tournament starts at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on March 1.

And he’ll be keeping a close watch on the women’s matches with fiancee Joanna Parker hoping to regain her title after losing to English No 2 Kelly Sibley last year. The pair, who were engaged over the Christmas, will hope to justify their No 1 by completing a unique double in Sheffield and by claiming the mixed doubles title that they won on four successive occasions between 2007-2011 before losing out last year with Sibley and Darius Knight emerging triumphant.

Pitchford and Andrew Baggaley from Milton Keynes will be the biggest threats to Drinkhall’s dominance while Parker will battle Sibley (Leamington Spa) once more in the women’s singles.

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