Three bid for national title

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Three local players will bid to make home advantage count at a top tournament later this week.

Rotherham-based England number one Paul Drinkhall plus Chesterfield’s teenage sensation Liam Pitchford and Sheffield’s Darius Knight, who are seeded second and third respectively, go for glory in the English Championships at Ponds Forge.

Pitchford reached the final last year but lost to three-times champion Andrew Baggaley, who is seeded fifth.

Further local interest in the men’s event is provided by Sheffield League players Shaun Marples, Kim Daybell and Dave Arrowsmith (all Crookes) and Sam Walker, David Thompson and Helmuth Osborne (all Vulcan Redtooth).

The Championships get under way on Friday (1pm) and will be completed on Sunday afternoon.