Lancashire’s Andrew Rushton helps England to a 3-2 victory over the Netherlands
The England team of Alan Cook, Lancashire’s Andrew Rushton and Paul Drinkhall had a superb 3 - 2 victory over the Netherlands in Barrow on 2 Nov, which has won the team qualification for the top category of the European Championships in Denmark next March.
Paul Drinkhall the 14 year old Ormesby table tennis star, celebrated his debut for the full English team when he won the deciding match. In addition to making his debut, Paul also created a record in being the youngest player to represent England in the European competition.
The match was a cliff-hanger throughout and the England team performance was undoubtedly lifted by the large vocal crowd at the Hoops Basketball Centre in Barrow where latecomers had to be satisfied with standing room only.
English Champion, Alan Cooke, provided strong leadership. He opened the scoring for the home team against Wijers by 3 - 0. The Dutch levelled as their captain and star man, Danny Heister, beat Drinkhall 3 - 0. Andrew Rushton put England ahead in the battle when he beat Michiel Janssen 3 - 1. And then Alan Cooke produced his best table tennis of the season in the most exciting match of the evening pushing the Dutch captain to deuce in the 5th and a match point before Heister forced the fixture into the decider.