Mike O’Driscoll takes pride in PG Mutual National Championships performance

PUBLISHED: 07:15 09 March 2017

Shepreth table tennis player Mike O'Driscoll. Picture: Alan Man

Shepreth table tennis player Mike O'Driscoll. Picture: Alan Man

Alan Man

Silver medal delight in men’s doubles

Mike O’Driscoll was happy to get within touching distance of England’s top table tennis pair after losing out in the men’s doubles final at the PG Mutual National Championships.

The Shepreth player and Chris Doran saw the draw open up after winning their first two rounds without dropping a set and then beating top juniors Tom Jarvis and Helshan Weerasinghe in the semi-finals.

It put them into the final against Rio Olympians Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in a repeat of last year’s final, when they were crushed 11-4, 11-4, 11-7.

It was a lot closer this time though and, after they had weathered a fast start which saw them trail 7-1, they had chances to nick games two and three before succumbing 3-0 (11-6, 14-12, 12-10).

“We’re much happier with that,” said O’Driscoll. “It started off exactly the same as last year and we thought ‘here we go again’, but we played well on the first day and thought if we played as well again, we could push them – and in the end we were unlucky not to get a game.

“At the end of the day, their top game is too strong and they don’t give you any time, but it was competitive and we were happy with that.”

O’Driscoll also featured in the men’s singles and won his group but was beaten in the last 16 by eighth seed and fellow left-hander Darius Knight in four straight sets.

In the mixed doubles, O’Driscoll and Kate Hughes were beaten 3-1 in the quarter-finals by defending champions Sam Walker and Tin-Tin Ho.

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