Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Table Tennis; He's a Star

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Table Tennis; He's a Star

Article excerpt

Byline: By

Ormesby's highly talented 15-year-old Paul Drinkhall became the youngest player ever to win the English National Under 21 table tennis title at Sheffield over the weekend.

But a twisted back, suffered during his quarter final match with Alex Perry, halted any hopes of him notching record breaking wins in the men's singles and men's doubles.

To lift the Under 21 Championship, Drinkhall won a thrilling five-set final with Tim Yarnell of Northants.

Top seed Drinkhall was made to fight all the way by the Northants player, who led two games to one, winning the first 11-7 and the third 11-9. Drinkhall won the second at 11-6.

In the vital fourth game Yarnell led 6-3 and was close to victory before Drinkhall reeled off a run of seven successive points to lead 10-6 and win the fourth game at 11-7.

Drinkhall led all the way in the fifth and deciding game and was a worthy winner by 11-7.

In the men's singles, Drinkhall beat Yarnell again, this time by 4-2 to reach the quarter finals and meet former champion, Perry from Devon.

Perry won the first two games by narrow margins of 13-11 and 11-9 but Drinkhall fought back strongly, winning the third game 11-7.

At 5-3 in the fourth game a clever shot by Perry sent Drinkhall the wrong way which resulted in a sudden twist which inflicted the Ormesby's player's first injury in his six year playing career.

After the permitted ten minute treatment break, Drinkhall played on but the lack of mobility made his task impossible and Perry won the fourth and fifth, both at 11-4.

The injury not only impacted on the singles, but also took Drinkhall and his partner, Darius Knight, out of the semi final of the men's doubles.

Earlier Paul had won his second medal of the championships when taking the silver in the mixed doubles with Kelly Sibley of Warwickshire. …

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