Table Tennis: England rescued by Holt

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S women moved closer to a place in the final of the European League for the first time after a five- hour struggle ended in the early hours of yesterday morning with a controversial 4-3 victory over France in Saint Georges des Coteaux.

One point was all that stood between England and a surprise defeat that would have ended their hopes. In the final game of the final encounter, Andrea Holt, the national champion, had to save two match points to beat Sylvie Plaisant 18-21, 21-18, 25-23. Earlier in the match, Holt was given a yellow card for hitting her bat in frustration on the table and then a red card, causing her to be docked a point, again for dissent. Jill Parker, the coach, was also shown a yellow card for illegal coaching.

However, the night belonged to Holt. Dropped for the victory over Hungary last month, she came back to win three times, including a single against Coubat and the doubles with Lisa Lomas, the England No 1 who lost both her singles.

England's men were also involved in a thrilling match, losing 4-2 to Belgium in their semi-final, first leg in Liege.