England will go into their European Mixed Team Championships quarter-final with a 100 per cent winning record under their belt following a thrilling 3-2 victory over Sweden.
Having already made the last eight with a 5-0 victory over Ireland, a rather sterner challenge came this time around for England as they were forced into a deciding event to secure their place atop Group 2.
But victorious they were in Lubin, now faced with the tantalising wait to see who they face in Friday’s quarter-final stage, looking to go one better than the silver medal they picked up at the last Championships back in 2015.
Having whitewashed their way to opening day success, the same fate wasn’t to grace England on this occasion, under pressure when Toby Penty missed out to Henri Hurskainen 15-21 22-20 13-21.
But as has often been the case, England battled their way back as Fontaine Chapman completed her second straight games victory of the week, taking just 23 minutes to waltz to a 21-13 21-10 victory in her event against Emma Karlsson.
And they were to take the lead for the first time in the contest, as Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge blitzed their way to a 21-11 21-18 success against Richard Eidestedt and Nico Ruponen.
Yet the contest was not done there, with Sweden once again going the distance in the women’s doubles as Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker missed out to Emma Wengberg and Clara Nistad, 20-22 21-9 17-21.
That took Group 2 right to the distance with the drama of a final event determining who would take pool-stage honours.
And it was England’s leading mixed doubles duo Chris and Gabby Adcock who were left celebrating come the final shuttle, holding their nerve in two pulsating games to battle past Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom 21-19 21-18.
But with more than 30 years passing since an English team last clinched the European title, the chance of correcting history remains on the cards, the team now just two matches from reaching the final.
Photos: Badminton Photo