With the new season just around the corner, Gt Horkesley A will try their best to retain their Premier Division title. The known trio of Colin Bennett, Richard Goodhand and Michael Wright will be on hand to try to top the table for the second year running. However, the opposition won't make it easy for them! They will have to battle against the likes of Tollgate A, who will definitely try to make things a bit more tighter this time around. They have the usual players of Greg Green, Colin Stallwood and Andrew Warner. Don't forget Jane Li who, still a junior, continues to improve season after season. And they might just have what it takes to be crowned champions after gaining a new player to the Colchester league, Andrew Dosher. Andrew shouldn't be taken lightly, though, as recent statistics show he achieved 86.96% in the top division of the Bury St Edmunds league. Rowhedge C might cause a scare to the "big teams" as they have recruited Gary Young and Rik James alongside the youngsters of Jermaine Fearon and Josh Sidki. With Jermaine almost reaching the final of the Men's Singles earlier on in the year, he is certainly one to watch on the Player Averages list.
Newly promoted University of Essex A and Pegasus A will find life tough in the Premier Division. Last season saw Tollesbury A and St James B succumb to the brute force of the division. However, Ian Whiteside might have something to say about this after finishing last season with a 96.23% win record (playing 53 and only losing 2)!
The remaining teams who are playing in the Premier Division are: St James A, Rowhedge A, Rowhedge B, Tollgate B and Gt Horkesley B.
Division 1 is looking like an extremely high-class division this season, which suggests the table at the end of the season will be a close one. The relegated teams, Tollesbury A and St James B, will be trying to regain promotion to the top tier after a year of "hard-graph" table tennis. With Ben Page going off to university, Tollesbury are relying on their previous A-team player, Paul Freeman, to help them achieve this feat. Patrick Gilbert and Tom Lewis will be playing alongside him to try and make this happen. St James will have a selection of players to choose from as they too attempt to gain promotion again. John Barton, John Hobson, Andrew Vincent, Ian Fielder and Colin Beaumont will be the players trying to make this happen.
St James B will have a sister team playing with them in the division; St James C. The 'C' team came top of Division 2 last season and will be hoping the young Sam Hume will prevail in their challenge of at least survival. The other team who just gained promotion by 5 points are Rowhedge F. The usual quad of Nigel Claydon, Andrew Harvey, Colin Powell and Chris Brook will be the ones who will try to prevent them from being the "yo-yo" team (going up, going down, going up, etc.).
The remaining teams who are playing in Division 1 are: Gt Horkesley C, Tollgate C, Walton A, Dedham A, Walton B, Rowhedge D and Rowhedge E.
Both Lawford teams who were relegated from Division 1 will be strong contenders to bounce back this season in Division 2. Lawford A's players are Peter Freeborough, Graham Mortimer and Robert Wood, whilst Lawford B have got Ian Sherwood, Paul Hewitt and Andrew Alleyne. Expect these two teams to finish high in the table in the upcoming season. Another team who shouldn't be written off are Gt Horkesley D. Each year, they never fail to impress and just missed out on promotion last season. Steve Holland, Colin Brown and Pete Witton will definitely cause a stir at the top of the table!
The two teams who won promotion to Division 2 are Gt Horkesley F and Tollgate D. However, don't underestimate Horkesley as they have the well-known "three musketeers"; Roger Warren, Hazel Hume and Ian Carter. They could be the surprise package of the league when the final results are collected next year. Tollgate D has Daryl Lott registered for them looking to make amends for a tough season in Division 1. Having fought valiantly, Daryl will be hoping he can achieve a much higher percentage than what he mustered last season.
The remaining teams who are playing in Division 2 are: Gt Horkesley E, Pegasus B, Rowhedge G, Pegasus C and Dedham B.
After a difficult season previously, Tollesbury B and St James D will be hunting other teams in Division 3 to make a strong claim for promotion. Having registered Mark Shorney (an ex-A team Tollesbury player), they look to be sending out a message to their fellow rivals that they will not be messed with. St James D are also fielding a team which shouldn't be looked down upon. The ever-consistent Tony Oswick will be leading out his "pack of lions" to hunt prey on their opponents.
The two teams who make the big leap up to Division 3 are Gilberd B and St James E. With both teams fielding strong players who achieved high percentages last season in Division 4, they could prove to be the key in the battle for survival, or maybe even the dark horses for promotion. Tom Wilkin (St James E) achieved 72.73%, whilst David Austin (Gilberd B) picked up an impressive 43 wins out of 48 games played - a formidable achievement by anyone's standards. Both should not be taken lightly by anyone.
The remaining teams who are playing in Division 3 are: Gilberd A, Pegasus D, Pegasus E, Pegasus F, Dedham C and Lawford C.
With a fair few new teams being entered into the root of the league, anything could happen in the season due to start soon. Division 4 always seems to be the most unpredictable division out of the four/five, and this season looks to be the same. One team which seemed to be improving a lot last season is Rowhedge I. The young trio of Lauren James, Morgen Bardell and Lewis Bardell will have a stronger chance of climbing high up the table and all three have been working extremely hard to polish their skills down at Rowhedge TTC over the summer. With no Gary for Rowhedge J, Jane and Daniel will try to make the "Young" household proud with their challenge for promotion this season. The ladies of Tollgate E (Denise Thompson, Chris Jones and Jenny Clarke) will be a "strong wall" to overcome as they usually prove to be a success each season.
The remaining teams who are playing in Division 4 are: CRGS A, Pegasus G, Lawford D, Rowhedge H, Rowhedge K, Tollgate F and Gt Horkesley G.
With a wide variety of teams, new & young players and new venues, the 2014/15 season is shaping up to be the most exhilarating and exciting season Colchester has had to offer. Good luck to all who compete and may the best team win!
- Tollesbury have moved venues. They are now playing back in their original venue of the Parish Rooms in Tollesbury. More information can be found under the "Venues" section.
- Pegasus have moved venues. They are now playing in Birch Village Hall. More information can be found under the "Venues" section.
- Gt Horkesley are playing in two different venues; Old Village Hall & Little Horkesley Village Hall. Please be aware of what venue your game will be played in if you are due to play a Horkesley team.
- Players are reminded to register via Table Tennis England before the start of the season. Any player who has yet to be registered and plays a game will find their game(s) will be voided. Please visit the Table Tennis England website for information on how players can register.