The new season of Eastern Valley Table Tennis League started this week at the usual central venue of Cwmbran Stadium. Division One will consist of 5 teams this season with 2 new teams of Cwmbran Colts and Bristol Nomads off setting the loss of North Gwent club. The Colts squad sees the return to league table tennis of John Spencer and the father and son combination of John and Lee Thomas after a number of years absence. The Nomads team all come from across the Severn Bridge and also play in the Bristol League.
The first week of matches in Division One saw Cwmbran Blues starting where they left off last season with a relatively comfortable 22-11 win over YMCA with David Lloyd and Mark Farrow winning all their matches for the Blues. The other match in Division One saw a much closer affair with Bristol Nomads winning 20-17 against Cwmbran Colts. Despite his team losing Nigel Gore won all his matches for the Colts.
Division Two also has an additional team in Blaenavon Bulldogs which with the other team from Blaenavon, the Aces, are all junior players. The Bulldogs had a tough start with a 24-10 loss to Cwmbran Panthers who had Mike Blatchford returning to league table tennis after a number of years absence. He showed he had not lost any of his skills by winning all of his matches as did his team mate Howard Gaut. I am sure the Bulldogs will improve as the season progresses. The other team from Blaenavon, the Aces, had a comfortable 21-8 win against an experienced Cwmbran Devils side who also had a player returning to league table tennis after many many years, Stan Williams. It will be interesting to monitor the progress of the young Aces team in their second season of league table tennis, particularly the Pearce brothers Matthew and Ben who both got off to unbeaten starts in their first match. The other match in Division Two saw Cwmbran Fellows beat Cwmbran Eccentrics 17-13. The Fellows were indebted to Alex Jones who won all his matches. Alex was replacing Wayne Ford who was called upon to compete in division one for the night. The Fellows were also grateful to the Eccentrics for loaning one of their players to help out the Fellows.