TABLE TENNIS SEASON PREVIEW
It’s all change this coming season in the Robert Excell Photography sponsored South Devon and Torbay Table Tennis League. With more teams, transfers and new players, the league is stronger and is likely to be more closely contested than in recent years.
For Newton Abbot Batmen, champions for the last 6 years, playing at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre, there is also a change of venue as well as personnel. The Leisure Centre can no longer offer their premises for either practising or matches on Friday night, which is very disappointing as it was very well established & supported; so much for the Olympic legacy!! On the personnel front they have lost Nick Halse to rugby, but brought in two players’ sons (and previous Batmen junior players) Iain Dummett and Shaun Gibbs to join their fathers, Mike & Dennis, with Tony Halse. They will be playing out of Denbury Village Hall.
Very strong competition is expected from Brixham Sharks who have been joined by Stamatis Kioufis from their Gulls side, who has been undefeated in this league for 2 years. Also new to this league is Wiltshire County veteran Chris Dunn who joins 8th ranked England Junior Jazmin Johns and established top division player Adam Shipway.
Torbay Academy coaches Kris and Jo Piwowar have joined up with Daniel Brewer, and Ex Dawlish Aces Patrick Cincala who will also be very strong contenders for the league title.
Halwell, runners up last time out, are unchanged and with all 3 players, Mick Atkinson, Dave Wadling and Rod Sugden in last year’s top ten averages, will continue to be a threat.
Newly promoted Brixham Trawlers who ran away with 2nd Division title 46 points ahead of their nearest rival, will want to establish themselves back in the 1st Division. They will be battling with the Battlers, Bishops Academicals, Brixham Gulls & Dawlish Aces to compete for 1st division honours.
The 2nd Division also looks stronger than ever, with many established first Division veterans on their way down being joined by some excellent juniors on their way up.
Long Established 1st Division team Taverners led by Geoff Read look very strong as do the Brixham sides - Swallows and Pirates. With a mixture of youth and experience Bishops Academicals will be a threat, but favourites are probably Torbay Academy 2 with a young side improving quickly. Marldon should not be ruled out as they are always there or thereabouts. The division is completed with Tykes, Dawlish Diamonds and Torre 21 UP.
The 3rd Division is dominated by Brixham who have 4 teams - Panthers, Swifts, Dolphins and Rebels, with many excellent juniors coming through aided by some dedicated veterans. Torbay Academy, like Brixham, have great facilities and coaching which sees the introduction of another team of juniors. Dawlish Club has two teams - Drifters and Dynamos. Marldon’s 2nd team, the Badgers, and the Hasbeens, runners up last year, complete the teams in the 3rd Division.
An excellent season’s table tennis is anticipated!
If anyone is interested in trying the sport, or returning to it, there are several venues around who will welcome you; Brixham, Torre, Dawlish, Newton Abbot, and a newly established club at Teign School, Kingsteignton on a Friday night. More details can be found on the league website www.sdt-tabletennisleague.co.uk
email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of how to become involved at The new Teign School facility