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Guildford Table Tennis News April 2024

Published on: 15 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 14 Apr, 2024

By Steve Day

There may have been a few matches left to play as at the end of March but for all intent and purposes this season’s winners and losers have been decided.

Starting with Division Four this month and what an outstanding season it has been for one particular team.

No, it’s not the division winners Woking D, as impressive as they have been. It’s the runners-up, Aftermath C!

Aftermath C.

Their four-person squad has a combined age of 330, meaning the average player age is 82.5 years. One person, in particular, is over 90! Their success is not just limited to the league, they have done well is the cup competitions, too. So, next month there will be a special article on the team.

Back to Woking D, the worthy winners of Division Four. The squad was made up of five players, Sumit Kumar, Andy Smart, Slavko Ivanovic, Alan Edwards and Sik Ki Lai who got through the season with a near perfect record.

Just one match lost all season to Merrow H. Sumit was unbeaten all season and ended up top of the averages, followed by teammate Andy Smart who lost just one game.

Congratulations to Woking D. As already mentioned Aftermath C were second, followed by two Merrow teams, H with 86 pts and J with 85pts. Winners of the wooden spoon are Abinger B with a mere 51 pts. 

On to Division Three and the winners are … well almost certainly, College Hill D!

College Hill D.

As at the end of March there was a mathematical chance of them being caught but it’s unlikely.

Likely runners-up are Merrow G who at the end of the month were 11 points adrift with one game in hand.

Congratulations in advance to Caden Wilson, James Clement and Richard Abbey. They lost only one match this season and that was against their closest rivals, Merrow G.

They avenged that defeat twice over later in the season. Caden and James also topped the player averages, followed closely by Jack Liu of Merrow G. 

Wooden spoon winners were Challoner B who were returning from whence they came (i.e. Division 4)

Now to Division Two where the College Hill club triumph again, this time with their C team of Paul Tanton, Julien Blanc, Robert Klusch and Stephan Kamphausen who finished with 113 points.

College Hill C.

In view of the fact that they have a lead of 14 points over Aftemath B who have only one game left to play, I think we’re safe to say full congratulations! 

Aftermath B put up a credible fight with their number one Christopher Copps finishing top of the averages, having only lost three games out of the 32 played all season.

College Hills’s Julien Blanc wasn’t far behind having only lost four out of 34 played. Bottom of the division was Bramley B and it was another case of back from whence they came.

Division One was, in reality, wrapped up a couple of weeks ago with Godalming C victorious by a good margin.

Godalming C.

They had a great blend of youth and experience to see them through and next year will enjoy the challenge of the Premier Division.

The return to action of Kinga Oryl was a great boost to the team with 40 wins out of a possible 44.

Anay Gandhi.

Ably supporting was Vijay Bhaskar, Jonathan Chernett and two of the league’s bright young stars, Anay Gandhi and Harry Barker.

Behind the scenes the team asked me to thank Namita Gandhi for doing a great job as non-playing captain.

Runners-up were Challoner A who pushed Godalming all the way. Their team comprised Crispian Knight, Maria, Hilsdon, Steve Collins and Trevor Spraggs.

Bramley A struggled for most of the season and as at the end of March were more than 20 points adrift of the nearest team. College Hill B,

Abinger A and Aftermath are left to battle it out for the other relegation place.

In terms of averages, Kinga was top with over 90% followed by Trevor Spraggs and Vijay Bhaskar, although the latter two played fewer than half the matches.

Next was Ben Fereday who had an excellent season for Ash, winning 28 out of 33 games for 84.85%.

And finally, the Premier Division. Congratulations to the Burymead B team who despite losing their last two matches still finished top of the pile.

Ross Saxby.

Phil Snelson (above) and Axel Raedar (below).

The returning Ross Saxby and the effervescent Phil Snelson led the team to success ably supported by stalwart, Ramesh Bhalla, Tim Waller and Axel Raeder.

Ramesh Bhalla.

Tim Waller.

Mark Handcock, Peter Millard and Eunho Oh played their part, too.

As at the end of March, three teams were still in with a chance of the runners-up spot with last year’s champions, Merrow A and Burymead A favourites. The race to the bottom was a one-horse all season with Godalming B now facing relegation. Nevertheless well done to young players Vlad Cretu and Robert Piel for their first season in the top division.

Adam Laws.

Top of the averages for another season is Adam Laws with an amazing 48 wins from 50 matches (96%). Ross Saxby was second with 31 from 33 (93.94%).

Hudson Foley Memorial Tournament, Sunday, February 11

Report by James Wyncoll

Players from the Aldershot and Guildford league paid homage to Hudson Foley’s passion for the sport and to celebrate his contribution to the table tennis community.

The tournament showcased a diverse array of participants, ranging from seasoned veterans to eager newcomers, with a special presence of friends and family cherished by Hudson.

Notably, many of Hudson’s former teammates from Ash and Farnborough Tennis were in attendance, adding to the sense of camaraderie.

A handicap format of eight leagues consisting of four or five players set off proceedings. The top two from each group would go through.

Highlights included Ben Fereday, the organiser of the event, and Hudson’s closest friend take on Hudson’s sister Tash.

Sixteen people made it through to the next round navigating interesting unique playing styles, pet dogs in the crowd eager to munch on loose balls, playful banter, Haribo sweets and lucky nets and edges.

The semi-final matches were closely contested affairs, with James Wyncoll narrowly defeating Jose Cruz, and Shaun Robertson edging out Serafim Plakantonakis, who boasted a 100% record in Division 3 Aldershot once the handicaps were factored in.

The final proved an efficient quashing delivered by the classy Shaun Robertson, emerging as a deserved champion of the event.

Ultimately, the tournament was about celebrating the enduring spirit of Hudson and the impact on those fortunate enough to know him. The event encapsulated a shared sense of purpose and a genuine spirit of community. With special thanks to Ben Fereday, Colin Baggott and Hudson’s family.

Next Month

In May’s edition we will have the full 2023-24 League and Cup Competitions roll of honour together with the results of the Annual Closed Competition. Plus, a special article on our super seniors, Aftermath C.

Website of the Guildford Table Tennis League.

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