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Guildford Table Tennis News January 2024

Published on: 20 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 19 Jan, 2024

By Steve Day

Let’s start with our Junior League!

Guildford Junior League (GDL) Apertura

Round 5.2 December 13

Team Hero won the final GJL (Apertura) match of 2023 4-1 against Merrow Magpies.

The difference between the top and bottom sides was a measly eight points which made it the closest and most competitive GJL ever.

Nigel Wang kicked off proceedings with a dominant 3-0 win over Hersley Liu but thereafter Hero swept all before them.

Leo Wong and Hersley both scored 3-0 wins over Tanniskaa Gadage and then Leo added a close 3-1 victory over Nigel. Both deuce games (14-12 and 15-13) went in favour of Leo. Leo and Hersley then combined to take the doubles 3-1.

The 2024 GJL (Clausura) will take place between January and April.

League Round-Up

There may have been only three matches in Division Three in December but they were very important ones.

Leaders College Hill D beat current closest rivals Godalming F 6-3, meaning that they now have a six point advantage with a game in hand.

In the other matches, third placed Woking B surprisingly lost 5-4 to second to bottom placed Bramley C, and Merrow G thrashed bottom team Challoner B.

It’s going to take a miracle to save Challoner B from relegation, now.

Caden Wilson ended the year with a 100% average, unbeaten with 18 games.

Although they are currently in fourth position the team to watch in 2024 is Merrow G. They are nine points adrift but have two matches in hand.

Division Four sees Woking D sitting comfortably at the top with a three point advantage over Merrow J, and two matches in hand.

The battle for the wooden spoon at the other end of the table looks much closer with only five points between four teams. Woking C are currently in ‘prime position’. Three Woking D players, Sumit Kumar, Andy Smart and Slavko Ivanovic top the averages.

In the Premier Division, Burymead B remain top by seven points but this month from Merrow A rather than Merrow C, who have dropped to fourth place.

Daniel Heo.

The leaders maintained their position by beating their A team 6-3, although Daniel Heo scored three notable wins for the A team, including the scalp of Ross Saxby. The latter’s first defeat of the season.

In a week of ‘derby’ matches, Merrow B beat Merrow C 7-2 and Godalming A beat their, bottom of the table, B team by the same score.

In the other fixture, Merrow A thrashed College Hill 8-1.

Adam Laws has now taken over at the top of the Player Averages with a massive 96.3%.

On to Division One, where there was a top of the table clash between Godalming C and Challoner A.

The Godalming team came out on top, winning 5-4, in a topsy turvy match, where the Challoner led 4-3 going into the last two games.

Kinga Oryl.

Harry Barker made it 4-4 by beating Maria Hilsdon and then, in the final deciding game Kinga Oryl beat Crispian Knight 3-1, to secure overall victory for Godalming.

The remaining teams are some way off with nearest being College Hill B who are 18 points off the top.

As to the averages, Challoner’s Trevor Spraggs leads the way 91.67%, followed by Ben Fereday on 86.67% and Kinga Oryl on 85.71%.

And finally, Division Two, where College Hill C still have a healthy lead, despite not playing in December.

However, it has been trimmed from 17 to 11 points by Aftermath A, following their 8-1 thrashing of Bramley B.

Aftermath still have a match in hand, so overall victory for the College Hill club is not a forgone conclusion.

As with Division Three, the battle for last place is extremely close, with two teams competing for the honour.

Bramley B and Godalming E are both on 25 points although the latter has a match in hand.

Victory of the month must go to Godalming D who beat Merrow E 7-2 with a combination of youth and experience.

Zolt Podolyak

Zolt Podolyak got a maximum with Nathan Tse and Jason Minoo getting two apiece.

In terms of averages Christopher Copps is still Topps (sorry couldn’t resist it) with 94.44%, having lost just one match in 18.

Coaching Tips – Fitness

Here’s another obvious tip, particularly after Christmas and possible inactivity / lack of exercise.

I don’t mean to be a party pooper but if you want to improve your game, your fitness is key.

Technique is obviously important but you can only go so far in this game if you don’t have a high level of fitness.

Last month I mentioned footwork as being important and it is, but it requires fitness to maintain it.

Before a match or a training session you need to warm up your muscles and do a few stretches. These are key to avoiding injury.

Website of the Guildford Table Tennis League.

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