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Guildford Table Tennis News November 2023

Published on: 20 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 19 Nov, 2023

By Steve Day

October saw the new season start to gain momentum with local, county, regional and national events across the month.

The Guildford Junior League (Apertura) commenced on October 11 with five teams taking part this time. The format will be a round robin. Each week, one team has a rest.

Action from the Guildford Junior League (Apertura).

In round one the 2023 Clausura champions Merrow Merlins quickly took an early lead with a  5 -0 victory of debutants Hero.

Evan and Nathan Faulkner scored two singles wins apiece against Leo Wong and Hersley Liu, and then teamed up to score a 3-1 win over Leo and Hersley in the doubles.

The other match between What’s Wong? and Merrow Magpies was slightly closer but ended in a 4-1 win for What’s Wong?.

Kayla Wong picked up two victories against the Magpies’ Ryan Troop and Nigel Wong. She then teamed up with Bianka Wong to win the doubles 11-7, 11-4, 11-5.

Bianka added a 3-0 win over Ryan. The Magpies’ point came courtesy of Nigel who scored a tight 3-2 victory over Bianka.

In round two there were two incredibly close team matches that had to be decided by the final doubles rubber.

In the top table clash between What’s Wong? and Merrow Merlins, the Wongs came out on top of a thrilling contest.

Bianka Wong was the player of the match with two fantastic wins over the Faulkner brothers Nathan and Evan, who in turn both defeated Kayla Wong to make the score 2-2. Kayla and Bianka then edged a final game decider in the doubles to make the match score 3-2 to What’s Wong?.

Hero scored their first points and win of the event with a 3-2 win over debutants DariElly. For the latter, Daria Rudovskaia scored two 3-1 wins over Leo Wong and Hersley Liu. Elly Cheuk lost 3-0 to Hersley and 3-1 to Leo. Leo and Hersley combined together well to score a 3-1 victory in the doubles against Daria and Elly.

League round-up

Starting with Division One, Godalming C led the way at the end of October with Jonathan Chernett topping the averages, followed by two returning players, teammate King Oryl, and Ash’s Ben Fereday.

Apart from a defeat by College Hill B in the opening fixture of the season, the Godalming side has looked unbeatable.

In second place is Challoner A, a position that is familiar to them. Trevor Spraggs has done well for them so far but has only played three matches. The form of regular trio of Crispian Knight, Steve Collins and Maria Hilsdon will need to improve if they are to challenge for the top spot.

Chris Pullinger.

In third place was Abinger A where Chris Pullinger and Brendan Bayley have been in good form. Two points separate the rest of the five teams in the division with Ash in fourth place on 22 points, and Merrow D at the bottom with 20 points. 

Division Two has already developed into a two-horse race between College Hill C and Aftermath B, with the latter remaining unbeaten.

Dave Wilson has been in good form, as has teammate Christopher Copps.

College Hill’s challenge is led by Paul Tanton and Robert Klusch. Promoted as Division Three champions last season, Bramley B are struggling in the higher division and are currently in last place, just below Godalming E.

Caden Wilson.

The College Hill club also head Division Three. This time it’s their D team comprising Caden Wilson, who heads the averages, James Clement and Richard Abbey.

With 24 points they are just ahead of Godalming F on 22, Woking B on 21 and Merrow G, also on 21. Propping up the division is newly promoted Challoner B.

Woking D are racing away with Division Four! After just five matches they are 10 points ahead of second placed Merrow J and 20 points ahead of their C team in third place.

Three of their squad, Slavko Ivanovic, Sumit Kumar and Andy Smart are unbeaten.

Sharing last place, having played only four matches, are Merrow H and Godalming G

The Premier Division looks like it’s going to be a close race this season. The Merrow C team of Dave Halfpenny, Shaun Robertson and Steve Woodgate, lead with 30 points, despite losing two out of their six matches played.

Dave Halfpenny.

In fact, every team has already lost at least two matches. Newly promoted Godalming B are in last place, although they did beat last year’s runners up, Merrow B.

Burymead B’s Ross Saxby remains unbeaten and heads the averages. He has conceded a mere five sets in nine games and two of those came against club colleague, Paul Baker. Welcome back Ross!  

Hudson Foley

It is terribly sad news that on August 30, Hudson Foley, a member of Ash Table Tennis Club, died at the age of 24, while on holiday in Ecuador.

Most recently, he was part of the Ash team that achieved promotion from Division 2 into Division 1 in the 2022-23 season. He topped the averages with 36 wins from 44 matches.

Those who met Hudson and competed against him will remember his kind and genial personality as well as him being a very talented table tennis player.

He mainly competed in the Aldershot League and below is a link to a piece of writing dedicated to Hudson by his friend and team mate Ben Fereday:

Coaching Tips

Last month I included the rules on serving. This month I attach links to Craig Bryant’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram pages. If you are serious about learning how to improve your serve, have a look at these sites and contact Craig.

The Table Tennis Service Guy (@thettserviceguy)

Website of the Guildford Table Tennis League.

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