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September 16th

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The new table tennis season got underway this week with the Guildford League boasting more teams than it has for a few years. As always the standard is going to be high with current holders, Burymead B, at the head of the betting list. In recent years Godalming A has been the strongest challengers and, on paper, they could offer a fight but much depends on availability. I have a sneaking feeling that, of the Merrow teams, the B team will finish highest. At the other end of the table it could be the two promoted teams, College Hill A and Challoner B, who struggle the most.
In the First Division Burymead C, narrowly relegated last season, appear to be the strongest outfit. The other relegated team, Aftermath A, will be in the mix as will Bramley A but I think Woking LTC A might surprise a lot of teams and be strong contenders. Unfortunately, at the other end of the table it may well be Bramley B and Aftermath B, both promoted from the Second Division last season who occupy the bottom slots.
The Second Division looks very open. With a lot of experience at a higher level Woking LTC B will be contenders but I think College Hill C might sweep through the league and gain a second promotion in successive seasons. Allianz might also be dark horses but, again, much depends on availability. Ash B are also strong and are my tip for the divisional title. At the other end I fear that Aftermath D may find the step up a struggle but, yet again, this division looks very tight.
In the Third Division Cranleigh A may make a swift return to the division above and Aftermath E will want to join them. After that it could be a whole host of teams in contention. At the painful end of the table Abinger and Bramley E may well struggle but the quality of the two College Hill teams is hard to assess and either could be involved at both ends.
The Fourth Division has Cody B written all over it. On paper they have a team capable of playing at a higher level but selection policy will be critical. New team, Emmanuel, might prove a handful and the five Godalming teams are always difficult to assess at the early stages of the season. My second pick for promotion, though, is Woking LTC D. Having been in contention in recent seasons this might be the breakthrough year.
In the summer the Rose Bowl team of Sally Cimiotti, Sarah Horsnell came fourth in the national team finals whilst the Junior Boys gained valuable experience in their competition. All teams are reminded that results should come to me by whatever means you wish. Don’t forget that entering a scorecard through the website satisfies that requirement.