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Half term report

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As the season enters the second half it is appropriate to take stock of the position in each division and reflect on how the favourites at the start of the season are doing.

In the Premier Division it is going much to form. Burymead B lead the way and look assured of the title yet again. Undoubtedly one of the Godalming teams will occupy second spot.  The B team are the current favourites but all could change in a week with so many different combinations of players available. Merrow B and C have performed as expected but the pre-season prediction of Merrow A being runners-up is clearly going to be wrong. Challoner A has placed itself just below the middle of the table and Broadmoor has kept out of the relegation battle. Burymead C look certainties for the drop but it is very close between College Hill A and Godalming C who have some excellent players to draw upon so I expect the original prediction of Burymead C and College Hill A for the drop to actually happen.

The First Division also looks sealed with Challoner B streets ahead and unbeaten. Second spot is being keenly contested with Ash A, Allianz, Ash B, Bramley A and Godalming D all in with a chance. Of these Godalming D has confounded the predictions as they were tipped for relegation but the signs are that they could sneak into second spot and move up. Woking LTC A and Aftermath A appear secure in mid-table. The relegated teams are likely to come from the remaining four teams, Cody A, Aftermath B, College Hill B and Merrow D. Of those four I suspect that the first two, Cody A and Aftermath B, will suffer relegation blues.

The most exciting division is the Second.  The promotion spots will probably be won by two of Bramley C, Merrow E, Godalming E and F. The problem is who wants it? Bramley C did not enjoy their stay in the First Division and may find a way to just miss promotion but the other three teams do not seem strong enough in depth to get to the top. However I believe Bramley C will win the division and Godalming E get the second promotion slot. Aftermath D has been cast adrift at the bottom and look odds on for the drop but nine points separate the remaining seven teams but Bramley D can’t keep getting away from it so I predict they will fill the second relegation spot.

The Third Division looks to be Godalming G’s to lose especially as the rumour is that Woking LTC C their closest rival will be much weaker in the second half of the season. This lets in Ash D, College Hill D and Godalming J as promotion contenders. Ash D can be very strong but the squad rotation employed may hold them back. So Woking may have enough in the bank for second spot. Coby B, Ash C, Merrow F and Challoner C all look fine to avoid a relegation battle. The relegation slots will, almost certainly, be filled by two of Abinger, Godalming H and Aftermath E. Abinger, when able to field their first team, will be too strong for many teams but a repeat of the selection issues from the first half of the season will keep them in the mire. However the most likely relegation teams are Godalming H and Aftermath E, who incidentally were my tip for promotion back in September.

My disclaimer on the difficulties of predictions in the Fourth Division was valid as a virtually all new Godalming K head the table but they will be aware of the threat of Woking LTC D, Bramley E, Emmanuel and College Hill E. Given the selectorial polices and unavailaibity at Emmanuel and Bramley E respectively the battle for second spot will be between Woking and College Hill. I just think that Woking has the edge. The rest of the division will just enjoy their table tennis and there will lots of newcomers, especially youngsters, enjoying the sport.