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April 23rd

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The first of the knock-out finals has been played with Aftermath C playing College Hill C in the Lewis Cup. With both teams in a similar place in the league a close encounter was anticipated. So it proved with the first six sets being shared. Mike Caudrey of College Hill eased past Dave Wilson in the first set and then Aftermath levelled the match score with a victory for Martin Strutt over Jim Stewart. College Hill then took the lead when Jim Clement beat David Harden but Strutt came back and beat Caudrey in a five-game thriller. Clemet then put College Hill ahead again, this with a win over Wilson but Harden beat Stewart to, once again, level the match score. As often happens the seventh set is the critical set and with the two unbeaten players, Strutt and Clement, in action the winner was likely to put his team on the way to picking up the trophy. So it proved with Strutt beating Clement 11-9 in the deciding game. Then Harden beat Caudrey to cement the win for Aftermath C.

Congatulations to Godalming K who have secured promotion from the Fourth Division. In a tight division with four teams battling it out at the top the overall quality of the team with Roger Aspital, Tim Boxall and Ram Sethi available for most matches proved sufficient. The only team that can catch them is College Hill E who still have a lot of table tennis to play including two finals and a showdown with Godalming K which will, almost certainly, decide the destination of the title.

In the Second Division Merrow E have almost bagged promotion. The squad of Paul Farrant, Ce Guo, Trevor Free, Simon Dickinson and Alan Wan will be pleased with their efforts. Technically godalming F can catch them but it would require a whitewash of Bramley C, the divisional champions who have yet to lose this season. At the other end of the table Burymead D have managed to avoid the drop after a 7-3 defeat of Aftermath D. Jack Harrington picked up yet another full house with Richard Green and Gordon Mitchell winning a couple apiece. Bramley D’s draw against Woking LTC B does not look good enough. Steve Cheeseman and John Diggens bagged braces for Bramley as did Graham Barson and Brian Hartles for Woking. Bramley B is still in the frame after a 7-3 defeat at the hands of Aftermath C for whom Martin Strutt notched a trio and James Sellen and David Harden won pairs both being beaten by Linda Makepeace. However with Bramley B’s final match against wooden spoonists Aftermath D they should get the required two points.

In the Third Division Ash D took a giant step to the next level after an 8-2 win over Aftermath E. Ben Fereday was unbeaten for Ash with David Mackinnon and Hudson Foley grabbing duos. Just three points from two matches is all that is required. At the bottom end of the tables it is still although Godalming J is now safe after a 7-3 win over Cody B. Michael Kam was unbeaten for Godalming with Alan Lewell notching a couple as did Stuart Stone for Cody. Abinger are also safe after a 7-3 success over a two-person Godalming H outfit. Mike Hughes and Brendan Bayley were unbeaten for Abinger.

In the Premier Division Burymead C are relegated after getting thrashed by Champions Burymead B. Maximums for Chris Bush and Richard Tanner and a duo for Michael Hill made up the points. The remaining relegation spot is between College Hill A and Godalming C. One of the interesting features each year is the battle between the Merrow sides for the bragging rights in the club. Currently the A team have the highest spot after a 7-3 win over Broadmoor. John Robinson and Jason Tendler picked up all the A team’s points. The B team bettered that with an 8-2 defeat of college Hill A. Graham Faulkner won all his matches with Richard Seymour and John Callcut each winning twice. The C team had to face Burymead B and predictably lost heavily. So just one point separates all three with one game apiece left.

In the First Division the battle between Ash A and Godalming D continues with Ash beating their B team 7-3 and Godalming D getting the better of Bramley A 6-4. The remaining fixtures make Godalming favourites. At the other end of the table Cody A helped their cause only losing 6-4 to Woking LTC A for whom John Koenigsberger was unbeaten. Kevin Bown grabbed a duo as did Paul Shakespeare for Cody.