Penmaen and Lodgers will do battle for table tennis top spot

WITH the Boston and District Table Tennis season only a few days away, Mick Maltby gives his Division One predictions...

NOTICEABLE this season is the number of players no-longer registered for the top division’s teams.

Compared with the initial line-ups from last season, gone are Leo Bogdanovs (Lodgers G), John Blyth (Penmaen A), Geoff Bourne (Stickney) and Den Pattrick (Wrangle A).

However, Stickney moved fast, and have acquired the services of Gavin Herberts from the now-disbanded Penmaen D, while Wrangle A have signed Pete Evans from the Penmaen E (Boston College) team.

With two teams fewer in the league than last year, 10 teams are battling it out in Division One this season – so where are they going to finish up come April?

Only two points separated top team (Penmaen A) from Lodgers G in the runners-up position, and another equally close title race is in prospect, the outcome much depending on the availability of players like Brian Hill and Jimmy Brewster for Penmaen A.

Graves Park C were third last season, and I cannot see them being any lower this time, Lodgers B and Graves Park A following again in fourth and fifth – but in which order, it’s too close to call, with only one point separating them last season.

Following on, Stickney, Penmaen B and Lodgers E may enjoy their own mini-league, with Wrangle A possibly joining them.

However, Lodgers E could be challenging for a higher league position if Graham Lacey turns out regularly for them.

New boys Graves Park D have a tough season ahead.

They will be under no illusions, having plenty of Division One experience between them.

The reduction of the division’s teams to 10 will do them no favours, and they will need a great deal of fortune to avoid a swift return to Division Two.

All the new season’s fixtures are now available on the League’s website - www.bdttl.org.uk.

Next week: Division Two.