WITH the Boston and District Table Tennis League at the midway stage, Mick Maltby takes a look back at the first half of the campaign in the Yates & Greenhough Division One...
Although there are several matches still to play from the first half’s fixtures, Penmaen A and Lodgers G are in pole position at the top of the table.
Who will ultimately be top of the league will probably only be decided in the final match of the season – when Lodgers G host Penmaen A. Although Lodgers have now lost the services of Leo Bogdanovs, who has returned to his native Latvia, they are still a team to be reckoned with.
Lodgers B currently occupy third spot, but I expect them to slip two places once Graves Park A and C complete their first half fixtures. Even so, this is a really creditable performance, and they will be further strengthened by the expected transfer of Graham Lacey from Lodgers D.
Graves Park C have found life a little bit tough away from home and can no longer call on the excellent support of Graham Walters from their D team in Division Two, who has now played his quota of matches in the top flight – unless he transfers. Nevertheless, I still expect them to finish in third place closely pursued by Graves Park A.
Five points separate four teams in the middle of the table, headed by Penmaen B, who have recovered well after a difficult start to the season.
Graves Park B and Stickney are tied on points, but Stickney still have a game in hand, and with Andrew Benjamin on their books to boost their end-of-season performance, they will certainly avoid relegation.
Alan Reetham has been a valuable signing for Graves Park B, and they will need all the help they can get to stay clear of the business end.
With Dave Coulson in the top 10 at the half-way stage, Wrangle A are only a point adrift of Park B and Stickney.
Newly-promoted Penmaen D and Lodgers E have been cut adrift somewhat at the bottom of the table.
Penmaen D are still waiting for their first victory of the season, and this has been a baptism of fire for them.
However, if they can pick up some early points, they can close the gap on the ‘group of four’ above them.
Bottom club Lodgers E have the most matches still to play from the first half, but even so, I am surprised that they have not picked up more points.
However, I understand that Ian Stones should be available to play for them in the second half, which will make team selection interesting.
All in all, I expect competition to be fiercer in the coming weeks, with every team having something to play for.