Michael Maltby takes a look at the hopes of the teams in the Boston & District Table Tennis League’s Division Two...
With the new season less than a week old, it’s time to have a look at Division Two, its teams and their prospects.
The loss of Andrew Pocklington, who won 34 games last season, would seem to weaken Belchford considerably; however, they have gained new player Mike Schofield, so time will tell how they get on in the months ahead.
Graves Park Nomads are virtually unchanged from last season, Frazer Stone being the only casualty, whilst Graves Park D, relegated last season, have lost Mat Lilly to new team, Mayflower Pilgrims.
Park E, meanwhile, have been seriously weakened by the loss of Andy Gilbert to Division One outfit Sibsey C, Tom Bell coming in to replace Andy and Joe.
Lodgers D have also seen changes, with new signing Richard Scott taking the place of Graham Bonsor.
Lodgers E are a complete new team, featuring Vic Clements (ex-Lodgers C), Jon Burkitt (ex-Penmaen B), plus new players Richard Baxter and Steven Clements.
Penmaen B jumped ship for this season, moving to the Mayflower and changing personnel at the same time; joining last season’s Howard Williams, Ian Richardson and Dean Whitehead are Mat Lilly and Darron Kent, whilst out go Ben Jackson and Jon Burkitt.
Things are a little more settled at Sibsey, however, with the A team unchanged from last year, whilst the B team have gained Adam Elston following the departure of Sam Holland.
Sibsey D saw Den Pattrick retire, but Alan Marshall has joined to keep team numbers as before.
So what are my predictions for the new season?
Graves Park D, Lodgers E, Sibsey A and B all look to have a shout for the winners and runners-up places; it will be close, but I feel that the two Sibsey teams will up there next March.
I can see Mayflower Pilgrims having a better season this year, vying with Sibsey D and Lodgers D for the middle rankings, whilst Belchford and Graves Park E, having lost their best players, will be fighting it out with Graves Park Nomads to avoid the bottom slot.