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Guildford Dragon NEWS – The Guildford Dragon NEWS

League report by John Diggens

With the season winding down in the Guildford Table Tennis League there are still many issues to be resolved.

An intriguing battle for survival in Division One is under way with Bramley A, for so long a member of this second tier, now rooted at the bottom.

The team suffered another reverse when losing 7-3 to Cody for whom Paul Shakespeare got a full house. Geoff Nevitt, playing well, replied with a couple.

Godalming’s Richard Naylor.

Woking A, next to bottom, went down 7-3 to College B and Aftermath A 8-2 to top of the table Godalming E. Chris King winning three for the Godalming club. Only five points now separate the last four teams and Bramley meet Aftermath next week!

In the Second Division, Merrow F virtually sealed the title with a 10-0 win over Bramley B, while a 10-0 drubbing by Emmanual puts Bramley D in  dire straits at the foot.

Bramley’s Linda Makepeace.

Bramley C are already doomed and will enjoy Third Division ping next season. College C beat their D side 7-3 to push them into the relegation zone and themselves to mount a serious challenge for runners up spot. It was far from easy though as three games went to five sets. Alan Hudson for the C team.

In Division Three, and Merrow G, who seem destined for relegation, beat mid table Aftermath D 6-4 in an excellent team effort. It could have been even better considering they lost two matches in five sets. Well done Steve Simnett, Shan Mahmood and Anil Gadage.

Bramley’s Andy Appleby.

Fourth Division, and only a remote mathematical probability of Merrow H failing to take the title. Of course, they still have to take on Bramley G at seasons end, the only team to have beaten them.

The lowly village side were involved in a 6-4 victory over Woking D just recently; but the main talking point was the splendid performance in the doubles by Woking.

The Bramley pair were totally outplayed by Slavko Ivanovic and Alan Edwards in a wonderful display of the art of doubles.

Successful weekend for Guildford League players

In what can only be described as an outstanding debut, Merrow’s Max Flint won two silver medals and one bronze at the British Para Table Tennis National Championships, which were held in Grantham at the weekend.

Max Flint.

Max took part in three events, Juniors, Class 9 and the Category B Open. In the Junior competition he won his qualifying group and made it through to the final where he faced tough opposition in the form of Dylan Tynan, losing 11-9 in the fourth game. Max said: “On the day he was just too strong.”

In the Class 9 event, Max came second in a really competitive group which included Welsh star player and eventual winner, Josh Stacey. Nevertheless, he battled on to secure a place in the semi-final where he lost to National Champion Ashley Facey Thompson.

Last but not least, Max played in the Category B Open competition and reached another final. Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan and he lost to a player he had recently beaten.

Overall, Max said he was really proud of his performance and is now training hard for the Cardiff Para Grand Prix in May.

Merrow club coach, Trevor Free, Surrey Table Tennis Association head coach, Jane Barella and Guildford Table Tennis Association head coach Adam Laws, all congratulated Max on his achievements and agreed that his hard work had really started to pay off.

An amazing Triple Medal Haul at Max’s first attempt.

Also, on the victory trail at the weekend was Burymead’s Phil Snelson in the Wolverhampton Grand Prix.

Phil Snelson.

Phil played brilliantly to defeat Simon Griew in three games in the final of the Veterans Competition. This was after beating Rajinder Singh 11-9 in the decider in the quarter-finals and Godalming’s Rory Scott 11-4 in the fifth in the semis.

Phil showed great resilience in both matches, holding firm after his opponents fought back from being 2-0 down.

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