Wandsworth & District Table Tennis League
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Tournament time again!
As Easter approaches it’s time again for the annual Wandsworth & District Table Tennis League closed tournament. This year’s championships will see a new champion as reigning champion Leo Veinsreider has not competed in the league this season, so favourites are likely to be Cain Fagan, Andy Sanders, Lucas Tojal Sierra, Adeel Ahmed and Waqar Hussain. There are 3 separate events, Open, Ratings and Veterans. The aim is to run the 3 sessions to a finish without having a separate finals night but as always it depends upon how the events run.  The first session takes place on Wednesday 4th April for the “Ratings” singles (formerly the “Handicap” singles) the event is run in groups of 3 or more players, and players are rated by their playing standard. As example a “0” rating playing against a “4” rating means the “4” rating would start each game 4-0 up in an 11 up game. If the score reaches 10-10 the next point would be sudden death so whoever wins it wins the game. On Friday 6th April is the Open Singles and Doubles, singles are in groups but the doubles event is straight knockout. Monday 9th April is the Veterans Singles for players over 40 years old, again played in groups. The cost is £3 for the Veterans, £3 for the Ratings and £6 for the Open (including doubles), if you enter all 3 events there is a discounted price of £10. Juniors are half price. Closing date for entry is Thursday 29th March 2018 so hurry! you can pay in cash directly to either Ismai'l Miller at York Gardens or John Llewellyn at St Pauls, also by cheque made payable to Paul Couper. To qualify you need to have played 50% or more of available matches.
Wednesday 4th April Ratings Singles
Friday 6th April Open Singles/Doubles
Monday 9th April Veterans Singles
TBC Finals Night Wednesday 11th April

Vale “A” looking good for title, but XXIV Club “A” still with an outside chance   
Ron Brown the captain of Vale “A” has guided his team well after 16 matches with only two left to play they have 65 points, 10 points ahead of second placed York Gardens “B” who can’t catch them as they only have one match left to play. But just behind is the chasing pack of York Gardens “A”, St Pauls “A” and XXIV Club all on 53 points but XXIV Club are the only team with a real chance of beating Vale as they have 5 matches left to play the problem is that they probably won’t get the chance to play them all as the league finishes in two weeks then the tournament starts. At the bottom of the division St Pauls “B” are on 20 points behind Wilton on 25 and both teams have 2 matches left which includes facing each other! Over the last couple of weeks St Pauls “A” have shown they are one of the top teams at the moment as they managed a draw with Vale thanks to great performances from Peter Lyall and Elvis Pratt who both won 2 each against the top team. The match hinged on Paul Rowley beating Doug Taucher but Doug managed to edge home in the 5th set and teamed up with Andy Sanders to win the doubles and draw the match. St Pauls “A” beat their “B” team very convincingly 8-2, again Peter Lyall starred going unbeaten alongside Paul Rowley. Against York Gardens “B” arguably the strongest team in the league at the moment they drew, indeed it was Waqar Hussain winning his 3 for York Gardens that saved them from losing.  When York Gardens “B” took on the two teams at the bottom of the league Wilton and St Pauls “B”, they were totally dominant winning 10-0 both times, Linford Akoto and Waqar Hussain both showing terrific form. York Gardens “A” returned to winning ways scoring ,maximum points against St Pauls “B” with an 8-2 victory. Dave Wareham put in his best performance of the season going unbeaten, but there were encouraging signs for St Pauls as Mike Nash beat Joe Leone for the first time and David Paez had a great win over Rob Campbell. XXIV Club “A” finally managed to play a match and played well beating Wilton 9-1 to keep them in the hunt. They will have two very busy weeks if they are to contend for the 1st division title. Click here to see league tables

It’s looking like a showdown as Vale “B” keep in the title hunt with York Garden C
Vale “B” have been able to keep their aspirations of returning to the 1st division alive with 3 convincing wins. They beat XXIV Club “C” 7-3, as always Tom Coady was the rock winning his 3, and two wins from Peter Fenner, and one from Don Stevens. For XXIV Club “C” Veronica Anglin played really well to win two and Colin Mofford took one. Vale “B” then took about demolishing both St Pauls teams, beating the “C” team 8-2. This time both Tom Coady and Peter Fenner were unbeaten with Don Stevens again winning one. For St Pauls both Josh Blagden and Francis Edge won one each. Against St Pauls “D” it a perfect 10-0 win. It was the same Vale squad, playing against St Paul’s Paul and Alex Dracup and Daniel Ladja. Meanwhile for title favourites York Gardens “C” dropped a bomb against their own “D” team losing 6-4. The reason was they only had two players as they struggled to get a team out.  Mark Lewis and Sajid Patel played for the “C” team but the young York ”D” was led by Juan Diego Cordaba who went unbeaten and Danner Cordaba who had a great win against Sajid. The following weeks they were back to normal with a 9-1 win over XXIV Club “B”, for York Clive Hall, Sajid Patel and Krzys Brzezinski played and Clive lost the only set to Peter Klocek. Strangely the XXIV Club “C” did better against York “C” losing 7-3. Mark Lewis won his 3, Clive Hall won 2, and surprisingly Isma’il Miller only won 1. For XXIV Club Veronica Anglin was again on form winning two and Bob Tidbury won 1. St Pauls “C” lost 7-3 to XXIV Club “B”, Peter Klocek, Bob Tidbury both unbeaten, Ken Burgess lost his 3. For St Pauls Felix Whitechaple, Stephen Israel and Francis Edge all won one each. St Pauls “D” lost 8-2 to York “D” with the surprise being Joseph Guven of St Pauls having an amazing win over Juan Diego Cordaba, for York “D” Juan won 2, Danner Cordaba  and Diego Rubanov both won 3 each. Click here to see league tables

Vale "A" and York Gardens "A" book their places in the President's Cup Final, while St Pauls "A" take on York Gardens "B" in the Chairman's Cup final
Vale "A" fought off a fierce challenge from York "B" to win their semi final 5-4 and clinch their place in the President's Cup Final. Joining them in the final are York "A" who dominated the other semi final against St Pauls "B" winning 8-1. The final is due to be held at St Pauls on Thursday 29th March. In the Chairman's Cup York "B" put in an amazing performance to beat XXIV Club "A" 5-4 in the first semi final thanks to an unbeaten run from Yasar Ahmed. In the semi final match between St Pauls "A" and Vale "A" was a surprise 5-1 victory over Vale. The final is due to be held at St Pauls on Thursday 19th April. Click here to see Cup draws and results

Goodbye to Ian McCarthy, the legend of the Wandsworth League retires after 50 years!
The expression “legend” is bandied about quite often these days but in the case of Ian McCarthy it rings true. He has an amazing 50 years of organising table tennis in South London behind him and managed to keep the Wandsworth & District Table Tennis League alive through some of the most difficult times the sport has seen. His decision to retire from running the league means he will cut back a little on travel as Ian currently lives over 95 miles away from the league! He has held the role of Chairman, General Secretary, Match Secretary, Tournament Organiser and Cup Competitions organiser over the years. He has actually been a member of the league since the mid 1950’s when he started playing in it as a teenager. He has successfully run many different clubs and teams and today is still running St Pauls TTC, even though he moved to Kent some years ago he still does a 190 mile round trip to Wimbledon every week.  On the organising league committee side his first involvement was in 1967 when he became the General Secretary of the league, then almost twenty years later in 1986 he took over as Chairman of the league after Keith Hurlock retired. In 1987 he organised the closed championships and continued to do so until 2012 when Mike Loveder took over. In addition to all this he ran the 2 cup competitions as well. John Llewellyn took over Ian’s various roles in May this year and said “Ian’s contribution to the league is immeasurable and quite frankly I doubt that the league would have survived without Ian being there to keep it going, to say we are going to miss him is a huge understatement”.

The sad passing of Doreen Draper, a true supporter of the league
It is with very great sadness I have to report the passing of the lovely Doreen Draper, the wife of Wandsworth league legend Tom Draper. For so many years Doreen was the secretary of York Gardens and kept things running smoothly behind the scenes. A truly lovely lady she leaves behind daughters Brenda and Valerie, and of course her husband for over 60 years, Tom. Our deepest and heart felt sympathies go out to all the family and friends.
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