The new season of the Rotherham Table Tennis League commences next week. The League has now reverted back to its original name from the Rother Valley League. The change was first made when South Yorkshire Table Tennis separated itself from the Yorkshire Table Tennis Association due to complexities of administration but now it is able to renew itself with the rightful name of its town base,
Rotherham Scorpions Junior Table Tennis Club now has twelve teams forming almost a half of the entire League. Their A team will be looking to retain the League title having won it back after a ten year drought. Though I am sure that Phoenix Sports and Social Club A, Swallownest Miners Welfare (formerly J.S.M.) and L.S.M. A (formerly Mason Arms), the nearest challengers last season, along with the other teams in the top flight, will be doing their utmost to prevent this. L.S.M. only missed out by a whisker last season and will be determined to try and reverse the roles this time around.
Likely challengers for Division Two will be newly promoted Phoenix E (formerly the F team) and Scorpions C (formerly their G team). Although they are promoted from last year’s lower division they were run away leaders of the division and will put up a strong fight for the Division Two title. Other teams in the mix might be Scorpions D and L.S.M. E. who finished in third and fourth spot last year.
The Third Division will be a very open contest with six Scorpions teams of very similar standards, mainly made up of junior players, some as young as only nine years old. The L team will be one to watch with England number 3 under 11 girl Amy Marriott looking to take some scalps this year.
In other competitions, Rotherham are represented in the National Senior British League with two teams. The top team is in Division One North and will find the going tough but should be able to make a challenge for the title if their players are in good form having finished third last year. In Division Three North is the second Rotherham based team, both actually from Scorpions unsurprisingly. This was a bit of a shock as they expected to be entered in the fourth division but have ended up one higher where they will struggle, hoping simply not to finish bottom and end up going straight down. Battle commences on the weekend of the 26th and 27th September.
In the Sheffield Summer League Clifton has called time on a successful campaign which has closed with two titles for the Rotherham club. In Division Three, Bob Vickers ended a championship winning season with a hat trick for the ‘C’ team as they pulled off a 6-4 win over second placed Scorpions D. Vickers teamed up with Alan Redfern to win the doubles and Peter Cox and Redfern both ended with solitary singles wins. In Division One, the Clifton A squad led by Tony Linggard, Terry Curran and Steve Lyon took the title, narrowly, on equal points and by eleven sets from Scorpions B. Scorpions A team were very close to winning the League title in the Premier Division but Vulcan A managed to hold them off despite losing to Scorpions in the second of their meetings. However Scorpions dropped two points to Vulcan B earlier in the summer putting the title hopes out of their hands. Scorpions D also finished second in Division Three whilst the C team only managed fourth in Division Two.