The new season of the Rotherham Table Tennis League got under way this week. And the first result to come in was in Division Two between Stag School of Motoring A and newly promoted Phoenix Sports and Social Club E. Pete Eyre gave Stag the start they wanted with an easy win over experienced veteran Harry Smith. Mohammed Arshid hit straight back for Phoenix taking out Pete Webster in four games. Then there was no holding back Stag as they drove towards the win with eight sets in a row. Steve Garrett defeating Mick Riley easily being the first. The only set in doubt was the doubles which went the distance to the deciding game but the end result was 9-1 to Stag. Is this a sign of things to come? Stag certainly setting the tone for their season.
In Division Three there are five teams from Rotherham Scorpions Juniors so there will be many in-house battles. The first of these was between the K team and the L team. On Monday at Dearne Valley Sports Centre. Father and son duo of Stephen Selway and Alex Selway along with Dan Schofield took on the might of Billie Wales, Josh Wilkes and Sam Wagstaff, a combined age of nearly 30!! The first three contests went the way of the home team with the Selways and Schofield winning comfortably. Alex Selway took the fourth also against Wales but 9 year old Sam Wagstaff was not going to let himself or his team get brushed aside and he proceeded to wipe the floor with Selway senior in three easy games. Unfortunately Wales and Wilkes could not stop the rot and it advanced to 8-1 to the K team. The last set of the night was between Selway senior and Wilkes and once again the enthusiasm and determination of the youngster overcame the strength of his opponent taking the set in three straight. Final score 8-2 to Scorpions K.
Also in Division Three a match between Clifton D and Phoenix F. Francis Lovell put up a stalwart effort for Clifton against Bob Vickers from Phoenix but could not stop the defeat in the final game. Next on Steve Naylor easily overcame Alan Redfern in three games. And the final pairing of Richard Proctor and Eric Twigg also was over quite quickly as Proctor swept aside Twigg, whom many know as one of Rotherham United’s sponsors through his food business. The roles were completely reversed as all three players from Clifton ended up winning one from two by the time of the doubles, which went to Clifton bringing the match score to 4-3. In set seven Naylor saw off Twigg easily in three games, Vickers immediately hit back for Phoenix to leave the deciding set with one point at stake, Clifton 5-4 up. Despite battling really hard Redfern could not stop Lovell from taking the set and securing a victory for Clifton.