writes Peter Florence :
The newly formed Stratford Upon Avon Table Tennis Club have entered four teams into the league for the 2019-20 season and, in the opening fixture of the campaign, their B team enjoyed a 9-1 victory over Henley. Harry Azima and Richard Grover both posted trebles, whilst Michael Klein added a brace. Nigel Payne ensured Henley avoided the whitewash, and looked on course to add to his haul after taking two set leads against Azima and Grover only to lose out to both over the full distance.
Stratford A commenced with a 7-3 success at Veterans where Pete Barrow and Alex Boyd claimed their singles contests without conceding a set. Barrow was subsequently partnered in the doubles by promising youngster Ollie Rowlands with the pair earning victory over five ends. Neil Mudie, Brian Marston and Peter Rodwell all got on the card for the hosts.
JLM Kingfishers proved too strong for Stratford C as they ran out 7-3 winners. Jim Clarke and Piotr Penczkowski were both unbeaten, although the latter was taken to the wire by Kevin Taylor before edging home 13-11 in the decider. Taylor, Peter Florence and Robert Bartkowski each earned a point for the visitors.
Shottery A opened their campaign by defeating their own second string 8-2. Gary Stewart recorded a perfect performance while Robert Poole and Stephen Foster each secured two points, although neither was able to get the better of Gareth Hepworth. His clash with Poole proved the closest encounter of the match as he overturned an early deficit to take the decider 11-9. Hepworth was also involved in the only other contest to go the full distance where he and Tim Fell lost out at the final hurdle in the doubles to Stewart and Foster.
On the adjoining table, despite only being able to field two players, Blazing Paddles shared the spoils with Ashorne after an impressive display by Chris Dickens. He produced a treble before successfully partnering Wilf Chan in the doubles. Chan added the hosts' crucial fifth score, while Roger Pye and Steve Kay each claimed a win for Ashorne.