It’s that time of the year again where we get to the final few games and there is a fiercely contested promotion chase for four clubs in Division 2 of the Bath and District Table Tennis League.
The season saw 11 teams complete in the league with lots of new players entering for the first time. Yatton Keynell have 2 teams in Division 2, with their C team flying high at the top of the league with some impressive 10-0 victories coming in January.
Key Centre B are 15 points behind with a game in hand. Oldfield F look to be the league’s favourites to over take the Keynsham side but they are 13 points behind at this stage. However the dark horses are Batheaston A who are in fourth place but with one game in hand; sitting 16 points off second place.
One of the telling fixtures for the teams chasing top spot will be their game against bottom the table Ensleigh B. The St John’s social team have been convincingly beaten by most teams in the league only recording a solitary victory to date. Their one stand out player has been teenager Ollie Newton who is averaging around a 60% win ratio. He didn’t play against Yatton Keynell C, Oldfield F or Batheaston A as they steamrolled to 10-0 victories. He did feature against Key Centre B though and won two of this three leaving the 2nd placed team with an 8-2 win.
So if Ollie plays in any of the games against the chasing pack his points could be a very narrow difference between finishing 2nd or 3rd.
There are three more interesting fixtures to look out for.
Chippenham D hold the only player still on 100% win ratio, James Wheeler, and although they are too far behind the front four, their games could still have a telling effect on who goes up. They have to play Yatton Keynell C and Batheaston A so with Wheeler leading the way they could upset both of these sides.
Batheaston A and Oldfield F still have to play each other with the reverse fixture ending in a 8-2 win for Norman Thomas’ side. This game was played with only two members of Oldfield turning up with Lee Bailey picking up two wins. So this time around Bailey will be hoping to call upon two team mates to contest this game.
1st and 2nd meet next Thursday at Yatton to contest top spot. Key Centre managed to come away with a 8-2 win earlier in the season but that was with Ken Milsom playing in that game. Milsom has since been promoted to their A team and will have to watch on as club captain to see how his B team get on without him. Realistically Key Centre will need to win at least 8-2 again to begin to give Yatton Keynell C something to worry about at the top.
One other team to mention is Yatton Keynell D who recorded a well deserved victory over Batheaston A last week. Before this result they were not considered contenders for promotion however if they can maintain a steady run of results they can sneak into the top two. Their next game is against Oldfield F so a win there and they will be in with a real chance of catching teams above them.
Their final game is against their C team which will be a interesting game which could go one of two ways. Their club captain could instruct the D team to ‘throw’ the game to make sure their C team win the league. Alternatively pride could play a huge part in the game and we could see a very tight game with the D team wanting to beat the C team for personal and club pride; which should be the case.
The remaining fixtures are as follows:
Yatton Keynell C – Key Centre B, Chippenham D and Yatton Keynell D
Key Centre B – Yatton Keynell C, Batheaston B, Batheaston C and Ensleigh B
Oldfield F – Yatton Keynell D, Batheaston A, Ensleigh B and Bear Flat B
Batheaston A – Ensleigh B, Oldfield F, Bear Flat B, Bathford D and Chippenham D