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Senior British League Preview 2018/19

posted 6 Sep 2018, 12:01 by Guernsey Table Tennis Association   [ updated 6 Sep 2018, 12:15 ]
 
The local table tennis season does not officially kick-off until Wednesday 19th September for the Island’s leading players, where the first fixtures from the top flight of the Doric Insurance sponsored leagues will take place. Despite this fact, they will be commencing competitive action this weekend, where the opening round of fixtures in the Senior British National League will be taking place.

With the backing of Ravenscroft, the Island’s top players have flourished in this competition and the first team are making their debut in the Championship tier of the structure. Following the overhaul in structure a few seasons ago into a pyramid system, the prestigious Championship division is the second highest and will give a great opportunity for the Sarnians to test themselves against some of the top players in Britain.The first team’s action in the Championship Division will be taking place in the Corby Smash Table Tennis Centre, which is located in Northamptonshire.
Picture courtesy Guernsey Press                              

A large difference this season for the squad will be the fact that there is an extra weekend of fixtures, due to the fact that there are 10 teams in the Division, 2 larger than the usual perm of 8.

The Island’s leading side is unsurprisingly made up of the exact quartet of players that earned the promotion to the Championship Division last season. They also memorably won team gold at the Island Games in Gotland last year and more recently overcame their Jersey rivals in the Green Trophy inter-insular encounter. They are led by the leading player in the Channel Islands, Garry Dodd and he will be supported by Joshua Stacey, Lawrence Stacey and Ben Foss.

It is often difficult to gauge the strength of teams prior to the first round of fixtures, but a review of each club’s ranking list generally gives an idea as to how strong each will be. It looks like the majority of teams within the Championship Division will have 4 players within the equivalent of top 100 ranking in England, so the standard will be very high. The highest ranked player in the Division looks to be Team GB British Paralympian Kim Daybell, who is ranked 20 in England.
A second team will again be competing in the British League structure this season and the venue for action in National C-6 will be the Generation II Table Tennis Club in Fareham, the same location as last season.
The second team has been an extremely useful tool in developing some of the Island’s improving Junior players and there will be a good opportunity for ensuring that this continues with the squad selected.

Paul Hainsworth will once more take charge of the team, which includes Juniors in the form of Daniel Collenette, Ryan Bichard and Matthew Casey. All of the Juniors have experienced SBL action over the past few seasons and are now firmly established players in the local 1st Division league.  Forresters II look to have the strongest team in the Division and also happen to be the first match of the season for the Guernsey side.


Opening Weekend Sides

Ravenscroft I 
1. Garry Dodd (Team Captain)
2. Joshua Stacey
3. Lawrence Stacey
4. Ben Foss

Ravenscroft II 
1. Paul Hainsworth (Team Captain)
2. Daniel Collenette
3. Ryan Bichard
4. Matthew Casey


Ravenscroft Fixtures (1st Weekend)

Ravenscroft I – Championship
Corby Smash Table Tennis Centre, Northamptonshire

8 September   10:30 Horsham Blades I v Ravenscroft I
8 September   14:30 Ravenscroft I v Drumchapel Glasgow II
9 September   10:00 BATTS II v Ravenscroft I
9 September   14:00 Ravenscroft I v Whitworth Academy I

Ravenscroft II – National C-4
Generation 2 Table Tennis Centre, Fareham Academy, Fareham

8 September   10:00 Forresters II v Ravenscroft II
8 September   14:00 Ravenscroft II v Brighton City III
9 September   10:00 Waterside II v Ravenscroft II
9 September   14:00 Newton Abbott TTC v Ravenscroft II