A new season of the Eastern Valley Table Tennis League kicked off this week at the Cwmbran Stadium central venue. The number of teams competing this year in Division One has increased by one with the new team of Cwmbran Tigers. Early pacesetters are the renamed team of Cardiff Nomads following their 19-14 win over Blaenavon Aces. The Nomads were indebted to their guest player Eric Turner who won his three matches. There were also two wins for Peter Gordon and one win for Geoff Strangeway. For the Aces there were wins for Iestyn Howells, Ben Allen and Tayo Fateru, making his debut in the league.
Joint second place is held by Cwmbran Aztecs and Cwmbran Blues. The Aztecs had a 18-13 win over YMCA Preachers despite the withdrawal through illness of one of their players after one match. The Aztecs Mark Edmunds was the player of the match with his three wins. He was well supports by Tony Collins with his two wins. For the Preachers Ray Goulding had a good win over Tony Collins in straight sets, but then lost a tight five set match to Mark Edmunds.
The final match saw the Blues defeat the newcomers, the Cwmbran Tigers 18-11. There were three wins each for the Blues' David D Lloyd and Mark Farrow with Lloyd picking up the player of the match award. For the Tigers there were wins for Jeraze Dhanbhoora, Michal Luckanic and guest player Wayne Ford.
The early leaders in Division Two are the new team of Cwmbran Lions who had a 24-8 win over Cwmbran Panthers. Leading the way for the Lions was John Williams who picked up the player of the match award with his three wins. There were also maximum wins for guest player Alex Jones and a win for Haydn Skinner. The Panthers having already lost their number one player from last season are also hampered by the an injury to Yuri Cherkasenko, who is soldiering on despite his obvious discomfort.
In second place are North Gwent Cougars who won a marathon match 21-20 against Cwmbran Eccentrics where seven matches went to five sets. The match went on so long that sleeping bags were about to be ordered!! For the Cougars there were two wins each for Michel Policht and Sam Slatter and a win for Jon Deacon. Despite his team losing the Eccentrics' John Thomas picked up the player of the match award with his three wins. Ian Shipley picked up one win and seven points and Lincoln Alford picked up four points.
The final match in Division Two saw Cwmbran Devils overcome Cwmbran Fellows 20-12. For the Devils, Colin Scott won all his matches to collect the player of the match award, just beating Stan Williams to the award who also had maximum wins. For the Fellows there were wins for Mick Mellor, Peter Teichner and Dan Tagean, who was playing his first ever league match.