British League Premier Division Table Tennis returns to one of it’s spiritual homes next weekend and anyone with some spare time on their hands would be well advised to visit the DHS Greenhouse Progress Tournament Centre, Southall College, Beaconsfield Road, Southall, Middlesex, UB1 1DP on Saturday / Sunday 18/19 September 2010. Action kicks off at 11.00 am on the Saturday and at 10.00 am on the Sunday morning and admission is free. The venue is a three minute walk from Southall main line station.
Champions for the last two years Drumchapel Glasgow (Ryan Jenkins, Qian Hai Song, new signing Gareth Herbert, Terry Young, Craig Howieson and Stephen Jenkins) couldn’t possibly face a tougher challenge in their first match. They will be up against promoted Barrow whose star-studded squad of Paul Drinkhall, Gavin Rumgay, Darius Knight, newcomer Sebastian Laux, Bradley Evans and Jonathan Crawford will take some beating. This promises to be a match of the highest order between two of the best squads ever to have played in the British League. Both sides are understandably reluctant to commit exactly who will be playing for them but Barrow have high hopes that their English international stars – Paul and Darius will be available – not withstanding their commitments in this week’s European Championships.
Other matches that should be competitive are the Saturday afternoon clash between promoted Fusion and Westfield who finished a magnificent third last year. Fusion have added Adelele Kaseem Adisa to an already strong squad of Sule Olaleye, Loresas Trumpauskas, Mark Smith, Tommy Cutler and Emran Hussain whilst Westfield look to have a nicely balanced side – Niall Cameron, Richard Andrews, Shuan Marples, Alim Hirji and Mark Simpson.
BATTS have ventured into the transfer market and the acquisition of former Ellenborough players Thomas Bennborn and John Nilsson allied to the tried and tested skills of Wang Zheng, Craig Bryant, Martin Kubrt and Jimmy Walsh gives them a strong look as well. They will be looking forward to their Saturday morning clash with Fusion and their Sunday morning match against Westfield.
Champions for ten successive years – DHS Greenhouse Progress finished a fine second last time and although that might be a bit beyond them this year they still have a very strong team. Pick any four from Chen Po “Barry” Huang, Colum Slevin, Jason Sugrue, Da Qing Tong, Fei Ming Tong and Ashley Willetts and you can see what I mean. With players of the calibre of Daniel Basterfield and Igor Morais “knocking on the door” they have strength in depth as well. Sycamore finished fifth last year and they have secured the services of a new number one – Omkar Torgalkar. He will be joined by Stewart Crawford, Kevin Dolder, Sean Cullen, Sam Perry, Daniel Lowe and Jason Ramage. Expect Sycamore’s Sunday afternoon match against Ormesby to be a cracker.
The Middlesbrough giants haven’t added to their squad but their hard-hitting side of Michael Marsden, David Meads, Nigel Eckersley, Patrick “Paddy” Thomas and Andy Wilson will be hopeful of consolidating their excellent fourth place of last Season.
Steve Kerns (British League Press Officer)
Barrow I will be facing the following teams and players in the Premier Division of the British League 2010/2011 Season.
DHS Greenhouse Progress I
Chen Po Huang
Da Qing Tong
Fei Ming Tong
Drumchapel Glasgow I
Qian Hai Song
Adelele Kaseem Adisa
Barrow I British League Premier Division Fixtures
Barrow II British League Division 2 North Fixtures