Table tennis club to look at jumping divisions
Haverhill Table Tennis Club has gained promotion to Division Two of the Cambridgeshire and District Table Tennis League after pulling off a sensational last-match-of the-season victory, writes Hannah Dolman.
The team had been on course for promotion for a lot of the season, but a late dip in form had lead to them needing a comprehensive victory in their last game of the season over the side that had comfortably won the league.
And, against the odds, the side achieved a 7-3 win over Soham III to narrowly reclaim the second promotion place — pipping their Cambs-Parkside VI opponents by one point.
The normal team set up was slightly altered for the match, which saw promising 17-year-old Georgina Lister step up to the mark alongside regulars Gracjen Sen and team captain Andrew Driver.
Sen, who remained unbeaten in individual matches for the entire season, took another three sets to complete his unbeaten streak while both Lister and Driver took two apiece.
It meant the match, and promotion, had already been secured ahead of the doubles, in which Sen paired with Lister.
Haverhill took an early lead of two sets, but the strong pairing of Soham’s Liam Mohan and Neil Abram eventually triumphed 3-2, to leave the score at 7-3, the minimum required by Haverhill to guarantee second spot and a place in Division Two next season.
Sen said the team were now considering a request to bypass Division Two entirely, and compete in Division One of the league from next season.
But that decision would be dependent on a number of factors, from permission from the league to do this, as well as the playing intentions of a number of club members.
Sen said: “I think our team will be stronger next season.
“We have two former members, brothers, who have been away at university but they are back next season — and they are really top quality.
“If they are willing to commit to regular matches then we will be more than capable of competing in Division One.”
The 22-year-old, who was ranked number one at U19 level in the country when he was just 15, has himself only recently returned to the sport, having been out of the gamesince about that time.
He said: “I have played at Division One level, this was actually my first season back after not playing for about six years, and I think I could go back to playing that level.
“It was a really great feeling to secure promotion and I know the team came very close last year too, but didn’t manage to pull it off.
“So the club are in a much better place, especially after coming together so late. The season almost didn’t happen at all with problems of a playing venue so it makes it even better to then get promoted.
“It will take some time to decide if it is the right move for the club to go up to the top division — we need to make sure we have the right players — but, either way, Haverhill will be at a higher level next year.”