Table tennis club's ambitions thwarted as play is called to a halt
WHAT looks like a premature end to the season has cost Barnard Castle the chance of a top two spot in the Darlington Table Tennis League second division in only their second season.
Table Tennis England has called a halt to all affiliated leagues until further notice.
The Barney team, Stephen Hastie, John Heaviside, James Dominick and Anthony Carter, were only one point behind the second placed team Dolphins B with only two matches left to play.
Team captain Anthony said: “We were almost certain to secure second place as we had the bottom placed team in our last fixture who we had already beaten 10-0, while Dolphins were up against the leaders, who they lost to 9-1in the reverse fixture.
“We were therefore hoping for a big swing on this last match to secure second spot, as you gain a point for every game won.”
Club secretary John added: “The other fixture remaining for Dolphins was a tricky one at Darlington Academy B while we were due to play Auckland Park who we beat 7-3 in the reverse fixture, so we had every reason to be optimistic.
“It remains to be seen whether we can finish the season because of all the uncertainty, but it will be a shame if we do lose out on a chance for second place.
“We have come a long way in only two seasons and to win a cup and then runners up spot would justify all the help and encouragement we have received from a lot of people.”
As well as halting the league Table Tennis England have also stopped all training sessions which means for the time being the club can’t hold its club nights every Thursday at Teesdale Leisure centre.
John said: “This was also a blow as the club had just sorted out a shirt including our own club badge and were hoping to secure some take up by members. The club has gone from strength to strength and has recently had to move to the leisure centre as we outgrew our old venue.
“We now have 25-plus members aged from ten to 80, both men and women.
“We have also had a big improvement in the level of play and hope to put out a second team next season.
“We are a friendly club and because of the help we have received from various people and organisations, now have eight tables available for every club night and are always open to new members,” he added.
“Although we are vying for second place with the Dolphins, it says a lot for our club that they visited us twice from Darlington last year on two of our club nights for a practice session and said how much they enjoyed playing everybody and how friendly a club it was. We also received a visit from the league chairman who is also a top coach and he was very impressed and said how much he enjoyed the night.”