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Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League welcome six-time English National Men’s Singles winner Denis Neale





The Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League welcomed six-time English National Men’s Singles winner Denis Neale to speak and present the trophies at its Annual General Meeting.

Chairman Richard Henry opened the meeting at Burghley Park Golf Club by reflecting on what constituted a successful season, referencing close matches, well-attended tournaments, and the many trophies on display.

He recalled the floods of January which particularly affected the three Tallington clubs, and considered it a success that most of the matches managed to be completed by the end of the regular season.

Chase Burgess with Junior and Fred Fenton trophies. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Chase Burgess with Junior and Fred Fenton trophies. Photo: Chris Lowndes

A report from the league’s coaching secretary, Steve Williams, followed where he spoke of the improvement of junior players and detailed sensible advice given to him by Neale during competitions.

Steve Smith, the league’s president and county representative, spoke of Stamford’s success in the county inter-town Butcher Cup played in Grimsby. He also reported proposals to host county competitions further south, lessening the travel burden for local players.

Match secretary Nick McDowall focused on the many positives of the season; and, together with Smith, introduced proposals for changes to the scoring system next season, whereby every end won during matches will earn a point for teams. A vote was taken and, although not unanimous, the proposal was passed.

The Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League’s trophy winners for 2024. Photo: Chris Lowndes
The Stamford and Rutland Table Tennis League’s trophy winners for 2024. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Denis Neale (centre) with trophy winners. Picture: Chris Lowndes
Denis Neale (centre) with trophy winners. Picture: Chris Lowndes
Richard Henry with the Dave Needham Trophy. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Richard Henry with the Dave Needham Trophy. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Mark Conway and Aaron Shaheed (Bourne 'A') with Tier 1 Trophies. Picture: Chris Lowndes
Mark Conway and Aaron Shaheed (Bourne 'A') with Tier 1 Trophies. Picture: Chris Lowndes
Andy Goodacre and Leigh Ware (MTTG) with Tier 2 and President's Cup trophies. Photo: Chris Lowndes
Andy Goodacre and Leigh Ware (MTTG) with Tier 2 and President's Cup trophies. Photo: Chris Lowndes

Before the presentation of the trophies, Neale spoke of the greater numbers playing table tennis during his years as a competitive player.

He underlined the importance of schools and colleges for the introduction of table tennis to juniors, and to rebuild interest and participation in the sport.



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