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You seem to be talking a lot about rugby so I would love to tell people about the table tennis that was strong in Southland in the 1980's
There were seven teams in the competition in 1980 with Invercargill Working Mens club withdrawing but Lindis entered two teams in the A grade. It was going to be a close competition with no one team standing out. Graeme Grieve with Russell Brocks and Ewen Thwaites were strong for the Hardshots. Russell Brocks was a regular member of the Southland junior team but will be out of the junior ranks this year. Ewen Thwaites will be the team's best player but will need to have a less than casual approach. Lindis enetered two teams, which means they had to split up their winning combination from last year. This is a good move as it made the competition lopsided, so hopefully this year the comp will be more even. Lindis, No 1 team comprise of Ron Garrett, Ted Cribb and Ngiare Garrett and Wendy Bloomfield. The first three can chalk up 30 years of playing in the A grade competition. The Lindis No 2 team is led by John Glasson and Vera Wahren together with Simeon Zwetsloot a regular A Reserve player over recent years. Glasson returned to game after a season off.
United had also entered two teams of even strength with Southland top junior and No 2 Southland player Chris Laidlaw leading the team. Other players are Brent Ellis with the benefit of one season of A grade behind him and Neil Carlaw will be having his first season in A grade after being at the top of A Reserve for many years. The clubs No 2 side comprised of Colin Neutze, David McCallum and Raymond Shave. This will be McCallum's first season in A grade and Shave has been in and out of A grade for several years.
Eagles had Southland no 1 Kevin Tapper with Johnathan Geddes and Winston Sutherland. Geddes also had a seaon of A grade behind him. Sutherland will improve over the season and be a asset to his team. The seventh team in A grade was Woodlands with Barry Bridgeman, Brian McDowell and Geoff Sadlier. Although they were bottom the years before they would find it easier with a lot of the A Reserve players being promoted up the ladder.
The A Reserve grade had six contenders with the strongest Olympic with Alan Law, David Still and John Beaumont. The B Grade had ten teams with St Aidans and Lochiel looked the best. The C Grade had six teams with the majority of players being new to table tennis.
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