ELTON Vale SC B make the journey to face Bury Table Tennis League Division Three rivals Maccabi C intent on staving off any threat of relegation.

Vale are currently fourth-bottom of the the table having won just two, but drawn four of their 10 matches as the season goes into it’s second half with two teams to go down at the end of the season.

They return to the fray following a Christmas hiatus, with Elton’s veteran player Rod Hall keen and raring to go, but realistic enough to know that the Prestwich hosts will be favourite to win with four victories already to their name.

“The pressure will be off, but we still want to win,” said 69-year-old Hall who has played table tennis in the Bolton and Bury area for 55 years.

The outcome of Elton Vale’s season may depend partly on the availability of 45-year-old hot shot David Hall, whose appearances in this campaign have been restricted because of work commitments.

“He’s a very good player,” said Hall. “But we are no one-man band. We will continue to try to give a good account of ourselves no matter what the circumstances.”

Vale’s season is still very much alive as they are still in the hat for the Dwyer Cup, which is handicapped, and have a bye in the Divisional Cup.

Hall, meanwhile, admits that he would love to see younger players coming through the ranks and playing table tennis, although he enjoys the fact that it is game players can enjoy into middle age and beyond.

He puts the shortage of young blood down to the demise of the engineering industry. It was common for many local engineering companies to run up to 10 teams when Hall was working at Robert Watson’s in Bolton.

“You would get young apprentices joining in games with the older lads and becoming keen on the sport at an early age,” he said.

“But there are other factors and distractions now, which is a shame.”

Full details of all Bury Table Tennis League’s results, fixtures and tables are available online at www.burytabletennis.org.uk