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Essex Inter League 25 March

The Essex Cadet and Junior Inter league competitions for Season 2016/2017 were held at BATTS Harlow on 25 March. Five Essex Leagues entered the Junior event, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester with two teams, Harlow and Southend. Four teams, Clacton, Colchester, Harlow and Southend took part in the Cadet event where last year there were only two. Thus there were five rounds of matches to be played in the Junior event and three rounds for the Cadet event. All matches were played on two tables. The Junior format was four players with each player to play two singles and one doubles thus giving a ten match format whilst the Cadets format was three players, nine singles plus one doubles. With the Juniors having five rounds of matches to play it was agreed that the first round would be played between adjacent Leagues before the match day. In the event only one match was played beforehand where Colchester sent their A Team to play Clacton instead of their B Team. However Colchester withdrew their B Team late on the Friday evening through lack of available players so that the match actually played was a blessing in disguise.

 CADETS

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In the first round Southend (James Goddard, Daniel Zeffie and Reece Harris-Griffiths) crushed Harlow 10-0, only one match needing a fourth game. In the other match Colchester were dominant winning 8-2 with Daniel Young winning the two for Clacton, both at 12-10. Jared Chelski unbeaten for Colchester.

In the next round Clacton again lost 8-2, this time to Southend with Daniel Y defeating Daniel Z and James while Reece stayed unbeaten for Southend. In the other match Harlow suffered another crushing defeat losing 9-1 to Colchester, Jake Harvey gaining the sole win over Andy Huang. Only this match and Ethan Willis’s match with Andy Huang needing a fourth game.

Going in to the last round Southend held a one point lead over Colchester. Clacton were left with the wooden spoon when they lost 7-3 to Harlow. Daniel won his three while Jake, Ethan and Harry Argent each won twice for Harlow. Liam Harris came closest to another win for Clacton when, after leading 2-0 against Harry he lost the deciding game 12-10. In the Colchester-Southend match Colchester won three of the opening four singles and when they won the next two by 12-10 margins they were almost home as Southend would need to win the next four matches. However Southend were not going to give up without a fight and went on to win the next two matches, Reece -5, 11, 12, 12 over Andy and Daniel Z coming back from 2-0 down to Toby Deng to win the deciding game 11-8. Colchester jitters, none of it but a close final singles match which Jared won 10, 4, 11 against James to secure the title.

Colchester also won the doubles in five games for a 7-3 win.

 TABLE

P          W         D         L          Pts

Colchester       3          3          0          0          24
Southend         3          2          0          1          21
Harlow             3          1          0          2            8
Clacton            3          1          0          2            7

JUNIORS

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The only match to be played before the day was that between Colchester A and Clacton. A match of two halves, Clacton’s Sam Hume and Gracie Edwards winning all the top half matches including the doubles whilst Arran Hutchinson and Toby Deng won the bottom half matches and their doubles but only by a margin of -10, 9, -8, 8, 10 against Ethan Lloyd and Woody Fitzpatrick.

The first round of matches at BATTS saw Chelmsford playing Harlow and Colchester A playing Southend. For Chelmsford, Ryan Gooday, the second highest ranked player in the room who had played well for the County first team a fortnight earlier, surprisingly lost both his singles matches to Diesel Harvey and Finley Cameron-Prior. The two Matthews, Laws and Elliott, had got their team off to a good start by both winning their matches in the deciding game and they followed this up with a 5, 10, -10, 11 doubles win over Jaz Harvey and Sam Flaum. Southend beat Colchester A 8-2, winning all four opening matches and three of the four second half singles. Matthew Stringer and Liam Squirrel were unbeaten in the top half singles but lost their doubles in five games to Ollie Fifield and Leon Huang.

In round Two Southend played Chelmsford and won 9-1, but the match was closer than the score line indicates. Five of the eight singles matches went to a deciding game and Southend won four of them, Ryan the player to win the one for Chelmsford. Southend also won both doubles at deuce. Sam and Gracie were unbeaten in Clacton’s 7-3 win over Harlow as was Jaz Harvey for Harlow. Closest match was Gracie’s 13-11 deciding game win over Finley.

At the halfway stage Southend led the Table by one point but they had a match in hand. The matches in the last two rounds were the closest of the day. In the match between Chelmsford and Clacton it was another match of two halves. The two Matthews winning the four bottom half matches and Sam and Gracie the top half matches. Sam was taken to a decider by Ryan before winning 11-6. Both doubles went the full distance, the two Matthews beating Scott Campbell and Woody 14-12 whilst Ryan and Connor Payne lost their doubles to Sam and Gracie 11-9. After the discovery of an umpire’s scoring error in one of the doubles matches it turned out that Harlow had beaten Colchester A 6-4. Only Diesel Harvey for Harlow and Arran Hutchinson for Colchester were unbeaten.

In the last round of matches Southend played Clacton and eight of the ten matches were won 3-0 with the other two in five games by Clacton. Another tough doubles for Sam and Gracie with a deciding 11-9 win over Matthew Stringer and Liam Squirrell. It was Liam’s 3-0 win over Gracie that provided Southend with a narrow 6-4 win after the two Harry’s, Small and Keys had won all their bottom half singles. Colchester A and Chelmsford produced another draw. Chelmsford’s five points came from two wins from Ryan, both Matthews beating Ollie Rampton 11-8 in a deciding game and a doubles win for Ryan and Connor while Arran’s two singles wins and a doubles win helped Colchester to the draw.

These results left Southend needing to win three matches to take the title and Harlow to win six matches to become runners up. They played the match on four tables, and after the four singles Southend were 3-1 up, Diesel scoring Harlow’s point in the deciding game 14-12 after being 2-0 down to Matthew Stringer. Southend only won two of the other four singles Harry Keys and Lim Squirrell both getting deciding game wins over Sam Flaum and Diesel respectively. The doubles matches were shared to give Southend a 6-4 win and the Title with Harlow having to settle for third place.

 TABLE

P          W         D         L          Pts

Southend         4          4          0          0          29
Clacton            4          1          2          1          21
Harlow             4          2          0          2          20
Colchester A   4          0          2          2          16
Chelmsford     4          0          2          2          14
Colchester       W/D

It is hoped to present the winners trophies at the Essex Junior Closed on Saturday 6 May at BATTS.

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary