Cold Norton A Team ‘Love it when a plan comes together!’
There were plenty of fireworks in the Burnham & District Table Tennis League this week as Mapledene A reclaimed top spot and all three division 1 Cold Norton teams recorded banging wins including a memorable evening for the Cold Norton A Team who blasted and whizzed their way passed perennial champions Fambridge.
With Leaders Woodham on a mid-season break it was up to the peloton members to decide who would make the break this week. Up stood early season leaders Mapledene A who put down a vey strong 9-1 winning margin against a competent Maldon A trio. Mapledene’s starlets Daniel Young and Reece Seddon won all their matches including the doubles. Steve Muth won 2 of his singles and was just pipped late on in the deciding set of his encounter with superb Maldon leftie Jon Stokes. Cold Norton A fielded their holy trinity of players this week leaving Fambridge without a prayer. The Cold Norton trio of Duncan Taylor, Charles Sweeny and Kevin Read all won 2 a piece, but none of them could conquer the Fambridge archangel Keith Adams. Adams must have stood in something en route to the venue or it really was divine intervention as he held on and overcame the challenge of both Read and Taylor despite being drawn into a 5th set shootout in both ties. Read & Taylor did get their revenge in the doubles though, securing the extra bonus point for the overall 7-3 victory. With Cold Norton A of late fielding stronger sides they have pushed themselves back into contention as the league splits down the middle into a championship race, and a race for survival. Cold Norton B are firmly in that championship race and this week’s whitewash against Mapledene B has really pushed them back into the melee. A largely straightforward set of hat-tricks for the Cold Norton B boys Eric Green, Sam Lowman and Ian Wall – although Mapledene’s David Jacob threatened to spoil the party when in the final game of the night he came back from 0-2 down to force Green into a final deciding set he wasn’t expecting. Green recovered his composure and won out 11-8. In the survival race Woodham B lost out to Cold Norton C despite having the unbeaten player of the match in their ranks. Cold Norton triumphed 6-4 with Kim Shead and Arron Chandler taking 2 wins each and then crucially combining for an excellent doubles victory over Sanjay Saptarshi and Dan Patynski. Saptarshi was the star turn winning all his singles for the majority of the Woodham haul.
In Division 2 Woodham C continue to pull away from the chasing pack, and at this stage it looks like their only title challengers will be Mapledene C and Maldon B – but of course this can all change in the bat of an eye. Both Woodham teams recorded good wins this week. Leaders Woodham C welcomed the Stow C trio to their manor, and to be honest were poor hosts as they only allowed Stow to go home with a single point courtesy of Pete Layzell’s 5 set win over the previously undefeated Graham Briggs. Kudos to Layzell, but that didn’t help his cause too much as the Woodham trio of Briggs, Chris Hancox and David Meah swept away every other challenge for an emphatic 9-1 victory. Gus Heath was in impeccable form for Woodham D this week, 4 wins in 12 sets which formed the bedrock of his team’s 8-2 winning margin over Cold Norton D. Heath was ably supported by wingmen Mal Henstock and Alan Dadswell. Maldon B continued their efforts to keep in touch with the leaders as they overcame the challenge of Stow B for a 7-3 victory. It was all about team work for the Maldonians as they each won 2 games but none of them had the wit or the guile to defeat the master of the backhand Peter Hance. Hance has now played 9 and won them all – perhaps he should be picked every week! Mapledene C lost some ground on the leaders this week as they were held to a 5-5 draw at the Mapledene Arena by Maldon C. No hat-trick this week for the Maldon Talisman Steve Aspland just the bare minimum 2 wins as he was outfought and outlasted by the gutsy Lin Roff in a tense 5-setter. Roff completed her hat-trick with wins over Colin Barrell and Garry Eames, whereas Barrell and Aspland recovered to grab the match-saving doubles win. In the remaining division 2 matches there were conflicting emotions for the two Blackwater teams. The A-Team ran out 7-3 winners over Stow D with hat-tricks for Neil Freeman and Denis Balic, whereas the B-Team succumbed to a 6-4 defeat against a resurgent Maldon D side despite Blackwater’s Louis Gunn recording the only hat-trick of the evening. Two wins each for Maldon’s youth and experience combination of Brian Riedling and Marty Englander plus a doubles victory to secure the result. That win lifts Maldon D off the bottom of the table at the expense of Cold Norton D.
In Division 3 St Lawrence continue to dominate the leaderboard and this week’s victims were Maldon E. St Lawrence ran out 9-1 winners to keep a stranglehold on the top spot. Hat-tricks for the ever reliable Mick Robinson and Steve King, with Mick Pratley chipping in with 2 wins but just losing out to Maldon starlet Arthur Shadforth. Blackwater D and E fought out an in-house battle for the local bragging rights – but both teams failed as they settled on a draw, shook hands and agreed to return to fight on another day. Blackwater E had Peter Davenport to thank for 4 of their points whereas the E Team shared their successes a bit more evenly with 2 wins for both Jacqui Treacy and Chris Rolison. Blackwater C were much more clinical as they dispatched a 2 man Maldon F team 7-3, with all 3 Maldon points courtesy of the paddle of John Leavett. This fine form deserted the Blackwater C squad as they played their second match of the week losing out in a 6-4 battle with Woodham E. A battle it truly was as 5 of the matches went deep into 5th sets with Woodham cruelly winning 4 out of these 5 ‘could go anyway’ encounters. For Woodham Chris Crooks won all his singles and paired up with dark horse Mitch Davies for the doubles victory, and for Blackwater both Andy Simmonds and Phil West took 2 wins. Those extra points push Blackwater C into second place but really the whole of the division is in the running for runner-up slot this season.
Top of page – Brian Reiding in unstoppable form this week as he warms up with Maldon team-mate Shirley Carroll
Pictured above clockwise :-
- The battle for supremacy betwixt Kim Shead of Cold Norton and Sanjay Saptarshi of Woodham
- Fambridge’s Keith Adams hols out against the Cold Norton onslaught
- Eric Green and Sam Lowman pair up in the doubles for Cold Norton
- Maldon’s Arthur Shadforth saving his team from a whitewashing this week