Blackwater’s Tidal Wave Peters out in Final Fling

The tsunami approach of Blackwater D fell short in their final match of the season gifting the Division 3 title of the Burnham & District Table Tennis League to long standing favourites St Lawrence.  The two horse race between the rival river dwellers of the Dengie went all the way to the final match of the season.  The fate of the championship lay with Blackwater but they collapsed under the pressure losing out to bottom-of-the-table Woodham E.  Dreams were dashed and the dazed Blackwater trio and their travelling entourage will need to lift their spirits ready for next year’s campaign.

Blackwater D travelled to Woodham E needing 9 points or better to secure the league title – with Woodham struggling of late this tally was a distinct possibility and the St Lawrence celebrations have been on hold knowing their victory was in the balance.  However the dream was over after just 3 games as Woodham took an unexpected 2-1 lead with victories from Diane King over Norman Hayes, and Peter Harverson over Anne Brewer.  At this point fireworks could be seen across the bay to the St Lawrence HQ.  Woodham continued their dominance and won out 7-3 for the most unexpected scoreline of the evening.  Peter Harverson continued his recent form with 4 wins on the night.  So St Lawrence are crowned champions with a 6 point gap – much closer than expected but it made for an exciting final few weeks.

Division 2 was wrapped up as Maldon B confirmed their runner-up status with a healthy 7-3 victory over Stow Maries D.  Teamwork makes the dream work as all 3 Maldon players took a brace of wins and Colin Napper and Hamish Innes combined for a straightforward doubles triumph.  For Stow the bandana-clad Tim Pulham excelled with 2 deciding set victories against Dawn Baldry and Innes.  So Woodham C are champions and Maldon B are deserved runners-up in this strongest of divisions.

In Division 1 Cold Norton B romped home 10-0 against their very own C team to set out a marker for the upcoming Team Handicap Final.  Cold Norton C have already requested that the B team handicaps are doubled for the Final and this is under consideration by the Competitions Secretary.  However hope remains strong for the C team as, despite the horrendous scoreline, they did put up a good fight with 4 of the matches going deep into a deciding leg.  You have to feel for the C team’s Arron Chandler as 3 of those 5 set losses fell to him as he played the maximum 15 sets of singles to come away empty-handed.  So hat-tricks for the B team’s Eric Green, Ian Wall, and Sam Lowman.  A result that sees Cold Norton B finish in a noteworthy third place, but alas puts the C team in danger of slipping into the relegation zone.  The other top division match this week saw Woodham B and Mapledene B play out an enjoyable 5-5 score-draw.  Woodham’s Sanjay Saptarshi was the standout player winning all his singles and combining with Eamonn Hall for the bonus doubles point.  Saptarshi did have a scare against Anthon Ranjit-Singh when at 2-0 up the wheels came off and Ranjit-Singh began to dominate the rallies taking the third leg and really should’ve/could’ve taken the 4th set but Saptarshi just squeezed through 12-10 for the victory dance.  For Mapledene Paul Brown and Andy Seaman both took a brace.  With just one game to go this points haul gives the Woodham B team a fighting chance of escaping the relegation zone.  Mapledene B finish in a comfortable mid-table position.

Pic 1 – Blackwater D  – Norman Hayes, Jacqui Treacy, Dave Benstead, Anne Brewer

Pic 2 – Action from the match between Sanjay Saptarshi (Woodham B) and Paul Brown (Mapledene B)

Pic 3 –Player of the match Sanjay Saptarshi (Woodham B team)

Pic 4 – Mapledene’s Anthon Ranjit-Singh serving in his stoic battle with Saptarshi  

Pic 5 – Eric Green and Ian Wall – Cold Norton B’s successful doubles partnership

Sanjay Saptarshi v Paul Brown
Sanjay Saptarshi
Anton Ranjit Singh
Ian Wall and Eric Green