Top ranked players set the pace in Southend Summer League

The first week of the Summer League kicked off in Division 1 with two big wins and two very close wins and, not surprisingly, it’s the higher ranked players who made the biggest impact.

In the opening match Brand Identity took on Hockley A and, with both teams boasting Winter League premier and Division 1 players, it proved to be a close encounter despite Hockley threatening to run away with the game at one point.

The opening doubles went easily to the Hockley pairing of Sanjay Saptarshi and Dan Patynski but David Jacob quickly levelled the score disposing of Joseph Odegbami in straight sets. Three quick wins then followed for Hockley, Patynski and Saptarshi beating Dale Gutteridge and Steve Muth respectively before Patynski and Odegbami beat Jacob and Gutteridge in the second doubles. Steve Muth cut the deficit temporarily beating Odegbami in four sets but Saptarshi gave Hockley a match winning lead beating Gutteridge in straight sets. Credit to Brand Identity who then managed to win the last two matches to leave the score at 5-4 to Hockley. Jacob beat Patynski and then combined with Muth to beat Saptarshi and Odegbami.

The Wakering side who finished third in Division 2 in the Winter league found themselves up against a revamped Rawreth side of Russell Mills, James Elliot and Andrew Halling and, not surprisingly, finished up on the wrong end of an 8-1 defeat. Halling finished player of the match winning all his games, as did Elliot, with Callum Turner getting the consolation point for Wakering beating Mills in five close sets. 2-1 down at one stage he took the last two 12/10, 13/11. Turner also took Elliot to five sets as did Paul England and Stewart Mills against Halling and Russell Mills in the doubles, but otherwise it was plain sailing for the Rawreth boys.

Another 5-4 result, but a real cliff hanger, saw Stanford A edge out Basildon A in the final match of the evening. Stanford led 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 before the doubles between Arun Joy and Chudi Ukpaka of Basildon and Pat White and Peter Weatherall of Stanford fittingly went to five sets finishing on an 11/5 win for Stanford. Joy got two good singles wins against White and Weatherall and Ukpaka beat Ian Sangster in the only other five set match, coming from 2-1 down and winning the last three sets 12/10, 11/9, 11/8. Weatherall, White and Sangster all got one singles win plus two wins in the doubles.

Hockley B, consisting of Division 2/3 players John George, Tony Molisso and Ron Rogerson, found the experienced Hadleigh A side of Berti Makoli, Tony Jacks and Colin Barham just too strong and succumbed to an 8-1 defeat.  George picked up their consolation point in a very good five set win against Barham who Rogerson also took to five sets, but they were the only rays of light in a convincing win for the Forum. Makoli just took the player of the match award from Jacks losing just one set all night.

Dan Patynski and Sanjay Saptarshi – Hockley A