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ETTA Championships

REPORT FROM ESSEX JUNIOR CLOSED 2018

Arthur Clark reports on the days events at BATTS Harlow on Saturday 6 January 2018.

At the Closing Date for Entries there was a doubt that the event would be held but with a further dozen entries received up to Christmas Eve the event went ahead with 46 entries.. As no Under 13 Boys entered the Under 18 Boys event I was able to play these two events at the same time and save two hours on the days playing time.

First to play were these two events. For the Under 13 Boys there should have been two Groups of three players and two Groups of two. With two players not arriving who should have played in the two Groups of three, I later found out they were ill, all the players went through to the KO stage. Number one seed Ollie Rampton (Colchester) had a tight semi-final with team mate Liam Harris squeezing through 11, 11, 9 whilst in the other half Toby Zeffie (Southend) had an even closer semi-final to eventually beat Ralphy Pattison (BATTS) 7, -6, -10, 9, 7. In the final Ollie won 11, -9, 4, 4.

Under 13 winner - Ollie Rampton

Under 13 winner – Ollie Rampton

Meanwhile in the Under 18 Boys event top seed Sam Hume (Clacton) progressed comfortably to the final with 3-0 wins over Vineeth Kamma (Chelmsford) and Benjamin Sivathanu (BATTS). In the other half there was an upset in the semi-final when Abdul Raqueeb (Mossford) lost to Harry Keys (Southend) -8, 8, -7, 8, 9. In the final Sam won 3, -8, 7,4.

 

Under boys winner - Sam Hume

Under 18 Boys winner – Sam Hume

Under 18 Boys runner up - Harry Keys

Under 18 Boys runner up and Under 18 Boys Restricted winner – Harry Keys

The next events were the Under 15 Boys and Girls, the Girls in a round robin of four. Maliha Baig (Mossford) was the winner with Zara Darcy-Willis (NETTS) the runner up.

Under 15 Girls winner -  Maliha Baig

Under 15 Girls winner and Under 11 open winner -
Maliha Baig

In the Boys event the seven seeds all won their Groups and the top four all made their way to the semi-finals. The semis were both close matches. In the absence of Diesel Harvey (a school injury) and Daniel Young, Daniel Zeffie defeated William Skelt (both Southend) 11, -6, 8, 9 while in the other semi Ben Sivathanu gave top seed Jaden Aulakh (Mossford) a run for his money before losing 7, -12, 8, -7, 9.  In the final Jaden won 10, 2, 7.

Under 15 Boys winner -  Jaden Aulakh

Under 15 Boys winner -
Jaden Aulakh

There were also only four players in the Under 11 open event and Maliha Baig again triumphant. In the last match of the round robin she defeated Ralphy Pattison (BATTS) 6, 8, -10, 9 who became the runner up. The final event of the day was the Under 18 Boys Restricted event for players who had never played for the County. With no seeding in the event Harry Keys reached his second final of the day with a 5, 9, 8 win over Toby Kelly (Brentwood) while in the other half Colchester team mates Arran Hutchinson and Oliver Fifield played each other for a place in the final, Arran winning -10, 2, 5, 9. In the final Harry won 7, 7, 2.

Due to lack of entries there were no events for the Under 13 and Under 18 Girls.

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary and Tournament Organiser.

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COME BACK OF THE DAY BY MELIHA BAIG

SONY DSCREPORT ON THE JUNIOR DIVISION 2C MATCHES PLAYED ON SATURDAY 21 OCTOBER 2017

At the NETTS Table Tennis Club at the Earls Colne Recreation Club Essex were the hosts to County Champs Junior Division 2C first round of matches on Saturday 21 October 2017. A full Division of eight teams with six teams from East Anglia, Northants the most northern, and two Sussex teams from the south coast. Last season’s relegated teams Sussex 2 and Hertfordshire would be looking to get back to Division 1 as would Suffolk and Essex 2 who both narrowly missed out on promotion last season. All matches were played on two tables.

The Essex 2 team was Abdul Raqueeb, Matthew Stringer, Jared Chelski, Jaz Harvey and ten year old Maliha Baig. At the time of selection Casey and Alana Mansfield’s grandfather was seriously ill and sadly he has very recently passed away. Figures in red brackets are the current Junior Rating points of the relevant players.

In the first round of matches Essex 2 played Cambridgeshire 2 and won the first two matches. Debutant Abdul (420) beat Josh Curry 3-1 while Jared defeated Matthew Pryke (300) 3-0. Jaz (284) beat Chloe Pryke 10, 8, 9 while on the other table Maliha had to play Emily Brown (258). Maliha won the first two games but then Emily gradually got back into the match and although Maliha had a chance to take the fourth game she finally lost -6, -10, 8, 10, 4. Matthew (420) then lost 3-0 to Zach Martillo (722) but Jared was taken to a deciding game by Josh and came back from a couple of points down to win that 12-10 to put Essex up 4-2. Maliha lost 3-1 to Chloe after winning the first game and Jaz lost to Emily 12-10 in the fourth game. Our Matthew beat their Matthew 8, 10, -8, 10 and with Abdul a comfortable win over the much higher ranked Zach a good start for the Essex Team with a 6-4 win.

In the next round Essex played Sussex 3, who only had one girl player. Matthew lost to Billy Keegan (433) 3,12,10 while Jared was taken to a fifth game by Ed Cozens and won that game 11-1. Abdul then beat Mathew Johnson (406) 3-0 while Maliha was involved in another marathon. 2-1 down she won the fourth game to 8 and the fifth game was either player’s to win until at 10-10 Maliha won the next two important points with attacking shots. Two more five game matches, Matthew losing to Ed and Abdul defeating Billy Keegan after getting the second game 18-16 after losing the first. Jared lost the last match after Jaz had beaten Sasha 3-0. A 7-3 win.

Essex met neighbours Suffolk in the third round with both teams leading the Table although Suffolk had the better sets difference. They had not played one another at Junior level for several seasons but Essex had the better record at Cadet level. However the Suffolk players were now ranked higher than the Essex players. Matthew and Jared both lost their opening matches 3-0 to Kian Burgess (865) and Luke Davies-Stokes (525) respectively. Jaz beat Lucy Curtis 3-0 and Maliha put up a strong performance against Holly McGerty (428) in losing 9, 8, 5. After Abdul lost to Daniel Shelley (547) and Matthew his second match, both 3-1, Jaz then produced her best performance of the day with a great -13, 6, 3, 5 win over the higher ranked Holly and not to be outdone Maliha took the first two games off Lucy 6 and 5. The third game did not go according to plan and she found herself 10-6 down. Remembering back to her first round match (did she?) where a two-nought lead was lost now was the time to attack. Four winning points later it was 10-10 and two more attacking points clinched it. A great come back at a crucial stage. I don’t think Lucy could believe it. Unfortunately Abdul and Jared could not achieve the same so Suffolk won 7-3 to retain top spot but Essex dropped to fourth in the Table.

For the last round of the day Northants 2 were the opposition. They were bottom of the Division having only won two sets all day so a maximum win was the target. Eight of the first nine matches were won 3-0, Jared needing a fourth game when he lost the third, and Abdul needed five games to beat Jacob Tattersall in the last match for the 10-0 win.

There is only two points between the top four teams. In the final round of three matches all four teams have to play two of the other three teams so the winner of the Division may not be determined until the very end of the last round of matches. I am not even going to have a guess as to who this may be. The final round of matches will be held at the same venue, The Earls Colne Recreation Club, on Saturday 2 December, with a playing time start of 10.30 am. I will send a reminder round nearer the time as I intend to keep the same team.

CURRENT TABLE              
  P W D L F A Pts
Suffolk 4 4 0 0 31 9 8
Sussex 2 4 3 1 0 34 6 7
Herts 4 3 1 0 30 10 7
Essex 2 4 3 0 1 26 14 6
Cambs 2 4 1 0 3 18 22 2
Beds 4 1 0 3 10 30 2
Sussex 3 4 0 0 4 9 31 0
Northants 2 4 0 0 4 2 38 0

 

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary and
Junior Division 2C Organiser.

 

 

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ESSEX WIN AFTER A TOUGH DEBUT FOR THE TEAM

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CADET COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS  -  DIVISION 1A, 7 OCTOBER 2017

The first round of County Cadet Division 1A matches were played at the Grange School, Christchurch, Dorset, on Saturday 7 October 2017 with four rounds of matches played. With long journeys ahead of them Daniel Zeffie and Olivia Jones travelled down the previous evening with their parents and coach Kieran Skeggs as did Maliha Baig and her father but by train. Daniel Young and Ben Sivathanu both had the early morning alarm call for the three hour journey. For all these players it would be the initiation to County Championship representation for Essex. A tough time for the team was expected as the three top ranked Essex Cadet players were unable to play. All matches were played on two tables. Red figures in brackets are the current ranking points of the player.

For their first match they had to play Dorset 1. For the opening two matches Daniel Zeffie (346) played Jack Trafford (837 and the highest ranked player Essex would play all day) and lost 3-1 whilst on the other table Ben Sivathanu (328) had to play Jordan Pang (322) with the match going the full distance before Ben lost 7, -11, -6, 8, -10 after having game points to win the second and last games. Maliha (280) then made the match score 1-2 when defeating Jess Moggeridge (240) 8, 5, 8 but Olivia (84) lost to Sophie Bargsai 3-1 after winning the first game. Sadly that was the only match that Essex won although Olivia’s match with Jess went to five games and Daniel Young (348) lost narrowly to Jack 7, 10, 11. Matt Stanfield (489) beat both Daniel Young and Ben.

For the second round of matches Essex had to play Devon who had been relegated from the Premier Division last season and intent on going straight back up after thrashing Middlesex 9-1 in the first round. Maliha and Olivia were no match for Gemma Kerr (957) and Mari Baldwin (933) losing all four matches easily 3-0. Daniel Zeffie achieved the only Essex win, a hard earned 8, 9, -13, 11 over the much higher ranked Jakub Piwowar (596). Daniel took a game off both Herbie Sage (714) and Oliver Cornish (566) and Ben managed one from Jakub.

For the next round bottom team Essex met the team just above them in the Table, Sussex 2, who had lost 8-2 to Surrey 2 and 7-3 to Middlesex. This was a real close match. Daniel Young beat Allessio Marocco (583) 13-11 in the fourth game after losing the first but on the other table Ben lost to Sam Watts (467) 3-0. Olivia had a marathon match with Ellesse Trangmar (119) ending in a nail biting 12, 6, -8, -2, 9 win whilst Maliha beat Sasha O’Halloran (98) 3-0 and went on to beat Ellesse 3-0 as well. Olivia had another stamina sapping match with Sasha but this time the nail biting did not work, Olivia losing the last three points and the deciding game 8-11. Daniel Zeffie’s match with Jacob Evans (615) also went to a deciding game which he lost -10, 6, -10, 8, -8 while Ben’s 3-1 win over Allessio was his first of the day. At this stage the match score was 5-3 to Essex. Daniel Young then lost 3-0 to Jacob and it was left to Daniel Zeffie to beat Sam 3-1 and gain Essex two precious points with the 6-4 win. Well done to the boys and Olivia for all winning matches against higher ranked opposition.

In the days final round the opponents were Glamorgan 2. At the time I knew that they had lost their two previous matches both 6-4 but what I did not know was that it was the girls who won the four in each match. Fortunately this match followed the same pattern. The boys won their six against Harry Jones (214), Evan O’Connor (193) and Elliott Jones, Daniel Young needing a fourth game in both his matches and Ben a fourth against Evan while Maliha and Olivia were no match for Lauren Stacey (363) and Grace Clemment.

For the remaining matches the Division has been split in to two halves, Essex, Surrey 2 and Middlesex 2 will play one another on 11 November at Earls Colne whilst the western half of the Division, Devon, Dorset 1, Glamorgan 2 and Sussex 2 have yet to agree a date and venue for their matches.

A great come back after the first two tough matches and a pleasing start to their hoped for Essex careers. Also thanks to coach Kieran Skeggs for mastering the task of watching matches on two tables at the same time and giving the players advice accordingly. I hope he enloyed his day as much as the players. I think a draw with Middlesex or Surrey (or both) will be sufficient for the team to avoid relegation bearing in mind that Sussex and Glamorgan both have to play Devon and Dorset.

CURRENT TABLE
P W D L F A Pts
Devon 3 3 0 0 26 4 6
Surrey 2 4 2 1 1 21 19 5
Dorset 1 3 2 1 0 20 10 5
Middlesex 2 4 2 0 2 18 22 4
Essex 4 2 0 2 14 26 4
Glamorgan 2 3 0 0 3 12 18 0
Sussex 2 3 0 0 3 9 21 0

 

 

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary and Cadet Division 1A Organiser.

Sheila 3

Sheila Howe

 

Clacton AGM - Sheila with Chairman Peter White and new President Shirley Rowlen

Clacton AGM – Sheila with Chairman Peter White and new President Shirley Rowlen

There was a tinge of sadness at the Clacton and District League’s Annual General Meeting this month when League President Sheila Howe announced she had decided to step down and take a well-deserved rest.

It was sixty years ago – when Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister and premium bonds had just been introduced – that a young Sheila Mills burst on to the North East Essex table tennis scene with victories in the Ladies Doubles and Mixed Doubles at the 1957 Clacton Closed Championships.

Little did anyone realise that Sheila Howe – as she was to become – would dominate women’s table tennis in Clacton for the next four decades.

In 1960 she won the first of her 19 Ladies Singles titles, the last being in 1999. Together with 20 Ladies Doubles and 14 Mixed Doubles, Sheila chalked up 53 major titles, an unparalleled achievement.

Sheila (Mills - as she then was) and Ray Caley after their Mixed Doubles success at the 1957 Closed Championships

Sheila (Mills – as she then was) and Ray Caley after their Mixed Doubles success at the 1957 Closed Championships

Sheila has always been a popular and well-respected member of the local table tennis community. She continued playing in the League until three years ago and, throughout her playing career, win or lose, it was always with a smile on her face.

It was no surprise that, in 2001, Sheila was made League President and, since then, she has undertaken her duties in a conscientious, dependable and friendly manner. Sheila was made a life member of Essex County TTA in 2006.

Thank you, Sheila, for all you’ve done for the Clacton and District League. You’re a genuine star!

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The Corti Woodcock Award – Paul Davison

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Paul Davison,
A high performance junior who became interested in coaching at the age of 16, helping at various sessions he was attending. He became a qualified coach at the age of 19 in 1996 and then quickly progressed to L3 in 1999 earning in the process the ETTA Young Coach of the Year award. One of the first coaches to do so.
He began his club coaching career at Sudbury TTC and when that venue closed he started a new club, NETTS, in 2000. Initially based at Gosfield School. The club relocated to Earls Colne in 2003 which has been their base ever since.  The club had two simple aims; to help young players to reach their potential and provide a place for senior players to play.  A European style club was envisaged with the aim for lots of players congregating on the same night, possible with a large venue, the club also experimented with different playing formats including an individual league before coming up with successful Top 12 and 2-a-side formats. The clubs most successful season competition wise was in 09/10. In this year they were Senior British League Champions (Division 3 South), Women’s British League Champions (Division 3) and National Cadet League: Eastern Region Champions. They also took the Junior British League title (Girls Division 2 Champions) in the 2002/2003 Season – not bad for a small rural club taking on the city boys!
The Corti Woodcock Award.  -  Corti Woodcock was 5’ 1” in height but was a giant among the pioneers of the sport of Table Tennis.  He was instrumental in promoting and organising the game locally and internationally. The West Essex League, Essex County TTA, The ETTA and the ITTF all owe their first faltering steps to his drive and vision.  He was a winner and a leader.  Corti died in 1958.
To honour his life and perpetuate his memory the County set up a board of Trustees to administer an award given annually in recognition of services to Table Tennis in Essex. It is a unique award in as much it cannot be won, it can only be earned.  During February of each year the General Secretary invites nominations from Leagues and of course nominations can also be made by any two individuals affiliated to the County.  These together with nominations from the previous year are discussed by the board in April.
A quick scan of the internet, what a wonderful device, gives us the following information.
The West Essex League has a Corti Woodcock Cup
The Saint Bride Vase originally presented by C. Corti-Woodcock of the Saint Bride Club in London in 1929 is presented to the Men’s winner of the world championship
We found mention of C. Corti Woodcock as President of the Essex Golf Union
The USA TTA site also mentions C. Corti Woodcock as a former ETTA Chairman.
Chinese web sites once w’d managed to get the translation software to work also made considerable mention of C. Corti-Woodcock.
We have taken this brief time to layout the fact that Corti-Woodcock contact and influence within TT and into other sports goes far beyond Essex.  In effect it makes the award of the Corti-Woodcock Trophy just that bit more special.  It is the county’s most prestigious award. In the past it has been awarded for exceptional actions as well as rewarding long service to our sport.
This year the award is for exceptional work. Paul knew the lighting at NETTS was not good enough to stage quality TT events. So he set about doing something about it. Money was the key and he managed  to extract funding from Table Tennis England, A local Community Grant fund, Eastern Region Table Tennis, Essex County Table Tennis, Braintree Table Tennis League, the Earls Colne Club, NETTS also contributed and ran some fund raising activities. He persuaded some in kind support from De Vere Travel and Richard Edwards & Partners Accounting. Besides doing this he also prepared a detailed Development Plan, needed if you plan to extract funding from Table Tennis England. In total Paul drew in £20,000 of funding for the club. During this time contact was being made with suitable contractors who would quote for new LED lighting. From start to finish the project has taken about 9 months to bring to fruition. Of course now the lights are installed the work is just starting. The next phase of the development plan comes into play. Getting more people playing table tennis, sounds simple but the work will not stop.
So well done to Paul for his efforts in improving and developing NETTS. He is a worthy winner of the Corti Woodcock Award. Paul was presented with his award by Essex County President, Stuart Gibbs.
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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

South-Jrs

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

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Essex Juniors Glamorgan take the title but Essex 1 oh so Close!

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 CIPPENHAM TTC were the hosts to County Champs Junior Division 1B matches on Saturday 11 March 2017.

Current TTE Ranking positions are shown brackets after the player name. Note that the Glamorgan players have no TTE Rankings.

This was the final round of Junior Division 1B matches. The first rounds of matches were played at Cardiff and Cippenham to reduce travelling for the County Teams. Glamorgan, Devon 2, Dorset and Berkshire played at Cardiff and Essex 1, Herts, Surrey and Sussex 2 played at Cippenham, both on Saturday 3 December 2016. After these first rounds Glamorgan and Essex shared the top of the table with 6 points each although Glamorgan held a slight advantage on Sets difference. Each match was played on two tables. The Essex team was Sam Hume, Jack Stockdale, Ryan Gooday, (Joe Walker was unable to play due to studies for exams) Tiana Dennison and Stephanie Cross.

In the first round of matches Essex 1 played Berkshire. They opened up with a 4-0 lead but for the boys oh so close. Sam (52) went 2-0 up against Yonaton Slobodskoy but was then pulled back to a deciding game which he eventually won 11-9 having failed to convert match points in the loss of the third game 15-13. On the adjacent table Ryan (200) squeezed home 12, -9, 11, 9 against Felix Thomas (221). Tiana (15) and Stephanie (21) both won 3-0 against Anaya Patel (33) and Katie Shepard respectively. Later on in the alternating matches Stephanie was to lose to Anaya in the fifth game of a fluctuating match with Tiana winning 3-1. Jack (57) was involved in two fluctuating deciding matches, firstly losing to Josh Gallen (67) and just beating Felix 11-9 in the final game to give Essex a 7-3 win after Sam had sealed victory with a 3-0 win over Josh. A good start but Glamorgan had beaten the eventual third placed team Surrey 9-1

In the second round Essex played Devon 2 and won the two opening matches, Jack coming back from 2-0 down to beat Daniel Kerr (70) 11-6 in the fifth game and Ryan, coming back from 2-1 down to win his deciding game 12-10 with Ben Edmunds. Tiana won her match with Zoe Bennett 3-0but Stephani lost three straight to Mari Baldwin (42). Sam, after winning the first two games easily against Leon Zackarkiw (105) surprisingly lost the third game but in the fourth everything went his way for a 11-0 game win and he followed this up with a deciding game win over Daniel after being 2-0 down. Like Stephanie Tiana struggled against Mari and went 2-0 down and three match points down before saving those and coming through to win the last three games 12-10, 11-7, 11-8. Stephanie only gave away nine points in her match with Zoe. With the match won Ryan lost to Leon after being 2-1 up. An 8-2 win but Glamorgan won 10-0 against the bottom team Sussex 2.

For round 3 the team would rely heavily on the girls winning their four matches against Dorset as both Sam and Jack had to play the highest ranked player on the day, Zac Dowling (33). Jack went 2-0 up against him but eventually lost 11-6 in the decider whilst a battling Sam was even closer, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-13, 8-8 before losing the last three points. Both opening matches went to five games, Sam saving match points in the fourth against Ali Malloch (82) before winning it 14-12 and the decider 11-2 whilst Ryan had two match point against Jamie Blair but eventually lost the game 13-11 but Ryan did win a very tight match against Ali 3-1 coming from behind in each of the three games he won. As hoped for Stephanie and Tiana won their four matches, three of them very easily, but Tiana struggled against ten year old Sophie Barcsai and was 2-1 down before finally winning the decider 11-8. Jack’s final match win over Jamie made the match score 7-3 but Glamorgan had beaten Herts 10-0.

With the last round of matches to come there was still interest in promotion and relegation issues. For the match between Essex 1 and Glamorgan, Glamorgan only needed a draw to win the League on Sets difference while Essex needed to win the match to take the title. Sussex 2 were already relegated (even if they were to win their last match) and the match between Herts and Dorset would determine the other relegation position. Whichever team lost the match would be relegated and if it was a draw it would be Herts on Sets difference.

Not a good start for Essex, Jack and Ryan both lost their opening matches 3-0 to Joshua Stacy and Joseph Roberts respectively. There was hope when Tiana went 2-0 up against Lara Whitton but in the end she lost 11-9 in a decider. Stephanie also won her first game against Lydia John but having lost the second she went on to win the next two games 13-11, 11-3 to give the Essex team an element of hope. Things were looking up further when Sam beat Benedict Watson 3-1 but with Jack losing 12-10 in the fourth game with Joseph Glamorgan only needed to win one more match to win the Division title. This came when Tiana lost 9, 8, 9 to Lydia after winning the first game. On the other table Stephanie and Lara were involved in the girls match of the day. With both girls bent on attacking games there were many fast and furious, yet long rallies to excite the spectators, before Stephanie came back from 14, 9, down to win 2, 9, 9. The score in the last game does not reflect the dramatic swings. Stephanie 5-0 up at the change round inched to 8-2 up before Lara hit back with winner after winner to bring the match score to 9-9. A calm but relieved Stephanie won the next two points, with a winning rally and an error from her opponent. After this two 3-0 defeats by Sam and Ryan left Glamorgan winning the match 7-3.

Disappointment for the Essex team but they were probably playing the core of the Welsh Junior team. Overall a good season for the Essex teams with the two Junior teams and the Cadet Team all finishing as Runners Up in their respective Divisions. There will be TTE Runner Up trophies for all the players in the three teams.

Sam 6 out of 8, Jack 4 out of 8, reserve Ryan 3 out of 8, Tiana 6 out of 8 and Stephanie 6 out of 8

 Final Table

P          W         D         L          F          A          Pts

Glamorgan                  7          7          0          0          61          9        14
Essex 2                       7          6          0          1          49        21        12
Surrey                         7          5          0          2          42        28        10
Berkshire                     7          4          0          3          35        35          8
Devon 2                      7          3          0          4          33        37          6
Dorset                         7          2          0          5          29        41          4
Hertfordshire               7          1          0          6          20        50          2
Sussex 2                     7          0          0          7          11        59          0

Arthur C. Clark

Essex Junior Match Secretary and
Junior Division 1B Organiser.