All posts by Paul Strutt

Rawreth race to early lead

Rawreth have set out their stall early in Division 1of the Southend Summer League following up last week’s 8-1 win against Wakering with a 9-0 demolition of Hadleigh Forum A. A completely different line up to the previous week saw Deborah Auvache, Peter Barrett and Kevin Read pick up the mantle and they had little difficulty overcoming their opponents only one game going the distance. Forum’s Tony Jacks actually held a 2-1 advantage over Barrett in this one but succumbed 11/7, 11/7 in the final sets. Not surprisingly Rawreth are the early leaders after their two wins.

Invicta A and Basildon A both kicked off their season this week and both recorded 6-3 wins against Basildon B and Stanford A respectively.

Basildon A, led by an in form Les Hoey, started well against Stanford leading 3-1 only to find themselves level at 3-3 after wins for Peter Weatherall against Charles Yeung and a doubles win for Pat White and Ian Sangster against Yeung and Tony Ayliffe. After Hoey dismissed Sangster in three sets to take the lead back they then found themselves involved in two hard five set matches which determined the victory. Closest of these was Ayliffe’s come back win against White, finding himself two sets down he took the last three sets 12/10, 11/9, 11/9. It couldn’t have been any closer! Yeung and Hoey then took on White and Weatherall and eventually edged to victory winning 11/7 in the fifth. Hoey took the Player of the Match award.

Invicta’s win against Basildon B came after a disastrous start to the match losing the first three games. Ashokkumar Sivanandam and Dawn Baldry started the evening with a comeback win against Lee Marson and Anton Ranjit-Singh. They managed to reverse a 2-1 scoreline winning the last two sets 11/4, 11/9. Jenne Seibolt then pulled off something of a shock win beating Steve Marr in straight sets before Dawn Baldry made it 3-0 on the night defeating Ranjit-Singh in four. Invicta then started a remarkable comeback Marson winning both his singles against Sivanandam and Seibolt, and Marr and Ranjit-Singh beating Seibolt and Baldry to level the score at 3-3.

The next two singles were crucial and, as may have been expected from two players bearing the longest names, possibly, in the league, Ranjit-Singh and Sivanandam fought out a long five set match 10/12, 11/5, 11/13, 11/9. 11/2 in favour of the Invicta man. Marr then found his form to overcome Baldry in another five set match before he combined with Marson to win the final doubles and clinch a 6-3 victory. Two games and two defeats then for Basildon B.

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

Pain and Pleasure for Cold Norton Club

This week saw the culmination of the Team Handicap Cup competition of the Burnham & District Table Tennis League.  In this event players are given a score handicap to reflect their ranking in an attempt to set a level playing field and allow teams from every division to compete evenly.  Sometimes this works better than others!  This year’s Final was an all Cold Norton affair as their B and C teams battled through several rounds to earn the right for their night of destiny, and the glory that is bestowed upon the victors. 

Holders and long time favourites Cold Norton B got off to a steady start in this year’s Final when Ian wall and Dan Anderson recovered swiftly from their 5 points deficit to score the opening win against Tim Cramphorn and Dick Wyman.  The first singles of the night was a classic as Neil Want (C Team) raised his game and attacked the defensive minded Eric Green (-5).  The first leg went to deuce which Green held, but then Want came back and took the second leg 21-19 – some fantastic rallying with Want often in control but occasionally wayward in the final killer shots.  The final leg saw Want take a decent early lead as Green recovered his handicap.  At 16-11 in Want’s favour Cold Norton C had already marked up their first point of the night, but alas the fat lady hadn’t even warmed up her tonsils yet and Green tidied up his mistakes and went on a run of 7 consecutive points to bring some semblance of balance back to the game.  As the pressure mounted Green steadied and his opponent was found ‘Wanting’.  Green took the final leg 21-18 for a very hard earned point in a game that many observers thought Want should have taken.  Brilliant matchplay all round.  Wall propelled his team into a commanding 3-0 lead with a straight sets victory over Cramphorn in a match that was pretty even in open play but the Wall serve proved accurate and decisive as Cramphorn struggled to return the disguised spin.  The next match was the battle of the Captains.  In the end not much of a warzone as Anderson won out comfortably.  Wyman hit several crowd-pleasing winners but there just wasn’t enough of them against the measured and consistent play from Anderson.  So at 0-4 down in a first-to-five encounter the C Team pairing had it all to do against one of the league’s best double acts in Green & Wall.  The C team volunteers were Want and Cramphorn and they looked a bit sheepish as they entered the arena to much chanting from their travelling supporters.  With a 6 point handicap in their favour the C team duo went full gusto and took a considerable lead into the latter stage of the first leg.  However once the B Team pairing sorted out their concentration levels and realised they were in a battle the points started to rack up and the C Team became a bit crumbly as they managed to pull a defeat from the jaws of victory.  No such crumbliness in the second leg as the game and the Cup were extremely close at 19-19 and then at game point Want coolly dispatches a Green serve back from whence it came for an emphatic finish.  Reeling from this kick in the teeth the B Team came out strongly in the deciding leg and quickly erased their handicap deficit and with few errors in their game built up a commanding lead which they were never going to concede.  A final score of 21-11 to secure the match and the Cup for Cold Norton B.

So Cold Norton B emerge victorious from the Battle of Rega – very deserved winners who retain their trophy and have already been instilled as odds-on favourites for the next few seasons.   Many congratulations to both finalists who will receive their trophies at the upcoming Presentation Dinner, and a massive thank you to the event organiser and chief umpire Mr Alan Scammell.

Pic 1 – Cold Norton B – Team Handicap Champions 2024

Pic 2 – Cold Norton B & C Teams  – Team Handicap Final 2024

Pic 3 – Handicap Final 2024 – Neil Want v Eric Green

Pic 4 – Action from the Handicap Final 2024 – the crucial Doubles match between Cold Norton C and B

Pic 5 – Handicap Final 2024 – Dick Wyman v Dan Anderson

Cold Norton B
Cold Norton B and C
Neil Want and Eric Green
Cup final doubles action
Dick Wyman v Dan Anderson

Brilliant Buttsbury A pip Galleywood B to the Division 3 title

Week 32 saw Buttsbury A gain the 9-1 victory needed to snatch the title from long-term leaders Galleywood B.  Galleywood had been in pole position since week three but they were unable to keep enough distance between themselves and their closest rivals.

Chelmsford Junior League division 2A

The Hutton Hawks were crowned division 2A champions by a point thanks to the Chelmsford Cougars who prevented the Chelmsford Eagles achieving the 5-0 victory they required.  Joshua Freeman (14 wins from 14 matches in CJL2A) gave the Eagles the perfect start with a 3-0 win over Amir Chetitah before teammate Ben Robinson beat Sai Suresh 3-1 to double their lead.  Third match up saw Chetitah recover from 1-0 down to beat Robinson, and it was this win for the Cougars which sealed the title for Hutton.  Finishing off the fixture – Freeman beat Suresh in three and (with Robinson) won 3-0 in the doubles.  Agonisingly close for the Eagles but they should be commended for making it such an exciting finish to the season, congratulation to Hutton’s Charlie Ware, Jago Ware, Charlie Gould and Noah Middleton – the division CJL2A champions!

Standings CJL 2A: C: Hutton Hawks 24 points (8 matches), 2: Chelmsford Eagles 23 points (8 matches).

Junior Cup Final

Top seeds Chelmsford 1 made short work of Chelmsford 2 to lift the Junior Cup.  The favourites dropped just one game in the first three matches as they took a commanding 3-0 lead before Nikita Tkachuk pulled one back for Chelmsford 2 via a five-game win over Aidan Lees.  Order was restored soon after as Harry Chivers and Josh Bickles beat Omar Wasi and Sami Osman in four before Lees secured the cup with a 3-1 win over Osman.

Division 3

The Buttsbury A trio of Jamie Elliott, Evie Knaapen and Paul Sturton were able to achieve the required 9-1 victory over league leaders Galleywood B to lift the division three title.  Elliott earned another three wins and finished the season with a perfect 47 league wins from 47 singles matches – he was joined by Sturton (22 wins from 23 matches) who fired a treble of his own.  The hosts dropped just two games in romping into an 8-0 lead but John Holland kept Galleywood’s hopes alive with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Knaapen (36 wins from 44).  So the season was down to the final contest of the night between Elliott and Copsey, with the Buttsbury youngster taking the spoils in an 11-6, 11-9, 11-8 victory.  Galleywood B will be disappointed to have been pipped at the post having carried division three on their shoulders throughout the season – a great effort nonetheless from Mark Glenister (70% win rate), John Holland (84% win rate), Gary Brignall (91% win rate), Bryn Thomas, Gary Copsey and others.

A hat-trick for Tim Pulham backed up by two wins for Peter Lucraft wasn’t quite enough to earn Danbury H the victory against Chelmsford E – the spoils being shared 5-5.  Pulham recovered from 2-0 down against Rev Matthews for the win having earlier beaten Alesha Ellis-Austin by the same 3-2 scoreline.  Lucraft’s two wins came over Matthews and Ellis-Austin though James Grimston recovered from 2-1 down to take the victory in their contest.  Writtle D drew 5-5 with OCA C – Peter Layzell won two of his three games but was beaten by Tom Barker in four – Barker had earlier managed to recover from 2-1 down against Malcolm Henstock.

Final standings div 3: C: Buttsbury A 143 points (20 matches), 2: Galleywood B 141 points (from 20 matches), 3: Danbury H 115 points (from 20 matches).

Division 5

Second-placed Chelmsford J handed division five champions Danbury M only their second league loss of the season as they romped to a 10-0 away win.  The team of Mark Nolan, David Parker and Elliot Hawthorne showed their class from start to finish – both of Parker’s victories were earned over five games.

Standings div 4: C: Danbury M 137 points (from 20 matches), 2: Chelmsford J 125 points (20 matches), 3: Chelmsford H 112 points (from 20 matches).

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Jeremy Hill, Press Officer, Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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Brandon’s back on top in Braintree

His chance of regaining the men’s singles title disappeared in the semi-final, but Brandon Crouchman has proved that he is still a class act by finishing top of the individual averages in the Braintree Table Tennis League, a position he occupied in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

He suffered only one defeat, to Lee McHugh, who went on to beat him in that semi-final.

He included last year’s rating topper Paul Lucas among his victims but he did not face current men’s singles champion Paul Davison.  He missed the first match and Davison missed the second.

Davison, who finished in third place, lost four times, to Harry Chivers, Kaung Paing, Mark Mulley and Lucas.

Lucas lost five.  His defeats by Davison, Paing and Crouchman were less surprising than reverses against Andy Holmes and Omar Wasi.

Chivers, Mulley and McHugh did not play enough to figure in the ratings.

The revelation of the season was the form of Maria Boulton, rising from 13th place to second.

Her transfer from Netts to join Rayne A was a crucial part of the latter’s championship win.

She missed the matches against the top players but showed a level of consistency that had eluded her last season.

It was little surprise that Jon Hill, a regular first division player very recently, topped the division two averages, where again his consistency stood out.

He was stretched to five games only twice in 17 sets although his record appeared to be in danger in his final match when he had to come back from two games down to beat Lawrence Grantham 14-16, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8.

And consistency is always the watchword for Sean Clift, who has risen from sixth in 2022 to fourth last year and now second.

Szczepan Ziobro made the jump from division three to two look a mere stride as he took third place with only six defeats behind him.

For most of the season it looked as if Charles Calisin, 18 last week, would top the division three averages.

After registering only a 35 per cent average last year he stormed through his first seven matches with only one defeat, to Dave Whiting.

His defeat to John Barrett was no great surprise considering that Barrett’s only defeats have been to players who were in division two last season or the season before, but reverses against Lorraine Burgess and Doug Sanders, both of whom he had beaten first time round, dented his record further.

Instead it was the steady form of Graham Chinnery that claimed the top spot.  He lost to Calisin and more unexpectedly, to his father Jimmy, in November but was unbeaten thereafter, avenging the defeat by the elder Calisin in a match that his son missed.

Jimmy Calisin nonetheless finished in a creditable fourth place, improving his average from 60 last year to 85.7 this.

Individual averages (qualification one-third of team’s matches):

Division 1

1 (5) Brandon Crouchman 26 wins out of 27 = 96.3 per cent; 2 (13) Maria Boulton 22-24, 91.7; 3 (3) Paul Davison 30-34, 88.2; 4 (1=) Paul Lucas 36-41, 87.8; 5 (9) Andy Holmes 30-38, 78.9; 6 (10) Adam Buxton 31-41, 75.6; 7 (4) James Hicks 33-44, 75; 8= (11) Alistair Hill, (-) Omar Wasi  20-27, 74.1; 10 (-) Aron Jordan 13-18, 72.2; 11 (7) Scott Dowsett 20-29, 68.9; 12 (-) Oliver Hicks 29-43, 67.4; 13 (8) Steve Pennell l27-43, 62.8; 14 (-) Ken Lewis 30-50, 60; 15 (19) Ian Whiteside 14-25, 56; 16 (17) Chris Parr 25-48, 52.1; 17 (12) Victor Chan 20-39, 51.3; 18 (26) James Mullane 16-33, 48.4; 19 (-) Sam Burrows 15-32, 46.9; 20 (16) Ashley Skeggs 19-41, 46.3.

Division 2

1 Jon Hill 17-17, 100; 2 Sean Clift 39-45, 86.7; 3 Szczepan Ziobro 31-37, 83.8; 4 Adi Kamma 15-18, 83; 5 Richard Whiteside 31-42, 73.8; 6 Dave Moles 33-45, 73.3; 7 Rev Matthews 35-48, 72.0; 8 Ian Shrubsole 36-51, 70.5; 9= Louise Hartshorn 34-51, Jamie Brooks 28-42, Kierlan Richards 26-39, 66.7.

Division 3

1 Graham Chinnery 43-45, 95.6; 2 Charles Calisin 41-45, 91.1; 3 John Barrett 24-27, 88.9; 4 Jimmy Calisin 36-42, 85.7; 5 Tim Schafer 23-27, 85.2; 6 Lorraine Burgess 37-44, 84.1; 7 Doug Sanders 35-44. 79.6; 8= Ron Fosker, Stewart Grant 13-18, 72.2; 10 Brian How 15-21, 71.4.

Better than average!

As the Burnham & District Table Tennis Winter League draws to its natural conclusion we now get to reward the most consistent and successful players across the 3 Divisions.  The Burnham ‘MVP’ trophies are awarded to the players with the highest win rates across the season in each division provided they have played in at least half of their teams’ matches. 

Duncan Taylor is this year’s winner of the Division 1 Peter Ballard Cup with a 92% win rate only losing 2 individual matches all season.  Taylor is a well known figure across the Essex table tennis circuit and a perennial Finals Night competitor in every league he plays in.  But Taylor also plays for many of his teams on a regular basis – all those wet Wednesdays in Maldon or icy Mondays in Mundon – and in Burnham he regularly turns out for the Cold Norton A side and that usually guarantees them a healthy points return.  Taylor is a notable and very welcome addition to the list of previous winners.  Runner-up was Chris Penrose of Woodham A with 90% and Ian Wall of Cold Norton B was third placed on 82%.

The Division 2 title and Brian Ellis Cup is awarded back to big Barrie Delf of Mapledene C.  Delf is a previous hogger of this trophy and clearly has an empty spot on his mantlepiece that needs replenishing.  With just 2 losses all season Delf was significantly clear of the chasing pack.  A very difficult player to beat as the ball just keeps coming back and back and back – its relentless!  Runner-up was Graham Briggs from Woodham C on 89%, and just a tadge behind him on the same percentage was Woodham D’s Gus Heath.

The Division 3 race for supremacy was very tight until the last few rounds of matches when the St Lawrence duo of Steve King and Mike Pratley dropped some unexpected points – and in particular they both lost to the eventual stand out winner of the Roy Davis Cup, take a bow Peter Davenport from Blackwater E.  Davenport finished on a very impressive 88% win rate for the season with King on 78% and Pratley on 76%.  Tough league this one as they all play each other 3 times so there is no hiding for the top players.

The league season came to a full conclusion this week with the final match between Maldon A and Woodham B in Division 1.  Woodham B needed 6 points to leapfrog Cold Norton C and avoid the relegation discussions, and 9 points to jump above their opponents Maldon A.  Despite dropping the doubles the Woodham duo of Sanjay Saptarshi and Dan Patynski won all of their singles to secure the 6 points needed for the win and the relegation avoidance.  Patynski just edging past Lloyd Bennet-Smith in a deciding set.  Woodham’s third player Eamonn Hall was unlucky to have lost his first two singles matches to Jon Stokes and Colin Napper both in long 5 setters, so it seemed fitting that the final match of the whole season duly went to 5 sets as Hall came from behind to beat Bennett-Smith in a tantalising 5th leg.  7-3 to Woodham and the season is done.

Pic 1 – Duncan Taylor – Peter Ballard Cup recipient 2024

Pic 2 – Barrie Delf (Mapledene C) – Brain Ellis Cup Winner 2024

Pic 3 – Peter Davenport (Blackwater E) – Winner of the Roy Davis Cup 2024

Pic 4 – Action from the Doubles match between Maldon A and Woodham B

Pic 5 – Player of the match Sanjay Saptarshi (Woodham B team)

Peter Davenport
Maldon A v Woodham B
Sanjay Saptarshi

Braintree League season review

Rayne A, the eternal bridesmaids, finally made it to the top rung in the Braintree Table Tennis League this season after finishing runners-up for the past six years.

Champions Netts A mixed it with them at the start of the season and briefly held the top spot in weeks seven and eight after a win over Rayne and Rayne’s surprise defeat two matches later to Liberal B, but a defeat to Liberal A knocked them off again and after that Rayne sailed off into the sunset.

They dropped only two points in their next five fixtures.

Netts’ chances of racking up a third successive title always looked problematic after they lost the services of 2022 men’s singles champion Michael Andrews.

Rayne were strengthened by the addition of Maria Boulton, moving over from Netts B, who won 22 of her 24 sets.

Paul Lucas won 36 out of 41, 2019 champion Lee McHugh won 14 out of 15 and with Adam Buxton, who only missed one match, improving his average from 61 per cent last season to 71, they finished a comfortable 19 points ahead.

The new Rayne C, with Steve Pennell and Ian Whiteside dropping down from the A team, finished only eight points behind Netts, while the next four teams, Black Notley B, Liberal A, Liberal B and Sudbury Nomads were covered by just two points.

The Netts club may have missed out on the top title, but compensation came with the success of their B and D teams in divisions two and three.

Netts B’s success was built round two of the strongest players in the division, Szczepan Ziobro and Joe Meleschko, with 31 out of 37 and 34 out of 41 respectively, with the added insurance of the backing of one-time regular first division player Jon Hill, unbeaten in his 17 sets.

Sudbury Wanderers pushed them hard until they faded on the run-in and Rayne D overtook them with three matches to go.

Dave Moles, a reserve for many years, opted to play more regularly this season and he and Richard Whiteside formed the backbone of the team, finishing with almost identical averages of 73.8 and 73.3.

Netts D’s father-and-son combination of Jimmy and Charles Calisin were something of a revelation in division three.  Both improved immeasurably over the previous season, something that might be expected of a junior but Jimmy almost kept pace with his son and they won 85 of their team’s 141 sets between them, including an unbeaten eight successes in the doubles.

Their main challengers were Great Yeldham, a new team who entered as part of the league’s joint initiative with Table Tennis England to provide them with a table and equipment.

They found their own players, though, and seasoned campaigners Lorraine Burgess, Doug Sanders and Kevin Mills ensured Netts D did not have it all their own way.

Had the league been calculated on two points for a win, one for a draw, they would have finished top – with Notley G second.

But that would have involved turning the clock back 59 years.

Harriers and Panthers take top spots

First Junior League champions crowned

Week 31 saw division 2B’s Hutton Harriers and division 2C’s Chelmsford Panthers take the first two of four junior divisional titles on offer.

Chelmsford Junior League division 2A

The Hutton Hawks moved within touching distance of the division 2A title with a 4-1 home win over the Chelmsford Cougars.  Charlie Ware was in dominating form as he won both of his matches 3-0 – dropping just 24 points over the six games.  Ben Robinson earned the sole point for the visitors with a 3-1 win over Noah Middleton.  The Chelmsford Eagles kept their hopes of catching leaders the Hutton Hawks alive with a 3-2 win over the Buttsbury Bears – Joshua Freeman (12 wins from 12 this season) won two out of two for the hosts. 

Standings CJL 2A: 1: Hutton Hawks 24 points (8 matches), 2: Chelmsford Eagles 19 points (7 matches).

Chelmsford Junior League division 2B

The Hutton Harriers secured the division 2B title with a 5-0 home win over the Chelmsford Tigers – Billy Andrews (11 wins from 12 this season) and Martis Heyes (9 wins from 12) didn’t drop a game.  The Buttsbury Bulldogs beat the Chelmsford Leopards 5-0 and can still finish level on points with the Harriers though would miss out on the title due to holding less wins (league rule 6.5.1).

Standings CJL 2B: C: Hutton Harriers 31 points (8 matches), 2: Buttsbury Bulldogs 26 points (from 7 matches)

Chelmsford Junior League division 2C

In a ‘winner takes all’ contest to conclude division 2C, the Chelmsford Panthers were crowned champions thanks to a narrow 3-2 win over clubmates the Chelmsford Jaguars.  Tied on 28 league points apiece, the Panthers edged ahead when Nathanael Slade (8 wins from 8 matches this season) won the first contest before Sean Kwan and Atharv Srivastava gave the Jaguars the advantage.  Slade levelled the fixture at 2-2 – with both teams on 30 points in the league and the destination of the titles to be determined by the doubles contest.  Srivastava and Kwan took the opening game before Slade and Henry Mansell stormed through to take the match and the division’s top spot.  The Hutton Hornets finished their season with a 4-1 home win over the Chelmsford Rhinos.  Theo Rugg and Casper Norris dropped just one game of their singles matches between them to earn the Hornets their second victory of the 2C season.

Standings CJL 2C: C: Chelmsford Panthers 31 points (from 8 matches), 2: Chelmsford Jaguars 30 points (8 matches)

Chelmsford Junior League division 2D

The Buttsbury Bats remain unbeaten in division 2D and look set to clinch the title as they won 4-1 at the Chelmsford Lions.  Second-placed Chelmsford Pumas fell to a 4-1 away loss to the Hutton Hares with four of the five matches not being decided until the fifth game.  Leon Smith came from 2-0 down to beat Hari Gumbeer before he teamed with Louis Smith to repeat the feat against Gumbeer and Taylor Cumber in the doubles.

Standings CJL 2D: 1: Buttsbury Bats 25 points (from 6 matches), 2: Chelmsford Pumas 25 points (7 matches)

Division 2

A Sanjay Saptarshi treble helped Danbury D nick third place from Writtle B by a sole point as the hosts wrapped up their season with an 8-2 win.  Saptarshi dropped just one game during his singles matches and joined forces with Daniel Patynski to recover from 2-1 down to beat Steve Buer and Chris Buer.  Hall had earlier beaten both Buer’s though lost out to Gus Heath in four. 

Standings div 2: C: Chelmsford C 138 points (from 20 matches), 2:  Hatfield Peverel A 121 points (from 20 matches), 3: Writtle B 113 points (20 matches)

Division 3

With the destination of the division three title scheduled to be decided in week 32, week 31 saw action at the lower end of the division where bottom side Writtle E completed their season with a 6-4 home win over Danbury J – the result despite a hat-trick from Danbury’s Peter Hance.  Hance beat Ian Hockley in three, Colin Barham in four and Malcolm Storey in five – Storey had earlier beaten Louis Gunn in five and later bested John Robinson in four.  Hance and Robinson recovered from 2-0 down in the doubles to win – six of the first seven matches went the distance.

Standings div 3: 1: Galleywood B 140 points (from 19 matches), 2: Buttsbury A 134 points (19 matches), 3: Danbury H 110 points (from 19 matches).

Handicap Cup

Semi Final

Chelmsford E booked a place in the Handicap Cup final with a 5-2 win against Chelmsford B.  The scoreline was locked at 2-2 after Sami Osman earned the second of his two wins for Chelmsford B but James Grimston, Rev Matthews and Alesha Ellis-Austin all won their second singles matches as the E team romped home.  Chelmsford E will face Danbury B in the final who did extremely well to win their match with a Chelmsford G side despite some generous handicaps on display.  Dan Anderson, Sam Lowman and Eric Green were not deterred by starting each game with a 16-22 point deficit and won through by a 5-2 scoreline.

Final to play

07/05/2024 CTTC E v Danbury B

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Jeremy Hill, Press Officer, Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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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

Chelmsford C clinch Division 2 title as Division 3 title goes to the wire

The destination of the Chelmsford and District Division two title was finally decided in week 30 as Chelmsford C did enough to get over the winning line having sparred over the top spot with Hatfield Peverel A for much of the season.  The Division three title goes to the final match of the season as second-placed Buttsbury A host leaders Galleywood B needing a 9-1 victory to snatch the title – this match is scheduled for Monday 22nd April.

Division 2

Chelmsford C became division two champions with a 9-1 home win over Danbury G’s two-manned team of Mervyn Perriman and Denis Balic.  Balic fought back from 2-0 down (and a second game scoreline of 0-11) to beat Victor Chan while Perriman went close against Harrison Hill – succumbing 11-9 in the fifth.  Trevor Carter won all three of his singles matches as Writtle B got the better of clubmates Writtle C by a 7-3 scoreline.  Two of Carter’s victories came via fifth-game deciders – both Gary Ward and John Gagg lost out to Carter 11-8 in the crucial game.  Carter joined forces with Phil Smith to recover from 2-0 down to take the ‘W’ against Ward and John Parodi. Writtle B’s victory moved them up to third place as Maldon A fell to a 6-4 loss at Danbury E with Danbury’s Tony Forster scoring a hat-trick of wins.   Forster beat Hamish Innes and Ross Kirby in three straight games but had a ding-dong battle with Lloyd Bennett-Smith which was only settled in the fifth.  Bennett-Smith and Innes came back from 2-1 down to win the doubles match 3-2 against Neil Want and Tim Cramphorn. 

Standings div 2: C: Chelmsford C 138 points (from 20 matches), 2:  Hatfield Peverel A 121 points (from 20 matches), 3: Writtle B 113 points (20 matches)

Division 3

In division three, second-placed Buttsbury A closed the gap on leaders Galleywood B with a 9-1 away win at Danbury K – Jamie Elliott and Paul Sturton both won three matches apiece.  Galleywood B were held to a 5-5 draw with Danbury J – Will Goodchild’s two wins for the hosts were both five-gamers before he lost out to Danbury’s Peter Hance.  Hance beat John Holland but missed out in five against Gary Copsey.  Third-placed Danbury H cruised to a 9-1 win over Chelmsford F thanks to trebles from Ian Whiteside and Alan Scammell as well as a double from Peter Lucraft.  Chelmsford’s Sami Osman beat Lucraft 3-2 in their encounter but lost out to Scammell by the same scoreline.  Trevor Collin was in fine form as his hat-trick fired Writtle D to an 8-2 win over Writtle E.  Neil Thompson recovered from 2-1 down to beat Malcolm Henstock while Malcolm Storey edged past Pete Layzell 11-9 in game five. Gareth Davies won all three of his matches as Hatfield Peverel B won 8-2 on the road at Old Chelmsfordians C.  Davies beat Richard Upson in three, Tom Barker in four and withstood a Richard Baxter fightback from 2-0 down to finally complete the job in game five.  Baxter was the sole point scorer for the hosts with 3-1 wins over Neil Freeman and Paul Mulley.

Standings div 3: 1: Galleywood B 140 points (from 19 matches), 2: Buttsbury A 134 points (19 matches), 3: Danbury H 110 points (from 19 matches).

Division 4

Division four champions Galleywood C tasted defeat for the first time this season with a 6-4 away loss to Highwood A.  Keith Fitz-John, Roger Patient and Melanie Bonnett all won two matches apiece for the hosts while Galleywood’s Will Goodchild won two for Galleywood.  Melanie Bonnett recovered from 2-1 down to beat Nathan Blore in their contest before the duo of Blore and Goodchild won 3-2 over Bonnett and Fitz-John in the doubles.  Second-placed Chelmsford G finished their season with a 7-3 home win over Hatfield Peverel D thanks to a hat-trick each for Cleon Fernandes and Vishnu Surendran.  Fernandes and Surendran fought back from 2-1 down to take the doubles against Bob Hillis and Gary Simmons, later Surendran clinched the final game decider against Samuel White.  Hatfield Peverel E got the better of clubmates Hatfield Peverel C with a 6-4 scoreline thanks to a treble from James Brooks and two wins for Davina Brazier.  Brazier’s wins over Richard Drozd and Andy Simmonds were both over five games while Peter Mortenson’s wins over Brazier and Kath Little were both three gamers.   

Standings div 4: C: Galleywood C 143 points (from 18 matches), 2: Chelmsford G 127 matches (from 18 matches), 3: Maldon B 117 points (from 17 matches)

Division 5

Division 5 champions Danbury M earned their eighteenth league win from nineteen matches this season with a 6-4 victory over the then second-placed Buttsbury C – this was despite a fine treble by Buttsbury’s Richard Pond.  Pond had to comeback from 2-0 down in his first match of the night with Graham Naggs before beating both David Smith and Steve Martin over four.  Martin had earlier secured an important point for the hosts with a recovery from 2-1 down against Francesca Hart.  Chelmsford J leapfrogged Buttsbury C into second place with a 9-1 away win at bottom placed Hatfield Peverel F.  Ian Russell gained the only point of the night for the hosts with a 3-1 win over Mark Nolan while Jackie Treacy couldn’t hold onto her 2-1 lead against David Parker.  Chelmsford H now stand third in the table following a 7-3 home win over OCA E – Shengbing Zhu led the way with three wins for the hosts while Jacqui Smith won twice.  Anglia Ruskin University kept their hopes of a second place finish alive with a comprehensive 10-0 win over the two-person team of Writtle F.  ARU – who were tenth in the table after four weeks of league action and eighth after nine weeks – have shown great improvement as the season has progressed.  Kelvin Edeh, Douglas Bawuah and Connor Case did the business against Writtle despite Ron Tam taking Bawuah and Case the distance.  David Cockrell won all three as Highwood B earned a 7-3 home victory against Maldon C.  The closest contest of the night was James Raymond’s 3-2 win over Highwood’s Keith Pallett – Raymond had trailed 2-0.

Standings div 5: C: Danbury M 137 points (from 19 matches), 2: Chelmsford J 115 points (19 matches). 3: Chelmsford H 112 points (from 20 matches).

Chelmsford Junior League division 2A

Chelmsford Eagles kept their hopes of catching division 2A leaders Huttons Hawks alive with a 4-1 home win over second-placed Danbury Dragons.  Joshua Freeman dropped just one game in winning both of his matches while Danbury’s Oscar Ware picked up a 3-1 win over Chelmsford’s Arnav Lanka.

Standings CJL 2A: 1: Hutton Hawks 20 points (7 matches), 2: Danbury Dragons 17 points (from 8 matches), 3: Chelmsford Eagles 16 points (6 matches).

Chelmsford Junior League division 2B

Two wins by George Gregory weren’t enough to prevent his Chelmsford Leopards side slipping to a 3-2 loss at the hands of Hutton Hyenas in division 2B.  Both of Gregory’s wins were over four games with his match with Hugo Perry a close 10-12, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9.

Standings CJL 2B: 1: Hutton Harriers 26 points (7 matches), 2: Buttsbury Bulldogs 21 points (from 6 matches)

Chelmsford Junior League division 2C

The Chelmsford Jaguars set up an exciting finale to the division 2C season with a 5-0 home win over the Chelmsford Rhinos. Sean Kwan and Ethan Li won two matches apiece dropping just one game between them – they next face the Chelmsford Panthers in a title decider.  The Hutton Hammerheads beat the Hutton Hornets 5-0 with James Williamson and Archie Giles dropping just one game.

Standings CJL 2C: 1: Chelmsford Panthers 28 points (from 7 matches), 2: Chelmsford Jaguars 28 points (7 matches)