The first round of Junior Premier County Championship matches was held at the Cippenham Table Tennis Centre on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 16/17 October with one match Saturday afternoon and two on Sunday. Having finished runners up last season after promotion the previous season Essex had high hopes of going one better this time.

 The opening match on the Saturday afternoon was against Cleveland, the winners of Division 1A last season, who with two girls ranked in the top twelve in the ETTA Ranking List had to be considered as a team to finish at least in the top half of the Division.

In the first match Luca Mariano faced Paul Smith. Losing the first game to 6 Luca was then 10-7 down in the second but pulled it back to deuce before winning 13-11. With the third game won to 6 and Luca 7-3 up in the fourth things looked good for Essex. Not so. Paul came back strongly with a string of winners to take the game to 8 and so to a fifth. A wicked edge to Paul at 6 all seemed to swing the game his way and with the next two points 9-6 up. Luca came back with the next four points and although losing the next point won the next two for an opening win. Alex Holland on next but little went right for him against Shannon Walker losing the first two games 2 and 6 and although he won the nail biting third 15-13 he could not maintain the momentum losing the fourth to 6. Having beaten Jessica a couple of weeks ago Evangeline had high hopes of repeating that performance. Alas she lost 3-0, an atrocious 90° edge late in the third killing off any comeback. Jared then played Anthony Pheonix going quickly 2-0 down and saving a match point before winning the third 14-12. With the fourth won to 5 had the momentum changed for the fifth set. Not a bit of it. With the score 6-6 Anthony took the next four points but not to be outdone Jared clawed back the next four and then the next two for the match. Nicole then took on England Junior No. 5 Chloe Whyte and a titanic battle ensued. Winning the first to 9, losing the second to 6, 10-8 up in the third was then lost 15-13. An even longer fourth set followed, Nicole 8-4 and 9-6 up finally won it 18-16. 0-5 down at the change round in the fifth couldn’t be pulled back. Essex 3-2 down. Luca quickly went 6-0 up, then 6-7 down playing Shannon before winning 14-12, lost the second to 8 but thereon won the next two quickly, Nicole lost to Jessica 3-0 although holding a game point at 13-12 in the second. Jared then beat Paul 11-2 in the fifth after being 2-1 down. With the other three matches completed the final two games were played on two tables. Alex lost to Anthony 3-1 whilst Evangeline had a superb win 9, 8, 10 over Chloe to achieve a match draw.

 Sunday’s first match was against Yorkshire, a team that Essex had beaten 10-0 last season and, since Yorkshire had lost 10-0 to Sussex yesterday, had high hopes of doing the same again. All went according to plan at the start. Jared an easy 3-0 win over Daryl Gee, Alex, after being 2-1 down beat Michael Fraser 3-2 and Nicole beat Nicole Finn 3-1. Sadly in the match against Reece Lo Luca injured his foot and although he managed to win the third game he found moving around the table none too easy and thus lost 6, 5, -7, 12. Evangeline failed to find the target in her first game against Jenny Wood to lose it to 4 but after that 5, 4, 1 speaks for itself. Three 3-0 wins for Nicole, Jared and Evangeline put Essex 7-2 up so the decision was taken to concede Luca’s last match to give it time to see if he could recover sufficiently to play in the afternoon match.

 First on against Hampshire’s number one Jonathon Evans Luca decided to give it a go and was always in control although he lost the third game 13-11. Thereafter Essex won all the matches 3-0 although Nicole found it hard work in the first two games against Chrissie Slot which she won 12-10 before cruising through the third.

The match to escape was surprisingly Jarred’s five set loss to Jonathon. Serving off the end of the table at 9-9 in the fifth doesn’t help.

 After this first weekend’s matches Essex are in second place on sets difference, equal on points with Middlesex and one point behind the leaders Sussex who have yet to drop a set.

Thanks must go to John Holland on the Sunday for coaching the team and to the team players on the Saturday for coaching between themselves.

A good team performance all round. The final round of matches is at Wood Green, Wednesbury on 2/3 April 2011.

 Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary.


 The Essex Junior Assessment Trials were held at BATTS, Harlow on the weekend of 18/19 September. After last years record number of entries numbers this year in all events were down except for the Under 15 Boys event which was up by 50%. All the Girls events were played on the Sunday, but with only two girls entering the Under 11 event they played in the Under 13 event and the match between them counting also as the Under 11 match. Similarly there were only four entries (one withdrew on the day) in the Under 11 Boys event, including two brothers, so they warmed up in the Under 13 event before playing their Age Group round robin. There were ten tables in play on both days.

The Saturday was devoted to the Under 18 Boys event and the results would form the basis of selection for Essex’s three junior teams, one less than last year. With 42 entries, 12 less than last year, the players were divided in to seven groups of six players based roughly on national rankings. With seven players withdrawing shortly before or on the day and one player turning up on the day hoping for a space, the two groups short of players were merged giving six groups of six morning and afternoon leading to a finish two hours ahead of schedule. Unfortunately the County’s top two ranked boys, Jared Patel and Luca Mariano, were unable to play.

In the first round of matches the only seed not to win his group was the unwell Owen Warren, finishing runner up, but he then immediately withdrew unable to continue in the next round of Group matches. As expected Alex Holland and Brandon Crouchman met at the end of the day to determine the top two positions, Alex winning narrowly 9, 10, 9. Mossford’s Anai Patel’s narrow five set win over Clacton’s Mark Smith was just enough to grab third place in the group but there was little to choose between these two and Bradley Osborne and James Austin for the next four places with all four beating one another.

Sunday saw the remaining Boys events. The U15 Boys event had to be restricted to 38 players to avoid a 10.00 pm  finish. A late exemption for Alex Holland and Christian Gibson’s withdrawal enabled the reserves to compete in the event. After a long tiring afternoon and evening Clacton’s rapidly improving James Denyer beat top seed Bradley Osborne from Fellows Cranleigh 3-1 to secure top spot in the winners group. The three way tie for third place went  on sets difference in favour of Southend’s Charlie Bates, who had progressed at the expense of his wins over both seeds in his first round group, with Patrick Gilbert (NETTS) fourth and Ryan Williams (Waltham Forest) fifth.

In both of these events the majority of results bore little comparison with the National Ranking Lists giving the making of the Essex Ranking Lists a difficult problem

Most of the Under 13 Boys were new to the Trials so seeding the Groups was somewhat of a lottery and five withdrawals on the day from twenty entries in four Groups didn’t help. Club coaches soon thought that the top two players were in the same reduced group of three players. I thus increased the Group winners Group to five players to take account of this but the runner up, Eastbury’s Kleber Silva, could only finish third behind Waltham Forest’s Ryan Williams and Romford’s Thomas Herbert.

In the Under 11 Boys event Fellows Cranleigh’s Alex Terrell finished first, (he had finished runner up in his Under 13 first round Group), with his brother Oscar runner up and Mossford’s Rahul Jindal third.

As stated above the only two Under 11 Girls played in the Under 13 event and when they met Ilford’s Tiana Dennison beat Colchester’s Chloe Andrews.

Thus there was a round robin of six girls for the Under 13 event and it was no surprise that the top two seeded players remained unbeaten until they met to decide the top two positions, Colchester’s lower ranked Jane Li winning a close match 3-0 against BATTS Lara Esquivel. Eastbury’s Shannon Conway was third.

The Under 15 Girls was another round robin. A withdrawal on the day through illness leaving six girls. Ifunanya Okafor (BATTS) winning a close match with Southend’s Emily Godfrey to be Group winner. Jane Li was third with Southend’s Shannon Rolfe fourth.

The under 18 Girls event should have been two groups of five but the three withdrawals created a space for a reserve to play so the event was hastily rearranged for a round robin of eight. .Only Emily Godfrey managed to take a set off the winner Evangeline Collier (who went on to have a highly successful Womens British League the following weekend with seven wins out of ten and some notable scalps). The battle for second and third place between twin sister Lucie Collier and Emily went the full distance, with Lucie nicking it late in the fifth set.

The issued top Essex Junior Rankings issued by the Essex Junior Affairs Standing sub-Committee are:

Boys: 1. Jared Patel, 2. Luca Mariano, 3. Alex Holland, 4. Brandon Crouchman, 5. Scott Dowsett, 6. Mark Smith.

Girls: 1. .Evangeline Collier, 2. Nicole Sydorenko, 3. Ifunanya Okafor, 4. Ella Patel, 5. Lucie Collier, 6. Emily Godfrey.

A full list will be published on the Essex County website.

Inter-League Arrangements for 2010-11

With no Competition Secretary in place the following has been agreed to ensure Inter-League runs as smoothly as possible.

Nigel Lamb has been asked to run Mens and Vets division one over one weekend using a similar format to that used in previous years. Nigel will be in contact in due course with team captains to arrange suitable dates.

The Junior division will operate as above but someone to run it has yet to be confirmed.

Peter Ballard will manage Super-Vets O60’s, all scores sheets for this competition should be sent to Peter and the score sheets masters on the site have been amended to reflect this.

Colin Sherrin will manage Vets divisions 1 and 2, all scores sheets for this competition should be sent to Colin and the score sheets masters on the site have been amended to reflect this.

Lou Hopkins will manage Vets divisions 3, 4 and 5, all scores sheets for this competition should be sent to Lou and the score sheets masters on the site have been amended to reflect this.

Final Essex Inter-League Table 2009-10

ILFORD 5 5 0 0 7 43
SOUTHEND 5 4 0 1 11 39
COLCHESTER 5 3 0 2 20 30
CLACTON 5 1 0 4 34 16
BRAINTREE 5 1 1 3 38 12
HARLOW 5 0 1 4 40 10
BURNHAM A 5 5 0 0 5 40
ILFORD A 5 4 0 1 16 29
COLCHESTER A 5 3 0 2 19 26
HARLOW A 5 2 0 3 19 26
BECONTREE 5 1 0 4 32 13
BRAINTREE A 5 0 0 5 44 1
SOUTHEND A 5 5 0 0 12 33
CLACTON A 5 3 0 2 21 24
BURNHAM B 5 3 0 2 22 23
CHELMSFORD A 5 2 0 3 25 20
BRENTWOOD A 5 2 0 3 25 20
CHELMSFORD B 5 0 0 5 30 15
BRAINTREE B 4 2 0 2 15 21
WEST ESSEX A 4 2 0 2 17 19
BASILDON A 4 2 0 2 17 19
BASILDON B 4 3 0 1 18 18
SOUTHEND B 4 1 0 3 23 13
CHELMSFORD C 4 4 0 0 7 29
WALTHAM FOREST 4 3 0 1 15 21
BURNHAM C 4 2 0 2 16 20
BRENTWOOD B 4 1 0 3 22 14
BRAINTREE C 4 0 0 4 30 6
CLACTON B 5 5 0 0 9 36
SOUTHEND C 5 4 0 1 16 29
HARLOW B 5 3 0 2 17 28
SOUTHEND D 5 1 0 4 29 16
WEST ESSEX B 5 1 0 4 32 13
ILFORD B 5 1 0 4 32 13
CHELMSFORD 3 3 0 0 4 26
CLACTON A 3 2 0 1 14 16
SOUTHEND A 3 1 0 2 17 13
COLCHESTER A 3 0 0 3 25 5
BURNHAM 5 4 0 1 11 34
CLACTON A 5 2 0 3 22 23
BRENTWOOD A 5 3 0 2 23 22
SOUTHEND A 5 3 0 2 23 22
COLCHESTER 5 2 0 3 27 18
BECONTREE 5 1 0 4 29 16
BASILDON 5 4 0 1 13 32
WALTHAM FOREST 5 3 0 2 17 28
CHELMSFORD 5 4 0 1 19 26
SOUTHEND B 5 3 0 2 19 26
SOUTHEND C 5 1 0 4 29 16
CLACTON B 5 0 0 5 38 7