Burnham & District Table Tennis League

Cold Norton A Team ‘Love it when a plan comes together!’

There were plenty of fireworks in the Burnham & District Table Tennis League this week as Mapledene A reclaimed top spot and all three division 1 Cold Norton teams recorded banging wins including a memorable evening for the Cold Norton A Team who blasted and whizzed their way passed perennial champions Fambridge. 

With Leaders Woodham on a mid-season break it was up to the peloton members to decide who would make the break this week.  Up stood early season leaders Mapledene A who put down a vey strong 9-1 winning margin against a competent Maldon A trio.  Mapledene’s starlets Daniel Young and Reece Seddon won all their matches including the doubles.  Steve Muth won 2 of his singles and was just pipped late on in the deciding set of his encounter with superb Maldon leftie Jon Stokes.  Cold Norton A fielded their holy trinity of players this week leaving Fambridge without a prayer.  The Cold Norton trio of Duncan Taylor, Charles Sweeny and Kevin Read all won 2 a piece, but none of them could conquer the Fambridge archangel Keith Adams.  Adams must have stood in something en route to the venue or it really was divine intervention as he held on and overcame the challenge of both Read and Taylor despite being drawn into a 5th set shootout in both ties.  Read & Taylor did get their revenge in the doubles though, securing the extra bonus point for the overall 7-3 victory.  With Cold Norton A of late fielding stronger sides they have pushed themselves back into contention as the league splits down the middle into a championship race, and a race for survival.  Cold Norton B are firmly in that championship race and this week’s whitewash against Mapledene B has really pushed them back into the melee.  A largely straightforward set of hat-tricks for the Cold Norton B boys Eric Green, Sam Lowman and Ian Wall – although Mapledene’s David Jacob threatened to spoil the party when in the final game of the night he came back from 0-2 down to force Green into a final deciding set he wasn’t expecting.  Green recovered his composure and won out 11-8.   In the survival race Woodham B lost out to Cold Norton C despite having the unbeaten player of the match in their ranks.  Cold Norton triumphed 6-4 with Kim Shead and Arron Chandler taking 2 wins each and then crucially combining for an excellent doubles victory over Sanjay Saptarshi and Dan Patynski.  Saptarshi was the star turn winning all his singles for the majority of the Woodham haul.

In Division 2 Woodham C continue to pull away from the chasing pack, and at this stage it looks like their only title challengers will be Mapledene C and Maldon B – but of course this can all change in the bat of an eye.   Both Woodham teams recorded good wins this week.  Leaders Woodham C welcomed the Stow C trio to their manor, and to be honest were poor hosts as they only allowed Stow to go home with a single point courtesy of Pete Layzell’s 5 set win over the previously undefeated Graham Briggs.  Kudos to Layzell, but that didn’t help his cause too much as the Woodham trio of Briggs, Chris Hancox and David Meah swept away every other challenge for an emphatic 9-1 victory.  Gus Heath was in impeccable form for Woodham D this week, 4 wins in 12 sets which formed the bedrock of his team’s 8-2 winning margin over Cold Norton D.  Heath was ably supported by wingmen Mal Henstock and Alan Dadswell.  Maldon B continued their efforts to keep in touch with the leaders as they overcame the challenge of Stow B for a 7-3 victory.  It was all about team work for the Maldonians as they each won 2 games but none of them had the wit or the guile to defeat the master of the backhand Peter Hance.  Hance has now played 9 and won them all – perhaps he should be picked every week!  Mapledene C lost some ground on the leaders this week as they were held to a 5-5 draw at the Mapledene Arena by Maldon C.  No hat-trick this week for the Maldon Talisman Steve Aspland just the bare minimum 2 wins as he was outfought and outlasted by the gutsy Lin Roff in a tense 5-setter.  Roff completed her hat-trick with wins over Colin Barrell and Garry Eames, whereas Barrell and Aspland recovered to grab the match-saving doubles win.  In the remaining division 2 matches there were conflicting emotions for the two Blackwater teams.  The A-Team ran out 7-3 winners over Stow D with hat-tricks for Neil Freeman and Denis Balic, whereas the B-Team succumbed to a 6-4 defeat against a resurgent Maldon D side despite Blackwater’s Louis Gunn recording the only hat-trick of the evening.  Two wins each for Maldon’s youth and experience combination of Brian Riedling and Marty Englander plus a doubles victory to secure the result.  That win lifts Maldon D off the bottom of the table at the expense of Cold Norton D.

In Division 3 St Lawrence continue to dominate the leaderboard and this week’s victims were Maldon E.  St Lawrence ran out 9-1 winners to keep a stranglehold on the top spot.  Hat-tricks for the ever reliable Mick Robinson and Steve King, with Mick Pratley chipping in with 2 wins but just losing out to Maldon starlet Arthur Shadforth.  Blackwater D and E fought out an in-house battle for the local bragging rights – but both teams failed as they settled on a draw, shook hands and agreed to return to fight on another day.  Blackwater E had Peter Davenport to thank for 4 of their points whereas the E Team shared their successes a bit more evenly with 2 wins for both Jacqui Treacy and Chris Rolison.  Blackwater C were much more clinical as they dispatched a 2 man Maldon F team 7-3, with all 3 Maldon points courtesy of the paddle of John Leavett.  This fine form deserted the Blackwater C squad as they played their second match of the week losing out in a 6-4 battle with Woodham E.  A battle it truly was as 5 of the matches went deep into 5th sets with Woodham cruelly winning 4 out of these 5 ‘could go anyway’ encounters.  For Woodham Chris Crooks won all his singles and paired up with dark horse Mitch Davies for the doubles victory, and for Blackwater both Andy Simmonds and Phil West took 2 wins.  Those extra points push Blackwater C into second place but really the whole of the division is in the running for runner-up slot this season.

Top of page – Brian Reiding in unstoppable form this week as he warms up with Maldon team-mate Shirley Carroll

Pictured above clockwise :-

  1. The battle for supremacy betwixt Kim Shead of Cold Norton and Sanjay Saptarshi of Woodham
  2. Fambridge’s Keith Adams hols out against the Cold Norton onslaught
  3. Eric Green and Sam Lowman pair up in the doubles for Cold Norton
  4. Maldon’s Arthur Shadforth saving his team from a whitewashing this week


There are close matches, very close matches and very, very close matches – and the Division Three clash in the Clacton League between Windsor Magpies and Walton E certainly fell into the very, very close category.

The final score was 8-2 to the Magpies but the score-line failed to tell the whole story, with no less than seven of the individual matches going the distance.

Magpies’ skipper John Plummer had 11-8 in the fifth wins against both Maggie Earle and Lynette Sparks, whilst Alan Rutledge’s hat-trick included an 11-6 in the fifth victory over Sparks and an 11-8 in the fifth victory against Adrian Sexton. Dave Sweetland won the Magpies’ fifth five-setter, beating Earle 11-6 in the decider.

Walton managed to take just two of the full-distance matches, Sparks beating Sweetland 11-5 in the decider and then, in her fourth full-distance match of the evening, partnering Earle to take the doubles 11-6 in the decider against Plummer and Sweetland.

With seven matches going to five, two settled in four and just one settled in three-straight, it was – despite the final score-line – one of the most tightly-fought matches in the League for many seasons.  

In their second match of the week, the Magpies defeated Nomads Bobcats by a similar 8-2 score, although this time with a little more to spare. On this occasion it was Sweetland who stayed unbeaten, with Rutledge and Plummer winning a pair apiece. Mike Vilka took the two points for the Bobcats.

But Walton suffered a second defeat of the week in their second fixture, a 10-0 reverse at the hands of the fast-improving Nomads Leopards. Dominic Joannou, Bob Jillins and Stu Wilkinson all recorded trebles, Wilkinson’s 11-5 in the fifth win against Maggie Earle the only match which went the distance. Perhaps Walton’s energy levels had run out?

Another 8-2 result in this Division saw Brotherhood E defeat Brotherhood F, Duncan Dunne and Tony Edmonds taking maximum points. Lucy Carvell and JJ Barry took a point each for the ‘F’ team and, although Tom Bryden ended pointless, he played well before losing 11-4 in the fifth to Dunne.

Isabel Barton was the player of the match as Windsor Harriers notched up a second 10-0 win in as many weeks, this time over Nomads Lynx. Only one individual match went beyond a third set, Ian Gwillim testing Jenny Higgins before Higgins took it 11-2, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8.

In Division One everyone picked up at least a point as Nomads Panthers beat Walton A 7-3. Greg Green, making his first appearance of the season, took three, John Hatley two and Gill Locke one. Derek Willis, Kevin James and David Binns each took a point for Walton, James beating Hatley 11-9 in the decider but narrowly losing 12-10 in the decider to Locke, Binns edging out Locke 11-9 in the fifth.

Mark Gale was the best player on show as Walton C and Nomads Lions shared the spoils in the Division’s first drawn match of the season. Two of Gale’s wins were in five, 11-3 in the decider against Martyn Green and 11-9 in the decider against Jason Lloyd. However, the closest match of the evening was Mark Ratcliffe’s 7-11, 12-10, 6-11, 13-11, 12-10 victory over Jason Lloyd. Green and Ethan Lloyd picked up a couple of wins each for the Lions.

Daniel Young stayed unbeaten, whilst there were two for John Barton and one for Ian Fielder, as the all-Windsor clash ended 6-4 in favour of the Hawks against the Buzzards. But the Buzzards will feel a degree of satisfaction in producing their best performance of the season, Andy Cawley winning two, Pete Bloomfield one, with the pair sharing an excellent 11-8 in the fifth doubles win against Young and Fielder.

Brotherhood A were 9-1 winners against a Windsor Eagles’ side fielding a reserve, John Cleasby, Russell Hillier and Gary Young all remaining unbeaten. Phil Smith and John Hobson picked up a consolation point with an unexpected 11-6 in the decider doubles win against Cleasby and Hillier. Smith lost two close singles matches, 11-6 in the fifth to Hillier and 14-12 in the fifth to Cleasby.

In Division Two Brotherhood D proved their season’s start was no flash in the pan by defeating Lawford 8-2. Simon Smith-Daye won his three, whilst there were two each for Kevin Pryor and Joe Plummer. Richard Spence was Lawford’s best player, taking two points for the losers.

Trebles for Dave Miller and Colin Webber, with a couple from John Hockley, saw Nomads Tigers to a 9-1 win over Windsor Kestrels who, even at this early stage of the season, are beginning to look isolated at the bottom. Debra Found took the Kestrels’ consolation point.

* Details of the draw and fixtures for the Group stages of the Handicap Cup competition should be with Team Secretaries by 18th November.


Division 1

Windsor Eagles 1 Brotherhood A 9;

Walton C 5 Nomads Lions 5;

Windsor Hawks 6 Windsor Buzzards 4;

Nomads Panthers 7 Walton A 3.

Division 2

Brotherhood D 8 Lawford 2;

Nomads Tigers 9 Windsor Kestrels 1.

Division 3

Windsor Magpies 8 Nomads Bobcats 2;

Windsor Magpies 8 Walton E 2;

Windsor Harriers 10 Nomads Lynx 0;

Brotherhood E 8 Brotherhood F 2;

Nomads Leopards 10 Walton E 0.

Game, set and Matchpoint!

When an irresistible force meets an immovable object something’s got to give! That’s what the song says and that’s what happened when the two top teams in Division 2 of the SDTTL met at the Riverside this week. Riverside School not football ground that is.

The match couldn’t have been set up more perfectly with the home side Matchpoint A sitting at the top of the table just one point clear of arch rivals Basildon A, both teams unbeaten, and three players also boasting individual unbeaten records. Only one player emerged afterwards with their record intact.

The evening started with a five set match between Evie Knaapen and Szymon Jarka the first of six consecutive such games at the end of which, not surprisingly, the teams were level at three all. Knaapen started well going two sets up before Jarka fought back to level only to lose the fifth 11/6.

In the second game the home side’s Harry Sawford raced into a two set lead against Arun Joy but a superb comeback from the Basildon man saw him take the next three 11/8 11/2 12/10.

Match three saw teenager James Elliott take on Basildon’s very experienced Les Hoey and he led 2-1 before going down 11/9 in a close deciding set. Basildon lead 2-1.

Harry Sawford met Szymon Jarka next and a two set lead for Jarka soon evaporated but a closely fought decider eventually fell 13/11 in his favour. 3-1 to the Basildon boys!

The fifth game was now all important for the Matchpoint side, to go 4-1 down would leave them a mountain to climb, and this match between Knaapen and Hoey, both unbeaten this season, was to prove a turning point. First set to Knaapen 11/7, second to Hoey 13/11, third set to Knaapen 11/6, fourth set to Hoey 11/5. Fifth and final set and it’s the teenager Knaapen who wins 11/8 to bring the overall score back to 3-2 to Basildon and ruin Hoey’s unbeaten record.

Elliott stepped up next to take on Arun Joy and although it was another five set match it must have been a quick one as Joy rushed through the first two sets 11/8 11/4, but the tables turned completely after that as Elliott won the next three sets 11/5 11/6 11/5. Joy’s unbeaten record falls and the match now level at 3-3.

The next two games didn’t go to five sets as Hoey defeated Sawford in four but Elliott then restored the equilibrium beating Jarka in three sets and leaving the match score at 4-4. The crucial last and deciding game saw the still unbeaten Knaapen take on Joy, both sides with everything to play for.

Like all the other five set games before, this one swung back and forth as Knaapen won the first two sets 11/4 12/10 only to see Joy fight back winning the next two 11/8 11/8 to level the match. The fifth and final set couldn’t have been closer but in the end game set and match went to Knaapen 13/11.

A fitting end to an exceptional match played in very good spirit and congratulations Matchpoint A – still top of the league!

End of an era – a tribute to Brian Baines

BRIAN BAINES                              

The League’s most senior Vice-President, Brian Baines, died last week, just a few weeks after celebrating his 90th birthday. As a player, supporter and official, Brian had been associated with the Clacton and District Table Tennis League for over seventy years, the only person still connected with the League who could trace his table tennis heritage back to the post-war era of the early 1950s.

It was a lifetime of dedication to local table tennis, yet without any great fuss or ostentation. But that was Brian’s way. Quiet, gentle, modest. His loyalty and service to the League was recognised in 1993 when he was awarded the Bob Phillips Trophy for services to the League, and he was further honoured in 2001 when he was made a Vice-President of the League, a position he held until his death.

When Brian started playing League table tennis, circumstances were so different from now. He would tell of playing in away matches when, at a time of few private motor cars, players would travel by bus in the early evening from Clacton to Walton for League matches – and return on the last bus home when the match had finished.

Brian would never claim to have been a table tennis player in the classical style, but he was a competent performer on the table who could hold his own in Division One without ever hitting the heights. He was a steady player, compact in style, determined in defence with the occasional burst of aggression. He was certainly neither flashy nor overtly aggressive in his play, but that only reflected his reserved and modest nature.

Because Brian’s links with the League go back so far, records for that time are either incomplete or no longer in existence. But, for a number of years in the 1960s and 1970s, at a time when there were four or five Divisions, Brian played for the GPO Club (or Post Office as they later became) where he won trophies alongside regular team-mates Terry Walker and Ron Ridgeon. It was only in the mid-1980s that he transferred to the Brotherhood Club, where he stayed for the rest of his table tennis career.

For a number of those years, Brian see-sawed between the top two Divisions, and the records show he was a Division Two winner in 1969, 1975, 1981 and 1986, and a runner-up in 1965, 1979, 1984 and 1991. However, it might be the trophy in 1991 which gave him most satisfaction in that it was achieved as a three-man team alongside his good friend, Barry Howe, and his son, Paul, who also played in the League for several seasons.

Throughout his career, Brian rarely achieved success outside the League, although 1994 was something of an exception, when he won the Handicap Singles Trophy for the first and only time and, with Brian Rowlen and Sylvia Meakin, finished as a runner-up in the Senior Combination Tournament.

As time went by, Brian stepped down a Division, now see-sawing between Divisions Two and Three, but he still had his successes. A Division Three winner in 1999 and 2002 and, after finally moving permanently down into Division Three as late as 2009, he was still good enough to win a Division Three runners-up medal in 2014, aged 81 years and still averaging over 60%.

But that only emphasised how committed Brian was to his table tennis. Whereas some players would be deterred by losing to players who, years before, they would have easily beaten, Brian preferred just to ‘carry on playing’. In some seasons towards the end in Division Two, he won only a handful of matches, but he was always there for his team, always encouraging his team-mates, and always with a friendly smile on his face.  

Brian hung up his bat after the 2014/15 season. Whether in the highest or lowest Divisions, his enthusiasm for the sport never waned, even at the end of his playing career when his mobility was limited and he sometimes found it physically difficult.

When he stopped playing, Brian enjoyed coming to Tournaments and the Brotherhood Club as a spectator and supporter whenever he could, even though he struggled at times to do so. Eventually, even that became too much, and it disappointed him that he could no longer come.

But beneath all the records and statistics is one undeniable fact. Brian was a genuinely nice man. Quiet, reserved, neither boastful nor pushy, he was an eminently likeable person, and he was well-respected among the table tennis community. Indeed, he was one of those rare people you occasionally come across in life about whom no-one has a bad word to say.

We send our deepest sympathy to Joan and her family, our thoughts are with you all. Rest in peace, Brian. A true gentleman.  

Halloween heaven for the ping pong wizards of Woodham

This Halloween week was all about the Woodham teams in the Burnham & District Table Tennis League as unbeaten Woodham A took over the top spot in Division 1, Woodham B climbed off the bottom of Division 1 and Woodham C continued their winning streak to remain firmly in control of Division 2.  What curses have the Woodham witches put on all the other teams? 

Unbeaten Woodham A conquered the challenge of a strong Cold Norton C squad with an emphatic 8-2 victory.  As with previous champions it is often down to the number of deciding sets you can get through unscathed, and in this match Woodham managed to win all 3 matches that went the distance.  Good form indeed.  Kaung Htet Paing led the way with his singles hat-trick and paired up with Dan Piglet for the doubles, and Piglet and Chris Hancox each took a brace of wins.  For the Cold Nortonians Tim Cramphorn blasted his way passed Piglet for his point and Kim Shead was able to take a comfortable win over Hancox.  It took Woodham B until March last season to get their first win so they are way ahead of schedule this season with a 7-3 turnover of Maldon A.  For Woodham it was Dan Patynski who led the charge especially in his battle with Derek Balding, coming back from 0-2 down and deuce in the third set to finally win out 11-9 in the 5th – a great battle of styles.  Patynski’s stablemates couldn’t cope with Balding’s mixed style of play that proved so effective and this led to a Dusty Bin set of results for Woodham B as Patynski won 3, Sanjay Saptarshi took 2 points, and Eamonn Hall chipped in with 1 win over Steve Whiteley.  Due to the inclement weather and a fear of puddles the fixture betwixt Stow Maries A and Cold Norton A was abandoned before it could get underway, and in the only other Ist division encounter Fambridge recorded a solid 8-2 scoreline against Mapledene B with hat-tricks for both Bruce Kettle and John Poysden.  Mapledene’s John Monk came out on top in the most contested match as he took the notable scalp of Mark Stones in a rollercoaster 5-setter.  That result pushes Fambridge back into contention just a point behind the leading two teams.

A full programme of fixtures in Division 2 facilitated a top two showdown at the Maldon Arena.  The wizards of Woodham C arrived in great form and Halloween spirit only to meet a steely eyed and determined Maldon trio.  After the traditional greetings and hakas it was down to the action and Maldon got a flier as Dawn Baldry took the opening game against Alex Wilson.  For Woodham Graham Briggs won both his openers and this helped to square things up at 3-3 going into the doubles.  The statistical gods were on Woodham’s side as their 100% doubles win rate pairing of Hancox and Briggs continued their fine form and shimmied their team into a 4-3 lead going into the final singles.  Briggs just about beat Colin Napper going deep into the deciding set.  Hamish Innes then repaid that fate on Alex Wilson as the night got longer and longer.  So Woodham were 5-4 up going into the final countdown which featured Baldry versus Hancox – a hittingfest in the making.  Well the rallies were short as was the match as Hancox won through in straight sets to maintain the 100% win rate for the leaders Woodham C, but they knew they had been in a battle.  Third placed Mapledene C took great advantage of the top two clash by putting down a whitewash 10-0 result against Cold Norton D – hat-tricks all round for Barrie Delf, Dave Woolmer, and Richard Gill.  That result pushes Mapledene into second place between our earlier protagonists.  Looks like this one will go all the way.  Elsewhere in the division Blackwater A excelled with a surprising 10-0 clear-out against Maldon D.  It was largely plain sailing for a very strong Blackwater team of Denis Balic, Merv Perriman and Neil Freeman, although Maldon’s Marty Englander did take Perriman for a little stroll into a fifth set tie-break but couldn’t quite get through the resolve of the seasoned campaigner.  Blackwater B also registered a healthy scoreline with an 8-2 win over 2-man Stow Maries B with Simon Quelch managing the only hat-trick of the shorter-than-usual evening.  Woodham D got themselves back to winning ways this week and remain in contention with the peloton.  Woodham’s Gus Heath was untroubled throughout his singles campaign with a 9 dart finish for his perfect hat-trick.  Heath was very ably supported by wingman Trevor Collin who continues to impress on his journey to full recovery on this occasion matching his talisman with 3 wins of his own.  Steve ‘hat-trick’ Aspland was up to his usual Tuesday evening trick or treats for his Maldon C side against Stow Maries D with, yes you’ve guessed it, another fine faultless evening of exhibition singles.  The man is a machine.   For Maldon Tim Pulham put up the most resistance with good wins over Colin Barrell and Garry Eames.

The third division is proving very tight this season.  St Lawrence have a healthy lead and are the bookies favourite for the championship but under them there is not much to separate all of the other competitors.  So any decent wins can really make a difference in league standings and always provide a confidence boost.  A perfect illustration being Blackwater D’s most welcome 7-3 triumph over nearest rivals Woodham E.  A result that propels the Blackwaterites into the runner-up slot just ahead of the slain Woodham E.  Blackwater’s Dave Benstead was in fine fettle with 3 wins to maintain his 100% win rate for the D team.  Benstead’s team-mates Jacqui Treacy and the legend that is Norman Hayes both won 2 of their matches to ramp up the score.  For Woodham it was the up and coming Peter Harverson who kept the score somewhat respectable with great wins over Treacy and Hayes, plus combining with Reece Arundell for a very important doubles point that went to deuce and beyond in the fifth leg of an almighty battle.  The final match of the week was a typical encounter in this years third tier as the E teams from Maldon and Blackwater went toe-to-toe until the Blackwater trio emerged triumphant in a tight 6-4 awayday victory.  Peter Davenport of Blackwater fame was the main reason for the victory with 3 solid singles points that were the bedrock of the winning margin.

Headline picture – Stow-in-the-Slow – the journey to Stow was too much for the Cold Norton tractors

The impressive Dan Patynski leading Woodham B to their first win of the season.
Woodham A captain Dan Piglet in impressive form against Cold Norton’s Arron Chandler
Dan Patynski in action this week in his comeback win over Maldon’s Derek Balding
Woodham C’s top player Graham Briggs leads the way with his win over Dawn Baldry this week.
Div 1 Doubles Cold Norton’s Shead & Cramphorn versus Woodham’s Piglet and Htet Paing.

Stu steps into the limelight

Stu Wilkinson has been a regular in the Leopards’ side in
Division Three of the Clacton League since he joined the
Nomads club ten years ago, and he’s developed into a reliable
seventy per cent player at this level without ever hitting the
But the often under-rated Wilkinson stepped into the limelight
this week as Nomads Leopards’ unlikely hero in their encounter
with Windsor Magpies, putting in a notable unbeaten
performance. Playing without their number one Dominic Joannou,
the Leopards did well to record a 6-4 victory, Wilkinson taking a
fine maximum.
He picked up impressive singles wins over John Plummer, Alan
Rutledge and Dave Sweetland, and shared an important doubles
victory with Bob Jillins 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9 against
Plummer and Sweetland. Jillins won two for the Leopards but was
denied his own hat-trick by Sweetland who edged their match 11-
8 in the fifth.
The Magpies had a second tough match, this against Brotherhood
E. Four matches went the distance, each side winning two of
them, but Brotherhood came out on top 7-3. Fred Gallone won
three, Tricia Salter two and Tony Edmonds one. Gallone’s
maximum included an 11-8 in the fifth win over Dave Sweetland,
the same score by which Salter defeated Alan Rutledge. For the
Magpies, Sweetland won two and Rutledge one, both players
edging out Edmonds by the same 11-7 in the fifth score.
Brotherhood E also played twice this week and they followed up
their success against the Magpies with an 8-2 win against
Nomads Bobcats. Duncan Dunne and Fred Gallone took maximum
points, with Rodney Betts defeating Alex Baldock 11-5 in the fifth
for a point. Jack Riddleston and Matt Sage, with a debut League
win, took the Bobcats’ points.
Walton E overcame Nomads Lynx 8-2, with Lynette Sparks

unbeaten, and Maggie Earle and Adrian Sexton winning a pair
apiece. Ian Gwillim took the Nomads’ points with two close wins,
11-7 in the fifth against Earle and 11-4 in the fifth against
Sexton, whilst Gerry Widnell narrowly failed to get on the score
sheet, going down to Sexton 11-2 in the deciding set.
Finally in Division Three, Windsor Harriers defeated Nomads
Ocelots 10-0, none of the matches extended beyond a third set.
Jenny Higgins, a late call-up for the Harriers, recorded hat-tricks
in successive weeks for the first time in seventeen years.
In Division One trebles for James Denyer and John Hatley, and a
couple from Gill Locke, saw Nomads Panthers home 9-1 against
Walton B. The only match which went the distance was Locke’s
11-4 in the decider win against Graham Buxton. Gavin Price took
the Walton point.
Three for Daniel Young, two for Andy Vincent and a crucial 12-10
in the fifth win for John Barton against Russell Hillier gave
Windsor Hawks the edge 6-4 against Brotherhood A. Gary Young
won two and Kevin Gowlett one for Brotherhood. Highlight of the
match was the final encounter of the evening where son Daniel
earned the bragging rights over Dad Gary with a 14-12, 11-9, 7-
11, 11-6 victory.
For a second week running, Walton A lost 9-1 to a Windsor side –
last week it was the Hawks, this week the Eagles. Mel Rampton,
Phil Smith and, making a rare appearance for the Eagles, Gary
Cattermole all stayed undefeated. Walton’s point came from a
five-set doubles win for Colin Dearman and David Binns over
Smith and Cattermole.
In Division Two Brotherhood D extended their lead at the top
with another convincing performance, defeating Windsor Penguins
9-1, Simon Smith-Daye and Sam Plummer unbeaten. James
Smith-Daye’s two wins for Brotherhood were both five-setters,
11-6 in the decider against Sharon Gowlett and 11-8 in the
decider against Annabelle Stallwood. But he couldn’t get the
better of Scott Campbell who took the Penguins’ consolation
Brotherhood B were predictable 10-0 winners against Windsor
Kestrels. John Owen returned to League action with an
undefeated three, whilst there were trebles also for Barry Allen,
his first wins of the season, and Paul Alden. Debra Found was the
Kestrels’ best player, narrowly going down 11-6 in the fifth to
Allen and 11-9 in the fifth to Owen.

Finally, Walton D were 6-4 winners against Brotherhood C, Andy
Foster winning three and Clive Allenby two. Walton’s Paul
Woolnough will consider himself the unluckiest player of the
week, if not the season, losing three tight five-setters – 11-5 in
the decider to John Gallagher, 11-7 in the decider to Paul Metcalf
and 11-9 in the decider to Mark Beckham. Brotherhood’s fourth
point, and Gallagher’s second win of the evening, also came from
a match which went the distance, Gallagher enjoying an
unexpected win 11-5 in the fifth over Allenby.

  • Members of the League will be saddened to learn of the death
    this week of its most senior Vice-President, Brian Baines. As a
    player, supporter and official, Brian had been associated with the
    League for over seventy years. A full appreciation of Brian’s
    contribution to the League will follow in due course.

    Division 1
    Walton A 1 Windsor Eagles 9;
    Nomads Lions 9 Windsor Buzzards 1;
    Walton B 1 Nomads Panthers 9;
    Brotherhood A 4 Windsor Hawks 6.
    Division 2
    Brotherhood C 4 Walton D 6;
    Windsor Penguins 1 Brotherhood D 9;
    Windsor Kestrels 0 Brotherhood B 10.
    Division 3
    Nomads Bobcats 2 Brotherhood E 8;
    Windsor Magpies 3 Brotherhood E 7;
    Nomads Leopards 6 Windsor Magpies 4;
    Nomads Ocelots 0 Windsor Harriers 10;
    Walton E 8 Nomads Lynx 2.

Eric helps ‘ern narrow win for the Millers

Three games from week 7 of the Southend Premier Division but first a late result in from week 6 and it was a tremendously close battle between two very evenly matched teams in the shape of Rayleigh Mill and Irons A. Only one of the eight games was settled in three ends with four matches going the full distance, the closest being a 14-12 win for Eric Green over Dave Bowles. Green picked up another win over John Monk but like the other two Millers could not get the better of player of the match Reece Seddon. Seddon’s three games and a win for Monk over Colin Chatfield was their lot for the evening and the two wins for Green along with Bruce Kettle’s brace and the win for Chatfield meant a 5-4 win for the Millers.

Rawreth A and Thorpe Bay A continue their good form as they picked up 7-2 and 8-1 wins over Hockley A and Brand Identity A respectively. Hatricks a piece for Liam Squirrell and Kevin Read for Rawreth along with a single win for Charles Sweeny over Sanjay Saptarshi in the first match and maximum wins for John Poysden and Paul Sayer and two for Mark Stones in the second fixture. A good win for David Jacob over Stones for the consolation in that one.

Hadleigh Forum have been busy in the transfer market and new signing Mark Mulley got off to a flying start in his Southend career as he won his three games to help Hadleigh to a 5-4 win over Rawreth B. Teammate Neal Barker continued his early season good form picking up wins against Arron Chandler and Kim Shead but he couldn’t pick up the scalp of Peter Barrett who won two on the night.

Stanford Le Hope A hung on to first place in Division 1, thanks to a 6 – 3 home win over Canvey A. Yet again Mitchell Jones was their star. His maximum POTM performance was assisted by two wins from Russel Bright and one from Dave Hancock. Ray Wilson won two for Canvey and Joanna Hills the other one.

Lentern surprisingly lost at home to RESSC 5 – 4 and consequently slipped down the pecking order. The visitor’s John Holland won all his matches to take the accolades and skipper Bob Skews got the other two. Paul Sims was responsible for both Lentern’s successes.

Invicta A’s fine 7 – 2 away win at Mapledene moved them into second place. POTM Lee Marson was unbeaten, as was his team mate Steven Marr. Lin Roff and Anthon Ranjit-Singh got one victory each for the home side, and Tony Ayliffe one for Invicta.

Brand Identity B took advantage of Lentern’s slip up to move up the table. They overcame Rawreth Megazone C 6 – 3 away. Adam Jackman had an unbeaten evening to earn the POTM prize. Veteran John Lott added two and Michael Grout one. The home side’s victories came from Garry Hartgrove, with two, and Trevor Ward with one.

Hadleigh Forum B could only muster two players for their visit to Hockley C and consequently, the home side were able to record their first win of the season. Ollie George was Hockley’s hero, being unbeaten and Eamonn Hall picked up a point on debut. The visitors’ Mick Tappenden won two, and David Woolmer one.

Rawreth Megazone D obtained a 6 – 3 victory from their visit to Hadleigh Forum C, despite only having two players. Mike Hayes and George Davis were both too strong for the home side.

Matchpoint A returned to the top of the Division 2 table this week after a crushing 9-0 victory at Runnymede. Needless to say Evie Knaapen turned in another perfect POTM performance and was backed up by Harry Sawford and Jeremy Giffin. The only real sign of resistance from the home team came in the first match of the evening where Andy Humphris took Harry to five sets but after that it was plain sailing for Matchpoint six matches ending in straight sets.

Basildon A relinquished their position at the top by one point as a result of their 7-2 defeat of Wakering. It seems you have to be pretty near perfect to keep top position at the moment! The father and son combination of Paul and Zac England did the damage by both beating Robert Platt but otherwise Basildon’s Les Hoey and Arun Joy reigned supreme Arun completing the perfect hat trick. Robert’s point came with a win against Stewart Mills.

Matchpoint B’s young team beat Basildon B 7-2 with Jack Riley’s hat trick supported by braces from Alexander Deacon and Ben Murray but they met strong resistance from Jenne Seibolt who beat Alex and Ben and took Jack to five sets. No joy for Richard Reibold and Andy Roff.

Stanford B maintained their winning run chalking up their sixth successive victory by beating bottom of the table Rawreth Megazone E 8-1. Robert Salvage and Adrian Armstrong were the hat trick heroes with Mark Downey picking up two wins but succumbing to Richard Kidd in the final game of the evening thus preventing the whitewash. Stanford stay third in the table.

The return of Andrew Murray to the Canvey B ranks has given them a significant boost in their last two games and his hat trick was the cornerstone of their 7-2 win against Hockley D. Braces from Tony Westwell and Des Duffield helped clinch the win whilst single wins for Tony Molisso against his namesake and Paul Strutt against Des got the points for a still winless Hockley. The final game of the night produced the closest match as Paul let slip a 2-1 lead against Tony eventually going down 13/11 6/11 12/10 5/11 9/11.

Team of the Week – Matchpoint A

Player of the Week – Arun Joy

In Division 3 another Trevor Hayes maximum was the cornerstone of a 6-3 win for Canvey ‘C’ over Matchpoint
‘C’. Stephen Parker with two wins and Andy O’Rawe with a single win added the extra points for the
Islanders. Max Mayo with a brace and Blake Stewart were the points scorers for Matchpoint.
John George led the way for Hockley ‘E’ with an unbeaten performance as they narrowly overcame
Matchpoint ‘D’ Teammates Gary Beck and Keith Denyer added a win apiece to ensure a 5-4 win.
For Matchpoint there were two wins each for Richard Sloman and Oliver Milchard but it was a blank
night unfortunately for Jeff Gritzman.
A young Evolve side hosted Stanford ‘C’ and were on the wrong end of a 7-2 defeat. However, the
final scoreline does not reflect how close this match actually was. Three of the games went the full
distance with the Evolve player narrowly falling short in the deciding set on each occasion.
Stanford’s Randy Santiago, with a hat-trick, was the POTM, well supported by Karen Kempster and
James Parker with two wins each. For Evolve, there was a win each for Reuben Stracey and Aaron
Price. No wins for George Key, but he came so close, recovering from losing the first two sets
against Karen to take it to the closest of final sets, 9/11, 9/11, 11/8, 11/9, 9/11 being the final score.

The juniors of Hockley ‘F’ were involved in a close contest against Hadleigh Forum ‘D’. They led 4-2
but were eventually pegged back with Forum winning the last 3 games for a 5-4 win. Elliot
Brackenbury and William Evesham both won two games for Hockley, whilst for Forum there was a
brace each for Douglas Brown and Todd Barker with Jean Catley chipping in with the extra point.
Finally, Rawreth Meggazone ‘F’ were unable to field a team for their match against Invicta ‘C’ and so,
unfortunately, had to concede.

‘Ice’ Cold Norton Topple Mapledene

The cream of Essex table tennis was on show this week in the Burnham & District Table Tennis League as Cold Norton A threw everything they have at the Galacticos of league leaders Mapledene A.  Four recent men’s Singles Champions were on show in what could have been a preview of this year’s tournament semi-final line up.  Mapledene arrived at the Latchingdon arena boasting a squad of Reece Seddon, Daniel Young and Burnham debutant Peter Barrett.  Some line-up you would admit and a sure fire winning team – but by how much.  Just as the Mapledene boys were getting acquainted with the playing surface Cold Norton unveiled their team response and it was as impressive as it could have been – Duncan Taylor, Kevin Read, and Charles Sweeney.  “Gladiators are you Ready….”  Young took an early scalp with a 4 sets opening victory over Sweeny, but this lead was quickly erased as Taylor and Read got to work winning all their opening matches to see the Nortonians take a 4-2 lead into the half-time break.  Not as easy as it sounds as Young took Taylor to 5 sets, and Seddon replicated this in his showdown with Read.  Not sure what was said by the psychologists and coaches during the interval but the one ‘banker’ was surely Taylor and Read in the Doubles – well that didn’t go so well for them as Seddon and Young blasted their way to a very impressive 4 set bonus point.  With the match evenly poised at 4-3 to Cold Norton it was now time to see if the Mapledeners were up for the fight.  Well three 4-set losses in succession suggests a fight but not quite that dedication that Roy Castle used to sing about back in the day.  Final Score 7-3 to Cold Norton A but Mapledene A remain top of the tree. 

In other news, Fambridge were back to their normal winning ways with a tighter than expected 6-4 turnover of Stow A with hat-tricks for Messrs Poysden and Kettle.  A point a-piece for the Stow clan, and an exceptional 5 set Brucie bonus doubles win for Keith Martin and Gary Brignall as they defeated Kettle and Poysden.  In the Battle of Cold Norton this week the B team outshone and outfought their own C team to lay down an 8-2 score.  The B team were led by Sir Eric of Green, who went undefeated throughout the course of the evening, with the C team’s only real threat coming from their shaven headed assassin Chris Buer who on the night took two scalps home with him.  In the final match of the week Woodham A maintained their 100% win rate despite fielding no regular A team players.  In the 6-4 win away at Maldon A Sanjay Saptarshi was dominant with 3 wins in his singles and then combining with Dan Patynski for the extra doubles point.  Patynski recorded the remaining 2 points and then just lost out on his own hat-trick with a close 5 set loss to Harrison Hill.  That win pushes Woodham A into second place with a game in hand over wounded leaders Mapledene A.

Like their A Team in the top Division, Woodham C are the only Division 2 side with a 100% record this season, and in Graham Briggs and Chris Hancox they have two of the high flying candidates for the divisional player of the season.  Both of these fine paddle bashers were in top form again this week as they both recorded untouched hat-tricks in the 8-2 win against Blackwater B, although their doubles victory was a bit tougher as they were taken to 11-8 in the fifth by Blackwater’s Louis Gunn and Gary Smith.  Mapledene C continue to put down big results, and their big talisman continues to dominate their matches.  An 8-2 victory over Blackwater B and yet another Barrie Delf 9-set hat-trick.  It was the same winning margin for Stow D as they took on Maldon D – with hat-tricks for Ken Sheard and Tim Huxtable.  This one was much closer than it sounds as half of the contests went to 5 sets and the Stow boys won 4 of those.  But even the 4 set matches were long affairs with the winning leg in the Huxtable versus Chris Ravenhill marathon going to 22-20. 

Maldon B continued the theme with their own 8-2 turnover of Woodham D with Hamish Innes chopping and pushing his way to a very well deserved hat-trick.  He was ably supported by team-mates Brian Riedling and Dawn Baldry who both won 2 of their singles.  The Woodham thorn was Trevor Collin who took good wins over Riedling and Baldry as he plays his way back to fitness and form after his recent knee replacement surgery.  Peter Hance was the steady star of the drawn match betwixt Stow B and Blackwater A with 4 wins across the night.  These teams know each other very well and this showed in the scoring as half of the matches went deep into fifth sets and the overall contest went on long into the night.  For Blackwater Alan Scammell and Merv Perriman each took a brace of wins but the game that swung the result was Dave Marsh’s unexpected victory over Neil Freeman.  Given recent form you might have thought that the big news coming from the Maldon C versus Cold Norton D match was that Steve ‘hat-trick’ Aspland failed to win all of his games but this was only a subheading – the real story was that Gordon ‘flatbat’ Gatheral lost to Garry Eames in his opening match but then went on to win against both Aspland and Colin Barrell.  A combination no-one else has achieved this year.  Great concentration and determination shown by Eames to hang on until late in the 5th set to get the better of the gutsy Gatheral, and he followed this up with another win over Peter Lucraft for his first wins of the season.  Aspland and Barrell did recover from their Gatheralling to win their other matches and the doubles for an overall 7-3 win for Maldon C.  Mr Barrell had some night of it as he played the maximum 20 matches across a very long evening of ping pong.

Division 3 leaders St Lawrence just about held onto their unbeaten record as Roy Hutchins defeated Maldon F’s Roger Warren in the final match of the week to secure a draw and hold onto the coveted top spot.  Maldonian John Leavett was on fire for the salt growers as he brushed aside all his opponents with some aplomb.  Hutchins picked up 2 wins was but was somehow discarded for the doubles – but St Lawrence first officer David Siggins knows a thing or two as his chosen pairing of himself and Mick Robinson had enough in the tank to overturn Leavett and Roger Warren for the vital doubles point.  Kath Little was the star player in her Blackwater C teams 6-4 triumph over stablemates Blackwater D – and like modern day school sports days it was a true club affair as every player went home with at least one win.  The C team edged it with 2 wins each for Little and Mike Burton, and by taking the all-important doubles.  Woodham E and Maldon E battled out a hard-fought draw with Woodham’s Chris Crooks taking out all the opposition in both singles and doubles.

Pic 1 – The impressive Kevin Read in destruction mode this week

Pic 2 – Dynamic Doubles pairing of Dan Young and Reece Seddon

Pic 3 – Charles Sweeny versus Burnham Debutant Peter Barrett

Pic 4 – Eric Green Cold Norton B in action this week

Pic 5 – Woodham’s Sanjay Saptarshi on loan against Maldon this week

Pic 6 – Dave Siggins picking up a point for St Lawrence against Roger Warren


Clacton & District Table Tennis League: Eagles back to winning ways

It’s been a lean start to the season for Windsor Eagles, last year’s
runners-up in Division One of the Clacton League, but they got
their campaign into gear this week with a first win, 7-3 against
Walton B.
John Pattrick’s maximum for the Windsor side included an
excellent win over Gavin Price, whilst there were two for Mel
Rampton and one for the Eagles’ long-serving skipper John
Hobson. The closest match of the evening was the doubles,
Pattrick and Rampton beating Price and Graham Buxton 10-12,
11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6. Price won two for Walton, including a
good win over Rampton.
Windsor Hawks made it three wins out of three with a 9-1 success
against a Walton A side who were hampered when Kevin James
was forced to concede two of his singles matches through
unwellness. Daniel Young and Andy Vincent stayed unbeaten for
the Hawks, with both players combining to take an exceptionally
tight doubles 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11 15-13 against Colin
Dearman and Derek Willis.
It was also 9-1 for Brotherhood A who eased past Walton C, Kevin
Gowlett and Gary Young unbeaten, and Russell Hillier winning a
couple. Mark Gale took the Walton point with an 11-8, 11-13, 11-
9, 11-9 victory over Hillier.
Even at this stage of the season, it looked to be a top v bottom
Division Two encounter when Brotherhood D faced Windsor
Kestrels and, predictably, it was Brotherhood who came out on
top 10-0. Kevin Pryor, Simon Smith-Daye and James Smith-Daye
all took trebles. Graham Bunce battled hard for the Kestrels but
couldn’t quite get a consolation point, going down 11-4 in the fifth
to Simon Smith-Daye and 11-8 in the fifth to James Smith-Daye.
Lawford maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a
hard-fought 6-4 win over Walton D. There were a couple each for
John Colvin and Richard Spence, and one for Ian Sherwood, with

Colvin and Sherwood combining to take the doubles. Andy Foster
stayed undefeated for the losers although he had a struggle with
Sherwood before eventually winning 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 12-14,
Brotherhood B’s torrid start to the season continued when they
came up against Nomads Jaguars’ top three, Chris Parr, Daryl
Lott and Chris Petrou. All three Nomads’ players stayed unbeaten,
although Petrou needed five sets to beat Grant Sharpe, as did
Lott against Paul Alden. Sharpe and Barry Allen had the
consolation of taking the doubles 13-11, 11-2, 12-10 against Parr
and Lott. Things can only get better for Brotherhood!
Nomads Tigers and Brotherhood C are beginning to look like two
solid mid-table teams and their clash this week ended in a close-
run 6-4 win for the Tigers. Denes Somodi won his three, including
a 13-11, 11-8, 15-13 win against Mark Boyland, whilst Dave
Miller won two tight matches, 11-8 in the decider against Mark
Beckham and 11-9 in the decider against Paul Metcalf. Boyland
won two for Brotherhood, and Beckham and Metcalf one each.
In Division Three Nomads Leopards were forced to field a guest
player in their fixture with Brotherhood E and so will feel pleased
to have secured a share of the spoils. The much-improved
Dominic Joannou won three and Bob Jillins two, but they failed to
take the doubles, Tricia Salter and Rodney Betts winning 11-7,
11-7, 11-7 to maintain Brotherhood’s unbeaten doubles record.
The old hands of Windsor Harriers proved a little too wily for their
Brotherhood F opponents, winning 10-0. But it was not all one-
way traffic, Jenny Higgins, in her first appearance of the season,
taking her maximum but tested by both Joe Sherwin and JJ Barry,
beating Sherwin 2-11, 10-12, 14-12, 11-8, 11-8 and Barry 8-11,
13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9.
Brotherhood G were also 10-0 victors, this against Nomads
Bobcats. Dan Grindrod, Danny Still and Gary Simpson all stayed
undefeated but the Bobcats will feel unfortunate not to have
squeezed at least one win, Alex Baldock going down 11-8 in the
fifth to Still and Matt Sage losing to Grindrod by the same score.
Finally, in the all-Nomads clash, there were hat-tricks for Dave
Wright and Ian Gwillim as the Lynx defeated the Ocelots 7-3.
Anne Bonny, Norman Jacobs and Hazel Blanche got a point each
for the losers.

Division 1
Walton C 1 Brotherhood A 9;
Windsor Eagles 7 Walton B 3;
Windsor Hawks 9 Walton A 1.
Division 2
Nomads Tigers 6 Brotherhood C 4;
Walton D 4 Lawford 6;
Brotherhood D 10 Windsor Kestrels 0;
Brotherhood B 1 Nomads Jaguars 9.
Division 3
Nomads Lynx 7 Nomads Ocelots 3;
Windsor Harriers 10 Brotherhood F 0;
Brotherhood E 5 Nomads Leopards 5;
Brotherhood G 10 Nomads Bobcats 0.

Business as usual for Thorpe Bay

There was no surprise in the Southend Premier where Thorpe Bay A overcame their B side 8-1. Worth noting though a great win for Rich Stubbington over Paul Sayer in the last game of the evening. It was a great win to save the whitewash. There was a great battle between Gurj Bhambra and John Poysden which Poysden managed to take 3-1 but the standout game was the third which went all the way to 20-22. Interesting to see if any player can win a longer game than that this year.

Brand Identity continued their strong start to the season with a thumping 9-0 win over Hockley A. Simon Jacob, Richard Jackman and Steve Muth all going unbeaten although Jacob and Muth were pushed all the way by Tarun Goel and Sanjay Saptarshi, both just getting over the line late in the 5th game.

In a game from last week there was a very tight affair as Rawreth B beat Brand Identity 5-4. Player of the match Keith Adams took all of his three games while team mate Norbert Fullerton weighed in with a brace. David Jacob, Simon Jacob and Richard Jackman all managed to beat Sid Dorn for the visitors while David also notched a great win against Fullerton.

There was a clash between first and second in the Division 1 when Lentern entertained Stanford A this week. The visitors came away with an impressive 7 – 2 win and consequently leap frog their hosts into top spot. Stanford’s POM Mitchell Jones continued his unbeaten run, and Ian Sangster and Pat White added a further two each. Lentern’s Paul Sims got both their victories.

Perennial high finishers Brand Identity have started to rise to the surface again. A 6 – 3 home win over Hadleigh Forum C moves them into third place. Yet again veteran Barrie Delf was POM with a hat trick, whilst Jennifer Harrison got two and Dale Gutteridge one. Tony Mace was the visitors’ best player taking two wins. Mark Everard got the other one, edging past Dale in the fifth set.

Invicta A retain fourth place courtesy of a narrow 5 – 4 win away at RESSC. No player was undefeated. John Holland and Bob Skews each got two for the home side, a feat matched by Invicta’s Tony Ayliffe and Steve Marr. Lee Marson’s single win for the visitors was enough for the result to go their way. Closest rubber of the night saw Marr overcome an unlucky Holland in the fifth set 13-11.

Canvey A had a fine win at home against struggling Hockley C. Ray Wilson’s unbeaten three gave him the POM award and both Peter Cray and Joanna Hills got two wins each. Brian Bissenden and Paul Strutt got one each for the visitors. Veteran Strutt had to work particularly hard to overcome Hills.

There were two hat tricks for Hadleigh Forum B in their excellent 8 – 1 demolition of visitors Rawreth Megazone C.  Skipper Dave Woolmer took the POM accolade, but Paul Fawell also won all three. The sole success for the visitors was Garry Hartgrove’s five-set victory over Mick Tappenden.

Rawreth Megazone D’s Mike Hayes extended his unbeaten run to take the POM honour in his side’s 7 – 2 home win versus Mapledene. Noah Unstead also won three and George Davis one. Andy Seaman and Charles Yeung shared the Mapledene’s points. The home side are now level on points with their C team.

With Division 2 league leaders Basildon A out of action this week focus fell on the challengers and, in particular, second placed Matchpoint A who had an opportunity to take the top spot. Their opposition were Hockley D, yet to win a match this season, so perhaps the result was never in doubt. A 7-2 win for Matchpoint proved the point but it was not enough to elevate them to the top and they stay in second just one point behind.

The match itself was a little closer than the score suggests with four games going the distance but that certainly didn’t include Evie Knaapen who raced through her games in three sets to take another POTM award. She was supported by Harry Sawford and Jeremy Giffin who both won two games but failed to get the better of Paul Strutt who won both matches in five sets. Jeremy, back from injury, had his fitness fully tested as all his games extended to five sets. He set the tone for his matches as his first set against Paul Ogden went to 18-16 before winning 12-10 in the fifth. That 18-16 scoreline featured again in his match against Ben Cook, this time losing, but he successfully came back from two sets down winning the last two sets at a canter 11-2 11-2. His final match against Paul Strutt again found him two sets down but, despite levelling the score, the more experienced man held on to win 11-8 in the decider.

Fourth and fifth placed Wakering and Matchpoint B both fell to surprise defeats and it was the in-form Stanford B who took advantage crushing Basildon B 8-1 to record their fifth successive win and move up to third place in the table.

Robert Salvage completed a perfect hat trick with Adrian Armstrong winning his three and David Arnett weighing in with a brace. Ross Letham did best for Basildon beating David and taking Aidan to five sets. This defeat leaves them one but bottom of the table.

Biggest surprise of the week was probably Canvey B’s 6-3 win against Matchpoint B. The Islanders, languishing near the bottom of the table, brought in Andrew Murray for his first match of the season and he responded with a hat trick to lead them to their second win. Des Duffield weighed in with two wins plus one from Tony Westwell. Alexander Deacon, Debbie O’Neill and Dan Stewart all collected a point each for Matchpoint.

The other result that stood out was Wakering’s 5-4 defeat at home to Runnymede. The home team were without their top player this season, Callum Turner, and then found themselves up against an in-form Dmitry Kisil and his hat trick ensured a narrow victory although Steve Wisbey was the match winner beating Stewart Mills in five sets in the final game of the evening. That was one of four five set matches as both teams fought for the win. Andy Humphris had got Runnymede off to a good start in the opening match for Runnymede but a brace each for Andrew Deadman and Paul England ensured the tightest of matches. Wakering drop to fifth with Runnymede in sixth.

Rawreth Megazone E picked up their first win of the season 6-3 against Invicta B who, after their opening week win, have now lost five games in succession. It was an all round team performance from Rawreth with two wins each for Steve Mcquillan, Amar Al-Soufi and the returning Bob Garlick. Good to see him back to full health. Barbara Chabior recorded her own double for Invicta with David Barnes picking up the other point.

Player of the Week – Andrew Murray

Team of the Week – Rawreth Megazone E

In Division 3 Trevor Hayes maintained his 100% winning record, but his hat-trick was not enough to prevent his Canvey ‘C’ side slipping to a 5/4 defeat at the hands of Stanford ‘D’.  Stephen Parker added the other point for Canvey but two wins each for Martin Winter and Peter Moxham plus a single win for Andrew Jessop won the match for Stanford.

The match between Hockley ’E’ and  Matchpoint ‘C’ was another close affair, only decided in the final game when Alex Bowden completed his hat-trick, to give Matchpoint a 5/4 win.  Alex was well supported by Max Mayo who added the other two points.  Hannah Harbour was the best player on the night for Hockley with two wins.  Richard Coulson and Graham Gregory with a win apiece.

Matchpoint ‘D’ entertained Stanford ‘C’ in a match where every player made a contribution.  Stanford’s Randy Santiago was the POTM with a maximum supported by Peter Moxham, with a brace, and Mandy Till who recorded her first win of the season, 11/9 in the final set against Oliver Milchard. 

League leaders Invicta ‘C’ had skipper Keith Baxter to thank as they visited Hadleigh Forum ‘D’ and came away with a 5/4 win.  Keith was unbeaten on the night and teammates Jonathan Gould and Brendan Raja added a point each.  There were two wins each for Forum’s Dean Johnson and Douglas Brown but a blank night for Sineh Ball.

The battle between two of our junior teams went in favour of Evolve who ran out 7/2 winners over Hockley ‘F’.  Our reporter at the match was impressed with Evolves’s Aaron Price and Benjamin Berwick who both recorded maximums and proved to be too strong for the Hockley team.  Josh Cane, playing his first match for Evolve picked up the other point with a win over Boris Kolev.  Hockley’s points came from Perry Lazell and Amelia Taylor who both came from behind to get the better of Josh in the fifth set and notch their first wins of the season. Watched by her father, who admits he was a bag of nerves, Amelia remained calm and held her nerve during a close final set, where she trailed 5-4 before going into a 10-7 lead, eventually taking the match with her second match point.