There will be training for the Essex Under 13 Training Group at BATTS on Sunday, 13th April from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Please arrive at 9:45 a.m. for a prompt start. Cost for the session is £5, payable on the day. Please remember to bring a packed lunch and sufficient drink for the day. We look forward to seeing you all at the session!
The table tennis community will be saddened to learn of the death of Brian Rowlen, Chairman of the Clacton and District Table Tennis League, aged 74 years. Brian was involved in table tennis both locally and nationally for over six decades and it is no exaggeration to say that, for the last 40 years, he has been the mainstay of the Clacton League.
Brian began playing table tennis in 1952 and continued until 2002 when injury intervened to end his playing career. During that time he won a handful of trophies, most notably the Junior Boys Singles in 1956 and 1957, the Mens Doubles in 1959 and the Handicap Singles in 1998. But it is as a volunteer administrator and organiser that Brian made his mark.
He joined the Management Committee of the Clacton League in 1956 and, apart from three years in the 1960s when he worked in the Midlands, he has been a Committee member ever since.
From 1973 until 1984, Brian was the League’s Press and Records Secretary, building up a strong relationship with the local Press, meticulous in ensuring reports were sent in regularly.
In 1976, Brian had also been elected League Vice-Chairman and, on the retirement of Gordon Denton in 1984, Brian became League Chairman, a post he continued to hold until his death.
As Chairman, Brian took an active interest in all aspects of the League (which currently has over 160 players) and was a constant source of sensible advice and encouragement. He was closely involved in the work of the League’s three Sub-Committees (Tournament, Development and Cup) and, with his background as a bank manager, he was a wise head in all matters financial.
But Brian was far more than just a Chairman. For over 30 years, he was the Referee for the League’s three annual Tournaments. This included spending interminable hours scheduling matches beforehand which, for the Closed Championships – with twelve events spread over two full days – was a mammoth organisational task. Until recent years, Brian also compiled the League’s annual fixture list and assembled the League Handbook at the start of the season.
In recognition of his lifetime of service to the League, Brian was made a Vice-President in 2008. In the same year, Tendring District Council recognised Brian’s lifetime of work as a volunteer organiser when they awarded him a trophy for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sport in the Tendring District’. It speaks volumes that he was originally nominated for the category ‘Volunteer of the Year’ but the organisers felt it appropriate to create a brand-new award to recognise Brian’s very special commitment and long service.
As well as his League responsibilities, Brian was Secretary of the Brotherhood Table Tennis Club for 23 years. The Brotherhood, which currently has eleven out of the League’s 39 teams, is one of the three largest Clubs in the League. Brian ran the Club from start to finish, from organising the composition of teams at the beginning of the year to sorting out problems during the course of the playing season. And, rather than take a well-earned summer break, he even organised the Brotherhood Summer League as well.
Brian had also been involved in the Essex County Table Tennis Association (ECTTA) and, at one time, was its Chairman. He was one of only 32 Life Members of the ECTTA and, in 1986, he was presented with the Corti Woodcock Memorial Award by the ECTTA, presented annually in recognition of service to table tennis in Essex.
Brian was a qualified International Umpire, and umpired at many international and European events. The highlights of his umpiring career were officiating at two World Championships – in Birmingham in 1977 and Manchester in 1997 – and at the European Championships held in Birmingham in 1994.
In 1988 and 1989, the National Top 12 Tournament (for the top twelve men and top twelve women players in the country) was held in Clacton. The 1988 Tournament was the first major sporting event held at the newly-built Clacton Leisure Centre and it was largely Brian’s reputation nationally that ensured Clacton hosted the event.
Throughout all this, Brian received the loyal support of his wife, Shirley. For over 25 years Shirley was League Secretary and latterly she was the League’s Minutes Secretary. With both their son Paul and daughter Donna also playing in the League at one time, table tennis became something of a family affair. The thoughts and good wishes of us all go to Shirley, and to Paul, Donna, and their families, at this sad time.
Until his death, Brian continued to be as keen and enthusiastic about table tennis as ever. Without his unstinting effort and devoted dedication over a life-time, League table tennis would not have flourished in the Clacton area. Brian could rightly claim to be ‘Clacton’s Mr Table Tennis’ and he will continue to remembered with affection, respect and gratitude by all those associated with the Clacton and District Table Tennis League.
The first BATTS One Star Junior Open Tournament of season 2013/14 was held at the home of BATTS Table Tennis Club, the Norman Booth Centre, Old Harlow on Sunday 9 March. Once again there was a good entry, 83 all told after eight late requests for entry were met from withdrawals on the previous two days with players coming from as far away as Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Norfolk.
Consolation events were held for those players who failed to finish in the top two places in their Groups in all the events. Even a player who finished last in his Group matches won a Consolation event, their opponent being the player who finished third in the same Group.
The day’s events started with the Under 13 Boys and Girls events. The two overnight withdrawals being met from overnight entry requests from the eight Groups of four in the boys event. Similar to the same time last season two of the top seeds failed to win their Group, Casey Mansfield (E) losing to Thomas Hagan and Thomas O’Sullivan (He) losing to Ali Cangir (E) whilst the other Group seeds all won their matches 3-0. Only six of the 48 Group matches required a deciding game. In the knockout stage top seed Reiss Vydelingum (K) proceeded comfortably to the final dropping only one game in the semi to number three seed James Kelly (Ca). In the other half No. 2 seed Reece Chamdal (Ox) progressed comfortably to the semi final where George Long (Mi) provided stern opposition, Reece losing his 2-0 lead before winning the deciding game 11-6. In the Final Reiss was in control throughout winning 1, 4, 6. Closest match in the KO stage was that between the two Essex players Casey Mansfield and Ali Cangir with Casey just scraping through -7, 7, 5, -5, 9.
In the Consolation event the two players who played one another in Group 8 were to meet in the final, but only after both had tough semi final matches. Rokas Dedinas (E) beat Amaan Dad (E) 8, 9, -8, -9, 5 whilst Angelo Papantonio (Mi) just got the better of Owen Longhurst (E) 12, 10, -9, 11. The final was to have the audience on the edge of their seats with both players having match points in the deciding set. Having lost 6, 7, -9, 8 in the Group match Rokas eventually squeezed home -13, 7, -9, 8, 15.
The Girls U13 event consisted of three Groups of four players played on two tables. With top seed Jemma Walker (Bu) forced to withdraw two days beforehand the Groups were re-constituted with the top seeds being Gracie Edwards(E) and Amelia Chan (Mi). Both won their Groups although Gracie had to come back from 2-1 down to beat Charlotte Marsden (He) For new third seed Lucia Shakespeare (Sy) nothing went right, losing to Isabella Hudson (Mi) after being 2-1 up and Lois Perryman (K) 3-0 to be relegated to the Consolation event. Gracie and Federica Tazartes (Sy) had played one another in the Group and they were to meet one another again in the final which Gracie won -9, 12, 7, 4. In the semi’s Gracie had beaten Essex compatriot Emily Smith 3-0 whilst Federica had beaten Amelia 3-1 in her semi after squeezing past Lois 11-8 in the deciding game of the quarter final.
In the Consolation event Lucia lost to Charlotte 11, 5, 10 in the semi and Charlotte went on to beat Natasha Kent (Ca) 9, 8, -11, 4 in the final. In her semi Natasha had to come back from 2-0 down against Alana Mansford (E) to win 11-9 in the decider.
The afternoon U15 events had ten Groups of four Boys and one of three after seven boys withdrew due to illness and injury over the previous two days but six boys seeking entry over those same two days were able to be accommodated. For the Girls one of the four Groups of four was expanded to a Group of five so that Natasha did not have to endure watching her brother playing all afternoon! Alas for Thomas although he won his Group he fell at the first KO hurdle to Fraser Donelley 14, -6, 6, -8, 9 and thus had to watch Natasha instead. Lehman Chan (Mi) and brothers Michael and Thomas Connelly (Nk) were the seeds not to win their Groups.
After the Group matches were played number one seed Reiss Vydelingum became unwell and withdrew before the KO stage commenced. This gave Thomas Connelly the opportunity to reach the semi final where he met number four seed James Knudsen (E) (he was ranked only one point below number three seed James Kelly), losing 8, -8, 8, 3. In the other half James Kelly had a titanic semi final battle with number two seed Reece Chamdal (Ox) eventually winning 5, -6, -10, 8, 6. James Kelly won the final -3, 9, 5, 10.
The Consolation final was contested by two Essex players and it was Jack Stockdale who won, defeating Casey Mansfield 2, 10, 10. Both had Essex opponents in the semi’s, Casey defeated Liam Squirrell 5, -11, 6, 8 and Jack defeated Ali Cangir 9, 8, 2. Ali had only got through his quarter final by the narrowest of margins, 9, 6, -7, -9, 10 over Angelo Papantonio.
In the U15 Girls event Zoe Davies (E), Katherine Shaw (Sk), Amelia Chan and Gracie Edwards all won their Groups. Amelia had to battle hard for her top spot, defeating Emily Smith10, -10, 9, 10 and just getting the better of Lois Perryman18-16 in the fourth game. Katherine had to sweat on the outcome of the Group countback for the top three places in her Group after losing to Federica Tazartes 12-10 in the decider in the last match of the Group. Earlier Federica had lost in the deciding game in the Group’s first match to Rebecca Lowman (E). In the quarter’s Zoe lost to Yolanda Tanner (Sy) 14-12 in the decider and Yolanda then lost to Katherine 3-0 in the semi. In the other half semi final Gracie went the full distance with Amelia before winning -7, 8, 10, -6, 8 and Gracie went on to win the final 5, 8, 4.
In the Consolation event Rebecca defeated Charlotte Marsden(He) 7, 3, 7 in the final after both girls won their semi’s 3-1, Charlotte by -12, 10, 7, 8 against Emily and Rebecca 8, 6, -9, 4 against Lois.
An enjoyable Sunday for all the players and a hectic day for me. With the BATTS policy of running Consolation events wherever the Schedule permits for those players who do not finish in the top two places in their Group it does give the lesser players a chance of winning some honours even if they do not win a Group match as has been shown in these events.
The next BATTS Tournament will be held on 10/11 May which will include an open U11 event on the Sunday.
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
Member of the BATTS Organising Committee.
The Southend & District Table League’s 2014 Annual Closed Championships had their largest entry for some 20 years: 134 Entries. The Event was run by the Sub Committee of John Poysden, Kevin Read, George Reeves, Lou Hopkins and ourselves. The Venue for the main Events was again the popular Rayleigh Leisure Centre. The Championships were played over the Weekend of February 21st -23rd February, with our Finals Night, again at the Hullbridge Sports Association on Tuesday 25th February.
Our Finals Evening commenced with 2 highly entertaining Under 21’s Semi Finals: in the 1st Semi, Thorpe Bay’s Kieran Skeggs beat another Thorpe Bay player, Adam Deadman 12-10, 11-6, 11-6: a good result as Adam has improved considerable this season. The other Semi was between Runnymede’s Sid Dorn and Rawreth’s Ben Matthews; Sid upset the form book with a well eared win 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6.
Next were the Men’s Semi Finals. The first Semi saw the 2013 Champion, Kevin Read, Rawreth, play the 2011 Champion, Thorpe Bay’s Alex Abbott: it was anyone’s guess who would win this. On this occasion, Alex ran out a comfortable winner, taking the match 11-3, 11-6, 11-3; Kevin’s first defeat in Southend this season. The other Semi saw a clash between 2 players who, over the past 2 seasons, have shared the spoils: Runnymede’s Kevin Caldon (2010 Champion) and Rawreth’s Tony Halling. (2004 Champion). This contest went all the way, with Kevin winning in 5 close sets, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7.
Next was the first Final of the evening, the Under 21s, between Sid Dorn and Kieran Skeggs. Sid took the 1st Set and a surprise looked on the cards, but the higher ranked Kieran then moved up a gear to win 9-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-4.
The Next Final was the Men’s Doubles, a difficult one to call. It went to 5 Sets, the Title going to Kevin Caldon and Runnymede team mate, Richard Brown, beating Rawreth’s Charles Sweeny and Tony Halling 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5.
After the Interval, former England International Juniors, Brother and Sister, Alex and Maxine Abbott, Hullbridge, were expected to retain their Mixed Doubles Title. However Premier Divisions’ up and coming Youngsters, Emily Godfrey, Rawreth and Charlie Bates, Lentern played some superb Table Tennis to take the Title 9-11, 11-2, 11-8. 11-9.
Next was the Vet’s Singles Final, which was one of the most eagerly awaited contests for several years, featuring Holder, KevinCaldon and Steve Tilson, Castle Point. This was the first Southend Finals appearance since 1983 of former Essex Closed Champion and England Ranked Junior, Steve Tilson and due to his football commitments with Basildon Ladies, Steve could only enter this one event at these Championships: in 1983, then a 17 year old, Steve won both the Southend Junior and Men’s Singles Titles in the same season: after which, Steve, left the world of Table Tennis for the Professional Football scene, with Southend United. Steve has made only fleeting returns to the sport since, but this Season has played several matches for the Castle Point Table Tennis Club. This season, Steve has lost only once, to Alex Abbott, a defeat Steve avenged in the Vet’s Semi Finals. However, Kevin Caldon reached the Finals of the English National over 50s Singles this Season. So this was always going to be a close match and so it proved. The match went one way, then the other, with Kevin leading 2 sets to one. Then Steve produced a succession of left handed forehand winners to take the title 11-4, 5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8. A top Match between 2 top players.
In the Ladies Singles Final, we were treated to another close match, between former English Junior International, Maxine Abbott, who was playing her Hullbridge colleague Lin Attridge, who herself has played for the England Over 50s, this season. The early lead went to Maxine who won the first 2 Sets comfortably 11-4, 11-7. But Lin is known for her fighting qualities and won the next 2 Sets 11-7, 11-3 and moved into a seemingly unassailable 8-2 lead in the deciding Set. Maxine then produced a great fight back, to win 11-9: a great Match.
The Final event of the evening was the Men’s Singles Final. Kevin Caldon (2012 Champion) faced Alex Abbott (2011 Champion). Kevin eager to reverse his earlier defeat in the Vets Singles, lost the first Set but came back to take the second. But back came Alex to take the third, only for Kevin to take the fourth. Kevin then ran away with the 5th and deciding Set, 11-1 to take the 2014 Title: a great evening for Kevin.
Other Finals played over the Weekend were:-
|Ladies Doubles||Maxine Abbott & Zoe Davies||Beat||Caroline Cole & Emily Godfrey|
|O 60s Singles||Terry Guymer||Beat||Chris Jacob|
|O 70s Singles||Dave Kirston||Beat||Peter Pond|
|U 21 Novice Singles||Sam Nunn||Beat||Robbie Appleton|
|Premier Division||Minda Sinkus||Beat||Gurj Bhambra|
|1st Division||Gary McCarthy||Beat||Chris Nunn|
|2nd Division||Zoe Davies||Beat||Paul Henlen|
|3rd Division||Justin Jeffreys||Beat||David Zeffie|
|Prem. & 1st comb.||Colin Chatfield & Anthon Ranjit-Singh||Beat||Dave Calleja & Peter Pond|
|2nd & 3rd comb.||Andy Deadman & Emily Smith||Beat||Richard Reibold & Shelley Woolley|
|Prem. & 1st comb.||Kim Shead||Beat||Dale Gutteridge|
|2nd & 3rd comb.||Zoe Davies||Beat||Ethan Selvester|
|Vets||Sue Body||Beat||Berti Makolli|
|U 21’s||Steve Marr||Beat||Ethan Selvester|
|Under 21 Novices||Hassan Qureshi||Beat||Finlay Cameron|
|Men’s Plate Singles:||Keith Abbott, Justin Jeffreys& Reece Seddon||Joint Winners|
|Drawn Doubles||Ben Mathews & Andy Deadman||Beat||Kim Shead & Zoe Davies|
We were treated to a great Group of Finals with some excellent matches. Our thanks go to the Hullbridge Sports Association’s Table Tennis Section for setting up the Hall and allowing us to use their fine facilities; to our colleagues on the Closed Championships’ Sub Committee – John Poysden, George Reeves, Kevin Read and Lou Hopkins; to Graham Back and the Warehouse Centre for the use of their Premises for the Under 21s; to Chris Aukett, Chairman of the Basildon Table Tennis League for the use of their Dividers and assembling and bringing them down: to the staff of Rayleigh Leisure Centre, to Glenn Johnson for the use of his P. A System; to Lesley on the Bar at Hullbridge; to all those who helped put up the equipment and take it down and help with Umpiring etc.; and to all of our Members and Families for supporting these Championships.
And, a special thanks to Paul Reed, who once again ran a Raffle, bought several prizes, obtained prizes from Members / Clubs, sold the tickets, drew the Lucky Numbers and raised £ 167 to be spread over the costs of our Closed and Junior Championships; great effort Paul. Over the past few seasons, Paul has run Raffles at our Closed Championships and our Presentation day and raised a considerable amount of money which helps the Committee to keep the Team entrance Fees to the Minimum. Jan Phillips also ran a raffle for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, raising over £ 100: well done Jan and to our Members who supported her such worthwhile efforts.
Jane Li of Tollgate became the youngest ever Colchester Ladies Champion and in doing so completed a unique treble of titles of Cadet (U15), Junior (U18) and Senior at this weekend’s Colchester & District Table Tennis League Tournament held at the Holmwood House School Sports Hall. Jane is the first person to achieve this feat and to add to the list she also won the Junior Doubles! Her opponent in the ladies Final was Aimee Sparkes of Gt Horkesley who had won on the last four occasions and as expected the final was a close, five set roller coaster. Li took the first set with Sparkes coming back strongly to take the next two ends. Li commented “Aimee’s strong forehand loops were causing me problems so I tried to attack more down the backhand wing which slowly worked giving me more confidence after a nervy start.” The shot that personified this was at game point to Li in the fourth when she crashed a forehand counter-hit passed a surprised Sparkes. Li continued “I carried this tactic into the final end as I knew this was my last chance to compete in all three events!” Jane took the title in fine style winning all twelve of her singles across the three events. She won the Cadets on the Saturday as well as the Junior Girls with runners-up Sam Hume (St James) and Gracie Edwards (H20 Rowhedge) respectively. To add to her silverware she completed a memorable weekend teaming up with Tollesbury’s Ben Page to beat favourites Jermaine Fearon and Josh Sidki.
The Men’s final was no less exiting, in fact it was the seventh consecutive time that the title has gone the full, five set distance, each time producing a different winner! Defending champion Keiran Lally was up against twice Ipswich Men’s winner Jake Collins, ranked 72 in England. He had recently undergone eye surgery and following the loss of the first set was forced to apply eye drops before returning to take the second end. The shear acceleration of Collins forehand with very little back-lift was impressive as earlier against Andy Warner he incredibly switched hands during a rally to play a left handed chop with aplomb, winning the rally! He moved through the gears to take the third end but Lally struck back in the fourth in his words “struggling to find his rhythm” as Collins had failed to let him settle. However, the trademark ‘head-roll’ loops were in evidence and the crowd waited with bated breath for the final set. This proved something of an anti-climax as Collins opened up a 6-0 lead that Lally could not overcome as Collins ran out a worthy winner -9, 6, 7, -10, 2. Collins commented “I just got a good start in the last end and hang on by keeping it tight (with short pushes) and getting in before Keiran with my forehand when possible.
Earlier Collins was fortunate to survive a huge offensive onslaught from Jermaine Fearon who opened up a two sets lead with his ‘swashbuckling’ forehand before Collins slowly fought his way back to level the match. Fearon was not finished and led 10-6 in the final set but Collins used all his considerable tournament experience to come out on top 12-10 in the first knock-out round. This was arguably the best match of the weekend. Collins went on to take out Andy Warner in three straight in the semi-final as Lally accounted for James Denyer (St James) in four ends at the same stage having beaten Greg Green in a close five-setter in the Quarter-Finals.
Lally teamed up with Greg Green to beat Tollgate Club mates Andy Warner and Nigel Hodder in the Men’s Doubles in three straight sets. The younger pairing have never been beaten since joining forces two years ago and only dropped one set in this year’s retention of their title.
Gill Locke (St James) and Annabelle Rodriguez (Tollgate) were beaten by the scratch pairing of Aimee Sparkes and Lilo Roesch (University of Essex) for whom both their original partners withdrew from the weekend due to the flu virus in the Ladies Doubles to win another close five-set encounter on the night.
The Mixed Doubles went the way of the Ipswich pairing of Aimee Sparkes and Jake Collins who beat holders for the past two years Gill Locke and James Denyer.
Andy Warner won the Veteran’s 40+ title for the first time defeating doubles partner Nigel Hodder in the most entertaining match of the evening with Hodder running out of steam, the aggressor and Warner, the defender standing firm from the back. Charlie Fulcher (Tollgate) retained the Vets 50+ beating a spirited John Andrews (H20 Rowhedge) whilst Ian Whiteside (Pegasus) also retained the 60+ event defeating Fred Button (H20 Rowhedge).
Jermaine Fearon capped a good weekend beating compatriot Josh Sidki in the Junior Singles final, the pair the most improved players in the league without doubt and now playing in British League for Survey Initiative Rowhedge.
In the Divisional Singles the unbeaten Ian Whiteside beat Matthew Horrocks in Division One and Chris Brook accounted for John Hatley (St James) to win the Second Division crown. Adam Cuthbert (H20 Rowhedge) bt Daryl Lott (Tollgate) in the Division Three final and events were rounded off with Long Hei Chan (UOE) winning the Division Four event with Lauren James (H20 Rowhedge) runner-up.
There was a star-studded line-up of Essex aficionados in the audience including Essex Chairman Ken Field, BATTS supremo Neil Brierley and Essex and Chelmsford stalwart Arthur Clark.
All photographs courtesy of Roger Hance
Men’s Singles Semi-Finals:
Jake Collins bt Andy Warner 4, 7, 10.
Keiran Lally bt James Denyer 5, -11, 7, 4.
Junior Boys Final:
Jermaine Fearon bt Josh Sidki 5, 9, -8, 4.
Ladies Doubles Final:
Aimee Sparkes & Lilo Roesh bt Gill Locke & Annabelle Rodriguez 6, 9, -5, -9, 8.
Veteran’s 40+ Final:
Andy Warner bt Nigel Hodder -10, 8, 7, -8, 5.
Mixed Doubles Final:
Aimee Sparkes & Jake Collins bt Gill Locke & James Denyer 18, -7, 8, 7.
Men’s Doubles Final:
Keiron Lally & Greg Green bt Andy Warner & Nigel Hodder 7, 6, 10,
Ladies Singles Final:
Jane Li bt Aimee Sparkes 7, -8, -6, 9, 7.
Men’s Singles Final:
Jake Collins bt Keiran Lally -9, 6, 7, -10, 2.
Saturday’s Events Winner Runner Up
Cadet Singles Jane Li Sam Hume
Junior Girls Singles Jane Li Gracie Edwards
Junior Doubles Jane Li & Ben Page Jermaine Fearon & Josh Sidki
Junior Handicapped Singles Matthew Rogers Jermaine Fearon
Junior Handicapped Doubles Lewis & Morgan Bardell Josh Sidki & Daniel Young
Senior Handicapped Singles Sam Hume Matthew Horrocks
Senior Handicapped Doubles Steve Holland & Matthew Rogers Adam Cuthbert & Sam Hume
Division 1 Singles Ian Whiteside Matthew Horrocks
Division 2 Singles Chris Brook John Hatley
Division 3 Singles Adam Cuthbert Daryl Lott
Division 4 Singles Long Hei Chan Lauren James
Veteran’s 50+ Singles Charlie Fulcher John Andrews
Veteran’s 60+ Singles Ian Whiteside Fred Button
The next training dates for the Essex Under 13 Training Group and Essex Junior Development Squad are as follows:
Sunday, 2nd March: Essex Under 13 Training Group
Sunday, 16th March: Essex Junior Development Squad
Both sessions are being held at BATTS from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m
The adjacent County Cadet Division 1A match between Essex and Hertfordshire was held at BATTS Harlow on Sunday 26 January 2013. All but two of the Division’s matches had already been played and the result of this match would determine positions 3 and 4 in the Table. Herts needed a draw on Sets difference and Essex needed a win. For Essex this would be difficult as the Herts boys were all ranked well above the Essex boys. The match was played on two tables as were all the previous matches in the Division.
In the opening two matches Sam Hume played Herts No. 1, Chris Clifford and Ryan Gooday played George Coulson. Sam lost the first two games 5, 7 but determined play saw him lead 10-6 in the third game but the England No. 41 cadet clawed these points back and also the next two to win the match. Ryan faced the task of playing a player ranked 270 points above him. Having won the first game to 8 Ryan narrowly lost the second to 9 and nothing went right in the third, losing to 2. In the fourth 10-6 down Ryan won the next six points to take the match to a decider. 5-0 down at the change round the Herts coach called a time out at 6-6 to calm down the now anxious George and Howard Grant, the Essex coach, did the same with Ryan 6-10 down Ryan got three points back but lost the next from a net cord. The next two matches were the girls, both won 3-0 Tania Dennison winning against Megan Allaway and Zoe Davies losing to Charlize Uy although at 5-1 up in the second game there were Essex hopes. James Knudsen was no match for the quicksilver Ethan Walsh, the England No. 4 Under 13 ranked player and both representing BATTS in various tournaments, being destroyed 1, 7, 4. However the ever improving Sam kept Essex in the match by beating George 9, 7, 8 after some great attacking rallies by both players.
Zoe and Tania then both won their matches to bring the match score to 4-4, Zoe winning the last half dozen points in the third game to pull back a 9-5 deficit against Megan and Tania defeating Charlize in four after losing the second game from 10-10 to two nets. Thus third and fourth places depended upon the results of the last two matches, James against Chris and Ryan against Ethan. James fared much better in this match, much more his style, just losing the first game 11-9 but taking the second 13-11. Chris, however, upped his game to win the next two 5 and 7 for Herts to secure third place in the Table. Meanwhile on the other table a marathon match ensued. Ryan seemed much more adapted to deal with Ethan’s lighting thrusts and get his own cross table forehand shots in with good effect to go 10-9 up in the first but then lost the next three points. Ethan seemed to be on his way to a 3-0 win after taking the second game 11-6 but Ryan hit back taking the next two games 4, 3 as Ethan got more and more anxious and Ryan’s forehand more accurate. The start of the decider went Ethan’s way and at the change round he was 5-0 up. Two minutes later it was 8-8 and time for the Herts coach, Roger Close, to call a time out. This worked and with Ryan 8-10 down it was Howard’s turn to call a time out. This worked as well as the score became 10-10 but unfortunately for Ryan his next two forehands just missed the end of the table so Herts won the Match 6-4.
A good match and thanks to Howard for coaching the Essex Team in Stuart’s absence due to a Vets British League commitment. Just five points was the difference between a Herts 6-4 win and an Essex 6-4 win and a good overall performance from the Essex Team.
The match between Kent and Middlesex to determine the winner and runner up positions in the Division is likely to be played on Sunday 16 March.
Arthur C. Clark
Junior Match Secretary and Cadet Division 1B Organiser.
The Essex Schools Tournament was held at BATTS on Friday 17 January 2014. For the previous two years the Individual Schools submitted their entries to Essex County Council Sports Organisers and with just under 200 entries received in total each year, (players can only enter their particular Age event), numbers needed to be reduced to manageable proportions with the event having a scheduled start and finish time. For this season the format was changed and each School District (there are 14 of them including Southend and Thurrock) held District qualifying events for each gender and age with the top two qualifying for the Essex Finals.
As usual the Closing date was the Friday before Christmas and some Schools were submitting entries right up to three days before the event. Active Essex Organisers and I agreed to accept these. Altogether there were 86 entries. Five players did not turn up on the day and we accepted the two players who turned up having not been notified previously.
To fit in with timing schedule all matches were best of three games and winners and runners up were:
WINNER, RUNNER UP
U11 Boys Ethan Silvester (Southend) Zach Harrington (Southend)
U13 Boys Casey Mansfield (Harlow) Sam Fullick (Castle Point & Rochford)
U16 Boys Sam Hume (Tendring) James Knudsen (Harlow)
U19 Boys Jared Patel Brentwood) Kieran Skeggs (Southend)
U11 Girls Emma Knudsen )Harlow) Alana Mansfield (Harlow)
U13 Girls Gracie Firkins (Tendring) Emily Smith (Southend)
U16 Girls Ella Patel (Brentwood) Stephanie Cross (Brentwood)
U19 Girls Emily Godfrey (Southend) Lucy Carrington (Chelmsford)
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
19 January 2014
The Essex Junior Closed was held at BATTS Harlow on Saturday 11 January 2014. At the Closing Date there were 62 entries (the reverse numerals figure at the same stage last year) and with the acceptance of late entries the final entry figure was 73 entries as against last year’s 37, ie just on double. It was great to have this number of entrants, the downside being that most events had to start with Groups of three players instead of the four to six range of last year to avoid a late evening finish.
The opening events were the Under 13 Boys and Under 15 Girls events. In the Boys event the only seed in the eight Groups not to win his Group was Eastbury’s Rokas Dedinas, defeated by Havering’s Oscar Terrell, and Rokas then found he had to play the number one seed Rahul Jindal (Mossford) in the first round of the knockout stage, losing 6, 10, 7 to him. Oscar, however, went on to reach the final defeating number 2 seed Morgan Harvey (Clacton) 9, 8, 5 in the quarter final and number three seed Casey Mansfield (BATTS) 5, -8, 5, 9 in the semi. Rahul dropped games in his quarter and semi-finals against Louis Jones and Ali Cangir (both Eastbury) and went on to take the title with an 11, 7, 9 win over Oscar. Only one Group match needed a deciding game, Syed Hussain (Eastbury) clinging on to his seeded position with a 11-6 win after the opening two games with Sean Miley (BATTS) were shared.
The surprise in the U15 Girls event was Zoe Davies (Southend) loss in Group 2 to Rebecca Lowman (Burnham) 6, -10, 4, -9, 13 in her first match, perhaps a 0910 start was too early for her. Rebecca went on to win the Group with Zoe the runner up. In the other Group match number one seed Gracie Edwards (Clacton) woke up a little quicker after losing her first game to Emily Smith (Southend) to take the next three 6, 10, 6. Emily also lost narrowly 10, 6, 11 to runner up Sarah James. Thus the expected final became the semi final with a rejuvenated Zoe winning a tremendous battle 10, -9, 3, -10, 8. In the other semi Sarah James (Eastbury) beat Rebecca 16-14 in the fourth game to reach the final but lost to Gracie 2, 9, 7.
There were 13 Groups in the U15 Boys event and the top four seeds all reached the semi finals. Of the top seeds in each Group only Louis Jones (Eastbury) failed to win his Group, losing to Alexander Terrell (Havering).Alexander went on to reach the quarter finals where he lost to top seed James Knudsen (BATTS) 6, 7, 5. However, in a tight match, James then lost to third seed Dylan Dixon (Mossford), Dylan coming back from 2-0 down to win the deciding game 11-7. Dylan had also won the decider in the previous round 11-7 against Southend’s Daniel Payne. In the other half of the draw Sam Hume (Clacton) reached the final without dropping a game and continued this form in the final winning 5, 10, 7. The fourth seed was Numayr Malik (Eastbury) who came back from 2-0 down to beat Casey Mansfield in Round 2 and Jack Stockdale 3-1 in the quarter final.
In the U18 Girls event with the withdrawal of one girl on the day I changed the three Groups of three players to two Groups of four. Top seed Emily Wood had a disastrous day in her Group and will quickly want to forget it. This left the way open for Zoe Davies to reach the final but only after a last gasp 14-12 deciding game with Emily in the Group. Zoe’s semi final victim was Lauren James (Colchester) 7, 6, 9. who had finished runner up to Gracie Edwards in the other Group after two 3-2 wins over Shannon Conway (Eastbury) and league compatriot Chloe Andrews. The final was another titanic battle only this time Gracie gained revenge for her earlier defeat to Zoe 8, 9, -8, -10, 8.
For the U18 Boys event there were six Groups. Only seed not to win his Group was Luke Jones (BATTS) defeated by the ever improving Dylan Dixon. Of the four first round matches three of them went the full distance, Sam Hume 7, 8, -8, -11, 5 over Luke including a saved match point, Dylan 5, -8, -5, 9, 10 over Joshua Poland (BATTS) and Daniel Payne (Southend) over Tharujan Sivarajah -4, 10, -9, 6, 9. Three of the four top seeds all reached the semi finals but James Knudsen again lost to Dylan, this time 3-0. Patrick Gilbert (NETTS), who had beaten Sam 9, 7, 11 in the quarters, defeated top seed Livingstone Nadarajah (Eastbury) 11, 5, 9 whilst player of the day Dylan defeated defensive clubmate Navdeep Panesar 6, -8, 6, -8, 8. In the final both players had game points in the first game but thereafter Dylan just kept his nose in front to win 15, 9, 7.
Meanwhile on the other tables the U13 Girls and U18 Girls Restricted Girls events were being played. The U13 was a round robin of four players, Gracie Edwards, Emily Smith, Alana Mansfield (BATTS) and Mia Charles (NETTS). All matches were won 3-0 except for the match between Emily and Gracie which decided the top two positions in the Group, Gracie winning -8, 10, 5, -11, 5. In the Restricted event Emily Wood had to concede her semi final to Rebecca Lowman due to a prior commitment after the earlier Girls events overran their allocated times and in the other Semi Shannon Conway just sneaked past Lauren James -7, 5, -9, 7, 9. The final also went to five games with Shannon just getting home after a fight back for Rebecca 9, 5, -7, -9, 8.
The last event of the day was the U18 Boys Restricted Singles and three groups. Luke Jones, Patrick Gilbert (a deciding game over Numayr Malik) and Tharujan Sivarajah (a deciding game over James Ashley (Mossford) were the three Group winners. In the final Patrick beat Luke 6, 10, 9
My thanks to Umpires John Jennings and Tom Jones for their stalwart duties and Alan Wood for obtaining such nice trophies. A joy to see so many more entries than the last two years and I think a good day was enjoyed by all. Finishing Group positions and Knockout Stage scores and Results for every event are on the Essex website.
Arthur C. Clark
Junior Match Secretary and Tournament Organiser.
Vets Secretary Neil Brierley provides a round up of Essex vets teams in action so far.
1st team : Captained by John Monk and with Alex Abbott, Paul Cuming and Gill Locke completing the team, they faced a really tough weekend in Div 1A at Woodfield in the Midlands. As such, a draw with Oxfordshire, and narrow 6-4 defeats to Worcs and Yorks was a highly commendable performance.
2nd team : led by Keith Fung backed up by Phil Walker , Paul Martindill and Sue Hickman, they were always going to find Div 1B at Graham Spicer venue exceptionally tough. So it proved with 8-2 defeats to Avon and Middx.
3rd team : Lin Attridge runs this team and had John Poysden, Dave Bowles and Stuart Kimm to support her. Playing in Div 2B at BATTS , they had great results with a 6-4 win over Middx 2 and 5 all draws with Surrey and Beds. Highlight in this last match was a win for Lin over Sandra Harper.
0 60 1st team : Dave Bowles runs this side with Stuart Gibbs, Peter Radford and Marjorie Dawson and this season they welcomed “youngster” Terry Guymer into the squad in the hope he would make an impact. What an impact he made with an amazing 8 wins out of 8 at Milton Keynes. The upshot was fine wins over Kent and Sussex, a draw with Surrey and a narrow 6-4 defeat to Lancashire. All to play for second half !
0 60 2nd team : Led by Chris Jacob and featuring Sue Body in the absence of Shirley Carroll, Alan Burgess and yours truly completed the team. Sue was the star and was unbeaten in the singles and the team won 2 matches and lost 2 matches over the weekend at BATTS.
Check out the link to county championship tables to see how all the Essex teams are doing.