Essex-Shield

2014-15 County Championships

Next season’s County Championships Divisions are now online. Find the full set of 2014-15 divisions here:  This opens as a PDF document.

Essex have 10 teams entered for next season:-

Senior division 1B Essex 1, Avon, Buckinghamshire, Devonshire 1, Hertfordshire,  Middlesex 2 and Surrey 1.

Senior division 2D Essex 2, Hampshire, Kent 2, Surrey 2, Sussex 2, and Sussex 3.

Junior division 1B Cornwall 1, Devonshire 2, Dorset 1, Essex 1, Hampshire, Kent, Middlesex 2, Sussex 2.

Junior division 2D Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Essex 2, Oxfordshire, Sussex 3, Surrey 2, Wiltshire.

Cadet division 1B Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire 1, Buckinghamshire 2, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent 2, Middlesex 2, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey 2.

Veterans division 1B Berkshire 1, Dorset 1, Essex 1, Kent 2, Middlesex 1, Surrey 1, Sussex 2, Wiltshire 1.

Veterans division 2A Cambridgeshire 1, Cheshire 2, Durham, Essex 2, Norfolk 1, Northamptonshire 1, Northumberland, Yorkshire 3.

Veterans division 2B Bedfordshire 1, Buckinghamshire1, Devonshire 1, Essex 3, Hertfordshire 2, Oxfordshire 1, Somerset 1, Surrey 2.

Over 60′s Premier division  Cheshire 1, Essex 1, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire 1, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Sussex, Yorkshire 1.

Over 60′s division 1B Berkshire 1, Berkshire 2, Buckinghamshire, Essex 2, Hampshire, Hertfordshire 2, Kent 1.

 

 

 

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BATTS 1 STAR OPEN 10/11 MAY 2014

A MASSIVE ENTRY FOR THE MAY TOURNAMENT AGAIN

The second 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 the 10/11 May. There was a massive entry, 120 all told, which meant reluctantly that Consolation events for those players who failed to finish in the top two places in their Groups could not be held for the U16, U15 and U13 Boys and Under 16 Girls events. Players entered from as far away as Hampshire, Beds, Northants and Norfolk as well as four of the Greenhouse Centres and a contingent of eight players from the island of Jersey.

Saturday morning started with the Under 16 Boys event, eight Groups of five players. With four players not arriving on the day (two of them numbers 1 and 7 seeds) one scratch entry made a Group of three up to four. Only three of the remaining six seeds won their Groups. In the top half number 4 seed James Knudson (E) was therefore expected to reach the final, but in the quarter final he fell to Jersey’s unseeded Jacob Gosselin 7, 7, -6, 4 and in the semi final Jacob defeated Norfolk’s Jacob Goss 5, 9, 5. In the bottom half number two seed Nick Mileham (He) reached the final after a titanic battle with number 3 seed Max Aldous (Mi), coming back from two games down to win -9, -8, 5, 6, 11. In the final Nick had a game point to take the match to a deciding game but lost 8, 10, -3, 10.

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At the same time the Under 16 Girls played their event, what should have been two Groups of five. However the number 1 seed, Amy Blagbrough (Hp) failed to arrive and it later transpired that her transport broke down on the way to the venue so she had to be towed home and thus took no part in this or the other events she had entered. In Group 1 number 2 seed Charlize Uy (He) lost to Zoe Davies (E) -9, -9, 11, 6, 7 but by beating Group 2 winner Jasmine Chan (Mi) 6, 10, 13 in the semi final she reached the final. Similarly in the other semi final Group 2 runner up Gracie Edwards (E) beat Zoe 7, 9, 9 so both group runners up reached the final with Gracie winning 1, -4, 10, 6. In the Consolation event Sarah James (E) carried on her last season’s Consolation winning ways, this time beating Ruth Marsden (K) -5, 10, 7, 8.

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The afternoon saw the Under 14 events. For the boys five Groups of five and one of four with three withdrawals Groups 1 and 2, which only had three players each were merged into a group of six to avoid those players sitting around for an hour and a half waiting for the other Groups to finish. Four top seeds won their Groups but number 1 seed Zaiim Premji (Mi) lost to Jack Stockdale (E) and number 4 seed Zachary Martillo (Ca) lost to Luc Miller (Jersey), Luc scraped through his quarter final against Thomas Connelly (Nk) -8, 10, -9, 5, 6 but lost the semi to number 2 seed Samuel Hume (E) 7, 10, -8, 8. In the other half Zachary and Jack met in the quarter final with Zachary coming through -7, 3, -10, 9, 4 but in another five setter he lost to Kian Burgess (Sk) -2, 6, 6, -7, 5. In the final Kian beat Sam 9, 11, 6. The Consolation final was an Eastbury Greenhouse affair, Rokas Dedinas defeating Ali Cangir 7, 9, 9 having defeated schoolmate Louis Jones 10, -10, 8, -5, 8 in the semi. In the other semi Ali beat Alfie Sutherland (Jey) 7, 3, 6.

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For the Girls there should have been two groups of five U14 players but with four withdrawals a round robin Group of six was created instead. Gracie won her second event of the day without dropping a game with Ruth Marsden the runner up. The Consolation trophies were presented to Alana Mansfield (E) and Eve Whitaker (Bd).

Sunday’s events attracted massive entries so it was not possible to hold Consolation events for the U13 & 15 Boys or U15 Girls events and started with the Under 13 Boys and Girls events. All 15 girls turned up to play (in three Groups of 5) but of 43 Boys entered (seven Groups of four and three Groups of five) 8 failed to arrive, only two of which were known to be injured. This left two players in Group 6 who were moved to other Groups who were short and the one scratch player who turned up on the morning could occupy one of the vacant places. Six of the nine seeds won their Group, two of the seeds lost 11-9 in the deciding game and the other two seeds were among the absentees. Kian Burgess (Sk) again had a good run to the semi fianal where this time he was edged out in a five game thriller by number 1 seed James Kelly (Ca) 5, -6, -9, 10, 9. In the other half Jersey’s unseeded Luc Miller, having beaten the seed in his Group, had what appeared by the scores an easy run to the final beating number 4 seed Jaycee Chan (Mi) 5, 3, 5 in the semi after beating Zaiim Premji (Mi) 3-1 in the quarter. The final went the full distance swinging one way and then the other with James finally crossing the winning line -8, 6, 9, -6, 7.

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In the U13 Girls the top three girls, Jemma Walker (Bu), Amelia Chan (Mi) and Gracie Edwards (E) won all their matches in their respective Groups, all 3-0 except for Jemma who had to come back from 2-0 down to beat Federica Tazartes (Sy) -14, -7, 9, 9, 3. In the other 18 group matches 9 of them went to a deciding game. Federica must be considering herself unlucky, having lost in the decider to the number 1 seed in the Group she then lost an even closer quarter final to number 3 seed Gracie Edwards -8, 6, 9, -11, 11. Gracie, however, found Amelia just too good in the semi losing -7, 3, 6, 9 and Amelia went on to beat Jemma in the final 2, 8, 1 after Jemma had beaten Lois Perryman (K) 5, 7, 6 in her semi. In the Consolation event Isabella Hudson (Mi) beat Yassmire Al-Amire (Mi) 9, -9, 5, 8.

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The afternoon saw the Under 15 events and the Under 11 Open. For the Boys event there were nine Groups of four but with eight players withdrawing including the top three seeds, only one known to be injured, the Reserve and three on the day requests could be fitted in. All the remaining seeds won their Groups although three of them required a deciding game win in one of their matches. Group 7 was the first Group of the weekend to need a three way countback, not only on games but on points with Jaycee Chan (Mi) taking top spot over Luc Miller (Jey) by 4 points. With the top seeds missing the KO stage had an open look about it. The highest seed, Max Aldous (Mi) eventually made the final but it was hard work with five games needed in both quarter and semi finals. His quarter final opponent was Zaiim Premji (Mi), beaten 10, 5, -4, -5, 8 with Kian Burgess (Sk) the 8, -8, 7, -8, 7 semi opponent. In the other half Zachary Martillo (Ca) defeated the original number five seed James Knudsen (E) -7, -11, 8, 9, 1. The final seemed to lack the higher standards of previous years with Zachary eventually winning 10, 3, -8, 8.

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There were four Groups in the Under 15 Girls event, two of four players and two of five. Seeds Jasmine Chan (Mi), Charlize Uy, (He) and Jemma Walker (Bu) all won their Groups but the Group in which Amy Blagbrough should have played ended in the only other three way tie of the weekend. Games countback gave Ruth Marsden (K) top spot, Megan Allaway (He) runner up and Rebecca Lowman (E) third place. Jasmine found Charlotte Boston (Ca) fighting back a 2-0 deficit in the quarter final before edging through 12, 3, -7, -6, 12, with an easier semi win over Charlize 7, -5, 6, 6. In the other half Jemma met five game specialist Federica Tazartes in the semi winning that -7, 7, 7, -5, 7 but lost the final to Jasmine 7, 10, 6.

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It was good to have sixteen entrants again in the U11 Open event but with some players playing in their first Tournament event ETTA ranking points not necessarily a good guide particularly as the number 1 seed, Benjamin Mencer did not turn up. Felix Thomis (Bk) and Jaden Aulakh (E) won their Groups but Declan Garner (E) could only finish third in his Group, beaten by William McCarthy (K) and Alfie Sutherland (Jey) In Benjamin’s Group Shay Graham (Np) was the winner. Jaden defeated Alana Mansfield (E) 10, -10, 10, 6 in the quarters and Alfie 5, 4, 9 in the semi whilst in the other half William defeated Felix -9, 4, 7, 8 in the semi and went on to win the final 6, 8, 7. In the Consolation event Rahy Premji (Mi) beat George Anderson (E) 6, 8, 7.

Another enjoyable weekend for all the players and a hectic two days for me. It was unfortunate that 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 and gives the lesser players a chance of winning some honours, Consolation events for the Boys could only be held in the U11 and U14 events but the Girls were luckier with only no time available for a Consolation in the U16 event. To have staged Consolations for the other events would have meant very late evening finishes. We hope the Jersey Players enjoyed their weekend in Essex and they venture back again in the future.

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
Member of the BATTS Organising Committee.

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DENYER FULFILS HIS DESTINY

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Table tennis star James Denyer has fulfilled his destiny by becoming the Clacton League’s Mens Champion, aged just seventeen years.

At the 2014 Closed Championships held last weekend at the Clacton Coastal Academy Sports Hall, Denyer took the Mens Singles title by overcoming reigning champion Kevin Gowlett, thus avenging his defeat by the same player in last season’s final.

After a sluggish start in which he looked well below-par, Denyer raised his game to produce a succession of un-returnable winners to gain the upper-hand. And although Gowlett, true champion that he is, rallied in the fourth set, Denyer eventually triumphed 6-11, 11-4, 11-2, 12-10, a well-merited success for one of the most gifted junior players to emerge from the Clacton League in recent years.

The dropped set against Gowlett in the final was the only one he’d lost in the whole competition, having eliminated John Pattrick, Colin Webber and Colin Stallwood in three-straight.

As last year, Colin Stallwood and Greg Green – both talented players in their own right and both ex-champions – fell at the semi-final stage, although this year it was Denyer who beat Stallwood and Gowlett who eliminated Green.

Quarter-finalist Gary Cattermole had two memorable matches, scraping past Felipe Rodriguez 11-7 in the fifth in Round Two before pushing Gowlett all the way before losing by the same score, 11-7 in the fifth, this after being ahead in the final set.

Gary Stallwood enjoyed a good event, topping his Group that included Martin Edwards, and then beating Jason Gale 11-7 in the decider and Mark Gale 11-6 in the decider before losing to Green in the quarter-finals.

Denyer followed his success in the Mens Singles with three more winners’ trophies.

The Mixed Doubles saw the pairing of Denyer and Gill Locke retain the title they’d taken for the first time in 2013.

In the final they faced second seeds Colin Stallwood and Annabelle Rodriguez who’d won this event in 2009 and who’d been runners-up in 2010 and 2011. But Denyer and Locke would not be denied, winning 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11 in an entertaining match, this after being 10-6 up in the fourth set and squandering four match-points.

It was not surprising that Denyer made a clean sweep of the Junior events but, in the process, he created a small piece of Championships history.

In the absence of Sam Hume, Denyer was the hottest of hot pre-Tournament favourites to take the Junior Singles title – which he did despite a committed and bravura performance from second seed Elliott Attrill, a performance which augurs well for his own table tennis future.

In the final Denyer’s undoubted class shone through to win 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9. The victory means he becomes the only player in the sixty years of the event to have won it five times.

The losing semi-finalists were the Brotherhood J team-mates Tom Wilkin and Kelvin Olano, Olano another to put up a good show against Denyer before losing 11-6, 12-10, 15-13.

Denyer made it a fourth title when, combining with Attrill, he took the honours in the Junior Doubles. But once again the runners-up were not out-fought, Kelvin Olano and Morgan Harvey showing unexpected confidence before the favourites took the title 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9. It was a first Clacton Closed title for Attrill.

The best final of the Tournament was the Mens Doubles and it so nearly produced a fifth trophy for Denyer.

Denyer and Felipe Rodriguez had been runners-up in 2012 but were winners for the first time last year – and they were determined to retain their crown.

In the final they were matched against the new pairing of Greg Green and Colin Stallwood – and what a classic match it turned out to be, the closest of the Championships. The encounter see-sawed all the way through, with all four players on top of their game and displaying excellent form.

The end was a nerve-jangler but Green and Stallwood, 5-1 down at the change-over in the fifth set, fought back to win the title 12-10, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4, 15-13.

The event had produced some excellent matches throughout, Green and Stallwood eliminating second seeds Peter Burrows and Kevin Gowlett 11-8, 11-13, 9-11, 11-6, 11-3 in the semi-final whilst Denyer and Rodriguez, in a repeat of last season’s final, had defeated Gary Cattermole and John Pattrick 11-0, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6 in their semi-final.

Paul Hume and Sam Hume also played well and were on the cusp of an upset, testing Burrows and Gowlett in the quarter-final before the more experienced duo won 11-8, 7-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7.

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It was a fourth Mens Doubles title for Green – a winner with Gary Young in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – and a fifth for Stallwood, who’d won it with Iain Vine in 1991, 1993 and 1995, and Martin Hogg in 2008 and 2009. But it was a first title for the two of them playing together as a pair.

The Ladies’ events proved a triumph for Gill Locke who added two more trophies to her Mixed Doubles’ success.

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In a repeat of the 2009 Ladies Singles final she beat twice-champion champion Annabelle Rodriguez 11-4, 11-9, 11-7, the younger player never able to get enough consistency or confidence to trouble the experienced Locke. It was a third Ladies Singles title in a row for Locke and her fourth in total.

Sandie Isaac, last year’s beaten finalist, again played well, getting through the Group stage at the expense of Isabel Barton before losing to Locke in the semi-final.

Twelve-year old Gracie Edwards showed great promise, heading her group and giving Rodriguez a stern semi-final test before Rodriguez took it 11-9, 11-8, 13-15, 11-13, 11-6.

The Ladies Doubles looked something of a formality for Gill Locke and Annabelle Rodriguez who’d won the title for the last two years against Sandie Isaac and Sue Welham

This year their final opponents were the scratch partnership of Sandie Isaac and Gracie Edwards but the unfancied pair put up such a show that the favourites showed visible signs of nervousness at five-all in the fifth set. But their experience eventually won the day, Locke and Rodriguez emerging as relieved 11-3, 7-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-7 winners.

It was an excellent performance from Isaac and Edwards, their uninhibited hitting so nearly causing the shock of the Tournament.

Neither of the top two seeds made it to the final of the Veterans Singles which was contested between third-equal seed Peter Burrows and the unseeded John Pattrick.

An up-beat Burrows reached the final by defeating Colin Webber 11-8, 12-10, 11-5 before eliminating top seed and reigning champion Kevin Gowlett 11-8, 11-5, 11-3 in the semi-final.

Pattrick, after topping his Group, struggled to get past Dave Martin 10-12, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9 in Round One of the Knock-Out stage before an inspired performance dismissed second seed Colin Stallwood 14-12,11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8 from the proceedings. And if this was not surprise enough, Pattrick went on to defeat third-equal seed John Andrews 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 in the semi-final.

The final was a see-saw affair and it seemed at one stage as though Pattrick might cause yet another surprise. But Burrows prevailed 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-1 to regain the title he’d previously won in 2008.

Special mentions should go to Colin Dearman who disposed of the fancied Alan Burgess 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 in Round One, and also to Mark Gale, who topped a Group that included his Walton C team-mate Derek Willis and then defeated John Hobson in Round One.

The Super-Veterans Singles went strictly by the seedings with the top four players – Alan Burgess, Derek Willis, Paul Meikle and Colin Dearman – making it to the semi-finals, the top two seeds – Burgess and Willis – contesting the final, and top seed Burgess taking the crown.

In a final of contrasts, Burgess defeated newcomer Derek Willis 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, his canny looping and destructive winners trumping Willis’ dogged defence. It was a third success in this event for Burgess, a previous winner in 2008 and 2010.

But Paul Meikle had so nearly spoiled his party, taking the eventual champion all the way in the semi-final before Burgess took it 10-12, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7.

Gary Stallwood had previously featured in four Division Two Singles finals, losing in 1990 and 1996 but winning in 2006 and 2008.

As favourite this year, he was expected to make it three successes – which he duly did by defeating his Windsor Ravens’ team-mate John Harvey in the final. Stallwood began slowly but his aggressive attacking eventually won the day 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6.

Nevertheless, it was a fine performance from Harvey, playing in his second Clacton Closed final having been runner-up in the Division Three Singles six years ago.

Among the unexpected results in this event, Sandie Isaac enjoyed a close 11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8 victory over her Brotherhood F team-mate and third-equal seed Elliott Attrill before losing to Stallwood in the semi-final, whilst Allen Denyer beat Barry Allen in Round One before a determined performance eliminated second seed Frank Burbidge 6-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7.

Gerald Batt upset the form book in the Division Three Singles when he beat top seed Morgan Harvey 11-9, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9 in their semi-final but the final proved a bridge too far for the likeable Brotherhood H man.

In another final of team-mates, Batt lost 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 to Graham Parkes, a well-deserved success for Parkes who thus repeated his triumph of 1989 in the same event.

The absence of seeds in the Restricted Singles adds to its unpredictability and this year’s event proved no different.

The final was contested between Paul Hume – a winner over John Barton and Jason Gale in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively – and Gary Stallwood who’d enjoyed good victories over Paul Meikle and Dave Martin at the same stages.

In another final of contrasting styles, the languid Hume proved too good for the left-handed looping Stallwood, Hume winning 11-6, 11-4, 11-8.

Dave Martin was involved in two close matches in the early rounds of this event, defeating John Harvey 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 6-11, 11-9 in Round Two before winning his quarter-final against Mark Gale 8-11, 11-6, 14-12, 10-12, 14-12.

For the unassuming Hume, the Restricted Singles was a fourth different Closed Trophy in three years, having won the Division Three Singles and the Junior Doubles in 2012, and the Division Two Singles last year.

Once again the League is indebted to Paul Newbould Planning and Building Design Services who were the main sponsors of the Championships for a twenty-first year.

Thanks also go to the sponsors of the individual events – Ken Green (Mens Singles), the Skelmersdale Centre (Ladies Singles) and John Houghton (Division Three Singles).

2014 CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS

Mens Singles : J Denyer beat K Gowlett 6-11, 11-4, 11-2, 12-10.

Ladies Singles : G Locke beat A Rodriguez 11-4, 11-9, 11-7.

Mens Doubles : G Green/C Stallwood beat J Denyer/F Rodriguez 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 11-4, 15-13.

Ladies Doubles : G Locke/A Rodriguez beat G Edwards/S Isaac
11-3, 7-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-7.

Mixed Doubles : J Denyer/G Locke beat C Stallwood/A Rodriguez 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11.

Veterans Singles : P Burrows beat J Pattrick 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-1.

Super-Veterans Singles : A Burgess beat D Willis 11-8, 11-7, 11-7.

Junior Singles : J Denyer beat E Attrill 11-9, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9.

Junior Doubles : J Denyer/E Attrill beat K Olano/M Harvey 11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9.

Division Two Singles : G Stallwood beat J Harvey 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6.

Division Three Singles : G Parkes beat G Batt 11-5, 11-1, 11-3.

Restricted Singles : P Hume beat G Stallwood 11-6, 11-4, 11-8.

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Essex Junior Development and Training Squads

Well done all younger players in the county who recently attended Under 13 training at BATTS. Stuart Gibbs (ECTTA Coaching & Development Officer) was impressed by the commitment and effort shown by everyone. We would also like to thank our coaches for the day, namely Martin Cole, Josh Dye and Graham Frankel. Thanks also go to Mel Jones of Rawreth Juniors TTC for help in administration and ensuring that training sessions run smoothly.

Please note that training dates for the remainder of the summer are as follows:

Sunday, 18th May: Essex Junior Development Squad (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Sunday, 1st June: Essex Under 13 Training Group (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Sunday, 6th July: Essex Junior Development Squad (10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

There will be no training sessions in August. All training sessions will take place at BATTS Table Tennis Club & Sports Centre, Harlow (http://www.batts.org.uk/). We are grateful to the trustees of BATTS for their generous support in providing a venue for our training sessions. An email will be forwarded to all Essex Junior development Squad and Essex U13 Training Group members to remind them about these training sessions. We are aware that our player database requires an update, an exercise that will be undertaken at the start of the new playing season. If any club coaches believe that a member of their club has been omitted from the circulation list, we should be grateful fi they would contact either Simon Lowman (simon.lowman@btinternet.com) or Stuart Gibbs (stuart.gibbs12@sky.com) by email.

We look forward to seeing you all at the three remaining training sessions.

All players should note that the Essex Junior Trials will take place at BATTS on Saturday, 27th September and Sunday, 28th September. The procedure for determining county junior ranking for 2014-2015 and subsequent seasons in currently under review and information will be published prior to the trials taking place. While county rankings are not determined solely by performance in the trials, they are an important factor in determining a young player’s ability. In future seasons, greater commitment to participation in the Essex Junior Trials will be expected and young players will be expected to take part in this event if they wish to secure a county junior ranking or be considered for selection for one of the county cadet or junior teams.

We are delighted to inform our young players that a new Performance Squad will be established in September this year. This squad will target a smaller number of players likely to be selected to represent Essex in the ETTA Junior Inter County competition. This new squad will be coached by Stuart Gibbs. Stuart will be focusing on match play techniques and we are sure that those players invited to join this squad will benefit from his experience of playing our sport at international level.

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LATE WITHDRAWALS LET THE ESSEX JUNIOR COUNTY TEAMS DOWN BADLY

Score Board 2Essex Junior Secretary Arthur Clark, reports on Junior Division 1B matches played on Saturday 29 March 2014.

The final round of Junior Division 1B County Championship matches were played at Cippenham Table Tennis Club on Saturday 29 March where the eight teams in the Division gathered together to complete the matches. With such vast distances between the teams the Division had been split into two more local halves for the first rounds of matches to reduce travelling. Plymouth for Cornwall 1, Devon 1, Dorset 1 and Sussex 2 and Ashford, Middlesex, for Middlesex 2, Surrey 2 and Essex 1 and 2, each team playing three matches. After this first round of matches Middlesex 2 and Devon 1 led the Table with six points each whilst Sussex 2 and Essex 2 were yet to score a point. Cornwall 1 were on the verge of pulling out on the Friday evening when their match Secretary and team driver went down with a serious viral infection but a very late evening offer from a player parent saved that (he managed to get out of working on the Saturday) and the team arrived just as the first round of matches were starting after their very early morning wake up.

On the Essex front Jared and Ella Patel had informed me of their non- availability a month beforehand as had Annabelle Gibson who is currently in South Africa and Ryan Williams who had been banned from playing in all Tournament matches for a period as he had picked up too many yellow cards at recent Tournaments.
Thus the selected teams became Charlie Bates, Jermaine Fearon, Patrick Gilbert (a later replacement), Emily Godfrey and Jane Li for Essex 1 and Josh Sidki, Livingstone Nadarajah, Sam Lowman, Ryan Gooday Tiana Dennison and Stephanie Cross for Essex 2, it being my preference to take four boys for the second team. On the Wednesday teatime I was notified of the withdrawal of Jermaine and Josh and on Thursday teatime came the withdrawal of Livingstone. From frantic phone calls to the other players on the Essex Ranking and Registration Form Luke Jones signified his availability and was promptly selected (thanks Luke) but none of the others could play due to other commitments, including school work for exams, at this late stage. Thus the Essex players who played (and especially me) feel very badly let down about the very late withdrawals (not through illness or injury I am led to believe) and the fact that the Essex 2 team only had 2 boy players will lead to Essex County being fined by the ETTA for being a player short in their four matches.

To get on to the report on the matches played it was always going to be a difficult day for both teams and they would both rely heavily on the girls winning a lot of their matches. This was not to be easy when later analysis showed that that ten of the sixteen girls playing were ranked in the England top 50.

For Essex 1 their first match was against Dorset 1 and Luke, Patrick and Charlie all lost their opening matches 3-1. Luke was closest to chalking up a win in the boys remaining matches when losing 11-8 in the decider with Jacob Elliott. Emily and Jane won all four of their matches against Hannah McErlane and Lily Cherry, although for Emily it was a nail biting 13-11 decider against Hannah. Thus a 6-4 defeat.
Essex 2 had to play the long distance early morning travellers Cornwall 1. Ryan had an excellent five game win over Alex Wright and Alex was to lose only one other match during the day. Sam lost both his matches 3-0. Tiana won both her matches 3-0 but Stephanie lost to the lower ranked Dominique Williams in three 8’s. Match result a 6-4 loss.

In the next round of matches Essex 1 had to play the new leaders of the Division and title favourites Devon 1. Charlie beat both his opponents, Jordon Bone and Nathanael Sheehan 3-0 and 3-1 respectively while Patrick lost to Jordan, ranked 147, in the decider. Both Jane and Emily put up credible performances against England No. 10 Jazmin Johns, Jane losing 9, 9, 10 and Emily 13, -4, 6, 6. Jane went on to beat England No. 30 Beth Wilson 3, 7, 7 whilst Emily lost to her 4, 8, 3. A 7-3 defeat.
Essex 2 played Sussex 2 who had just beaten the previous leaders Middlesex 2. Tiana and Stephanie won both their matches and both will be pleased with their wins over the higher ranked Holly Holder. Ryan came closest to a win when he lost 12-10 in the fourth to William Goodstone.

For the third round of matches both teams had to play the opponents their colleagues had just played. Both Luke and Patrick lost to William in the decider and Luke was unlucky not to get something more from his match with Daniel Pound (England No. 88) when losing 4, 10, 13. When Charlie played him it was nip and tuck before Charlie got home 10, -11, 11, -4, 11. Both Emily and Jane found the Sussex girls harder to beat than Tiana and Stephanie had. Jane and Emily were both taken to a decider by Holly, Jane winning to 7 and Emily to 9. Charlie’s win gave the team the one point they needed to avoid any chance of relegation and Luke just failed to get the team a win when losing that last match to William.

When top, Devon, meet bottom, Essex 2, one would expect a straightforward win. Although the final scoreline was 10-0 it wasn’t quite that way. Samuel Lowman had lost one of his games 16-14 in his 3-0 defeat by Jordan Bone, Stephanie Cross had also lost 16-14 to Jazmin Johns when trying to take that match to a decider and Tiana Dennison, after losing the first two games to 9 to Beth Wilson took the third 16-14 and the fourth to 4 to set up the day’s longest game. 10-4 down Tiana clawed the next six points back and with an attacking game from both players, Tiana saving the majority of match points, the score reached 20-20 before two mistakes gave the match to Beth.

In the final round of matches Essex 1 played Cornwall 1. Jane beat Dominique 3-1 after losing the first game 12-10 and winning the second game to love. She also won 33 of the 38 points played in the match with Paige Baker. Emily also beat Paige but lost to Dominique 11-7 in the decider. Charlie beat James Wright 3-1 and in a very close match with Carl Baldry (ranked 83) just managed to win 7, -11, 12, -7, 10 to get Essex 1 a draw. This was Carl’s only defeat of the day.
Essex 2 played Dorset 1 and lost 7-3. Tiana won both her matches 3-0 one of which was against the slightly higher ranked Hannah McErlane whilst Stephanie, after coming back from 2-0 down lost to her 11-9 in the decider. Both Sam and Ryan had chances to win one of their matches. Sam was 2-0 up against Zac Dowling, then losing the third to 10 and the decider to 8 whilst Ryan, 2-0 down to Jacob Elliott won the next two games 7 and 14 only to lose the last five points in the decider after leading 9-6.

Essex 1
Charlie 5 wins out of 8, sadly Luke and Patrick no wins out of 8, Emily 5 wins out of 8 and Jane 7 wins out of 8. For Luke, who has another year as a junior, I hope he has gained experience from the day’s play and he will still be in line for selection next season.

Essex 2
Sam 0 wins out of 8, Ryan 1 win out of 8, Stephanie 4 wins out of 8 and Tiana 6 wins out of 8.

Over the two rounds of matches Jane won 12 out of 14, only surpassed by the unbeaten England No. 10 Jazmin Johns.

So Essex 1 retain their position in Division 1 but Essex 2 are relegated. We also say goodbye to Emily and Charlie as juniors and thank them for their loyalty and success in the Essex teams over the last few years and wish them success in their adult careers. Thanks also to Simon Lowman for coaching advice to some of the players in the absence of Stuart Gibbs.

Final  Table
  P W D L F A Pts
Devon 1 7 7 0 0 54 16 14
Middlesex 2 7 5 0 2 43 27 10
Dorset 1 7 4 1 2 38 32 9
Cornwall 1 7 3 2 2 38 32 8
Sussex 2 7 3 1 3 33 37 7
Essex 1 7 2 2 3 37 33 6
Surrey 2 7 1 0 6 20 50 2
Essex 2 7 0 0 7 17 53 0

 

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary.

Essex Under 13 Training Group

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!

50th Anniversary brian

BRIAN ROWLEN 1940 – 2014 : AN APPRECIATION

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.

Brian’s funeral takes place at Weeley Crematorium on Thursday 27th March at 11.00 am.50th Anniversary brian

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BATTS 1 STAR OPEN 9 MARCH 2014

SONY DSCThe 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.

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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.

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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.

Tournament Play

Southend 2013/14 Closed Championship Report- (amended)

sdttlKen Field & Jayne Johnson report on the Southend Tournament

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
Restricted Events:-
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
Team Events:-
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
Handicap Singles:-
Prem. & 1st comb. Kim Shead Beat Dale Gutteridge
2nd & 3rd comb. Zoe Davies Beat Ethan Selvester
Plate Events:-
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-f

JANE LI ‘SERVES’ UP SOMETHING SPECIAL AT COLCHESTER TOURNAMENT

Jake and Aimee Serve CropJane 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.

Jane Li

Keiran

Mens finalist Keiran Lally in action

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.

Jermaine

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.

Lilo

University of Essex Lilo Roesch

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.

Matthew

Matt Horrocks in flowing action

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.

Wudong Liu in Action during the weekend

Wudong Liu in Action during the weekend

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