Press Report 7 - Issued 8 March 2016

Stellar first division performances by Anderson, Green and Seddon

There have been some excellent performances produced recently in Division 1 of the Burnham & District Table Tennis League.

Cold Norton B scored a superb 8-2 win over Mapledene C (Simon Jacob, Tony Jacks, John Tendler), and with that came Daniel Anderson’s debut hat-trick in the first division. It was extremely hard-fought as he overcame all three Mapledene players in five ends. Lee McHugh also scored a treble for Cold Norton, just getting the better of John Tendler at 13-11 in the fifth.

In a bottom-table clash between Stow Maries B and West Maldon B (Gary Young, Nicholas Duce, Chris Ciniglio), Eric Green led his Stow team to an 8-2 victory, well supported by Nicki Reece-Ford and Dave Marsh who picked up two wins each. Included in Green’s trio of wins was a stunning 6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 win over Gary Young, who has the joint-most impressive win average in the division (with Alex Abbott) and this is only his second loss of the season. West Maldon B managed a 6-4 win in their following fixture against Mapledene B, when Young got the better of both Stuart Gibbs and John Monk.

Fast-improving Reece Seddon turned up to the pig-sty in blazing form when his Mapledene A side (Babul McLeod, Charles Sweeny) were held to an uncharacteristic draw with Maldon A (Alex Abbott, Colin Stallwood, Hamish Innes). Seddon swept his three singles which included a blinding five-games win over Abbott. Burnham League newcomer Colin Stallwood impressively despatched both McLeod and Sweeny in straight sets.

Mapledene A fared a bit better in their following match when they faced their main title rivals Maldon B, and they scored an important 7-3 result. Kevin Read was on song and went through the evening without dropping an end, while for Maldon Paul Stephens defeated George Reeves and Steve Whiteley beat Charles Sweeny. Maldon B’s excellent doubles record (71%) was not to be thwarted when Stephens/Stokes beat Sweeny/Reeves in five ends.

In Division 2, Mark Shorney shone in Maldon D’s draw with Maldon F; he scored a hat-trick including a fine 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 win over Bryn Thomas. The F team’s Roger Warren did well to win out in the three five-setters he was involved in.

Dawn Baldry was Player of the Match when her Maldon E team went down 4-6 to Stow Maries C, as she and teammate Ev Lucas both picked up two singles for the away side. Stow’s Dave Porter got the better of Baldry in five ends and Dave Goody scored a good win over Lucas in the final game of the night.

In Division 3, another Player of the Match for a losing side was Eamonn Hall for Woodham F, as they narrowly lost 4-6 to second-placed Burnham. Hall scored a brilliant trio of wins over Burnham’s Michael Pratley, Bob King and Terry Frost, more impressively so without dropping a single game all evening.

David Gatheral maintained his 100% Division 3 record when his West Maldon E side were held to a draw by Maldon G. In a bizarre scoreline Gatheral defeated Karl Baldwin 11-4, 8-11, 11-0, 12-10.

Table leaders Maldon U3A had a busy week with two fixtures, against Mayland B and St Lawrence A. U3A’s Bill Puxley excelled by playing in both matches and winning 5 out of 6 singles.

A reminder that the Individual Closed Championships will take place next weekend (19-20 March) at the William de Ferrers Sports Hall in South Woodham Ferrers. A preview report of the tournament will be posted this Sunday.

Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League

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Press Report 6 - Issued 18 February 2016


With the most important day of the year – Valentine’s Day – over with let’s get back to talking about our real one true love: table tennis, ping pong, whiff whaff, paddle ball, tenis de mesa (I must make a point to exclude those darn funny rubbers from our affections though – you know who I’m talking about!)

It’s all up and happening over in that corner of Essex called Heybridge because three of four Maldon teams in Division 2 of the Burnham League are selfishly occupying the top three spots. The C team are continuing their unstoppable sprint to the finish line by leading on 121 points from 15 matches, most recently destroying Woodham C ten nil as Woodham’s regular squad of Mike Burton, Mike Matlin and Scott Perry could not quite manage to nab a point off Ciaran Whelan, Colin Napper and Steve Scholz, although not for lack of trying as both Matlin and Perry were involved in five setters, Perry particularly close to success as he lost to Whelan 11-8, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8 and finally 8-11.

Destruction has been theme of the week so far in division numero dos as West Maldon C also suffered an ariel whitewash at the hands of second-placed Maldon E. It was a similar story to the Maldon-Woodham match as West Maldon also failed to capitalize on two five-set frays; the experienced Ev Lucas was involved in both of them and he had particular gusto in the fifth ends as he dispatched Tim Huxtable and Gary Smith 11-2 and 11-4, and that was after a marathon first end versus Smith 17-15! Dawn Baldry on the other hand went through the evening rather untroubled.

Woodham C fared slightly better against Maldon D, losing 8-2, thanks to two blinding wins from Scott Perry over Bob King and Roger Clarke, oddly in the first and final games of the evening. Woodham A vs Maldon E was really just a competition between Dawn Baldry and Dan Richardson of who could play the most points in one night. Dawn won the sets total with a grand total of 19 while Dan had a measly 18. Who wants to count up the points?

The lovable David Goody – sticking by previous comment for the sake of continuity, not truth – was Stow Maries’ unsung hero in their landslide 9-1 defeat to Cold Norton C as he beat Roy Gandy 11-9, 11-3, 11-6 in the first game of the evening. From then on out it was all bad news for Stow as Norton’s Gandy, David Hancox and Peter Lucraft powered through the next nine games, each player involved in very close five-setters and all surviving from deuce in the final end!

The first division has two results in this week from Cold Norton’s A and B teams, the A side defeating the Hullbridge team of teens 7-3 via a Duncan Taylor truco de sombrero. Norton B’s narrow 6-4 defeat to West Maldon A was a peculiar looking scorecard; Dave Calleja and Glen Laing each won twice for the winners supported by Colin Barham’s success over Graham Briggs, and Lee McHugh won twice for the losers while Briggs got the better of Calleja and Neil Want pipped Barham to the post. Fearsome backhander Calleja got his money’s worth as he enjoyed five-setters, chucking in 14-12s and 17-15s here and there, with Want, McHugh, then the doubles; Graham finally prevented Dave from achieving a maximum amount of games played in one evening by defeating him 14-12, 12-14, 11-9, 11-8.

West Maldon A’s Tim Cramphorn put in an impressive performance when they beat Hullbridge 6-4 with a treble over Justin Jeffery, Zoe Davies and Matt Rolfe, also teaming up with master defender Glen Laing in the doubles to earn a hard-fought victory over Jeffery and fourth player Sid Dorn.

Maldon U3A still lead Division 3 on 92 points and at this point with Mayland B on 77 points (one match in hand) and Burnham on 72 points (two matches in hand) it will be difficult for either of those teams to catch up. Maldon U3A continued their momentum by snowballing past Woodham F 9-1, Richard Skidmore and Roger Tiffin undefeated while Eamonn Hall picked up Woodham’s solitary point by steaming past Keith Lawson in three ends.

Mayland B just lost out 6-4 to West Maldon B as David Gatheral once again proved to be too strong for the opposition and his teammates Colin Barham and Peter Mortensen each picked up one singles. Steve Aspland and Jon Stevens both picked up two wins for the Mayland side.



Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League

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Press Report 5 - Issued 01 February 2016


In Division 3 of the Burnham Table Tennis League, Maldon U3A currently look in form to go for the title, as they top the table with 83 points from 13 matches played. They most recently thumped second-from-bottom Maldon G (Karl Baldwin, Ross Wheeler, Denis Crapnell) 9-1; U3A’s Bill Puxley, Roger Tiffin and Richard Skidmore carried all before them until the final match of the evening when Baldwin surprised Skidmore three nil.

The biggest threats to Maldon U3A at this stage look to be Mayland B and Burnham who currently sit in third and fourth places on 68 and 67 points respectively, as both of these teams have two matches in hand over U3A. Neither of those teams had fixtures last week but in the previous week Mayland (Steve Apsland, Jonathan Stevens, Ken Stevens) beat bottom-placed St Lawrence 9-1 (David Siggins picking up the point for the home team) and Burnham scraped home 6-4 against West Maldon D. Louis Gunn picked up two for West Maldon while Bob King did the same for the winners; King’s victory over Neil Salmon was especially hard-fought as he pipped Salmon 18-16 in the fifth end. Michael Pratley was player of the match and undefeated for Burnham.

Two friendly club derbies also took place in the third division last week between some of the mid-table teams – both were very closely fought. At Champions Manor Hall, Woodham D raced home to a 6-4 win against Woodham F, and at the West Maldon Community Centre their D and E teams finished all square. Woodham D’s Dan Harris and West Maldon E’s David Gatheral were the shining stars, both earning hat-tricks for their teams. Among the closest games was Harris’s win over Eamonn Hall, where he made a spectacular comeback: 9-11, 0-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-3.

In Division 2, Maldon C remain top and Woodham A have risen to second place, although third-placed Maldon D are just a point behind with a game in in hand. This is an impressive statistic from Maldon D as they actually lost 9-1 in their most recent fixture against Mayland A, where their sole point was earned from a hard-earned victory for Bob King over Ralph Gibson. This was a top notch performance from Gibson and his teammates Ray Cheung/Colin Barrell and brings Mayland A to being only one point behind Maldon D.
Woodham A also scored a good 9-1 win over West Maldon C (Tim Huxtable, Louis Gunn, Gary Smith), only wavering when George Ashley lost to Huxtable in four ends. Dan Richardson and Allan Steel were undefeated, Steel having a tight match with Gunn: 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8. West Maldon C had a fine 7-3 result against Maldon F in their previous fixture; Victor Chan was in excellent form scoring a treble against Bryn Thomas, Roger Warren and Clive Forster. Maldon F fared better against Woodham B when they won 8-2 with Roger Hance leading the way.

For division leaders Maldon C it was business as usual as they despatched Stow Maries C 8-2. It was a hat-trick from Ciaran Whelan and braces from teammates Colin Napper/Steve Scholz, while the pair of Daves (Goody and Porter) each scored once for the away team and Mick Robinson just lost out to Scholz in five ends.
In a mid-table clash Maldon E visited Latchingdon Hall and hammered Cold Norton C 9-1; the home team’s sole success was Peter Lucraft’s closely fought win over Dawn Baldry. Ev Lucas was in good form for Maldon and featured as player of the match, while teammate Tom Elder also scored a hat-trick.

Stow Maries D (Ken Sheard, Gareth Davies, John Knights) overcame bottom-placed Woodham C (Mike Burton, Mike Matlin, Scott Perry) 8-2; Ken Sheard scored a relatively untroubled treble but the stand-out success of the night has to be Burton’s superb 11-3, 11-6, 11-3 win versus Davies.

In Division 1 there were no landslide victories last week and several matches ended 7-3. Hullbridge (Justin Jeffery, Zoe Davies, Cameron Gray) had fixtures against both Maldon teams. First, in a match that featured many close games, they beat Maldon A 7-3; Jeffery, Davies and Gray all scored braces over Hamish Innes and Jan Fuller, and Alex Abbott was his side’s only point scorer - Abbott had a tough battle in the opener against Jeffery 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6. Jeffery/Gray scored a brilliant five-set win over Abbott/Innes in the doubles.

Hullbridge went down 7-3 to the first division leaders Maldon B (Jon Stokes, Steve Whiteley, Brian Riedling). Stokes was on form for the away side as he registered a hat-trick, while Justin Jeffery won two singles for the home team; Justin also paired up with Zoe Davies for what was another fine doubles win for Hullbridge, as they beat Stokes/Whiteley 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-8.

Maldon A (Alex Abbott, Hamish Innes, Dawn Baldry) fared better against Cold Norton B (Dan Anderson, Chris Hancox, Graham Briggs) when they won 7-3. Abbott proved too strong for the Norton team but defensive player and fast improver Anderson scored a superb straight-sets victory over Innes, and he and teammate Hancox also both got the better of Baldry.
Cold Norton’s A team beat Mapledene C 7-3. Mike Hayes led the way with a treble for the Norton side and Sam Lowman also won twice, only going down to Mapledene’s John Tendler in five ends. Mike Worship picked up two for the home team.

West Maldon A and West Maldon B both went down 6-4, to Stow Maries B and Mapledene A respectively. In the match at Stow, every player got on the scoreboard as everybody won at least one singles; Eric Green got a hat-trick for Stow and Dave Calleja picked up two of points for West Maldon A. For West Maldon B their top player Gary Young scored a treble against Mapledene A (Lee Prentice, Babul McLeod, Chris Jacob) to make Mapledene’s push for the title a little more challenging; Nick Duce provided support with a great win over Jacob, and in one of the closest games of the night Young defeated McLeod 11-6, 13-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-4.

Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League

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Press Report 4 - Issued 22 January 2016

Maldon B make a strong start in the second half

As the second half of the season begins Maldon B (Jon Stokes, Paul Stephens, Steve Whiteley, Brian Riedling) have practically assured themselves a podium position, as they have shot back to the top of the Division 1 table, charting their eleventh win with two big results. First of all, they defeated Mapledene C (John Tendler, Barrie Delf, Tony Jacks) 8-2; Stephens leading the way with a hat-trick while Delf was the saving grace of the home team by getting the better of Stokes and Whiteley. There were a number of closely fought games and the absolute marathon of the night was Delf versus Stephens: 7-11, 19-17, 7-11, 11-7, 11-13. Following that result, back in the comfort of the pig-sty Maldon B hammered Stow Maries B ten nil, as none of the opposition (Nicki Reece-Ford, Dave Marsh, Tony Forster) could manage to put points on the board for Stow.

However, big guns Mapledene A in second place are trailing only eight points behind Maldon B and have two games in hand. They also scored a convincing result this week in arguably the strongest clash, as in Bill’s back yard Mapledene’s Tony Halling, Ben Warner and George Reeves faced Fambridge’s Mark Stones, Keith Adams and John Poysden. Mapledene emerged 8-2 victors. For the losers Adams and Stones both got the better of Reeves, Adams scoring a particularly impressive 11-4, 11-4, 11-9. Similar to when these teams fought in the first half, the closest game was once again Warner vs Adams and Warner prevailed again in five ends.

Mapledene’s B side (Stuart Gibbs, Peter Saunders, Stephen Mcsweeney) had Cold Norton B (Graham Briggs, John Holland, Chris Hancox) to deal with and managed to scrape home 6-4, largely thanks to Stuart Gibbs who registered a treble for Mapledene. Holland is usually Norton B’s leading player, but on this occasion he was not and must have been gutted to lose both his first two games in five ends to Saunders and Gibbs. All three Norton players got the better of Mcsweeney however, and the away team will have been pleased to have Briggs on form as he also scored an excellent straight sets win over Saunders.

Stuart Gibbs did not fare quite so well in their previous match when the same Mapledene B side went down 6-4 to a two-player Hullbridge side (Justin Jeffrey and Zoe Davies). Jeffery beat all three Mapledene players, impressively without dropping a set, and Davies scored two excellent wins against Gibbs and Mcsweeney both in close five-setters, only missing out against Saunders in her final game.

In a match where every player won at least one singles, West Maldon A (Tim Cramphorn, Glen Laing, Dave Calleja) defeated Cold Norton A (Russell Mills, Steve Sawyer, Sam Lowman) 7-3. Cramphorn scored a fine hat-trick for the victors, and was well supported by Laing with two wins and Calleja with one. It must have been a long night as tenacious (too tenacious for my liking) defender Laing was involved in two five-setters, one in which he narrowly missed out to Sawyer 15-13 in the final end.

This West Maldon A team (with one Tim substituted for their other Tim) kept up their fair style of every player getting a point in, as this also happened when they lost 6-4 to Mapledene C. Dave Bassett was the difference for the Mapledene trio as he registered a hat-trick for the home team.

A couple of draws were also fought out in the first division. Stow Maries B versus Maldon A and Cold Norton A versus West Maldon B both ended 5-5. Alex Abbott and Gary Young registered trebles for the Maldon and West Maldon sides. Maldon A called up Ciaran Whelan again, and Whelan’s contribution was needed in their draw as he defeated Stow’s Peter Hance, but narrowly lost out to Nicki Reece-Ford and Dave Marsh in the two closest games of the night.

In the third division, Champions Manor Hall hosted a derby between two of their teams: Woodham E (Peter Woodgate, Luca Bailey, Scott Mcquarrie) and Woodham F (Mitch Davies, Eamonn Hall, Tom Butcher). In a match where both teams nicely consisted of seniors and juniors the F team overcome the E team 7-3. All three E team players got the better of Tom Butcher, however they were all the points they could muster as Hall and Davies carried all before them in the rest of the games.
Woodham F also fought out a 6-4 win over Maldon G (Brian Dixon, Ross Wheeler, Rob Sach). For the winning team Eamonn Hall scored an impressive treble without dropping a set, while Mitch Davies and young Tom Butcher provided good support with three wins between them. The final game of the night produced a particularly deucey scoreline – see what I did there? – when Wheeler overcame Davies 11-7, 3-11, 19-17, 13-15, 12-10.

Mayland B edged out table leaders Maldon U3A 6-4. Player of the match Steve Aspland scored a hat-trick and was supported by Jonathan Stevens with two wins, while Roger Tiffin did the same for the U3A side.

Young Kieran Stanley of Woodham had a busy week in Division 3, as he turned out for both the D and E sides. His inclusion for the E team was crucial in their 5-5 draw with Maldon U3A, as he beat all three U3A players; with a hard-fought 11-6, 11-13, 14-12, 8-11, 11-9 victory over Roger Tiffin in the opening game of the night. Scott Mcquarrie picked up two singles wins for the Woodham team while Tiffin once again did the same for the U3A team. Kieran was part of a two-player team (with Dan Harris) when their Woodham D went down 7-3 to West Maldon E. Neither of the Woodham players could get the better of Colin Barham or David Gatheral, but they both defeated Stephen Peacock and then teamed up in the doubles to score an excellent 11-3, 11-4, 11-5 win over Barham/Peacock.

In Division 2, Woodham A scored a hard-earned 6-4 victory over Cold Norton C. Hard-earned because Woodham prevailed in four out of the five matches that went to five ends. It was a close encounter all round as no player remained undefeated and every player won at least one singles. Dan Richardson and Bex Lowman won twice for the home team while Simon Lowman did the same for the Norton side. Woodham’s George Ashley was involved in the closest scoreline of the night, when he just overcame Lowman 11-5, 9-11, 18-16, 8-11, 11-9. In what proved to be a crucial point, Richardson/Ashley defeated Dave Hancox/Roy Gandy in the doubles, winning in straight sets.

On a separate but related note, the Quarter Finals Draw of the Handicap Cup has been published on the website. Woodham A will face off with Stow Maries D, Hullbridge with Maldon E, Fambridge A with Mayland, and West Maldon C with Cold Norton C. Best of luck to all teams!

Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League

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Press Report 3 - Issued 15 January 2016


In Division 2 of the Burnham & District Table Tennis League, the top two sides in the table remain as Maldon C and Maldon D, but Woodham A has risen to third place, knocking Mayland down a spot. Maldon C fought out a 7-3 win against Woodham A this week, in a match that featured five games that went to five ends. Ciaran Whelan's twelve game winning streak was brought to an end - as after he fought through two tough five setters against Woodham's Dan Richardson and Allan Steel - in the final game of the evening he came across the young and improving Rebecca Lowman who, after being two nil up and Ciaran bringing it level, won the fifth 11-8. It was an excellent evening for Bex as she also defeated Maldon's Mervyn Perriman in five ends. Dan Richardson also picked up a singles by getting the better of Mervyn. It was Maldon’s Colin Napper who continued his streak of victories, as he remained undefeated, impressively without losing a single end.

Dan Richardson had much more success when his Woodham A team narrowly lost to second-placed Maldon D 6-4. He scored a great hat-trick against Roger Clarke, John Moore and Mark Shorney. George Ashley picked up Woodham's other point, defeating John Moore in five ends. The players’ journeys to the pig-sty were perilous, as a tree had collapsed onto Drapers Farm bridge and the teams had to cross by foot

Cold Norton C had Dave Hancox and Peter Lucraft on excellent form as they both earned hat-tricks in their 8-2 victory away to West Maldon C. Tim Huxtable and Mohammad Mohseni each defeated Norton's Roy Gandy, and Roy got the better of Louis Gunn in the closest game of the evening: 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5.

In a match where no player remained undefeated, Maldon E defeated Stow Maries D 7-3. Dawn Baldry, Ev Lucas and Shirley Carroll each picked up two singles for Maldon, while Gareth Davies did the same for Stow.

Bottom-placed Woodham C suffered a 9-1 loss away to Maldon F. Maldon's Bryn Thomas, Roger Warren and Roger Hance carried all before them up until the doubles, but then Woodham's Scott Perry saved the white wash with a brilliant straight sets win over Roger Warren.

Division 3 sees Maldon U3A still keep their nose ahead of Burnham at the top of the table. The teams are level on games and Burnham tails U3A by four points, while Burnham are level on points with third-placed Woodham D but with a game in hand. In summer league style West Maldon E and Burnham played with two players each, as Colin Barham and David Gatheral faced Terry Frost and Michael Pratley. David proved too strong for the opposition, winning both of his comfortably in straight sets, while his teammate Colin ended the evening on a nail-biter by defeating Michael 14-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9. I suppose the biggest question is: who umpired the doubles?

Third-placed Woodham D had an ultimate duo thing going on as they also lacked a third player; Roger Maidment and Adrian Armstrong both scored hat-tricks and the doubles against the bottom-placed St Lawrence A trio David Siggins, Alan Petfield and Stanley Moore. It was a tough week for St Lawrence as they also suffered defeat at the hands of West Maldon D. They came up against an in-form John Macmorland who scored a treble, and who received good support from Jack and Neil Salmon who also won the doubles.

Louis Gunn was another player on fire for West Maldon D, as although they lost 6-4 to Maldon G (Ross Wheeler, Brian Dixon, Denis Crapnell); Louis defeated all three of the Maldon players.

Maldon G also played Woodham E recently and it was a superb 9-1 victory for the youngsters of Woodham. Woodham's fast improving Kieran Stanley made mincemeat of the opposition, defeating all the Maldon players in straight sets without ever truly looking in trouble. Richard Jovic also scored an excellent hat-trick for Woodham, and it was hard-earned as he had a last-gasp win over Rob Sach with 16-14 in the fifth end. Scott Mcquarrie provided great support with two singles wins, and Maldon's Ross Wheeler had to pull out all the stops to overcome Scott's relentless close-to-the-table attacking style.

Woodham F (Eamonn Hall and Roy Davis) unfortunately had only two players and went down 7-3 to Mayland B (Steve Aspland, Ken Stevens and Jonathan Stevens); Aspland proved too strong for both Woodham players but both Davis and Hall got the better of Ken Stevens and Hall also defeated Jonathan in the penultimate game of the evening.

Mapledene A establish a more substantial lead over Maldon B at the top of the Division 1 table, now two points ahead with a game in hand. This is because the Mapledene trio of Lee Prentice, Chris Jacob and Babul McLeod duly hammered Cold Norton B (Chris Hancox, Lee McHugh, Graham Briggs) in a match where the Cold Norton side failed to capitalize in the five-setters each of their players were involved in. Meanwhile, Maldon B suffered a setback by way of a 7-3 defeat away to Cold Norton A; Norton’s Minda Sinkus showed his value with a hat-trick, while Mike Hayes picked up two wins and Sam Lowman scored a fine straight sets win over experienced Maldon defender Brian Riedling.

Cold Norton B fared better in their matches versus Mapledene C and Stow Maries A, with 7-3 and 8-2 victories, which keeps them in the top half for the moment and well safe from relegation. Graham Briggs defeated Stow's Rob Shrimpton in a standout win with all-out forehand attack.

In the derby clash at West Maldon Community Centre the struggling B team had their star player Gary Young to thank for the points in their 6-4 defeat to the A side. For the A team of Tim Cramphorn, Glen Laing and Chris Buer it was teamwork all the way as they each won two singles, against Chris Ciniglio and Nick Duce.

Youth prevailed over experience as the youngsters of Hullbridge rose to the challenge of Stow Maries A. Justin Jeffery led the way with a hat-trick while Matthew Brown picked up two singles for Stow. Hullbridge's Cameron Gray scored an excellent win over Peter Layzell and Stow's Hector Rogers had a disappointing evening as he lost to all three of the opposition.

Stow Maries B, whom look firmly placed in the relegation zone, did not help their cause with a 9-1 loss to Mapledene B - although not an entirely shocking result when you look at the super trio Mapledene put out of Dave Bowles, John Monk and Stuart Gibbs (all former Burnham Men's Singles Champions). Stow's ace defender Eric Green scored a superb straight sets win over Dave Bowles in the opening game and also pushed John Monk to five ends in the final game of the evening.

Steady Barrie Delf featured as player of the match in Mapledene C's encounter with Maldon A, even though his side went down 6-4. Barrie scored an incredible three straight win versus Alex Abbott, and also fought back from two sets down against Ciaran Whelan to win 11-8 in the fifth. Ciaran, playing up from the second division, put in a strong performance for the Maldon side as he defeated Dave Moles and Lin Attridge.

 Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League

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Press Report 2 - Issued 30 December 2015

A Whiff-Whaff Christmas and New Year

In the first division Maldon B continue to impress and have now risen
to the top of the table, leading Mapledene A (who have a game in hand) by five
points, and it is the continuing solid team performance as seen in their recent
victories against both West Maldon sides; though it is worth mentioning a
superb five-games win for Nick Duce over Paul Stephens for West Maldon B, and
for their A side combination bat player Chris Buer scored a fine straight sets
win against spinny looper Jon Stokes. It may be too early to say but I am not
one for jinxes: the Maldon B side could well take silver this season and even
gold if there are any major slip ups from Mapledene A, although having said
that one should keep their eye on crouching tiger hidden Norton lurking in
third place. Cold Norton A faced a tough challenge at the pig sty where they
lost out 6-4 to Maldon A; former Chelmsford Champion Alex Abbott on form for
the home team as he beat all three Cold Norton players including top defender
and defending Burnham Champion Duncan Taylor in what must have been a
spectacular game. The closest game of the evening was Steve Scholz vs Sam
Lowman, which Sam won over five fluctuating ends. A Stow derby extravaganza
took place at Smythe hall between the club’s top two sides and ended all
square; man of the match and ace defender Eric Green returning to some form as,
after a hard-fought victory against Robert Shrimpton coming back from two nil
down, he dismissed the A team’s Hector Rogers and Peter Layzell both in
straight sets; Robert put two points on the board for his team by defeating
Dave Marsh and Nicky Reece-Ford and teaming up with Hector for a five-set
doubles win, while Hector also beat Dave in five games. Elsewhere in the
division, the matches were not so close; the strong Fambridge trio of Mark
Stones, Keith Adams and John Poysden downed the challenge of Cold Norton B ten
nil, although it was not completely sweat-free as Mark and John only narrowly
got past Lee McHugh and Chris Hancox respectively; powerhouse Mapledene A
proved too much for the Hullbridge youngsters, although it was not a whitewash
as Zoe Davies had a superb victory against captain Lee Prentice, and it was a
night of excellent form from Zoe with a nail-biting scoreline vs Kevin Read 11-9,
9-11, 18-16, 11-9.

In the second division the table is largely unchanged, although there
are a few results still to come in from the recent matches and a couple of
postponements.  Maldon C lead the pack
and continue to set a hot pace as demonstrated by their recent 9-1 thrashing of
West Maldon C; man of the match Ciaran Whelan put in a strong performance
defeating all three West Maldon players in straight sets; Maldon’s Steve Scholz
was involved in the two closest games of the night and he came away with a last
gasp victory against Mohammad Mohseni, although not completely unscathed as
Steve lost to West Maldon’s David Gatheral also in five games. In looking at
some of the previous games in more detail, newcomer to the league Bryn Thomas
is certainly a force to be reckoned with in division two, as he is yet to lose
a singles, defeating some other high averagers in the process such as Maldon’s
Tom Elder and Dawn Baldry. Another newcomer and one to keep an eye on, also playing
for the West Maldon club, is Victor Chan, who has only turned out once so far
but came away with a hat-trick and man of the match award against the strong
Maldon D side of Roger Clarke, Bob King and Mark Shorney. In a derby at
Champions Manor Woodham’s A team defeated their B team 7-3 on a night of
several close games; the A side’s Dan Richardson had a good evening winning his
three against Chris Crooks, Val Board and John Bond; Alan Dadswell was involved
in two of the closest games, just edging out Val at deuce in the fifth, then
succumbing to defeat against John by a very tight scoreline 13-15, 12-10,
13-15, 12-10, 8-11.

In the third division Maldon U3A have overtaken Burnham as the
leaders, although they have played one extra match; the U3A team had a 9-1 win
away against a two-player Woodham D side, when the only point Woodham could
muster was Roger Maidment’s straight games win over league stalwart John Skuse
at the beginning of the evening, although Woodham were unlucky to lose both
games that went to five ends, as Roger and teammate Diane King just missed out
against Andrew Simmonds and John Skuse respectively. A week later Maldon U3A
came up against another team lacking a full squad in West Maldon D, and it
looked like another big win for them; West Maldon’s Louis Gunn - who has
returned to the sport after some years - had other ideas, as he defeated all
three of the U3A players and teamed up with John Macmorland for a doubles win
to help his side to a respectable 6-4 loss. West Maldon D were also only able
to field two players against Woodham F’s Roy Davis, Eamonn Hall and Marina
Partridge; West Maldon’s Louis Gunn had a another successful evening’s table
tennis with a hat-trick, well supported by John Macmorland with two wins and
the doubles – the closest game of the night which Gunn/Macmorland won deuce in
the fifth against Hall/Davis. And yet, these were not the only fixtures
fulfilled in the third division recently with incomplete squads; David Gatheral
was his team’s only player when his West Maldon E side faced St Lawrence A, and
he absolutely rose to the occasion as he achieved the maximum of a 7-3 loss
against the St Lawrence trio of David Siggins, Ivan Joslin and Alan Petfield,
though unfortunately Dave did lack an extra pair of hands for the doubles.
Elsewhere in the division a couple of draws were fought out; second-placed
Burnham’s Michael Pratley, Terry Frost and Bob King all put points on the board
in their 5-5 result vs West Maldon E, but none of them could get the better of
David Gatheral who is looking like the man to beat in the third, and Dave was
well supported by Colin Barham who picked up two points for West Maldon; Maldon
G’s Ross Wheeler, Denis Crapnell and Brian Dixon all contributed wins in their
draw against Mayland B, however Mayland’s Steve Aspland – one of the leading
players in the averages – appeared too strong for the Maldon side as he downed
the challenge of all three opposing players untroubled, and combined with
Jonathan Stevens for a doubles victory while Jonathan also defeated Maldon’s Brian

I hope you all have enjoyed a good rest over Christmas and will take
this opportunity to wish all players and their families a Happy New Year.

Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League

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Press Report 1 - Issued 4 December 2015

The season is now well underway as we approach the end of the first half. I hope everybody is enjoying their table tennis and getting along OK with the new balls. After many years (how many has it been?) of the Burnham League not having a Burnham Club, it returns this season and what a return indeed as they top the Division 3 table by a considerable eight point lead over second-placed Woodham D and have a game in hand. Impressively, Burnham has only fielded a reserve once so far and has otherwise put out their regular squad of Michael Pratley, Bob King and Terry Frost. They have only had one loss to date which was their opening match against Woodham D, when the Woodham side of Diane King, Roger Maidment and Adrian Armstrong edged them 6-4. Woodham D’s other main player, Daniel Harris, recently helped his side to an 8-2 victory away to Maldon U3A, where only Bill Puxley managed to get on the scoreboard for his team with a couple of straight sets wins over Dan and Diane. Elsewhere in the division, Woodham E’s young and fast improving Luca Bailey is near the top of the averages, having played for all three Woodham third division sides at some point, recently having success against Woodham F teammates Roy Davis and Marina Partridge, although Luca could not get the better of Woodham legend Mitch Davies. Also playing for Woodham E is young Scott Mcquarrie - who has somehow managed to elude a fifth set and changing ends so far this season – and Scott’s most notable performance so far must be his impressive hat-trick against current leaders Burnham. Another youngster and star of the future in the division, Kieran Stanley, has played up into the division above a couple of times for Woodham C and scored a good win over Val Board, and also giving trouble to the more experienced Daniel Richardson and George Ashley.

Division 2 is a slightly closer affair at the top with Maldon’s D team trailing their C team by four points and level on games. The star of the C team is Ciaran Whelan, who has played every match so far and has only lost twice; both in five ends to clubmate Dawn Baldry and Woodham’s Chris Crooks. Ciaran is receiving good support from teammates Colin Napper and Steve Scholz, who recently thumped second-from-bottom Stow Maries D with Ken Sheard saving the whitewash by defeating Steve. Dawn Baldry is another player impressing for the Maldon club in this division, with a particularly good record of winning five-setters and when playing up for Maldon A in the first Dawn only narrowly lost out against Mapledene stalwart Dave Bowles. Relegated from the first division last season, Mayland A in third place must feel back at home in the second, infamous server Ralph Gibson leading the way, most recently stuffing Woodham C’s Roger Maidment and the Mike Duo in straight sets, only dropping thirty-five points the whole evening. Woodham C are struggling at the bottom of the table and look unlikely to avoid relegation into the third division next season. Woodham’s A side are faring better, holding their own just below Mayland in the table, with a solid team performance from the relatively young team of Daniel Richardson, George Ashley and Rebecca Lowman, and (slightly) older reserves Allan Steel and Alan Dadswell. West Maldon C are a team tentatively in danger of relegation, fielding a wide selection of players to complete their fixtures so far, Captain Tim Huxtable being their most regular player and keeping up a consistent fifty percent win average. Lovable former President David Goody is helping keep his Stow Maries C team in the middle of the table, and narrowly got the better of Woodham’s Scott Perry in his most recent game, 13-11 in the decider no doubt with one of those tricky serves which took myself years to get my head around and which Dave never stops reminding me about.

Mapledene A, having used a wide selection of ten players to fulfil the first ten fixtures, are the leaders in Division 1 with sixty-three points earned out of a possible ninety so far, which I have to say isn’t quite the dominating record I’m used to seeing from Mapledene. That may be because the first division has more strength in depth this year; for example Cold Norton A can field Mindaugus Sinkus and 2015 Men’s Singles Champion Duncan Taylor, and they did so recently against Mapledene A; the match ended in a draw, Duncan losing his first match of the season against top player Tony Halling, and Mindas taking Tony to five but Tony must have really turned it on in the last end as he won 11-1. Fambridge A -historically Mapledene A’s biggest challenger for the title, at least in recent years – has lost some fire power this season with the retirement of Marko Jovic. With three wins and two losses so far they are hovering a bit further down the table than usually accustomed to. One of those losses was against Mapledene A in their opening match, and it was a tough test for Keith Adams, John Poysden and Peter Ballard (and we would like to wish a warm welcome back to Peter after his brief break from the sport) as they faced the Mapledene trio of Kevin Read, Tony Halling and Ben Warner. The match ended 9-1 in Mapledene’s favour, and the whitewash was saved by a fine doubles win for Adams/Poysden defeating Halling/Warner in four games. It was very nearly a second point for Fambridge when Keith narrowly lost to Ben 15-13 in the fifth. Maldon B, currently second place and only trailing Mapledene by nine points with a game in hand, is impressing so far this season with the regular squad of Jon Stokes, Steve Whiteley and Paul Stephens. It has been a real team effort from them so far, each player contributing plenty of points to the board and with good support from reserve Brian Riedling. Gary Young and John Holland are also two players high up in the averages and are really boosting the strength of their respective teams West Maldon B and Cold Norton B. As well as the Burnham Club in the third division, another newly formed club has joined the fray this year and that is Hullbridge in the first division. The Hullbridge youngster team, formed of Zoe Davies, Justin Jeffery, Sid Dorn and Cameron Gray, are challenging many much more experienced players across the division and on some match nights their combined age must be less than just one player from the opposing team. Justin must feel right at home in the top division scoring a couple of hat-tricks so far, while Cameron also appears to be settling into his debut season in the first with a couple of good wins recently against Cold Norton’s Chris Hancox and Daniel Anderson. It is also Zoe’s first season in this division and she is putting in a consistent performance having won at least one singles in each of her matches played.

Lee McHugh - Press & Publicity Officer - Burnham Table Tennis League
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