Championships Review 2015/16

The weekend of 19/20 March saw a rather large concentration of ping pong players gather at the William de Ferrers School in South Woodham Ferrers. It was not, alas, a natural phenomenon; it was, of course, the Burnham & District Table Tennis League Closed Individual Championships!

Two days’ action which totalled to almost twenty-four hours of solid table time saw over 400 games of table tennis played, and probably about as many bacon rolls get eaten! Over four hundred matches... take a moment to consider just how many points that is, how many rallies, how many pushes, how many winners, and how many Neil Want nets and edges.

Putting on a Championships of course takes a tremendous amount of effort and weeks of preparation. A tumultuous amount of thanks should go to Alan Dadswell who was the tournament's chief orchestrator, without whom it simply would not have happened. Thank you to everyone who helped set up on Friday night and pack away on Sunday evening. Thank you to Dan Anderson, Peter Ballard and the numerous others who helped on the control table throughout the weekend. Thank you to Tim Huxtable and those that helped write the scores up on the boards. Thank you to all the volunteer umpires, and a special thanks to the helpful and cooperative juniors of West Maldon (and their mentor Glen Laing) for volunteering to score many games on the Saturday.

Last but definitely not least, thank you to Jan Dadswell for running her cafe which kept the players well nourished, and thank you to Valerie Board who, despite being on crutches following an injury, still persisted in selling a great number of raffle tickets. The combined efforts of the cafe and raffle raised in the region of eight-hundred pounds for the league. The refreshments were absolutely top notch; thank you to everyone who made and brought cakes to sell, including but not limited to Jan Fuller, Michelle Hancox, June Knights, Rose Goody, Jean (of Brian Ellis), Jan Dadswell and Emma Dadswell.

Now let's get on to the nitty gritty - what actually happened on the tables!

Fambridge Trophy

Saturday kicked off with the Fambridge Trophy which is a divisional event open only to Division 3 players. The upsets began in the first round as seeded Luca Bailey was knocked out 3-1 by Peter Mortensen; the third game which Peter won 14-12 proved crucial. Richard Jovic got past Liam Cox 10, 10, -6, 6 but then ran into clubmate Kieran Stanley in the Quarter-Final which Kieran took in straight sets. Mortensen was on fine form as he eased past Roger Maidment in his Quarter. Title holder Mitch Davies and seeded Eamonn Hall both came through very close five-setters in their Semi-Finals with Mortensen and Stanley respectively. Hall beat Stanley -5, 5, 7, -2, 9 and Davies beat Mortensen -9, 5, -14, 8, 8. So on to the Final and Mitch 'Dark Horse' Davies was not to be denied as his sheer determination and smash winners won the day and he defeated Eamonn -12, 8, 7, 7 to retain his title. [Video Clip]

Cadet Singles

The next event early on the Saturday morning was the Cadet Singles open to boys and girls under 15 years of age. Kieran Stanley progressed as the winner of Group 1, untroubled and without dropping an end. West Maldon youngster Spencer Cox played well to finish runner-up of that group (only losing to Kieran) as Coach Laing looked on with pride. In Group 2 there were closer games; Luca Bailey progressed as the winner and Liam Cox as the runner-up, Luca just getting the better of Liam in the fifth and final game. One of Group 2's games saw a marathon set between Ollie Wiseman and Noah Sage which Noah won 22-20. Both Stanley and Bailey won their respective Semi-Finals against the Cox brothers, so it was on to an all-Woodham showdown. Both true talents and a credit to the league, Kieran and Luca put on a great final which Kieran won 5, 6, -6, 8.

Restricted Singles

The always-competitive and coveted Restricted Singles event, open to Division 2 & 3 players, started with a group stage to filter into the last sixteen in a straight knockout. Number one seed, Ciaran Whelan, did not have it all his way... In his group, Ciaran needed four ends to get the better of Fambridge Trophy victor Mitch Davies, then found himself two-nil down to the unseeded David Hancox as Dave won the first two ends 13-11 and 15-13; Whelan dug deep and came back to win 3-2. In the knockout stages, Whelan just snuck past Tim Huxtable in a fluctuating five-setter -7, 1, 4, -5, 6, then Dan Richardson in four ends, then just getting the better of Victor Chan at 12-10 in the fifth to book his place in the Final. In the over half of the draw, second seed Ken Sheard worked hard to get past Bex Lowman in the round of sixteen -14, 6, -8, 7, 10 and, after easing past Steve Scholz, Sheard faced the lovable Dave Goody in the Semi-Final which he won in four ends. So the Final was Maldon's Ciaran Whelan versus Stow Maries' Ken Sheard. Side-spin versus twiddling. It was Whelan who triumphed as he defeated Sheard -3, 8, 8, 5. [Video Clip 1] [Video Clip 2]

Junior Singles

The Junior Singles event, open to boys and girls under 18 years of age, received a strong entry this year. Noah Sage and Ollie Wiseman met in the group stage and decided they hadn't had enough of each other after their marathon Cadet Singles encounter; this time Ollie prevailed winning -12, -7, 11, 8, 4. Woodham's Luca Bailey and Kieran Stanley progressed through their groups relatively untroubled but this time it was Woodham's Bex Lowman and Hullbridge's Justin Jeffery who proved a little too strong for the opposition. In the Semi-Finals Jeffery and Lowman eased past Stanley and Bailey in straight sets respectively to meet in the Final, which Justin won 13, 7, 9.

Junior Doubles

The Junior Doubles event was a tough one to call. In the group stage the pair Justin Jeffery/Ollie Wiseman just got the better of Kieran Stanley/Liam Cox in five ends, and went on to make the Semi-Final, where they fought through another five-setter against Richard Jovic/Tom Butcher to book their place in the Final. In the other Semi-Final, it was another tense five-setter as Bex Lowman/Luca Bailey overcame Stanley/Cox. The Final swung this way and that as Lowman/Bailey took the first end 11-3 but then Jeffery/Wiseman equalized with 11-9; in the end it was Woodham-Power as Lowman/Bailey took the next two ends 8 and 9.

Mixed Open

The Mixed Open Singles event was next: open to all players except the top eight Mens Singles seeds, the draw completely random and unseeded, straight knockout and no group stages... exciting stuff, and it proved to be a very exciting affair. In the opening rounds there were great scalps for Cameron Gray over Brian Reidling, and Ken Sheard over John Cleasby. Hard-hitting Steve Whiteley came through a tough first round encounter with Sam Lowman over five close ends. At the round of sixteen stage Whiteley got past title holder Peter Mynard to set up a Quarter-Final meeting with Neil Want - who had got past teammate Dan Anderson at 18-16 in the third - and Whiteley defeated Want to book his appearance in the Semi-Finals. Elsewhere in the draw, in the opening rounds there was a fluctuating epic between Eric Green and Chris Hancox which Green won -4, 10, 6, -4, 6 and following that Green eased past Roger Warren and Steve Maltby to set up his Semi-Final meeting with Steve Whiteley. In the other half the draw, Charles Sweeny progressed through the early rounds relatively untroubled, beating Lee McHugh in his Quarter-Final; Bill Smith got the better of Restricted Singles Winner Ciaran Whelan and then had a fluctuating round of sixteen game with McHugh which McHugh won 2, -5, -12, 4, 1. Reece Seddon reached his Semi-Final the hard way, having what was probably the most difficult and "unlucky" draw anyone has ever had in this event - all Division 1 players! In the first round Seddon faced late entry John Poysden, who I would have said had a good chance of winning the whole thing had Reece not knocked him out straight away! Reece then got past clubmates Babul McLeod and Barrie Delf to set up a Quarter-Final meeting with Glen Laing. Laing just got the better of Matt Rolfe in his previous match winning 14-12 in the fifth. The Semi-Final between Steve Whiteley/Eric Green, and the Quarter-Final between Reece Seddon/Glen Laing, turned out to be two of the best matches of the whole weekend, both classic attack-versus-defence battles with tremendous rallies. It was two victories for the attackers, as Whiteley beat Green 11-9 in the fifth, and Seddon beat Laing also deuce in the fifth. Seddon defeated Sweeny over four ends in his Semi-Final, so it was a Whiteley-Seddon Final between two relentless attackers and strangely the only two players who I called out as dark horses in the preview. Both players put in absolutely everything into the Final and in the closest it is possible for a straight-games win to be, Seddon triumphed 12-10, 16-14, 17-15.

Handicap Singles and Doubles

The Handicap events rounded off Saturday's action. Played up to 21 points in each game, it was truly unbelievable just how many sets ended up in deuce and it either must be a testament to how accurately each player's handicap was worked out, or everyone really wanted to get their money's worth. In the Singles, in the top half of the draw, Babul McLeod (-15) got revenge for his Mixed Open loss to Reece Seddon (-16) and booked his Semi-Final encounter with Ciaran Whelan (-8), which McLeod won 18, -13, 17. In the other half of the draw, John Cleasby (-11) booked his place in the Final first by getting the better of Glen Laing (-13) in the Quarter-Final 19, 15, then Lee McHugh (-12) in the Semi-Final 18, -15, before McHugh succumbed 9-21 in the third end. Resolved on the Sunday, the Final between John Cleasby and Babul McLeod went to the absolute wire:

In-Match Review by Tim Huxtable

Cleasby was 14-11 up in the first set, then lost eight consecutive points to trail 19-14 as McLeod went on a spree, but Cleasby incredibly came back to nick the first end 24-22. In the second set, Cleasby raced into a 16-4 lead, but then McLeod went on an even bigger spree of points winning eleven of the next twelve to come back to 17-15, Cleasby then edged forwards to match point at 20-18 until McLeod once again brought it back to 20-20. In a Final where both players refused to give in, Cleasby eventually defeated McLeod 24-22, 25-23.

The Handicap Doubles was won by scratch pairing Dawn Baldry/Alan Dadswell and they defeated Peter Mortensen/Barrie Delf in the Final. Baldry/Dadswell came through their Semi-Final against the hard-hitting pair of Whiteley/McHugh which was the end of a long phase of verbal abuse for McHugh. In the other Semi-Final, Mortensen/Delf got the better of the formidable backhanding pair of John Cleasby/Dan Richardson. Mr Dadswell would like it noted that he was the only player to compete in the Championships not to lose a single match (as it was the only event he played in!). [Video Clip]

Mens Singles

It was a bright and early start on Sunday morning for the preliminary group stages of the premiere Mens Singles event, and it was a morning full of scalps and surprises. The winner of each preliminary group would go through to the main groups, where the top two would then progress to the knockout stage. The most time-consuming of the preliminaries was Group A, the countback calculation of which would later give Peter Ballard a headache. On Table 1 Victor Chan, David Gatheral, Lee McHugh and Colin Napper seemed intent on enjoying themselves as all the other tables moved on to the next rounds and other events; first Chan beat McHugh in five and Gatheral beat Napper in five, but then although Chan and McHugh also beat Napper, McHugh beat Gatheral and Gatheral beat Chan. Things ended so close that Chan and McHugh both progressed on countback to the main groups, where they both found good form as Chan scored a superb 10, 8, -8, 9 win over Babul McLeod in Group 2 and McHugh defeated Peter Mynard and Hamish Innes in Group 4 to finish runner-up. McLeod still progressed through that group as runner-up and then knocked out fifth seed Minda Sinkus 11-9 in the fifth in the round of the last sixteen. Not far behind Group A in terms of duration were D and E; D was also dominated by five-setters and close games as Ken Sheard progressed as the winner defeating Cameron Gray, Chris Hancox and Steve Scholz; in Group E it was Dave Calleja's three-straight wins over George Ashley and Graham Briggs that carried him through as the winner, as the rest of the matches were anything but close - Ashley beat Briggs 11-7 in the fifth, Briggs beat Neil Want 13-11 in the fifth, Want beat Calleja 11-7 in the fifth, and Want got the better of Ashley over four games. In Group C David Hancox did well to emerge as the winner as, although he went down three-straight to clubmate Dan Anderson, he picked up the pace to beat Tony Jacks three nil and then Bill Smith 13-11 in the fifth. Unfortunately Hancox then found himself in the particularly strong Group 7 with Kevin Read, Keith Adams and John Monk; Adams was involved in a few extremely close games in this event as he lost to Read in a five-setter but beat John Monk in five to progress as the runner-up, and then had his chance to knock out number one seed and title holder Duncan Taylor in the first round of the knockout, narrowly losing (again in five ends). Young Justin Jeffery of Hullbridge excelled in coming through Group 8 as the winner above eighth seed George Reeves; losing in five ends to John Tendler and winning in five ends against Sam Lowman, but also beating Reeves in straight sets. Group 6 showed what a game of styles table tennis really is; again a seeded player - number six Mark Stones - only progressed as the runner-up, as although he beat both Neil Want and Barrie Delf in straight sets, he lost in straight sets to Glenn Johnson - the first end of which was the singular longest 11-up game of the whole tournament: 25-23 (you might say that was a good game to win!). However, Johnson then lost to Delf in five and Delf lost to Want in five.

Looking back at the results, the group stages of this event really did contain most of the excitement and seemed like one giant lottery. The knock-out stages kept more to the form book: in the last sixteen, aside from the marathon matches between Taylor/Adams and McLeod/Sinkus, third seed Alex Abbott came back from two-one down to knock out sixth seed Mark Stones, and the rest of the matches were more straight forward and mostly decided in three ends; to progress to the Quarter-Finals Justin Jeffery beat Lee McHugh, Gary Young beat Eric Green, Kevin Read beat Reece Seddon, Charles Sweeny beat Glenn Johnson, and Tony Halling beat George Reeves. So onwards to the Quarter-Finals, which very nearly resulted in the top four seeds occupying the four Semi-Final places; for the one exception seventh seed Kevin Read got the better of fourth seed Gary Young -5, 6, 9, 9 to set up a Finals Night meeting with second seed Tony Halling, who beat Charles Sweeny 4, 9, -11, 5. In the other half, third seed Alex Abbott beat Babul McLeod 5, -11, 11, 6 to set up a Finals Night encounter with first seed Duncan Taylor, who beat Justin Jeffery 3, 3, 9 in his Quarter-Final.

Ladies Singles

The Ladies Singles event consisted of seven participants who formed two groups where the winner and runner-up of each would progress into the Semi-Finals. Group 1 was an all-Maldon affair between Dawn Baldry, Jan Fuller, Shirley Carroll and Cath Little, and surprisingly every match was decided in three ends except for one five-setter when Fuller defeated Carroll - Baldry progressed as the winner and Fuller as the runner up. In Group 2, Woodham youngster Rebecca 'Bex' Lowman played well to progress as the winner by beating clubmate Jean Chasmer 9, 9, -8, 9 and coming back from two-one down to beat Mapledene's Lin Attridge 8, -1, -7, 4, 8; Attridge progressed as the runner-up by beating Chasmer 9, 4, 10. In the Semi-Finals, number one seed and title holder Baldry defeated Attridge 9, 8, 8 to set up a Finals Night meeting with Lowman who got the better of Fuller 5, 9, 7.

Mens Doubles

The Mens Doubles event featured twenty-one pairs and produced some excellent and close games, and somewhat of a surprise as both the number one seeds and title holders Kevin Read/Duncan Taylor and second seeds Tony Halling/George Reeves failed to make it to Finals Night. The attacking pair of Minda Sinkus/Charles Sweeny came through a tough round of sixteen match against Reece Seddon/John Cleasby winning 6, 6 -10, -11, 9, eased past John Tendler/Tony Jacks in the Quarter-Final stage and then defeated Read/Taylor by a very close margin of 7, -12, 9, 11 to book their place into Finals Night [Video Clip]. In the other half of the draw, a pair that I completely neglected to mention in the preview - Alex Abbott/Glenn Johnson, did well to book their place in Finals Night knocking out Halling/Reeves (who came through a five-setter against Babul McLeod/Matt Rolfe in the Quarter-Final [Video Clip]) at the Semi-Final stage. Their journey was an interesting one; in the opening rounds they defeated Dave Calleja/Gary Young 15, 6, 9 and then found themselves tied at one-all with Woodham pair George Ashley/Dan Richardson both games resolved 12-10, before finding their footing and taking the next two ends more comfortably, and then in their Quarter-Final with the extremely steady John Poysden/Mark Stones, Abbott and Johnson put on a great comeback from losing the first two ends 9 and 4 to win the next three 5, 9, 9.

Ladies Doubles

The Ladies Doubles event was made up of four pairs and was played as a round-robin eventually culminating in a Final between the two pairs with the best results. It was fought out between Dawn Baldry/Shirley Carroll, Lin Attridge/Jean Chasmer, Ann Lowman/Cath Little, and Jan Fuller/Bex Lowman. The Final was between Baldry/Carroll and Fuller/Lowman with the Maldon pairing of Baldry/Carroll emerging as the victors, although the influential results and toughest games were in the round-robin stage as Fuller/Lowman narrowly got the better of Attridge/Chasmer -10, 4, 10, 9 and the eventual winners Baldry/Carroll had to come back from two-one down against Attridge/Chasmer winning -11, 9, -10, 6, 7.

Mixed Doubles

The Final of the Mixed Doubles to be played on Finals Night is between the Mapledene pair Tony Halling/Lin Attridge and Maldon's righty-lefty combo Ciaran Whelan/Dawn Baldry. Unfortunately most of the results sheets for that event have gone walk-abouts so I have little detail of how that Final match-up came to fruition; I can only apologize!

EDIT: I located the paperwork! Group 2 was all about to-the-wire matches as the all-Maldon derbies all went to five; Whelan/Baldry defeated Steve Whiteley/Shirley Carroll 11-6 in the fifth and Alex Abbott/Jan Fuller 12-10 in the fifth, and Abbott/Fuller beat Whiteley/Carroll 11-8 in the fifth. At the Semi-Finals stage, Halling/Attridge beat Abbott/Fuller 7, 9, 6 and Whelan/Baldry came through a five-setter against John Monk/Jean Chasmer 4, 5, -5, -8, 4.

Over 60 Singles

I am pleased to say that my tip for the winner of this event came through as in a combination-bat Final John Poysden defeated Glenn Johnson 3, 9, -4, 6. John wasted no time navigating his way through the rounds as he beat Bill Smith and Steve Whiteley both in straight sets. Glenn's route to the final proved more difficult as he came through two tough five-setters; beating Peter Ballard 6, 8, -6, -11, 8 and John Tendler -10, 9, 9, -8, 2.

Under 40 Singles

The Under 40s event had a healthy entry of eighteen participants and was played as a straight knockout. A huge upset very nearly cropped up in round one as Lee McHugh put on a comeback from two-nil down against title holder Minda Sinkus, fighting back to parity 10, 6, -10, -12, but finding himself 9-7 up in the fifth and final end Lee 'Chokey' McHugh lived up to his name and lost the next four points. Minda progressed from there beating Chris Hancox in straight sets (who knocked out his Cold Norton teammate Dan Anderson in the previous round) in the Quarter-Final and then in the Semi-Final overcoming last year's finalist Charles Sweeny -8, 10, 3, 3. In the other half of the draw, favourite Tony Halling proceeded relatively untroubled defeating Graham Briggs and Justin Jeffery to set up a Semi-Final with Reece Seddon which Halling won 5, 5, 2. The Final between Minda Sinkus and Tony Halling to be played on Finals Night.

Veterans Singles and Doubles (Over 40s)

The weekend's play rounded off with the Vets events which always produce exceptional table tennis, as it features many of the strongest players and, although most of them are rather tired by that point, they are too almost certainly warmed up!

In the Singles, last year's winner Marko Jovic was unfortunately absent from play but he did make a special appearance to catch up with the action. First seed Duncan Taylor wasted no time in reaching the Semi-Finals stage by overcoming David Hancox, John Tendler and in the Quarter-Final John Poysden without dropping an end - [Video Clip]. Taylor's Semi-Final meeting was against Gary Young - Young got past clubmate Dave Calleja and Steve Whiteley in his earlier rounds and then got payback on his Mens Singles Quarter-Final loss to Kevin Read by defeating Read 9, 9, 3. Taylor prevailed in his Semi-Final against Young to book his place in Finals Night - [Video Clip 1] [Video Clip 2] In the other half of the draw, at the Quarter-Final stage eighth seed Keith Adams scored a fine 10, 4, -8, 7 win over second seed Alex Abbott, to set up a Semi-Final meeting with teammate Mark Stones. In what was very last match of the weekend which had some great rallies (especially the one at 10-6 in the video!), Stones came out on top to set up a Finals Night encounter with Duncan Taylor. [Video Clip]

In the Doubles, Kevin Read/Duncan Taylor will meet John Poysden/Mark Stones on Finals Night. In their Semi-Final, Poysden/Stones had to battle their way back from two-one down against Barrie Delf/Glenn Johnson to win -9, 2, -7, 11, 10 in a game that covered virtually every possible angle on a table tennis table. In the Quarter-Final stage Delf/Johnson had to battle back themselves to beat Dave Calleja/Gary Young -7, 8,-4, 11, 7. In the other half of the draw, Alex Abbott/Jan Fuller overcame the exceedingly tricky pairing of Tony Jacks/John Tendler and then lost in five to Keith Adams/Babul McLeod who in turn were then undone in their Semi-Final against Read/Taylor who won -13, 8, 6, 7.

Finals Night

On Thursday 24th March, Champions Manor Hall in South Woodham Ferrers welcomed in the thirteen players and thirty or so spectators along with some delicious lemon drizzle cake in the Return of Jan's Cafe.

An excellent evening's table tennis opened with the Mens Singles Semi-Finals: in the first match attacking powerhouse Kevin Read never seemed to get his shots going although it was likely Tony Halling's level of play that prevented Read from doing so. Although Read gained a lead at the start of the first two games there was a sense that Halling was always in control and so it proved as he ran out with a win of 11-5, 11-6, 11-7.

[Video Clip]

In the second Semi-Final the classic defensive style of Duncan Taylor met the close-table attack of Alex Abbott and it turned out to be a most interesting match. Abbott raced into a two-nil leading taking the first two ends 11-7 and 11-8 but then things seemed to turn upside down as Taylor moved to a different strategy and took the next two ends 11-3 and 11-5 to equalize. In the fifth game Abbott came back in force and the match seemed to be heading to the wire. Indeed it was and Alex was serving with match point at 10-9 but Duncan won that point to make it deuce. An unfortunate occurrence at 11-10 saw Duncan sustain an injured ankle after a well placed smash by Alex. Duncan courageously played on and with a fortunate net to make it 12-11 had match point. Alex equalized again and at 12-12 Duncan went for an ambitious third ball attack which narrowly missed, once again giving Alex the advantage. Alex went for glory on the next point with a chosen smash that caught the top of the net and drifted long, and Duncan kept his chops on the table for the next two points to take the match 15-13.

[Video Clip 1]

[Video Clip 2]

[Video Clip 3]

Next was the Under 40 Singles Final between title holder Minda Sinkus and challenger Tony Halling. A bit like the first match between Read and Halling, Sinkus did not seem to get into that free-flowing attacking style that he does so well, and most rallies transpired backhand to backhand counter-hitting which Halling won the majority of to take the first two ends 11-8, 11-8. Minda's shots started finding their mark more in the third end and a few errors from Tony brought it to deuce but it was a case of too little-too late as Tony won the third end 13-11 to earn the trophy.

[Video Clip] (the point at 10-10 is particularly good)

In the Mixed Doubles Final between Mapledene pair Tony Halling/Lin Attridge and Maldon duo Ciaran Whelan/Dawn Baldry attack was the name of the game, and Halling especially dominated play with his lethal forehand flick on return of serve. Although Dawn got in a number of Baldry Smashes and Ciaran's hook sidespin loops span their to a few points it was never enough to give them the lead and Tony's attacking prowess combined with Lin's steady returns won the day 11-7, 11-6, 11-7.

[Video Clip]

The Vets Doubles Final was between Fambridge pair John Poysden/Mark Stones and the tried and tested attack-defence formula of Kevin Read/Duncan Taylor. The match produced some great rallies and Poysden/Stones inched their way ever closer each game but although John's forehand winners sung their way past the ears of the opponents, they could never really get ahead and so Read and Taylor deservedly retained their title winning 11-3, 11-9, 14-12.

[Video Clip]

After a half-time intermission with some lemon drizzle and amicable chit chat it was on to the Vets Singles Final between Duncan Taylor and Mark Stones, two class players that gave us plenty of away from the table counter-topspin rallies. Duncan raced into a two nil lead rather quickly, and in the third game more of Mark's shots forced more mistakes from Duncan but in the end it was victory for Taylor winning 11-3, 11-6, 14-12.

[Video Clip] (thanks to Eamonn Hall for the video)

Onto the Mens Doubles Final between Minda Sinkus/Charles Sweeny and Alex Abbott/Glenn Johnson. One would normally bet on two big hitters in a doubles encounter and that would have proved a safe bet here as the Mapledene pair of Sweeny/Sinkus ran out impressive straight sets winners 11-9, 11-4, 11-3, Charles 'Jamie Murray' Sweeny hardly putting a foot wrong throughout the match with some bullet forehand winners.

[Video Clip]

So it came to the penultimate match of the Championships; the much anticipated Ladies Singles Final between Rebecca 'Bex' Lowman and title holder Dawn Baldry: Woodham versus Maldon, bandstand versus promenade. The match between the two hard-hitters ensued and turned out to be the closest-fought and tensest game of the night displaying some excellent quick counter-hitting rallies. Both Dawn and Bex got in plenty of winners and it was a serve and third ball cross-court forehand that secured Bex Lowman her first - and I suspect not the last - Ladies Singles title 11-8, 12-14, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9.

[Video Clip 1]

[Video Clip 2]

As ever the evening's action culminated in the grand finale of the Mens Singles Final and it was title holder and two-times winner Duncan Taylor versus 2016 Southend and Chelmsford Champion Tony Halling. There was a sense it was always going to be Tony's night and although Duncan made some excellent retrieves Tony Halling completed his evening's work by adding to his Under 40s win his first Burnham Mens Singles title winning 11-9, 11-4, 12-10. As an interesting statistic, Charles Sweeny was the only player to take a game off Tony throughout the event (at the Quarter-Final stage) and the only other Singles game Halling dropped was to Graham Briggs in the first round of the Under 40s.

[Video Clip 1]

[Video Clip 2]

[Video Clip 3]


Presentation evening will be on Saturday 14th May, please visit this page for details:


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


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