Ladies Cup: Writtle Excalibur 5 4 Maldon
A repeat of last year's final, which Maldon won 5-4, but this time the scores were reversed with Writtle Excalibur, who trailed 2-4 after six games, fighting back to take the cup by a 5-4 margin. Last year, the match hinged on a win by Shirley Carroll, 4-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, against Nicola Pippen. This year they produced another match which went the full distance, with Nicola winning by the narrowest of margins, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9. Writtle Excalibur were helped by an excellent performance by Lin Roff, the only player to win both her singles matches.
Open Cup: Danbury A 5 4 Chelmsford A
Danbury A beat Chelmsford A in a thrilling Open Cup Final. Wal Bada and Ryan Gooday both stayed unbeaten in singles yet both finished on the losing side due to Danbury winning all three doubles matches, including a crucial win for Eric Green and Gary Young against Wal and Ryan. Ryan excelled by beating Gary 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9 and he also defeated Steve Whiteley 9-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9. With Wal levelling the scores at 4-4 by defeating Gary by a last gasp 11-6, 9-11, 2-11, 11-7, 11-6 margin, the match went to the final doubles, where Eric and Steve ensured that Danbury retained the Cup by winning 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-7 against Wal and Mike Johnston.
Division 2 Cup: Writtle Excalibur A 5 3 Chelmsford A
Lee McHugh, Ryan Pitt and Richard Storey emerged as 5-3 winners over Chelmsford A, with Lee leading the way with wins over Julie Johnson (5-11, 11-3, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8) and Alastair Piper (11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9). Alastair made his mark for Chelmsford with a fine 5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 success against Ryan Pitt, and Chelmsford’s Mick Richardson also did well to beat Richard Storey 12-14, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9.
Division 3 Cup: Hatfield Peverel 5 4 Danbury A
Hatfield Peverel emerged as 5-4 winners over Danbury yet Neil Freeman (80% record in League play) and Dave Fiddeman (73% record in League play) lost all four singles games they played. Their hero was Gareth Davies with a League playing record of 57%. He scored two excellent wins over Gordon Gatheral (13-11, 11-9, 11-8) and Tim Pulham (9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6) to keep Hatfield Peverel in the hunt and to counter the two wins that David Gatheral picked up for the Danbury side. David levelled the scores at 4-4 with a thrilling 2-11, 11-5, 11-13, 11-9, 12-10 victory over Neil Freeman - the pick of the night’s action - but it wasn’t enough. It was Neil and Gareth who came up trumps in the deciding doubles by defeating Tim and Gordon 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 to take the title.
Division 4 Cup: Writtle Excalibur A 5 4 Hatfield Peverel
With Writtle Excalibur missing Dave Moles, their only player to score above 50% in the league this season, the Cup Final against a Hatfield Peverel team averaging 80% in league play looked like being one-way traffic. It was no surprise when Hatfield Peverel eased into a 3-0 lead with singles wins for Trevor Collin and Bob Garson and a doubles win for Trevor and Dave Carter. Steve Siggs stopped the rot with an 11-8,11-2, 2-11, 8-11, 13-11 win over Dave Carter before Neil Thompson and Alan Offord got the score back to 2-3 with a doubles win 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 11-6 against Trevor and Bob. Bob steadied the ship for Hatfield Peverel with an 11-7, 11-13, 5-11, 11-8, 4-11 win against Steve Siggs to put Hatfield Peverel 4-2 ahead, needing one win to take the Cup. Writtle had other ideas, and singles wins for Alan and Neil over Dave and Trevor left everything hanging on the last doubles. Two quick games to Neil and Steve, followed by two equally quick games to Bob and Dave before Neil and Steve took the fifth 11-6 to seal an unexpected but well-deserved win for Writtle Excalibur. A superb match in which six of the nine sets went to a fifth game.
Division 5 Cup: OCA B 5 1 Writtle Excalibur B
Two closely matched teams, who finished first and second in Division 5, but on this occasion the league champions, Writtle Excalibur, were unable to withstand the attacking power of a young and fast-improving OCA team. Lawrence Bartlett had two excellent singles wins over Frank Neil and Andy Fox, winning both in three games and he teamed up with Tanishq Kotwal to take the doubles 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 15-13 against Frank and Brian Steward. In the closest match of the Final, Andy beat Dave Bishop 2-11, 11-8, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5 Both teams have won promotion and can now look forward to the challenges awaiting them in Division 4.
Handicap Cup: Chelmsford D 5 2 Hatfield Peverel D
This was the fourth match for Chelmsford D in the Handicap Cup this season, and they won it the same way as they won the previous three, with two wins each for Robert Shrimpton and Martin Hiskey and one for John Wickins. All three had the confidence to go for their shots when the opportunity arose, and they hit enough winners to give themselves a comfortable win, though Dave Fiddeman put up strong resistance by remaining unbeaten and winning 21-12, 21-10 against John and 7-21, 21-14, 21-17 against Martin. In the closest match of the evening, Martin beat Gareth Davies 18-21, 21-13, 21-19.