Press Report issued on 31 January 2016

Mens Singles Semi-Finalists have a very familiar look about them this year

All four Mens Singles Semi-Finalists in this year's M&G Investments Chelmsford & District Closed Table Tennis Championships have experience of playing on Finals Night and three of the players are former winners of the title. Finals Night takes place on Monday 8 February 2016 at Old Chelmsfordians Association, Lawford Lane, Chelmsford at 19.30 hours and admission is free.

David Cole, a four time former Champion booked his appearance in the Semi-Finals by ousting Steve Kerns in five ends (5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7) and then last year's Champion Ben Warner 6-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-4. David will play Tony Halling, a Semi-Finalist in Chelmsford in 2014 and last year's Southend Mens Singles Champion. Tony cruised past Robert Shrimpton 11-5, 12-10, 11-3 and last year's runner-up Brandon Crouchman 11-5, 11-4, 11-7. In the Quarter-Final Paul Davison fared little better with Tony powering his way to a 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 success.

In the other half of the draw Rik James, the Champion in 1998 impressed greatly with 3-0 wins over Scott Dowsett, Gary Cattermole and Mindaugas Sinkas. Gary Cattermole had seen off the challenge of the seeded Sam Hume in five ends. Rik will play another player with a fine tournament pedigree - Keiran Lally, the Chelmsford Champion in 2003. Keiran looked to be in fine form as he ousted Simon Webber 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 and then second seed Alex Abbott 11-4, 6-11, 15-13, 12-10 in the Quarter-Final.

The excitement wasn't just confined to the main rounds of the Competition. Group no. 12 was full of surprises. Chris Hancox scored a superb win over Scott Dowsett (9-11, 12-10. 9-11, 11-8, 12-10) but Scott still went through on count-back as he defeated John Cleasby 11-9, 12-10, 11-9. Group 13 also produced a close finish and Steve Kerns finished as runner-up (behind Rik James) by defeating Charles Sweeney 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10.

The Ladies Singles Final will be between Dawn Baldry and Jan Fuller. Dawn booked her place in the Final with a 3-0 victory over Jacqueline Smith whilst Jan had to fight back from 2-0 down to see off the challenge of Lin Attridge. This game went "all the way to the wire" before Jan finally sneaked home 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10. In another close match, this time in the Group stages Jan Fuller just managed to get the better of Shirley Carroll 11-5, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11.

The Mens Doubles featured some of the most fiercely contested matches of the weekend as is often the case. The holders - Scott Dowsett and Brandon Crouchman are again in the Final but they had all manner of problems in booking that Finals night berth. New pairing Sam Hume and Gary Cattermole just wouldn't give in and they only succumbed 8-11, 11-7, 6-11, 13-11, 10-12 after a truly spell-binding match. The other half of the draw was equally well contested and another new pairing - Paul Davison / Alex Abbott finally made it through to the Final. They beat Steve Kerns / Gary Young 8-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8 in the penultimate round having seen off the challenge of second seeds Tony Halling / Ben Warner 11-5,11-3, 6-11 9-11, 13-11 a round earlier. Kerns / Young had ousted Rik James / Dave Cole 11-9, 11-0, 9-11, 13-11 in the Quarter-Finals.

So often in the frame for honours in the past Melanie Bonnett / Nicola Pippen finally captured the Ladies Doubles title. They scored two notable victories, defeating Dawn Baldry / Shirley Carroll 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 and Lin Attridge / Jan Fuller 11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8.

Melanie Bonnett will also feature in the Mixed Doubles Final. Paired with Steve Kerns they defeated last year's Champions - Steve Whiteley / Shirley Carroll in five ends 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-3. They will face the formidable challenge of David Cole / Lin Attridge in the Final. David and Lin impressed greatly with a 11-7, 11-6, 11-9 victory over Ciaran Whelan / Dawn Baldry. The other fancied pairing - Alex Abbott / Jan Fuller had been beaten in the first round in four ends by Whelan / Baldry 11-9, 11-13, 11-2, 11-4.

This year's Veterans Singles Final will be a repeat of last year's Final. Dave Cole will be bidding for his sixth title and he looked to be at his best as he ousted the challenges of Adam Buxton (11-4, 11-9, 11-8), David Gatherall (11-9, 11-5, 11-3) and Gary Young (11-8, 11-9 , 10-12, 11-5). In the bottom half of the draw second seed Alex Abbott was a Quarter-Final faller over four ends to Steve Kerns (9-11, 11-3, 6-11, 7-11) but Steve could make little impression against Rik James in the Semi-Final with Rik frequently bamboozling Steve with his huge variety of top spin shots. Rik raced to a 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 success and he will be bidding for his fourth title, having last won in 2010.

Dave Cole / Rik James were also successful in the Veterans Doubles, a title they last won in 2010. In a fluctuating Final they beat Gary Young / Steve Kerns - the holders in five ends. Rik / Dave finally triumphed 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6.

The Over 50s Singles had a very "open" feel to it with the top seed - Rik James withdrawing. Steve Kerns, the second seed beat Steve Whiteley 3-1 but he could find no way past the back -hand counter-punching skills of John Cleasby. John came through their Semi-Final quite comfortably 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 to book his Final appearance and he duly defeated Lin Attridge 7-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8 to capture the title. Lin had battled her way to the Final with three hard fought successes. She beat David Parker 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 and then Steve Siggs 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 and most impressively Mike Johnston 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-3.

Former Chairman of the League - Ian Whiteside - the Veterans Champion as far back as 1987 is this year's Over 60s Singles Champion. He beat three fancied contenders to capture the title. Ian saw off the challenge of Steve Whiteley by a last gasp 8-11, 13-11, 11-8,9-11, 11-9 scoreline and then John Cleasby surprisingly comfortably 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 and in the Final Ian defeated Trevor Carter 11-2, 11-7, 11-13, 11-9.

The Under 21 Singles Final will be played on Finals Night and it will feature Brandon Crouchman - the Champion in 2011 and 2015 and Essex no. one Junior - Sam Hume. Brandon booked his Final appearance by getting the better of Daniel Berry 11-7, 11-8, 11-5 after Daniel had upset the seedings by getting the better of Scott Dowsett 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3. Hume made no mistake in his Semi-Final with a 11-2, 11-1, 11-9 victory over Ryan Gooday. Ryan Gooday scored a big win in the Group stages of this event and he defeated the 2014 Champion Scott Dowsett 11-9, 11-6, 11-5.

There was further success for Sam Hume who won both the Junior Boys Singles and the Under 16 Singles titles. In the Junior Boys Singles Sam beat Daniel Berry 11-6, 11-9, 11-1 in the Semi-Final and Ryan Gooday 12-10, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7 in the Final. Ryan had booked his Final appearance with a 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 victory over Nathan Fry. At Under 16 level Sam Hume was perhaps not surprisingly in a class of his own. He raced to the title with 3-0 wins over Adam Chalk, Matthew Elliot and Nathan Fry. Nathan had fought hard to make the final beating James Hughes by a "roller-coaster" 11-7, 14-12, 11-13, 14-16, 11-5 margin and Alex Healey (12-10, 11-2, 11-7).

There was even more success for Sam Hume in the Junior Doubles. Paired with Connor Payne the pairing fought back from 2-0 down to get the better of top seeds Ryan Gooday / Daniel Berry 3-11, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 in the Final.

Lewis Wilson is the 2016 Under 14 Singles Champion. He annexed the title with a 3-0 win over Harley Dawson in the Semi-Final and a 3-1 victory against Rio Tiplizki in the Final. After losing the first end Lewis came through strongly to win 7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6.

Daniel Berry captured the Junior Handicap Singles title with wins over Adam Chalk (3-0), Harrison Matthews (3-1), Ryan Gooday (3-2) and Harry Rogers (3-0). The Final against Harry Rogers was particularly closely fought with Daniel winning 12-10, 12-10, 14-12.

Sunday's play was dominated by the Divisional Singles clashes and there was a third successive triumph for Waseem Qureshi in the Divison two Singles. Waseem beat Daniel Berry 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 in the Final having beaten Ryan Pitt 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 in the Semi-Final and Peter Windley 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 in the Quarter-Final. Daniel Berry battled his way through to the Final by getting the better of Chris Hancox (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7), Daniel Richardson in five ends (12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4) and Ciaran Whelan (6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8).

Ciaran Whelan, the no. one seed came out on top in the Division three singles. He needed four games to get the better of Cameron Gray 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5 followed by three very close games as he saw off Dan Anderson (11-9, 11-9, 11-9) and in the Final he beat David Gatherall 11-8, 11-5, 11-6. David Gatherall had seen off Steve Siggs (12-10, 11-7, 11-4), Daniel Richardson (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6) and most impressively Robert Shrimpton in the semi-Final (11-7, 11-5, 4-11, 11-4).

Roger Hance, another player who was the top seed was the winner of the Division four singles title. It took five very close games for him to finally get the better of Mark Glenister in the first round (6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9) and he beat Colin Barham 16-14, 11-8, 11-4 in the Semi-Final. He captured the title by getting the better of Charles Yeung 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7 in the Final. Charles Yeung had battled his way to the Final with hard-fought wins over David Gatherall (11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6) and Dave Moles (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5).
From a small entry Roger Hance also came out on top in the Division five Singles. He beat Mark Glenister 11-4, 11-9, 13-15, 11-8 in the crunch encounter.

Entries were down in this year's Handicap Singles event. Mark Glenister (playing off a handicap of 51) always looked a strong contender to take the title and he did so without dropping an end. He bear Reece Seddon (21-15, 21-12), Charles Yeung (21-14, 21-18), Dan Anderson (21-15, 21-12), Ken Sheard (21-17, 21-16) and in the Final he defeated Ryan Gooday (21-12, 21-16).

In the Handicap Doubles it was Ciaran Whelan paired with Ken Sheard who came out on top. They beat Trevor Collin / Mark Glenister in the Final to capture the title.

Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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Press Report issued on 24 January 2016

Entries are up for M&G Investments 2016 Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Championships

Entries are up for the 2016 M&G Investments Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Closed Championships with 86 players having entered this year. The preliminary stages will take place over the weekend of Friday 29 to Sunday 31 January 2016 at Hylands School, Chelmsford Road, Chelmsford, CM1 3ET. Admission is free and all who are interested in watching are very welcome to drop in over the weekend.

The Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Committee are extremely grateful for the very generous sponsorship they have received of the Tournament from M&G Investments which dates back to 1999. Anna Emtage - Charity & Community Relations Manager at M&G Investments had this to say "M&G Investments is delighted to sponsor the 2016 Tournament. This will be the Company's sixteenth consecutive year of sponsorship and I am sure the competition will be as exciting as ever."

The blue riband event as always is the Mens Singles and last year's Champion Ben Warner will be out to regain his title. He will face fierce competition from the second seed - last year's Southend Mens Singles Champion - Tony Halling and a plethora of other strong players which include the other ten seeded players who are favourites to win their Groups. These are four times Champion David Cole, three other former Champions Alex Abbott (the winner in 2012 and 2013), Rik James (the Champion in 1998) and Keiran Lally (the winner in 2003), last year's runner-up Brandon Crouchman, 2014 runner-up Mindaugas Sinkus, impressive newcomers Sam Hume and Reece Seddon and former Semi-Finalists Paul Davison and Gary Young.

With two players to qualify for the main draw from each group two groups stand out. Group 13 is certainly going to be  "unlucky" for someone as it features Rik James, Steve Kerns, Charles Sweeney and Cameron Gray whilst Group 12 pairs up Brandon Crouchman, Scott Dowsett, John Cleasby and Chris Hancox.

In recent years the Mens Doubles has been one of the most open events and this year is no exception. There are only four seeded pairs. The holders Brandon Crouchman and Scott Dowsett are top seeds whilst Tony Halling / Ben Warner are seeded second. The joint third seeds are 2014 Champions - Gary Young / Steve Kerns and another strong pairing - Mindaugas Sinkus / Keiran Lally. Somewhat surprisingly last years runner's up - Dave Cole / Rik James and new pairing Paul Davison / Alex Abbott are not seeded this year.

Julie Johnson hasn't played in the League this year owing to injury so her seven year run of Ladies Singles titles will certainly be coming to an end. In Julie's absence Dawn Baldry is favourite and she will face tough opposition from Jan Fuller, Shirley Carroll, Lin Attridge and Jacqueline Smith.

Last year's Champions Shirley Carroll / Steve Whiteley start as favourites in the Mixed Doubles and they face tough opposition from new pairing Lin Attridge / David Cole as well as Jan Fuller / Alex Abbott and last year's losing finalists - Ciaran Whelan / Dawn Baldry.

David Cole is top seed in the Veterans Singles as befits his status as Holder and in a strong event he is seeded to meet Alex Abbott in the final. Third seeds Rik James and Gary Young will both be out to deny them their Finals Night appearance whilst the other players who are seeded to win their groups - Glenn Johnson, John Cleasby, Steve Kerns, Ian Whiteside, Steve Whiteley and Hamish Innes will all be hoping to upset the rankings.

The holders Gary Young / Steve Kerns will be hoping to win the Veterans Doubles again but they will be tested by last year's runners-up Dave Cole / Rik James as well as other tricky pairings such as Andrew Huckson / Adam Buxton, John Cleasby / Gary Cattermole, Steve Whiteley / Ian Whiteside and Alex Abbott / Jan Fuller.

The Under 21 Singles should be hotly contested this year and the holder Brandon Crouchman, who played so well in last year's tournament will face really tough competition from newcomer Sam Hume as well as the 2014 Champion Scott Dowsett and Ryan Gooday and Daniel Berry.

The Divisional Singles events will dominate Sunday's play and Waseem Qureshi will be trying to win the Division two event for a third successive year. He will face tough opposition from the likes of Ryan Gooday, Robert Shrimpton, Daniel Berry, Neil Freeman, Andrew Huckson, Ryan Pitt and Peter Windley.

Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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Press Report issued on 17 January 2016

Danbury A race to yet another 10-0 win

One of the main features of this year’s action in the first division of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League (and not necessarily one of the best features either) is the number of matches which have been decided 10-0. Leaders and probable Champions Danbury A who have scored 93 points out of a possible 100 to date lead the way and they again won 10-0 this week defeating Danbury B. Minda Sinkus, Gary Young and Reece Seddon were all undefeated. Second-placed Bocking also won 10-0 against OCs B. Rik James, Dave Cole and Sam Hume were equally dominant.

In contrast to division one where Danbury A are setting an unstoppable pace division two is proving to
be much more closely fought. Chelmsford A lead the way with 68 points out of 100 and this week they were held to a 5-5 draw by fourth-placed Liberal. Steve Pennell shone for Liberal with a hat-trick of victories whilst Ryan Gooday and Waseem Qureshi both won twice for the Chelmsford side. Ryan Gooday secured the
draw for the Chelmsford team by getting the better of Hector Rogers 7-11, 15-13, 8-11, 11-5, 13-11 in the last game of the night. OCs C had Daniel Berry to thank as they beat Hatfield Peverel A 6-4. Berry recorded a hat-trick of wins over Gareth Davies (3-0), Neil Freeman (3-2) and Paul Mulley (3-0). Rawreth &
Hullbridge ran out 6-4 winners against Danbury E. Barrie Delf won his three singles. Hatfield Peverel B have jumped into third place. They beat Danbury D 7-3 after Gary Ward had won his three singles. Steve Buer won twice for the Danbury team and this included a last-gasp 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-13, 12-10 success against John Parodi - which was the closest game of the evening.

Chelmsford C were the week’s big winners in division three and they impressed by beating OCs 9-1. Calvin Harvey (three wins), Victor Chan (two wins) and Paul Nicol (three wins) were all on top form. The match between Danbury F and Danbury G finished tied at 5-5. Dave Marsh won his three singles for Danbury F
whilst George Ashley and Cameron Gray both won twice for Danbury G. Chelmsford B climbed into third place by beating OCs D 7-3. Alastair Piper dominated proceedings beating Nat Ravlic (3-0), Charlie Mariner (3-0) and Tom Barker (3-1). Tom Barker came through a very hard test against Dave Parker (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9).

In division four second-placed  Danbury J recorded their fifth win of the Season by beating Danbury K 8-2. Dave Goody led the way with a hat-trick whilst team-mates  Rob Kneale and Dave Powell both won twice. Goody
was locked against Kevin Willis at 2-2 in their last match of the nigth encounter before he surged clear in the fifth end to seal a 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-1 victory.

Second-placed Writtle were 9-1 winners in division five against Chelmsford F. Frank Neill (three wins), Colin Griffiths (three wins) and David Meah (two wins) dominated with Jacqui Smith replying for the losers.
John Wickins did well to win his three singles for Chelmsford G who beat Hatfield Peverel 7-3. Wickins defeated Andy Whiley (3-0), Peter Mortensen (3-2) and Andy Simmonds (3-1). OCs H ran out 6-4 winners against Elmtree Excalibur E although it was Elmtree’s Melanie Bonnett who starred. She beat Tanishq Kotwal (3-0), Tejas Kotwal (3-1) and Lawrence Bartlett (3-0).

Buttsbury A (James Hughes and Tom Picton)  continue to set the pace in the CLICK League and they ran out 4-1 winners against Buttsbury B. Tom Picton won both of his singles which included a very hard-fought 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8 success against Matthew Elliott.

Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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Press Report issued on 10 January 2016

Steve Pennell in fine form - but Liberal drop back to fourth place

Liberal were involved in two close matches in division two of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League but despite two excellent performances from Steve Pennell who was undefeated in his six singles they failed to win either match and they have now dropped back to fourth place. They drew 5-5 with Rawreth A - with Pennell completing his hat-trick of wins by fighting back from 2-0 down to get the better of Simon Jacob 2-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10. Pennell had previously defeated Gus Heath 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 and Paul Churn 9-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-8. Liberal also missed out against Hatfield Peverel B 6-4. Pennell impressed here by downing the challenge of the hard-hitting Gary Ward - 11-8, 4-11, 12-10, 11-9.

Elmtree Excalibur C have stolen a march on their rivals in division three and they now lead the table by
seven points with a game in hand. Phil Smith led the way with a hat-trick of wins against Danbury F whilst Dave Marsh won twice for the losers in a match in which Elmtree emerged as 8-2 winners. Marsh defeated Louis Brown 9-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-5, 13-11 in the closest game of the night. Danbury F fared better against Chelmsford  C - Dave Marsh was again their most successful player in a match which they won 6-4. Marsh
impressed in all three of his singles. He beat Bob Francis 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 and then Paul Nicol 15-17, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5 and finally Mark Allaway in five ends : 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7.

In division five there was an evenly contested match between Chelmsford G and Galleywood D. It finished tied at 5-5 after Mark Glenister had won his three singles for the Galleywood side and Michael Whelpdale and John Wickens had both won twice for  the Chelmsford team. The very experienced Danbury L team who are currently in second place were handsome 10-0 winners over Chelmsford F. Norman Hayes, Roger Tiffin and Dave Whiting were all undefeated.

In the CLICK League Buttsbury B - Alex Headley (one win) and Matthew Elliott (two wins) ran out 4-1 winners against Old Chelmsfordians J. The doubles turned out to be the most gripping encounter of the evening and Headley and Elliott finally defeated Harry Rogers and Alan Whitmore 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 13-15, 12-10 to secure their 4-1 victory. Chelmsford J beat Black Notley 3-2. Chelmsford‘s Connor Payne played the starring role by beating  Lawrence Grantham 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 14-12 and Peter Hull 11-6, 11-6, 11-5.   

Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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Press Report - Issued on 03 January 2016

Louis Brown seals Elmtree victory after tight encounter

The Christmas break in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League gives teams a chance to play their Cup matches and this year’s Handicap Knock Out Cup produced a number of closely fought clashes. Handicap Cup Matches are played over the old format of best of three games up to 21 points.

Elmtree emerged as 5-4 winners over OCs A. Louis Brown (playing off a Handicap of 58) who had lost his previous two singles to David Porter and Terry Dowsett emerged as the unlikely hero by beating Mick Hayes (minus 57) decisively 21-15, 21-11 in the all important final encounter.  

Danbury D also ran out as 5-4 winners. They beat Elmtree Excalibur C in a match where Rob Kneale (minus 57) starred. He beat Alan Offord (21-14, 21-18), Steve Siggs (21-14, 17-21, 21-13) and with the scores tied at 4-4 he saw off the challenge of Dave Moles (17-21, 21-18, 21-13).

Danbury E also made it through to the third round of the Handicap Cup Competition by beating Hatfield Peverel A 5-3. Roger Tiffin (minus 53) was their star-performer and he contributed two-straight victories over Gareth Davies (21-19, 21-12) and Guy McKenzie (22-20, 21-14).  Kevin Willis overturned the loss of the first leg by sealing the victory by getting the better of Gareth Davies quite decisively 17-21, 21-6, 21-9.

OCs A booked their place in the Semi-Finals of the Mixed Knock-Out Cup by beating Elmtree Excalibur A 5-3. Elmtree’s Paul Sturton was involved in two five enders. He beat Trevor Carter 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-3 after a widely fluctuating encounter but he missed out against John Cleasby  13-15, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5, 8-11 in the match which ultimately secured the OCs’ side’s victory. Lin Attridge overturned a narrow first end defeat to get the better of Sue Hickman 20-22, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4.

Elmtree C also progressed in the Mixed Knock-Out Cup and they beat their B side 5-2. Melanie Bonnett made her presence felt by beating both Nicola Pippen 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 and Keith Pallett 11-7, 11-5, 11-5.

Happy New Year to all the players and officials of Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

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