HONOURS EVEN IN TOP CLASS ENCOUNTER

Former England Number One Stuart Gibbs marked his debut for St James with two wins.

An array of star players did battle resulting in the spoils being shared between St James A and H20 Rowhedge A in Division One of the Colchester & District Table Tennis League. The Clacton team put out their strongest possible with former England number one at Junior, Men’s and Vets levels, Stuart Gibbs playing in Colchester for the first time and he was soon into his stride, winning his first two games. However, Steve Joslin proved his class beating Gibbs in three straight sets to complete his maximum. This left Joslin’s team 5-4 up but James Denyer (2 wins) stepped up to win the closest match of the night; -7, 10, -6,10,10 against Michael Andrews (one win) to secure the draw. With only four wins between the two teams this was probably inevitable, with John Monk winning one and Alan Burgess a rare blank. This leaves last season’s champions joint fourth having played seven as have the top three in the closest title race for many years. Tollgate A, previously unbeaten lost two games in as many nights with Gt Horkesley A downing them 7-3 and H20 Rowhedge B 6-4. Richard Goodhand was imperious for Gt Horkesley, winning his three and Aimee Sparkes two, both beating Paul Davison on his first appearance in Colchester for two years. This takes them top, two points ahead of Tollgate with Horkesley’s ‘B’ team third one point behind. Tollgate’s other defeat was largely due to the ever dependable Kevin Gowlett who won three and a vital doubles with David Moss for Rowhedge whilst late stand-in Charlie Fulcher won two as did Greg Green for the second night in succession as his teams injury woes continue. Tollgate B swap places with Pegasus A with Martyn Green unbeaten, steering his team to a 7-3 win over two player opponents.

Pegasus B are the big movers in Division Two going up eight places to fourth following two good wins. The first came at the expense of St James C with both Glen Laing and Tim Huxtable undefeated and Laing once again winning three in the second, a 6-4 win at H20 Rowhedge D. St James B trounced Lawford B 10-0 with Messrs’ Vincent, Hobson and May untroubled but amazingly Lawford equalled this feat against H20 Rowhedge E themselves! Peter Freeborough joined Richard Spence and Mark Seymour, unbeaten.

With just three results from Division Three this week it’s as you were at the top. Gt Horkesley D took advantage to close the gap in fourth place as they beat Pegasus D 6-4. Roger Warren put in a vintage performance with three wins whilst Oliver Reynolds did the same without dropping a set for H20 Rowhedge H in a 5-5 draw at Lawford C. There was a similar score line in the match between Pegasus A and Tollesbury B where Tony Eversden took his fourth player-of-the-match award.

Division Four is currently dominated by two teams who both recorded big wins this week as they share the top spot. Gilberd A beat Pegasus G 10-0 and Tollgate D defeated the Gilberd’s B team 9-1 with Karl Baldwin and Richard Baxter taking maximums. Dedham B stay third despite losing 7-3 at home to H20 Rowhedge I with Peter Giles winning three as he should at this level. They did beat Pegasus G 6-4 however, this despite Doug Green’s maximum for the Marks Tey team. Pegasus E won a close match with Gt Horkesley G, no player was unbeaten. Lawford D saw off Pegasus G 9-1 with Gilberd B accounting for Lawford E 9-1. 

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