Summer League 2014 – Final report
There are a few results left to filter through (please check if you are one of them) but none of those left will affect the winners of each of the Divisions.
In the First Division, Paul Brown from Lentern set out on an ‘Abramovich style’ signing of every available premier player before the season started and set out his stall to win the Division. In the end they did so comfortably without suffering any losses by some 30 point margin. 11 different players were used, 6 of whom managed to retain their 100% Individual records. Paul played himself in a number of games and despite being a bit ‘rusty’ and ‘really needing to play a lot more’ managed to get an 87.5% Individual record, losing only to Kim Shead from Warehouse (who says he picks his games!).
Other notable players were Minda Sinkus and Wally Bada who may be playing in the Winter League for Lentern, where Paul again is trying to get together a team to mount a formidable challenge against the Big 3.
Hullbridge A finished in second spot and had a very consistent Summer, with young Sid Dorn finishing top of the Individual averages with 70% and a few notable scalps (Chris Jacob and Charlie Bates among others) with Matt Rolfe being very consistent too and in his own words, ‘playing some good table tennis’, finishing with 68.75% Individual Record and 3 Player of the match awards.
The rest of the teams were not far behind, and were probably all capable of beating each other on the day.
Finally we come to the Sandpaper Boys, who were welcomed into this league to try their skills against ‘normal’ players. Almost everyone enjoyed their games against this team with Hardbat specialist, Fred Dove, showing most teams what could be achieved with a plank of wood with a rough surface. Again, it has just been stated by the SDTTL committee that Sandpaper bats will be allowed in the premier division of the Winter League so it should be entertaining to see how Fred and others can get on against the best in Southend.
In the Second Division the champion spot was decided on the last week of the season. All year, Bluehouse had kept in the top spot, with Hadleigh Forum chasing them all the way. With Hadleigh Forum winning their last game 7-2 it left the previously unbeaten Bluehouse team just to require a win (5 points) to take the title. Their opponents, Canvey A, on the night had other ideas however, and with the game tied at 4-4 it came down to the final doubles match. With the inspired Gavin Warner having an unbeaten night ,Canvey edged home 12-10 in the fifth set to win 5-4 and leave Bluehouse with their first defeat of the season and losing the title to Hadleigh by the slightest of margins (1 point). Hadleigh took the title unexpectedly and it even had John Tendler ringing in to find out the Canvey result in the final week!! Hadleigh’s team of Tony Jacks, Dave Woolmer, John Tendler, Anthon and Paul Reed all contributed to their wins and deserved it for not giving up, but you can’t help thinking that Bluehouse lost it in the final two weeks.
Kingswood B were in 3rd a further 30 points behind in a very closely fought and enjoyable league.
In division 3, the youngsters of Hullbridge E (not including Howard) were never out of the top three all year. Only losing two games overall, they took over top spot in the final week from Runnymede with a 9-0 win. Excellent Individual performances from Justin Jeffery (4 x POM) , Zoe Davies (3x POM) and Dan Payne (3xPOM), ably supported by Sam Fullick and Emily Smith helped them to the title by 3 points.
Runnymede themselves only lost 3 all year and finished 2nd , unfortunately two of those games were in the final 2 weeks to Hullbridge E and Castle Point B. Indeed, Castle Point B finished 3rd and with a bit more consistency could have been challenging having won against both the teams above them, inflicting the biggest loss, 6-3, against the Hullbridge E juniors. Dmitry Kisil and Phil Digby finished top Individual scorers for Runnymede and were undefeated in Doubles together and should look forward to an enjoyable Winter League. Martin Roberts and Tony Ayliffe were top for Castle Point and undefeated in 11 Doubles, a record unsurpassed by anyone else in the League.
Finally we have a look at Division 4. This division was dominated by Basildon Hospital who remained undefeated and won by some 40 point margin, averaging over 8 points a game. They played with 8 different players during the season, but all averaged over 70% in the Individual records. They should look forward to a good season in the Winter League where they might be placed in a Division more suited to their abilities.
Invicta B finished in 2nd with the senior players of John Golding and Mike Keeble, supported by Matt Keeble for the majority of the season able to hold their own in this level of play.
Castle Point C finished in 3rd despite being in second place for most of the first half of the season, postponed fixtures and unavailable players catching up with them.
All in all, an enjoyable season with many close games and victories, and more importantly, it keeps players ticking over ready for the new Winter Season to start.
Thanks to everyone, captains and players, for making it successful and keeping the results coming in on time and one last thought, if your phone rings in the next couple of weeks, it could be Paul Brown on the other end, trying to recruit for the ever-growing Premier Winter league assault!!!
Thanks, Barrie Delf and Chris Jacob