Premier Division

After the excitement of the Southend District Table Tennis Closed Championships at the weekend it was back to league action in week 20 of the Southend Premier division.

Runnymede hit top spot albeit having played one game more than second place Rawreth A, as they demolished Hullbridge C 9-0. Maximum points were ensured with wins from Stuart Gibbs, Richard Brown and Pete Saunders.

As the match report submitted states, any number of sporting clichés could be applied to Rawreth B’s 9-0 win over Hadleigh Forum. The score, apparently, “did not reflect the game’ and Forum failed to have “the rub of the green”, but the fact remained that all the points went to the Rawreth outfit.

 Leaders Rawreth A were without recently crowned Southend Men’s Singles champion, Tony Halling but were helped this week by only having to face a two man Hullbridge B side. There was a good win for Fred Dove over Kevin Read but that was all Hullbridge had to show from the night as maximums from Charles Sweeney and George Reeves contributed to an 8-1 win for Rawreth.

Elsewhere Colin Chatfield was the man of the match as Rayleigh Mill beat Rawreth D 7-2. Chris Nunn had two impressive five set victories over Steve Maltby and Rob Harris for the visitors. 

Castle Point pipped Rawreth C 5-4 mainly thanks to a Steve Tilson hat-trick.  Tilson was ably supported by the two Jacobs, Chris and Simon, who both beat Gary Hartgrove to take the win. Duncan

Division 1

Hadleigh Forum B slipped up in their chase of the leaders and have left those in the 3rd position within striking distance. It was one of those teams, Customs A, who inflicted the 7-2 win over the Forum team. It was the consistent play of POTM Roy Thomas and a gritty unbeaten 3 from Brian Rackham which made up the Lion’s share of the points. Dale Gutteridge added one more with a win over Anthon and took Mick Tappenden to 5 to complete the rout, with Tony Jacks able to pick up a win against Dale too.

The other team on an identical record to Customs was Rawreth E who won by the same margin, 7-2 against Lentern E to remain unbeaten in 2015. The forever improving Justin Jeffery was unbeaten for the away side with Chris Buer and Colin Clements winning 2 each. Wayne Farmer was able to pick up the consolation 2 points for the Lentern side.  

Hadleigh Forum C got back to winning ways with a 6-3 win over Canvey B to leave them firmly rooted to the bottom of the Division. Again, Russell Bright added 3, unbeaten now since October, with Mark Everard adding a further two. Peter Cray put up some resistance for the islanders by adding two but it was not enough to stop the Forum team win. 

 The experienced heads of Canvey A overcame the youngsters of Hullbridge D, 9-0, to add to their worries at the foot of the table. Terry Giddens, Ray Wilson and Gavin Warner were all unbeaten for the Canvey side. Hockley A met their old rivals, Invicta A in the league for the second time and it was the Hockley side who ran out 7-2 winners, Tim Pang and Tony Vassallo winning three each with Keith Abbott adding the last point.

Barrie Delf

Division 2

Runnymede seem to be the team coming up on the rails this season. After a sluggish start they are now making steady progress up the table. Maximums from both Phil Digby and Dmitry Kisil helped them to a 7 – 2 home win over Warehouse D. Only singles from Ro Brett and Tamas Mezo offered any resistance from the visitors.  Micky Baker and Peter Maslanka were both unbeaten in Warehouse C’s 7 – 2 home win over Hullbridge E. Only Paul Ogden and Sue Reece offered any resistance for the visitors.  

Hockley B were again too strong when they visited Castle Point C. A maximum from Matt Stringer and two each from Dennis Squirrell and Paul Strutt did the damage, whist John Beddow got both the home team’s points.  Basildon Hospital edged a close match at Canvey C 5 – 4. Kevin Smart scored a hat trick, whilst Gordon Johnstone and Lee McGonagle won two each for Canvey.  Rawreth F’s Simon Neale was again undefeated this week when his team visited Hullbridge F. Simon was ably abetted by Caroline Cole with her own hat trick. Bill Hoy and Jo Hills shared the home team’s points in a 7 – 2 defeat

David Barnes

Division 3

No doubt about the match of the week in Division 3 when top of the table Invicta B took on second placed and unbeaten Hockley C. The result turned out to be as close as we would have expected but initially it was Invicta who threatened to run away with the match opening up a 3-0 and then 4-1 lead before Hockley fought back to take it to 4-4 and the final decisive game. John Golding for Invicta  and Laurie Witte for Hockley stepped forward for this nerve wracking encounter and, after initially going 1-0 and 2-1 down, it was John who fought back to take the final sets 11-7, 11-8 and clinch the match for Invicta. While this will be an encouraging win for them they have just a 1 point lead at the top and Hockley have 2 games in hand so it will still be a big ask for them go on and claim the title but, exciting times ahead!  

From one very close game to one very one sided game as the youngsters of Hullbridge G disposed of their counterparts from Rawreth J 9-0. James Goddard, Daniel Zeffie and Reece Harris-Griffiths were the winning trio with the only real resistance coming from Zach Harrington who took a set each from James and Daniel and then took Reece all the way to 5 sets but lost 11-6 in the fifth. Hullbridge stay 3rd in the League.  Hullbridge didn’t fare so well in their match from week 20 against Rawreth H. They were unfortunate enough to come up against a very experienced side containing Jan Thorpe and Dave Barnes and not surprisingly both players recorded hat-tricks to lead them to a 6-3 victory. James Goddard, Dan Zeffie and Reece Harris-Griffiths all recorded consolation victories against Pat Townsley.  

One very late result in a match played in week 13 saw Hockley C completely overpower the young Rawreth H side 9-0. In a totally one-sided game no match went to 4 sets and the highest number of points recorded by a Rawreth player in a single set was 6 points. Jon Knight, Matthew Nariel and Stuart Adshead all enjoyed an early night for Hockley!

Paul Strut

Author: via Southend Table Tennis League
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