Division 2, Week 24
With leaders Hullbridge D’s home game against Hockey C postponed, the teams below them took the opportunity to close the gap.
2nd place Castle Point B were far too strong for struggling Warehouse D, recording a 9 – 0 home win. Regulars Tony Ayliffe, Martin Roberts and Keith Neville were all in fine form.
Canvey B, in 3rd place, went to RESSC and won 7 – 2. Veteran Stan Dyson gained both the home team’s points, whilst unbeaten Tony Westwell was Canvey’s man of the match, ably supported by Talbot Wiseman and Des Duffield.
Hullbridge E visited Rawreth G and won 6 – 3. Two Adams shone - Adam Jackman was man of the match for Hullbridge winning all his games, whilst Adam Deadman won two for Rawreth. Dan Zeffie’s two for the visitors made the win certain.
Canvey C’s youngsters did their survival chances no harm, winning 5 – 4 at home to Basildon Hospital. Archie Blackburn and Ross Warner came to the fore with 2 wins each, but were not able to beat Basildon’s experienced Kieran Wood who claimed a well-deserved hat trick.
However, bottom team Castle Point C are not going to go down without a fight. They went to Warehouse C and, despite a maximum from the home side’s James Spencer, fought well to record a 5 – 4 win. As Warehouse’s Graham Back tells it – “This match had more nip and tuck than an ageing actress (!) and was only decided in Castle Point C's favour in the last game. Colin Smith and David Jacob got a pair apiece for the visitors, with John Beddow getting the extra point” David Barnes
Division 3, Week 24
Absences and injuries make the news this week with Invicta B and Customs B suffering as a result.
Invicta’s Richard Verrinder had to pull out of their match against Hockley D after playing just 2 sets of his first match. A back injury caused the problem and this could mean trouble for Invicta long term as Richard is the top performer in the league this year and this could prove to be a big blow to their promotion hopes. On the night it meant that Hockley came away with a surprise 5-4 win Brian Parker winning both his singles for Hockley and Chris Gregory and Mike Keeble a brace each for Invicta.
Customs have suffered with player problems – namely not enough of them – all season, and just when it seemed they had turned the corner and were picking up some good results they had to field just one player against Canvey D and two against Hockley E. Not surprisingly they lost 9-0 to Canvey but thanks to a hat trick from Richard Kidd and two for Amar Al-Soufi they still managed a 5-4 win against Hockley.
Rawreth Juniors are still looking for their first win this season but they are now beginning to pick up points more consistently thanks to the form of Keenan Ford, who picked up another two wins against Invicta C and was backed up by a first ever brace for Olivia Jones. Unfortunately they fell just short of the win going down 5-4 but the improvement is there for all to see. Keith Baxter swung the game for Invicta winning all his three. Rawreth get my Team Performance of the Week award for their efforts.
Player of the Week goes to Martin Scarfe of Hockley F (I’m not biased!), who is enjoying a fine first season in the league and picked up another hat trick against promotion hopefuls Hullbridge G although he finished on the losing side as they went down 5-4. Dave Booroff and Tony Molisso both picked up two wins and Bill Hoy one. David Chenery got the other Hockley point.
These results leave Invicta B still top but only by three points from Canvey D who have a game in hand. Hullbridge G are third, eight points behind but five in front of their F team who have two games in hand