SDTTL 2017-18 Season

After a break for our Annual Closed Championships, we returned to the League with Week 26

·        Premier Division

There was an impressive 8-1 win for Rawreth A over a strong looking Lentern A side of Keith Adams, Charlie Bates and Wale Bada. Kevin Read and Zayd Mauthoor were unbeaten with Charles Sweeney dropping the only match for the victors to Bada.

Rawreth B were also on the right end of a result this week, when they prevailed over Rayleigh Mill by 7-2.  Matt 'hat-trick' Spero was again MoM . However, the match of the evening should probably go to Bruce Kettle, who overcame a very spirited Rob Harris 3-2 after losing the first two sets. Babul McLeod also picked up two wins, beating both Harris and Steve Sawyer, while Colin Chatfield won the two for the Mighty Millers.

Warehouse A were involved in two games this week, the first a 6-3 win against Hockley A, in which there was a terrific brace of wins for Hockley’s Matt Stringer, beating Kim Shead and Martin Turner. But the match of the night was Berti Makolli overcoming Stringer in three ends with smashes and counter-smashes in an all attacking game.

Warehouse’s second game saw a 6-3 reverse to Stanford-le-Hope. There were some incredibly close games and wins over Derrick Pearson by Martin Turner, Kim Shead and Tony Millward, but the Warehouse trio could not get the better of Rahul Sharma and Andrew Paton, who went unbeaten. On this performance in is hard to believe Stanford are at the bottom end of the division.

There was a man of the match performance from Hadleigh Forum A’s John Tendler as he won all three against Hockley A in his side’s 6-3 win. Hockley were hampered by an injury to Harry Small that only saw him complete one game.

There was a fine win for Simon Jacob over Stuart Gibbs in the opening game of the Brand Identity A v Hullbridge A match. That, however, was as good as it got for Brand as Gibbs and team mates Kevin Caldon and Reece Seddon recorded an 8-1 win.

Finally, there was a similar score line as Thorpe Bay B beat Hadleigh Forum B, Ben Mathews with a consolation win against Richard Stubbington.

Duncan Taylor DRS


·        Division 1

During the snow (Week 25), some matches played early on in the week were able to take place, whereas the fixtures from Wednesday to Friday were postponed.

Canvey A were one of those teams with an early fixture and took full advantage by beating Hadleigh Forum C by 9-0 to go top of the table. The Canvey team of Ray Wilson, Terry Giddens and Peter Cray all returned maximums, in a night where no match went further than 4 sets and leaves Hadleigh in a precarious position at the other end of the table, having played more games than their closest rivals.

Warehouse B were another team to push themselves up the table, playing their game in hand, to score a notable win 7-2 against Rawreth C. The match looked very close on paper and with a number of games going to 5 sets on the night, proved right. However, the Warehouse team took full advantage with Southend Restricted winner Mark Rudland scoring a maximum, fully supported with two each by Tony Wright and Tony Millward. A rare outing for Chris Aukett with only his second performance of the year saw him score the two points for Rawreth, with unusually Garry Hartgrove and John Blackman unable to add to the points tally.

In the final match of the week, Brand Identity B played Hullbridge C who were only able to field one player. However, what a player with Rod McLennan taking all 3 games that were played, coming back from 2-1 down in 2 of them,  to provide a maximum 3 points for Hullbridge. Brand take the win, 6-3 due to the forfeit points and a welcome boost to their position to keep Div 1 status.

During the last week (Week 26) the much awaited game between Lentern B and Hullbridge E had to be postponed due to a massive oil spill accident on the A13 on the match day which meant traffic delay and restrictions didn’t allow Hullbridge to be able to get their team to the venue. This will probably now be played at the end of the season and could have a massive influence on who wins the league.

Canvey A again took advantage, this time only able to field two players, but were still able to record a 5-4 win over Brand Identity B. Harry Keys scored an unbeaten maximum with Ray Wilson adding two, with Mike Grout winning the only game for Brand on the night. This enabled Canvey to retain top spot and now lead the table by 7 points having played two games more while Brand are moving steadily away from relegation.

Warehouse B continued their winning streak since December, with their 6th win in a row, by 7-2 over Customs A who lost their first game in 2018. Berti Makolli seems to have found some inspired form and turned in a POTM performance this week with a maximum (Including the scalp of Roy Thomas) and was ably supported by two each from Mark Rudland and Tony Wright. This pushes them into equal 2nd position with Lentern B and a point ahead of Hullbridge E and opens the title race up if they can continue with this form to the end of the season (still having to play Canvey A, Lentern B and Hullbridge E). Roy Thomas scored two for Customs, but losing a close 5 setter to Berti, dropping them to 5th in the table.

Hockley C poured more misery onto a two man Hadleigh Forum C team by winning 8-1 to maintain their mid-table position. Alex Barnetson and Stuart Adshead scored maximums for the Hockley side with two points from Josh Copeland. Graham Farmer scored the consolation point for Hadleigh who look in trouble near the bottom of the division.

In a bottom of the table clash, Invicta A came out on top by 5-4 over Hockley B. Dave Colwill scored a maximum for the Hockley team but with Joe Lock the only other player adding a point ended up on the losing team. Two each by Steve Marr and Mike Piper and a deciding point from Tony Ayliffe was enough to give the Invicta team a slender victory, but both teams will benefit from the points tally.

Finally, Rawreth C returned to winning ways with a 5-4 win over Lentern C. With POTM, Garry Hartgrove on good form and scoring a maximum, Gary McCarthy and Trevor Ward each added a point each to take the victory. Chris Crooks and Peter Lucraft each scored two for Lentern, but Mark Jupe was unable to affect the scoreline. 

Barrie Delf DRS


·        Division 2

James Spencer was in blistering form for Hockley D on their visit to Rawreth E, winning all his games. After a close 4-setter against young Keenan Ford, he then beat Botond Mezo and Andy Deadman in straight sets. Hockley won 6-3 in revenge for their 5-4 defeat earlier in the season. Paul Strutt weighed in with a brace for Hockley and Jim Nariel with one, whilst Andy Dedman also picked up a brace with one for Botond.

Bradley Nunn played up for his Rawreth D team when they entertained Runnymede and did well to record a victory. However, the visitors had the match winner in Dmitry Kisil. Even the rarely-beaten Sam Thompson succumbed to Dmitry. His maximum, with two wins from team mate Barbara Shead, ensured a 5-4 away win.  Sam ended the evening with two wins and Olivia Jones added one more.

Canvey C were under strength for their local derby when they entertained their B team. Two players, Tyler Fleming, and Geoff Banthorpe, played up from Division 3 and acquitted themselves well. In fact, Geoff saved the C team’s blushes by recording a win over Jo Hills. POM Lee McGonagle and Tony Westwell were both unbeaten in their side’s 8 – 1 win. As may have been expected, there was an attritional battle between Geoff and Tony. Tony came out on top in a 5-setter winning in the end 11 – 6 in the fifth.

The youngsters of Hullbridge F had two matches in a short space of time. Firstly, they travelled to Runnymede. Tony Coeshall did his best to stop the visitors’ progress, recording a maximum. However, his was the only resistance, as two wins each for Toby Zeffie, Will Skelt and Harrison Sadler ensured Hullbridge came away with a 6 – 3 win. This was then followed up with a home game against RESSC. This time there was another unbeaten member of the opposition - Mike Worship. However, Mike was supported with one win each from Dave Newton and Ron Coutts to give the electricity men a 5 - 4 win. Will and Harrison again recorded two wins each.

In a game re-scheduled after postponement, Canvey C lost 6 – 3 to visitors Invicta B. Canvey’s man of the season, Andrew Murray, was again unbeaten. However, two wins each for Mike Keeble, Barrie Murphy and David Barnes were enough to give the visitors a rare win.

Stanford Le Hope B’s home match against Basildon Hospital was a close affair. The format followed away win / home win for the whole night. The Medics eventually came out on top, with a 5 – 4 away win, thanks to a hat trick from POM Kevin Smart. 

David Barnes DRS


·        Division 3A

After last week’s false start the second half of the season kicked off with the Division now split in two. Division 3A featuring the top nine teams and Division 3B the rest.

In 3A first half champions Hadleigh Forum made some changes to their regular line up but still came away with a 6-3 win at Invicta C. Ashley Brett won two and Jean Catley one, but it was Satwant Gill who was the MOTM with a hat trick continuing the form he showed at the Southend Championships. Chris Gregory with two and Keith Baxter with one were the points scorers for Invicta. Closest game of the night was Keith against Ashley which saw Ashley nick the win 14/12 in the deciding fifth set.

Talbot Wiseman carried on where he left off in Canvey D’s match against Hockley E his hat trick leading the way for a 6-3 win. Gordon Johnstone weighed in with a brace and Ray Baker with one whilst the ever improving Gary Linzell got two for Hockley together with one for Kevin Blythe. Andrew Strutt missed out on the night.

Closest match of the week was undoubtedly Hullbridge H against Stanford Le Hope where the home side eventually clinched a 5-4 win in the last game of the evening with Bill Hoy coming back from 2-1 down against Mark Downey to win 11/6 in the fifth. No less than five matches went to five sets   three matches going to four, with sets finishing at 19/17 and 16/14.Dave Booroff was the hero on the night with a hat trick with Tony Molisso and Bill adding the other two points. Vaughan Chambers and Zach Bates both got braces for Stanford. Mark missed out losing two of his games in five sets.

Team of the Week Hullbridge H

Player of the Week Dave Booroff

Paul Strutt DRS


·        Division 3B

Only two games to report on in Div 3B but both finished in exciting 5-4 wins for home sides Hockley F and Hullbridge I.

The youngsters of Hullbridge showed they could be a team to watch out for in this division with some good wins against the more experienced heads of Customs. Joseph Buscombe and Ben Hoskins both got braces and Daniel Mansfield one as the home side roared into a 5-2 lead before Customs cut the deficit in the last two games. Amar Al-Soufi with two and Richard Kidd and Alex Clark with one each got the points for the Taxmen. Ben edged the MOTM title just missing out to Amar in five sets but beating Richard and Alex in three. Daniel may have only won one but it was a great victory against Amar coming back from 2-0 down to win 14/12 in the fifth.

Hockley’s match against Hullbridge I went to the wire with MOTM Dave Cross leading his team home with a straight sets victory over Bob Shingleton-Smith in the final game of the evening with the scores level at 4-4. He was backed up by two good wins for Tubby Henlen who was playing for the first time this season after a knee replacement. He beat Bob and Ann Lane but lost 12/10 in the fifth set to Sue Reece to miss out on his hat trick. Alwine Jarvis missed out on the night.

Team of the Week Hockley F

Player of the Week Dave Cross

Paul Strutt DRS

Author: via Southend Table Tennis League
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