We start with a  close match between the two top sides in the division that ended 5-4 to Rawreth A. The pivotal game of the evening was between the outstanding players on each side, James Denyer for Thorpe Bay and Steve Tilson (pictured below) for Rawreth. Denyer had several match points in the 5th game but Steve fought back to win 12-10. Then with the match tied at 4-4 Tilson beat Paul Sayer in 4 games to win the match and collect his hat trick.

Elsewhere Brand Identity A pushed Thorpe Bay B all the way this week and narrowly missed out on the win going down 5-4 despite two great wins for Steve Muth over Kieran Skeggs and Gurj Bhambra and for Chris Jacob over Skeggs and Liam Squirrell.

The two matches involving Warehouse sides this week both ended up in 6-3 results. Firstly, the A team went down 6-3 at their temporary home of Clements Hall to Rayleigh Mill. Duncan Taylor was undefeated for the Mill and there were wins for Steve Sawyer (pictured below v Kim Shead) and Steve Maltby over Mark Rudland and Sawyer over Martin Turner in a game with some great hitting and counter hitting rallies. The other Warehouse team were able to record a 6-3 win over Rawreth B who unfortunately were only able to field one player. Luckily for Rawreth that player was Mike Hayes who picked up three wins on the night.

And finally, there was a great win for the young guns of Hullbridge C, Dan Zeffie, Adam Jackman and Harry Keys as they picked up a good 7-2 win over Stanford le Hope A. Zeffie, building on his great hatrick v Warehouse A and Keys both winning all their games added to a win for Jackman over the experienced Derrick Pearson.

Duncan Taylor


At the half way stage and Lentern A continue to lead the Division, closely being chased by Hockley B. Invicta A are the surprise team in third place but are dropping off the pace having only won one of their last four games, likewise the 4th placed team, Hadleigh Forum B who have won 1 of their last three. At the other end of the table, Rawreth D seem to be in trouble and seem to be heading to a quick return to Division 2, followed by Hockley C and a whole raft of teams who are just above the relegation zone.

 Hockley B kept up the pressure this week with a tricky 6-3 win over Invicta A. Antipodean, Dave Colwill led the way with 3 supported by Alex Barnetson with two and Stuart Adshead with one. For Invicta, Steve Marr showed his leadership qualities taking two wins and Tony Ayliffe with a win over Stuart were all that they had to show for their efforts with Mike Piper unable to make any headway.

Hadleigh Forum B had a night to forget, losing 7-2 away to Canvey A. Ray Wilson was the mainstay of the Canvey team, winning all 3, and Andy Murray and Peter Cray added two each. For Hadleigh, John Tendler and Anthon scored one each with Mick Tappended unable to add to the score this week.

 Brand Identity B returned to winning ways with a 5-4 win over resurgent RESSC, whilst they wait to move to their new venue in the New Year. David Jacob took the lead in a week where a lot of the captains put in starring roles, and won all 3 games, with Mike Grout taking two wins. This will be Mike’s last game before planned knee surgery and we wish him well and a speedy recovery. Mike Worship was top player for RESSC taking two with Bob Skews and Ron Coutts with one each.

 Rawreth C had a welcome 6-3 win over Customs A. A good all round team performance saw Colin Clements, Garry Hartgrove and Chris Aukett take two wins each for the Rawreth team. No-one was able to beat Roy Thomas who took all three points for Customs. Dale Gutteridge and Brain Rackham were the customs men who were left looking for a point.

 Finally, Lentern B took on bottom club Rawreth D and came away with an 8-1 win to help boost their points tally. Peter Lucraft and Pat White proved too wily for the Rawreth team scoring a maximum each with Wayne Farmer taking two points. Colin Barham took the consolation point for Rawreth, but leaves them adrift at the bottom and needing a good second half to join the other battling teams.

Wishing you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year,

Barrie Delf


In a rearranged match from earlier in the season, the youngsters of lowly Hullbridge F stunned high-flying Stanford Le Hope B with a 5 – 4 conquest, thanks to a superb hat trick from Ben Hoskins. In a close-fought match Joe Buscombe won their other two points. Veteran Chris Crooks got two for Stanford.

Another match re-arranged from earlier in the season, due to the non-availability of Canvey’s facilities, saw Canvey B overcome visitors Brand Identity C 6 – 3. This victory eases Canvey’s concerns, as the first part of the season was plagued with injuries and absences through serious illness. Des Duffield scored a good hat trick and was well supported by POM Ray Baker. Ray came back from two sets down to win 11-9 in the fifth against Jenne Seibolt. The game between Geoff Banthorpe and Richard Riebold was conceded by Canvey - they were locked in a defensive battle which, at 10.30 pm stood level at 10-all in the third (and one set each). At this point the caretaker came in to lock up and the match had to be abandoned. (Brand Identity are to be applauded for their sportsmanship in allowing this fixture to be re-arranged, rather than trying to claim the points).

 Leaders Hadleigh Forum B continued their inexorable progress towards the title. Only a single win from Warehouse C’s Saurabh Mohal offered any resistance in an 8 – 1 win that saw POM Paul Fawell back to consistent winning ways. Paul was supported by a maximum from Graham Farmer and two from Satwant Gill.

In a very close contest (that didn’t finish until after 11pm) between two sides near the top of the table, home side Wakering edge their match against Hockley D 5 – 4. Zac England was again their star, winning all his games, with Nigel Cook and Paul England chipping in with one win each. Paul Strutt was Hockley’s most successful player taking two wins.

Visitors Stanford Le Hope B were too strong for Canvey C, cruising to an 8 – 1 demolition of the Islanders. Both Brian Spencer and John Handscombe put in strong performances, with both taking hat tricks and Adrian Armstrong adding two wins. However, it was a cracking match; typified by the encounter between Joanna Hills and Adrian, with Jo just managing to scrape by in the fifth 11 – 8.

A Rawreth ‘derby’ match between the F side and the G side, ended with Rawreth F just easing past two-man Rawreth G. Botond Mezo took all the plaudits with an unbeaten performance. However, the visitors were left rueing what might have happened if they’d had a full team.

Runnymede’s Dmitry Kisil was too strong for any of the home side, Rawreth E.  Thanks to one win each from Barbara Shead and Anne Addlington, Runnymede landed a 5 – 4 success. There were two wins apiece for the home team’s Jan Thorpe and Bradley Nunn.

A pedestrian affair between Invicta B and Canvey B ended with the visitors coming out on top 5 – 4. Canvey’s Tony Molisso won all his matches, and Des Duffield recorded two wins. Two successes for Andy Humphris made him the home team’s best player.

David Barnes


Customs B gave themselves a big Christmas present by beating close rivals Hockley E 5-4 which leaves them top of the table by 5 points as they go into the yuletide break. Invicta C and Hockley both have 61 points, Customs 66.

Mark Rose won a crucial five set match against Ron Rogerson coming back from two sets down to give the Taxmen the lead for the first time at 3-2 and they stayed in front after that Richard Kidd wrapping the win up at 5-3 by beating Brian Parker in four sets. Mark and Richard both won two for Customs with Amar Al-Soufi getting the other point. Hockley’s points were shared between Ron and captain Andrew Strutt, a last minute replacement for the injured Alan Tideswell.

Big winners of the week were Invicta C who, after winning the first two matches both in five sets, ran away with the next six games dropping only one set.  Joe Bennett eventually ended that run by beating Jonathan Gould and getting the consolation point for Warehouse. Keith Baxter and Dave Youngman both scored maximums and there were two wins for Jonathan. Invicta take second place from Hockley on the basis of having fewer defeats.

It was a bleak mid winter down at Stanford where Canvey D ran out 7-2 winners despite the efforts of Martin  and Jake Winter who could only pick up a point each. The Islander’s big guns Geoff Banthorpe and Gordon Johnstone both recorded hat tricks and Ray Baker won one to leave them in 6th place moving above Stanford who drop to 7th. That leaves them 14 points behind the leaders.

In the bottom of the table clash between Rawreth H and Hockley F the young pretenders of Rawreth picked up a second successive win for the first time this season winning 6-3 and moving up to 10th place above Warehouse. Hockley stay bottom. Mason Murray, Jake Nelson and Emily Kidd all won two matches whilst Hermann Maier got two for Hockley and Alwine Jarvis the remaining point.

Player of the Week – Geoff Banthorpe

Team of the Week – Rawreth H

Paul Strutt


Author: via Southend Table Tennis League
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