A narrow victory for Hockley A to kick us off this week as Chris Ballard’s three wins led them to a 5-4 win over Rawreth B for whom Tim Cramphorn and Babul McLeod both won two matches each. A second game that went down to the wire was Rayleigh Mill’s 5-4 win over Hullbridge C. Three wins for Duncan Taylor and two for Colin Chatfield were just enough to see the Millers Home. Hullbridge’s top performer on the night was Daniel Young who recorded wins over Chatfield and Steve Maltby.
Hullbridge B recorded a comprehensive 8-1 win over Warehouse B with Django Fung (pictured) and Glenn Johnson going unbeaten. Mark Rudland picking up the solitary win for Warehouse against Norbert Fullerton. And we saw another 8-1 scoreline as Hullbridge A overcame Stanford le Hope. Man of the match Richard Brown was joined on three wins by Stuart Gibbs with Dave Bowles only being denied his hattrick by Arron Chandler.
At the top of the table Thorpe Bay A have now climbed up to equal first in the division by winning their game in hand against Hadleigh Forum 9-0. It was always going to be a tough ask for Forum to get anything from this game but their task was made harder by only being able to field two players. It must have been an early night or trip to the pub as all six games on the night were decided in three ends.
Report by Duncan Taylor
Lentern A returned to winning form with a bang by beating a two-man Customs A by 8-1. Peter Cranmer and Martin Archie were in top form both beating Roy Thomas and unbeaten on the night, with John Lott adding the final two points. Brian Rackham This leaves them in a commanding position at the top with Customs comfortably in mid-table.
RESSC put in a good result to post a rare loss for Hockley B by 5-4, adding some vital points to help with the relegation battle. Kevin Smart and Mike Worship scored two each with Dave Norris adding the final point for RESSC. Dave Colwill battled bravely taking all three on the night for Hockley, but Stuart Adshead was only able to add one more win for the side. Dennis Squirrell played well but lacked game time to make any impact on the night.
Invicta A had another good 6-3 win over Lentern B to push them into 3rd place. Captain, Steve Marr led the way with a hard-earned hat trick, supported by Tony Ayliffe with two and Mike Piper with one. Gus Heath put up most resistance for the home team taking two points, with Pat White taking one for Lentern too. This leaves Lentern 3rd from bottom and still needing points to ease relegation worries.
Hullbridge D returned to winning form with a 6-3 win over two-person Brand Identity B. Andy Seaman led the way with three (only his second of the campaign), Bill Smith with two and Lin Roff with one. David Jacob did well to score two and Kelly scored one for the Brand team. The third player was traffic-delayed and unable to get to the fixture. Brand should have enough points now to stay up and look to build on this next season.
Hadleigh Forum B had a tough night against Hullbridge E, eventually losing the match 5-4. This was a brilliant match, in which all players made a contribution, and it was only decided in Hullbridge's favour at deuce in the fifth set of the final end when Ben Matthews went for broke and hit 2 shots that were so powerful that not even the umpire could tell whether they had hit the table. With these winners, Ben gained his revenge over John Tendler who had beaten him in a close match in the reverse fixture, again in the final end, to secure a win for his team. Full credit on this occasion must be given to Hullbridge youngsters, Joe Buscombe and Harrison Sadler, who both recorded excellent wins over very experienced opponents. Indeed it was Joe who set the tone in the first game by overcoming the wily, John Tendler (age difference 60 years+) in 4 sets.
In the final match this week, Rawreth C had a close 5-4 win over two-man Canvey A. Garry Hartgrove led the way unbeaten, with Gary McCarthy and Trevor Ward adding a forfeit point each for the overall win. Peter Cray and Ray Wilson made the score respectable with two wins each.
Report by Barrie Delf
With only three games to go for most of the top teams Stanford Le Hope D have now put themselves firmly in the driving seat for the title and promotion as, after beating then leaders Hockley E 9-0 last week, they hammered fellow promotion rivals Hullbridge G 8-1 to put themselves 5 points clear at the top of the table.
Andy Roff gave Hullbridge the best of starts by beating Mark Farley but after that it was Stanford all the way as Dan Harris and Tony Papasifakis racked up hat tricks and Mark won his other two games. Lindsay Johnson-Farge put up stiff resistance taking Tony and Mark to five sets but this result leaves Stanford in a very good place.
They do have two crucial matches left to play however, facing both their own C team and Customs B who, with five games left to play, are still a big threat to Stanford’s title aspirations.
Still in there fighting after the disastrous result the previous week are Hockley E, who came away with a very welcome 8-1 win at Canvey D. Hockley had Tubby Henlen and young Ben Cook back in the side this week and they both recorded hat tricks whilst Ron Rogerson picked up a brace. Tubby was taken all the way by Geoff Banthorpe and Ray Baker but Ben picked up the MOTM honours winning all his games in four sets.
Stanford’s C team’s hopes took a slight knock this week as they just edged out Hullbridge H 5-4. Mark Downey steered them home winning his three and debutant Rob Salvage won two but there was no joy for fellow debut maker James Parker. Joey Page led the Hullbridge resistance with two wins and Josh Jones and Charlie Bartlett won one each. Stanford were always in charge of this match but were in fact 4-1 up at one stage so let a good lead slip. They sit third in the table nine points behind their D team.
The final game of the week saw Rawreth H take on Invicta C and, despite the 7-2 score line in favour of Invicta, it turned out to be a very close match with four games going to five sets. Jon Gould was the star man for Invicta recording a fine hat trick and denying Rawreth’s best player Emily Kidd, a hat trick of her own by coming back from 2-0 down in their match. He won the last three sets 13/11, 13/11,11/9. Emily’s other two wins came against Trisha Winter and Keith Baxter both also in five sets. Keith and Trisha both finished with two wins.
Player of the Week - Ben Cook
Team of the Week – Stanford Le Hope D.
Report by Paul Strut