WEEK 1 REPORT
Premier Division - DRS - Duncan Taylor
It was great to see competitive table tennis return to the Southend & District Table Tennis League this week after the break enforced on us by the pandemic. A great chance for players to see where their skills were at as well as catching up with teammates they haven’t seen for some time.
There were 4 games on the Premier division to report on, two one sided affairs and a couple of closer battles. The two 9-0 whitewashes were recorded by the two Thorpe Bay sides with Thorpe Bay B taking the spoils over Hadleigh Forum A with maximum wins for Gurj Bhambra, Kieran Skeggs and new signing Keith Willett. Thorpe Bay A continued where they left off pre-pandemic and they recorded a 9-0 win over a two-man Rayleigh Mill side. The score doesn’t tell the whole story as three of the six games on the night went to a 5th end with Thorpe Bay taking each of the deciding ends.
The closest game of the week came in a 5-4 win for Brand Identity over Irons A with no one of the six players going without a win on the night. Simon Jacob proving the difference with three good wins over Stuart Gibbs, Richard Brown and Dave Bowles.
Irons B had better fortunes than their A side as they opened their campaign with a 7-2 win over Rawreth B. Keith Adams was the man of the match with three wins ably supported by teammates Debby Auvache and Norbert Fullerton who weighed in with two wins a piece. Eric Green proved the thorn in the Irons side with two wins for the Rawreth team.
Division 1 - DRS - David Barnes
The first week of the SDTTL re-start season has highlighted in Division 1 some who have clearly managed to keep their sharpness, whilst others were isolating a little too much from the sport.
Three teams had an easy passage – Hockley B, Brand Identity B and the re-badged Mapledene.
Hockley B easily overcame Invicta A 9 – 0. Dennis Squirrell and Keith Abbott ably supporting POM Andy Cunningham.
Brand Identity B were too hot for Hockley C but did have to call on some big guns in the shape of POM Barrie Delf and David Jacob. The home side’s Adam Jackman was also unbeaten.
Mapledene are a breakaway club from Hullbridge. Their experienced side of Andy Seaman, Bill Smith and Dawn Baldry had too much guile for the young newcomers from Ashingdon.
Players from both Stanford Le Hope A and Hadleigh Forum B clearly hadn’t got the message that the season had started – both sides could only muster two players each, creating an unusual 6 – 2 score line. Stanford’s Russell Bright and Peter Weatherall were unbeaten.
In a close contest, Rawreth C overcame visitors Canvey A 5 – 4. Justin Jeffery was the star for the home side, winning all his matches, although he was pushed all the way by Andrew Murray and Ray Wilson. Chris Nunn got Rawreth’s other points, whilst Ray won two for Canvey and Terry Giddens and Andy won one each.
The other Rawreth side, their D team, returned an identical score in overcoming Hockley D. Hockley’s Joerg Poeschus must consider himself unlucky to end up on the losing side, despite picking up the POM award with three wins. However, two victories each from Noah Unstead and George Davis, with an all-important single contribution from Charlie Kauders Boothby gave the home side the win. There was a single win for the visitor’s Rahim Hossenbux.
Division 2 - DRS - Paul Strutt
If the first week’s results in Division 2 are anything to go by then it's going to be a very close and hard-fought Division. Of the 6 matches played three of them finished 5-4, all won by the away side, and the other 3 all ended 6-3.
On paper two of the stronger teams met at RESSC where Richard Gill led team mates Kevin Smart and Ron Coutts to a 6-3 win over Wakering. Richard's hat trick helped his team fight back from a 3-2 deficit with two wins for Kevin and one for Ron. Zac England, Paul England and Stew Mills all picked up a point each. Four of the matches went to five sets.
Invicta B were always in control in their 6-3 win against Stanford C. Victor Wei led the way with three wins supported by a pair from Mike Keeble and one for Jeff Gritzman. Mark Farley weighed in with a brace for Stanford plus one point for debutant Steve King. Steve was not far off a second win leading Mike 2-0 before succumbing 11/9 in the fifth set.
Hadleigh Forum D also eased to a 6-3 win against Hockley F. David Thomas with a hat trick, Sineh Ball two wins and one for Jean Catley did the damage whilst Hockley replied with a brace from Graham Gregory and a hard fought five set win for Hermann Maier against Jean.
Stanford D were never in front against Invicta C losing 5-4 with Keith Baxter taking the honours with his hat trick. Trish Winter won the other two points required whilst there was a brace also for Vaughan Chambers of Stanford and a point each for Mark Downey and James Parker.
Hockley E also always had the edge over Customs. Dave Cross's hat trick leading the way whilst there was a point each for Ron Rogerson and Benedict Brown. Richard Kidd and Amar Al-Soufi shared the points for Customs and Amar's game against Dave proved to be the turning point, Dave coming back from two sets down to win.
Canvey C's game against Stanford B looked to be going their way as they led 2-0 but good all-round play from the Stanford team of Rob Salvage, Saad Abdullah and John Handscombe gave them a 5-4 victory in the end. Braces for Rob and Saad and one for John whilst Archie Blackburn and Lewis Pattle shared Canvey's points.
Division 2 Team of the week - Stanford B & Player of the week - Richard Gill