2014 Annual Closed Report       

Kevin Caldon, Maxine Abbott, Steve Tilson and Kieran Skeggs are the Winners of the Southend & District Table Tennis League's 2014 Closed Championships' Final Night 

The Southend  & District Table League’s 2014 Annual Closed Championships had their largest  entry for some 20 years: 134 Entries. The Event was run by the Sub Committee of  John Poysden, Kevin Read, George Reeves, Lou Hopkins and ourselves. The Venue  for the main Events was again the popular Rayleigh Leisure Centre. The  Championships were played over the Weekend of February 21st -23rd  February, with our Finals Night, again at the Hullbridge Sports Association on Tuesday  25th February.

Our Finals Evening  commenced with 2 highly entertaining Under  21’s Semi Finals: in the 1st Semi, Thorpe Bay’s Kieran Skeggs beat another Thorpe Bay  player, Adam Deadman 12-10, 11-6,  11-6: a good result as Adam has improved considerable this season. The other  Semi was between Runnymede’s Sid Dorn and Rawreth’s Ben Matthews; Sid upset  the form book with a well eared win 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6.

Next were the Men’s Semi Finals. The first Semi saw  the 2013 Champion, Kevin Read, Rawreth,  play the 2011 Champion, Thorpe Bay’s Alex  Abbott: it was anyone’s guess who would win this. On this occasion, Alex  ran out a comfortable winner, taking the match 11-3, 11-6, 11-3; Kevin’s first defeat  in Southend this season. The other Semi saw a clash between 2 players who, over  the past 2 seasons, have shared the spoils: Runnymede’s Kevin Caldon (2010 Champion) and Rawreth’s Tony Halling. (2004 Champion). This contest went all the way, with  Kevin winning in 5 close sets, 11-8, 6-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7.

Next was the first  Final of the evening, the Under 21s, between Sid Dorn and Kieran Skeggs. Sid took the 1st  Set and a surprise looked on the cards, but the higher ranked Kieran then moved  up a gear to win 9-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-4.

The Next Final was  the Men’s Doubles, a difficult one  to call. It went to 5 Sets, the Title going to  and Kevin  Caldon and Runnymede team mate, Richard  Brown, beating Rawreth’s Charles  Sweeny and Tony Halling 7-11,  11-8, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5.

After the  Interval, former England International Juniors, Brother and Sister, Alex and Maxine Abbott, Hullbridge, were expected to retain their Mixed Doubles Title. However Premier  Divisions’ up and coming Youngsters, Emily  Godfrey, Rawreth and Charlie Bates,  Lentern played some superb Table Tennis to take the Title 9-11, 11-2, 11-8.  11-9.


Next was the Vet’s Singles Final, which was one of  the most eagerly awaited contests for several years, featuring Holder, Kevin Caldon and Steve Tilson, Castle  Point. This was the first Southend Finals appearance since 1983 of former Essex  Closed Champion and England Ranked Junior, Steve Tilson and due to his football  commitments with Basildon Ladies, Steve could only enter this one event at  these Championships: in 1983, then a 17 year old, Steve won both the Southend Junior  and Men’s Singles Titles in the same season: after which, Steve, left the world  of Table Tennis for the Professional Football scene, with Southend United. Steve  has made only fleeting returns to the sport since, but this Season has played  several matches for the Castle Point Table Tennis Club. This season, Steve has  lost only once, to Alex Abbott, a defeat Steve avenged in the Vet’s Semi  Finals. However, Kevin Caldon reached the Finals of the English National over  50s Singles this Season. So this was always going to be a close match and so it  proved. The match went one way, then the other, with Kevin leading 2 sets to  one. Then Steve produced a succession of left handed forehand winners to take  the title 11-4, 5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8. A top Match between 2 top players.
          In the Ladies Singles Final, we were treated  to another close match, between former English Junior International, Maxine Abbott, who was playing her Hullbridge  colleague Lin Attridge, who herself  has played for the England Over 50s, this season. The early lead went to Maxine  who won the first 2 Sets comfortably 11-4, 11-7. But Lin is known for her  fighting qualities and won the next 2 Sets 11-7, 11-3 and moved into a  seemingly unassailable 8-2 lead in the deciding Set. Maxine then produced a  great fight back, to win 11-9: a great Match.

The Final event  of the evening was the Men’s Singles Final. Kevin Caldon (2012 Champion) faced Alex Abbott (2011 Champion). Kevin  eager to reverse his earlier defeat in the Vets Singles, lost the first Set but  came back to take the second. But back came Alex to take the third, only for  Kevin to take the fourth. Kevin then ran away with the 5th and  deciding Set, 11-1 to take the 2014 Title: a great evening for Kevin.

Other Finals played over the Weekend were:-

Ladies Doubles

Maxine Abbott & Zoe Davies


 Caroline  Cole &  Emily Godfrey

O 60s Singles

Terry Guymer


 Chris Jacob

O 70s Singles

Dave Kirston


Peter Pond

U 21 Novice Singles

Sam Nunn


Robbie Appleton

Restricted Events:-

Premier Division

Minda Sinkus


Gurj Bhambra

1st Division

Gary McCarthy


Chris Nunn

2nd Division

Zoe Davies


Paul Henlen

3rd Division

Justin Jeffreys


David Zeffie

Team Events:-

Prem. & 1st comb.

Colin Chatfield &  Anthon Ranjit-Singh


Dave Calleja & Peter Pond

2nd & 3rd comb.

Andy Deadman & Emily Smith


Richard Reibold & Shelley Woolley

Handicap Singles:-

Prem. & 1st comb.

Kim Shead


Dale Gutteridge

2nd & 3rd comb.

Zoe Davies


Ethan Selvester

Plate Events:-


Sue Body


Berti Makolli

U 21’s

Steve Marr


Ethan Selvester

Under 21 Novices

Hassan Qureshi


Finlay Cameron

Men’s Plate Singles:

Keith Abbott, Justin Jeffreys
              & Reece Seddon

Joint Winners

Drawn Doubles 

Ben Mathews &  Andy Deadman


Kim Shead & Zoe Davies

We were treated  to a great Group of Finals with some excellent matches. Our thanks go to the  Hullbridge Sports Association’s Table Tennis Section for setting up the Hall  and allowing us to use their fine facilities; to our colleagues on the Closed  Championships’ Sub Committee - John Poysden, George Reeves, Kevin Read and Lou  Hopkins; to Graham Back and the Warehouse Centre for the use of their Premises  for the Under 21s; to Chris Aukett, Chairman  of the Basildon Table Tennis League for the  use of their Dividers and assembling and bringing them down: to the staff of Rayleigh  Leisure Centre, to Glenn Johnson for the use of his P. A System; to Lesley on  the Bar at Hullbridge; to all those who helped put up the equipment and take it  down and help with Umpiring etc.; and to all of our Members and Families for supporting  these Championships.

And, a special thanks to Paul Reed, who once again ran a Raffle, bought several prizes, obtained prizes from Members / Clubs, sold the tickets, drew the Lucky Numbers and raised £ 167 to be spread over the costs of our Closed and Junior Championships; great effort Paul. Over the past few seasons, Paul has run Raffles at our Closed Championships and our Presentation day and raised a considerable amount of money which helps the Committee to keep the Team entrance Fees to the Minimum. Jan Phillips also ran a raffle for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust, raising over £ 100: well done Jan and to our Members who supported her such worthwhile efforts

Ken Field & Jayne Johnson                                                                                       5th  March 2014

Closed Championships 2014 Photo Album

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