SDTTL 2016 Closed Championships

The Southend & District Table Tennis League held its annual Closed Championships over the past fortnight, with Final Night being played at the Hullbridge Sports Association on Tuesday 23rd February 2016.

123 players entered the Championships and some 80 players and supporters attended the Finals night and enjoyed some fine Table Tennis.

On Finals night the first matches on were the Under 21 Semi Finals, with Kieran Skeggs and Justin Jeffery first on. Kieran is already one of the Premier's leading players and this showed as he was on top throughout, but Justin, who is in his first year in the Premier, played many good attacking shots and clearly he too is destined for higher things: Kieran taking the match 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-6. In the second Semi, Essex Under 18 No. 1 Junior, Sam Hume, proved too strong for Cameron Gray, who only recently started playing in the Premier, but there were plenty of signs that Cameron will aspire to greater things: Sam winning 11-7, 11-7, 11-6.

Next up were the Men's Semi Finals. The first was Essex first team Captain Matt Spero playing former Basildon Men's Singles Champion, Duncan Taylor. With Matt’s all-out attack and Duncan's high level defence and counter attack, this proved to be a tight and exciting match going all the way to the fifth Set with Matt winning.11-8, 11-13, 4-11, 11-6, 11-4. The second Semi saw favourite Tony Halling against 2012 Southend Champion Alex Abbott. Tony, having recently won the Chelmsford Singles Title, is clearly Essex's top player at present. It was even at one set all. Tony then just edged the 3rd 13-11 and then took a close 4th Set to run out winning 11-6, 9-11, 13-11, 11-9.

Next match on was the Ladies Doubles Final, with the Hullbridge favourites Lin Attridge and Jan Fuller taking on Anne Adlington, Runnymede and another Hullbridge player, Jo Hills. Jo played plenty of attacking shots to compliment Anne's safer approach, but the more experienced players Lin and Jan just had the edge winning 11-2, 13-11, 12-10

The last Final on before the Interval was the Men's Doubles Final, with last year’s Champions Rawreth's Tony Halling and Charles Sweeny facing Hullbridge's Glenn Johnson and Richard Hutchinson. Once again, the sheer high level of Tony, complimented by some fine attacking shots from Charles, proved too much for Glenn and Richard, but there were many good shots from all 4 players, Tony and Charles winning 11-9. 7-11, 11-4, 11-7

After the interval the first match on was the Mixed Doubles Final with Essex County Vets players John Poysden and Lin Attridge facing the very strong combination of Partners Alex Abbott and Jan Fuller. The first 2 Sets were very even with John and Lin winning both 12-10, but they raced away in the 3trd to take the Title 12-10,12-10, 11-3.

Next was the Under 21 Final between last year's winner Sam Hume and Kieran Skeggs. Both have done very well in the Premier Division this year and there was no clear favourite. But Sam's nonstop attack on both wings proved too strong for Kieran on this occasion, Sam taking the Title 13-11, 11-9, 11-8.

The Ladies Singles Final followed and this was a very difficult one to call. Lin Attridge met former Champion Caroline Cole. Both have won many titles and have had success against each other. On this occasion, Lin always had the edge and went in to take her 3rd Title of the evening 11-6, 11-6, 11-5.

The Vet's Singles Final proved to be the ‘Match of the Night’, between former Southend Singles Champion Alex Abbott and Hard Bat specialist Richard Hutchinson, going all the way with 5 very close Sets. Alex continued a nonstop attack on both wings, whilst Richard returned everything and often raced into the Table to produce great counter hits. Richard moved into a 2 Sets to 1 lead, before Alex found another gear to just take the Title 8-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8.              

The final match of the evening, the Men’s Singles Final, was one that was eagerly awaited between probably Essex's current top 2 players. Tony Halling and Matt Spero. On this occasion, Tony’s sheer quality of Serve and attack proved too strong winning 11-5, 11-7, 11-5

Earlier in the Championships there were a number of Events completed, the results of which were:-

Over 60s Singles:  Glenn Johnson beat John Poysden 11-9, 11-7, 11-13, 3-11, 11-7

Over 70s Singles: Mike Worship won a Round Robin, with John Tendler Runner up.

Premier Division Restricted Singles: Kieran Skeggs beat Ross Saxby 5-11, 3-11, 11-7, 13-11, 13-11

1st Division Restricted Singles: Tim Pang beat Dave Colwill 14-12, 11-9, 11-5

2nd Division Restricted Singles: Caroline Cole beat Reece Harris-Griffiths 7-15, 15-5, 15-6

3rd Division Restricted Singles: Harry Keys beat Craig Aukett 15-12, 15-5

Premier & 1st Division Handicap Singles: Ross Saxby beat Sam Hume 22-24, 21-19, 21-19

2nd and 3rd Division Handicap Singles: Harry Keys beat Craig Aukett 22-20, 21-18

Premier & 1st Division Team Event: Sam Hume and Tony Millward beat Gurj Bhambra & Graham Farmer

Plate Singles: Sam Hum beat Barrie Delf 11-4, 11-6, 11-8

Due to the lack of time available, 2 Events were unfinished:-

The Vet's Doubles: It has been decided to play the Vets Doubles remaining matches in the early part of September at Hullbridge Sports Association. Date to be advised.

The Division 2 and 3 Team Event: This Event is too problematical to rearrange, as it would mean several players turning up to play just a single Set up to 15.

As only one pairing had progressed past the 1st Round and reached the Semi Finals, it has been decided to give them a Medal at our Presentation day on Sunday June 26th at the Rawreth Table Tennis Club,

Rawreth Lane. They are Reece Harris-Griffiths and Olivia Jones.

Thanks for arranging and running these Championships go to:-

Paul Reed - Raffle

Jayne Johnson -Control Desk and preparing the Championships.

Anton Ranjit-Singh – Control Desk for the Vets Day

The Championship Committee of John Poysden, Kevin Read, Charles Sweeny and George Reeves – Seedings and general help

Mel, Andy, Dave Barnes – Control Desk and general help

Graham Back – Settling up the Megazone for the Under 21s.

The Rawreth Table Tennis Club – hosting the over 70s

The Rayleigh Leisure Centre Staff for the whole weekend.

The Hullbridge Sports Association – Finals Night and Howard Grant for setting up on Finals Night.

The Coaches

The Players Families

And the Players

A great Championships, well done everyone,

Best wishes

Ken Field

10th March 2016

SDTTL Closed Championships 2016  - Photo Gallery

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