SDTTL Closed Championships 2017

We held our Closed Championships Finals at the Hullbridge Sports Association on Tuesday 28th February, supported by a good attendance.

From the impressive entry of 120 players, we were down to the 14 Players that graced Finals Night.

First match on was the delayed Final from Saturday, the Division 2 Restricted Singles, which saw Harry Keys, Canvey, just edge out Reece Harris Griffiths, Hullbridge 3 Sets to 2. Both these players are amongst Southend strong group of Juniors and displayed a high level of play, coupled with an equally high level of good sportsmanship: a credit to their Coaches.

The Under 21s Singles Semi Final followed. James Goddard, Hullbridge, was forced to withdraw due to injury, giving Harry Keys a place in the Final. In the other Semi, Hullbridge's Sam Hume was too strong for Hockley s Matt Stringer, winning 3 straight, but despite this, Matt has clearly greatly improved this season in his first season in the Premier Division.

Next on was the 2 Men's Semi Finals which involved 4 Essex County Representative players. . In the first, Rawreth's Matt Spero had a good match with Hullbridge's Kevin Caldon, winning 3 Sets to 1. In the other Semi, the current Southend Champion, Tony Halling, Rawreth also played well to win Sets to 1 against Rayleigh Mill's Duncan Taylor.

The final matches of the first half were the 2 Men's Doubles Semi Finals. Kevin Caldon and Hullbridge team mate Richard Brown were first up and they had a close 5 setter with Rawreth's Kevin Read and Duncan Taylor, with Duncan & Kevin just taking it. The other Semi was an all Rawreth A affair, with Tony Halling and Charles Sweeny beating Ross Saxby and George Reeves 3 straight.

After the Interval 5 Finals followed.

Men's Doubles Final. Tony Halling and Charles Sweeny beat Duncan Taylor and Kevin Read in an extremely tight 5 Setter. This was a very entertaining match with the strong defensive play of Duncan, balanced by the powerful attaching shots and counter hitting of Tony, Charles and Kevin: a very entertaining match.

Next was the Under 21s Final, which saw the Essex Under 18s Number 1, Sam Hume prove too strong for the up and coming Harry Keys, Sam winning in straight Sets, but with Harry showing that he is clearly going to reach much higher levels. Again both players hit many fine shots and both showed top level sportsmanship.

The Vet's Singles Final followed, which saw the first Finals Night appearance of leading Essex player, Thorpe Bay's Paul Sayer, who moved into our area last year. It was always going to be difficult for Paul as he was up against highly nationally ranked Kevin Caldon. Kevin took the first 2 Sets, then a fight back by Paul saw him take the 3rd, before Kevin wrapped it up in the 4th: again both players producing many fine shots.

The Ladies Singles Final was the penultimate match. This saw perennial Ladies Singles Champion, Hullbridge's Linda Roff add another title to the many she has won, beating another player new to our Closed Finals Night, Tina Hutchinson of Runnymede. Tina was a former Southend Junior star, who returned to the sport last year. Although losing in straight Sets, Tina played a strong attacking game on both wings, with many winning shots, but Linda showed why she regularly represents her County and Country with her powerful all round play.

The eagerly awaited Men's Singles Final was everything that we all hoped for, with an array of top class attaching shots on both sides of the table from Essex County Stars, Tony Halling and Matt Spero, an all Rawreth affair. To add to the interest, both players have top level serves. Tony won in 3 straight Sets, but the contest was much closer than the scores suggests.

This concluded the play.

Our Chairman, Ken Field, thanked:-

·        Jayne Johnson, Chairman of the Hullbridge Sports Association for the use of their fine Venue. He also thanked Stuart Gibbs and Dave Bowles for setting the Room up and Lesley and Kelly behind the Bar.

·        Our Umpires for the evening: National Umpire Linda Roff, Stuart Gibbs, Dave Calleya and Paul Brown.

·        All those who had played their part in making the Southend League's 89th Annual Championships another successful one. There had been a lot of support in the various areas that go towards making the Championships the success they continue to be.

·        The Competitors, their Coaches and Families, for their support.

Ken concluded by thanking Jayne Johnson and Anthon Ranjit-Singh for their hard work in supporting him with the organising of these Championships.

Thanks also go to:-

·        Our Championships' Seeding and Eligibility Committee, led by John Poysden, aided by George Reeves, Charles Sweeny, Kevin Read and Chris Jacob.

·        Paul Reed, for once again running a Raffle and raising a £100 pounds to go towards the costs of running the Championships.

·        Graham Back and the Megazone Staff for setting up the Centre for the Under 21s Events.

·        Bill Smith for running the Over 70s at Hullbridge.

·        Anthon Ranjit-Singh & David Barnes for running the Vets on Friday.

·        Barrie Delf for helping run the Control Desk on Saturday

·        Noel Cooper and his colleagues for all the help at Rayleigh Leisure Centre and the use of their fine premises.

Earlier in the Championships, the following events were decided.

Mixed Doubles. John Poysden, Thorpe Bay & Linda Roff Hullbridge beat Keith Adams, Lentern and Tina Hutchinson, Runnymede

Ladies Doubles. Linda Roff, Hullbridge and Tina Hutchinson, Runnymede best Anne Adlington, Runnymede and Ro Brett, Warehouse

Over 60s. Terry Guymer, Lentern beat John Poysden, Thorpe Bay

Over 70s. John Holland, Hullbridge won a Round Robin, with John Tendler, Hadleigh Forum Runner up

Premier Division. Restricted. Sam Hume, Hullbridge best Paul Whatton, Thorpe Bay

Division 1 Restricted. Ben Matthews, Hullbridge beat Anthon Ranjit-Singh, Hadleigh Forum

Division 3 Restricted. Dan Patynski, Hockley beat Dave Chenery, Hockley

Premier & Division 1 Handicap. Ben Matthews, Hullbridge beat Paul Whatton, Thorpe Bay

Division 2 and 3 Handicap. Dave Zeffie, Hullbridge beat Harry Keys, Canvey

Under 21s Level 2. William Skelt, Hullbridge beat Harry Sawford

Vet's Singles Plate. Linda Roff, Hullbridge beat Trevor Ward, Rawreth

Open Singles Plate. Barry Delf, Castle Point beat Paul Brown, Lentern

In all, there were some 17 Events and 120 entrants and 742 Matches played


Jayne Johnson, Ken Field & Anthon Ranjit-Singh

The Sdttl 2017 Championships Committee

1st March 2017


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