Held on the 24th-26th February at the Rayleigh Leisure Centre,
Finals Night being held at the Plumberow Academy, Home Venue of the Hockey Table Tennis Club on the 2nd March

The Hockley TTC's Chairman, Paul Strutt, has prepared a very nice Report of Finals Night which is as follows:-


Southend and District Table Tennis League's 2023 Annual Closed Championships

Due to Covid, our Southend & Districts Table Tennis League’s last Championships were held in 2019, but they returned this year, being played over the weekend of the 24th– 26th February at the Rayleigh Leisure Centre. No less than 14 competitions were decided then, with the major Finals being held in a new venue this year at Plumberow Primary Academy

The Finals evening turned out to be a real family affair as life partners Matt Spero and Wanda Syderenko (both Rawreth TTC) appeared in every final of the night that they could do and won 5 out of the 6 titles on offer. Add to that, Wanda had already won the Ladies Singles and Ladies Doubles at the weekend, so the Mixed Doubles title gave her a personal hattrick. The only final that she lost, somewhat ironically, was the Vets Over 40s final which she lost to Matt!




The only disappointment on the night for Matt was his loss in the Mens Singles, the last match of the evening, to Duncan Taylor (Rayleigh Mill) who won in five sets. Bearing in mind that Matt had competed in every match previously over a period of some 2 ½ hours and played 28 sets, it may have explained how Duncan managed to come back from two sets down to win in five sets 2/11, 9/11, 11/6, 15/13,11/5. Having said that, when Lockdown occurred, Duncan was the current Basildon, Burnham and Southend Men’s Singles’ Champion and Matt’s colleague in the Essex County’s Over 40s 1st Team, so both are 2 of the best Vets in Essex. This was a classic match of attack versus defence, with renowned defender Duncan eventually outlasting Matt in many exciting rallies.


Earlier in the evening Matt and Wanda started in style winning the Mixed Doubles against the young pairing of Liam Squirrell (Rawreth) and Evie Knaapen (Hullbridge) albeit in five sets, with the youngsters coming back from two sets down before succumbing 11/8 in the decider: Matt & Wanda  winning 11/5 11/2 12/14 8/11 11/8



Prior to this final, Evie had already enjoyed personal success winning the Division Two Restricted and Under 21 Div 2 and Div 3 titles at the weekend and had lost to Wanda in the final of the Ladies Singles.



The Mens Singles Semi Finals had pitched Matt and Liam against each other in one, while the second would have seen Duncan up against Steve Tilson (Rawreth) but unfortunately Steve had to withdraw due to injury. This turned out to be pretty one sided as Matt won 11/8 11/5 11/5.

The Mens Doubles final saw Matt team up with Rawreth Club mate Zayd Mauthoor and they took on the established pairing of Duncan and Kevin Read (Rawreth). At one set all this match hinged on the third set and both sides had chances before Matt and Zayd nicked it 12/10, closing out the match in the fourth 11/6, winning 11/6 8/11 12/10 11/6


In one of the most intriguing and longest matches of the evening (34 minutes) the Over 40s Vets final between Matt and Wanda saw Wanda ease into a two-set lead before Matt edged the third 15/13 to keep himself in the game. This seemed to give Matt the extra boost that he needed, taking the next two games 11/7 11/9, but there was a hug at the end of the game so no hard feelings! Matt winning 9/11 8/11 15/13 11/7 11/9



Matt and Wanda came together again in the Vets Doubles final, which saw them up against Duncan and Kevin. The first two sets were closely contested 12/10 11/13 but Matt and Wanda’s attacking play proved decisive in the next two sets which they won 11/7 11/5.Winning 12/10 11/13 11/7 11/5


All in all, it was a long but entertaining evening with some top-class table tennis on display. Southend League Chairman Ken Field was on hand to address the formalities, extending thanks to Players and Organisers, Umpires and Audience alike.

Paul Strutt, Chairman of the Hockley Table Tennis Club & a Member of the SDTTL Championships Committee


Earlier results over the Weekend at the Rayleigh Leisure Centre were as follows: -


Over 70s Singles                   John Holland beat Dave Bowles 11-9, 12-10, 11-7

Over 60s Singles                   John Poysden beat Bruce Kettle 12-10, 11-5, 11-3

Over 50s Singles                   Paul Sayer beat Steve Tilson 11-9, 11-6, 11-4

Over 50s Plate Singles          Paul Brown beat Colin Barham 11-5, 11-9, 11-7


Premier Restricted                 Gurjit Bhambra beat Dan Zeffie 11-6, 11-8, 11-8

Division 1 Restricted              Dan Patynski beat Justin Jefferies 11-4, 11-7, 11-9

Division 2 Restricted              Evie Knaapen beat Richard Gill 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7

Division 3 Restricted              Ben Murray beat Mark Farley 11-2, 11-6, 11-5

Under 21s Prem & Div 1        Dan Zeffie beat Ollie George 11-6, 13-11, 13-11

Under 21s Div 2 & Div 3        Evie Knaapen beat Ben Murray 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8


Under 21s Sunday Event - all Div.  Dan Zeffie beat Toby Zeffie12-10, 11-8 (Best of 3 Sets).

Open Singles Plate                  David Jacob beat Matt Stringer 21-15 (a single set due to time limitations’).


 Thank you’s to:-

  1. Our Closed Championships Committee of Ken Field, Jayne Johnson, Anthon Ranjit-Singh, Bertie Makolli and Paul Strutt and our Seedings and Eligibility Committee of John Poysden, George Reeves, Duncan Taylor, Kevin Read & Charles Sweeny, plus help on the Control Desk from Mel Jones and Duncan Taylor.
  2. To Colette Parker and her colleagues at the Rayleigh Leisure Centre for their superb facilities and their constant attention throughout the Weekend to ensure that all was well.
  3. To Paul Strutt and his Hockley Table Tennis Club colleagues for setting up Finals night and to the Plumberow Primary  Academy for allowing us to use their School Hall for our Finals night.
  4. To all our Contestants and their Coaches and Families for their support throughout our Championships.
  5. To Bertie Makolli and Jayne Johnson for taking the Photos that appear on our Web Site.


Best wishes from your 2023 Southend Championships' Committee

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