• Premier Division
Premier new boys Hadleigh Forum B came back down to earth with a bump this week. After picking up useful points in their previous two matches, they suffered an 8-1 defeat at the hands of Warehouse. The final score-line was a bit harsh on Forum, as four of the games were lost in the 5th set. Kim Shead and Martin Turner, with hat-tricks, led the way for the Warehousemen. Tony Jacks won the solitary point for the home team with a win over Mark Rudland. Mention should be made, however, of Anthon Ranjit Singh who played really well on the night, but lost out in the 5th set in each of his three matches.
Elsewhere this week it was great to see two very strong players join the league, albeit one had played before some seasons ago. It was welcome back to the highly talented James Denyer, as he helped Thorpe Bay A to a comfortable 9-0 win over Hadleigh Forum A. James was joined on the hat-trick trail by John Poysden and man of the match Paul Whatton. Thorpe Bay are clearly going to be hard to beat this year as, in their next game, they were able to give a debut to Joe Kennedy, a player who will be known to many in our league. He recorded three wins in the Thorpe Bay derby as the A team overcame the B team 7-2. Paul Whatton also came away with another three wins and there was a win for Mark Stones over Richard Stubbington. Keiran Skeggs continued his good form and will feel unlucky to come away with just one win, losing out in five sets to both Kennedy and Whatton.
On a night of exciting, high octane TT, Rawreth B beat a very strong Lentern side 5-4. After a tough weekend of British League, 'birthday boy' Matt Spero was hindered by a muscle strain. However, he was still too hot to handle and picked up the MoM with three wins, the highlight being an 18-16 in the 5th win over Wale Bada. Babul Mcleod also beat Wale (current Chelmsford Vets Champion), while Bruce Kettle beat Lentern new boy Eddie Ogbebor. Keith Adams picked up two wins for Lentern.
Rawreth A posted a resounding 9-0 victory over Brand Identity A and in doing so overcame some potentially tricky matches against their experienced opponents, Lee Prentice particularly impressing to pick up the MoM.
And finally, Matt Stringer, Tim Pang and Harry Small teamed up to record a very impressive 8-1 win for Hockley over Stanford-le-Hope. The score-line doesn’t reflect how close this match actually was, as only two games were settled in three ends and four went the full distance of five ends, with Hockley winning every one.
Duncan Taylor DRS
• Division 1
The young team from Hullbridge E continue to fulfil expectations and lead the table at this point following a 9-0 win over Hockley C. The trio of Reece Harris-Griffiths, James Goddard and Dan Zeffie were too hot to handle for the Hockley side. Alex Barnetson gave a good account for himself, having won 6 straight games at the beginning of the season, he has been involved in 5 set games in the last 5 out of 6, but lost them all by narrow margins. The only team to get the better of the Hullbridge team this year are their own C team although there will be an important clash in a couple of weeks with Lentern B that may answer a few questions.
Lentern B slip into 2nd with another good 7-2 win over Hockley B who stay rooted to the bottom of the table. There are a few players now playing up for the Lentern team who are nearing the 6 win limit so they will need to keep a close eye on this in the coming weeks. John Lott was the POTM for Lentern winning all 3 games but was ably supported by Peter Lucraft and Martin Archie with 2 each. Hockley’s Stuart Adshead did well to capture the two points for Hockley with Joe Lock and Dan Patynski unable to make an impact.
Canvey A won a close encounter, 5-4 against Invicta A. The most important match, that seemed to swing the outcome, seems to be the second game of the night, where Phil Puckey managed to squeeze through a 12:10 win in the fifth over Michael Piper who was 10:8 up, with both players hitting wildly in a nail biting game. Ray Wilson & Terry Giddens both won 2 to get a 5-4 victory. Neil Daines managed to get one on board for Invicta whilst Steve Marr was comeback king of the night after winning from 2-0 down against both Ray & Phil to take both games 3-2 and get a hat trick for his team. Another painful loss for Invicta and good win for Canvey.
Hadleigh Forum C had a good 7-2 win over Hullbridge C in a good-humored match. Russell Bright was again the main antagonist, winning all three of his games to give the Forum team a sound base for their win. Graham Farmer and Mark Everard were great supporting acts winning two each, but neither were able to overcome recent signing and awkward penholder, Mike Johnston who scored the two for the Hullbridge side. Richard Gill and Sid Dorn were spectators in this match and are both yet to hit top form, although Sid did take Russell to 5 sets.
Customs A added to their first win last week with a second over Brand Identity B, in a dominating 7-2 display, dropping Brand to 4th from bottom in the table. No-one had the answer to Roy Thomas taking 3 again, although David Jacob did take him to 5 sets, losing 11-7 in the fifth. Brian Rackham and Dave Morgan added two each for the Customs cause, whilst Mike Grout with his gritty defensive play added the two for the Brand team.
Two teams towards the bottom of the table met this week, with Warehouse B, helping their cause with a 6-3 win over Lentern C. The addition of Martin West, playing his first game for the B team, proved too strong for Lentern and comfortably won all his 3 games in 3 sets. New signing for the year, Tony Millward, was able to add two more with Tony Wright contributing the final point. Mark Jupe fought well for the Lentern team, taking two games, with Peter Lucraft adding the last point, before playing up for the B team the following night. This leaves both teams occupying 2 out of the bottom 3 spots in the table, although Warehouse do have a game in hand.
Barrie Delf DRS
• Division 2
Sam Thompson’s 100% record remained intact when he was in the Rawreth D team visiting Canvey B. He was again player of the match, winning all his games in straight sets. Two further wins from Matthew Barber gave their side a 5 – 4 away victory. The home side’s Gavin Warner showed some of his old form by winning two in what was a very close match, whilst Des Duffield won one and Geoff Banthorpe, playing up, also won one.
Stanford Le Hope B, overcame their visitors Rawreth E 8 -1, despite having to call up a reinforcements from Division 3. However, recruit Arron Chandler proved totally at home at the higher level, turning in an unbeaten player of the match performance. John Handscombe also won a hat trick, with Mark Farley adding two victories. Andy Deadman got the visitor’s single win.
Basildon Hospital also emulated this feat, overcoming visitors Invicta B by the same 8 – 1 score. Andy Humphris’ single win saved Invicta’s blushes, but maximums from the medic’s Chudi Ukpaka and Errol Anderson made all the difference. Their Mike Smith added two further victories.
Andrew Murray was again Canvey C’s star, turning in another hat trick, in their 5 – 4 away win at Hockley D. Colleague Steve Robinson’s brace ensured victory. Experienced Paul Strutt got two for the home side, whilst Harry Sanford and Brian Bissenden each won one in a close fought match.
The ladies of Runnymede were overpowered by visitors RESSC. Maximums from the experienced trio of Rob Skews, Mike Worship and Ron Coutts led to a 9 – 0 away win. The home side’s Barbara Shead was unlucky to lose to Ron, going down 12 – 10 in the fifth set.
David Barnes DRS
• Division 3
Hadleigh Forum D and Canvey D have emerged as front runners in Division 3 both teams unbeaten after just four games. Hadleigh are top after an overwhelming 9-0 win against Stanford Le Hope C whose policy of rotating players from a large squad backfired. Their team of Peter Handscombe, Max Russell and Mark Downey unable to get near the Hadleigh boys of Anthony Mace, David Thomas and Satwant Gill. Peter almost got a consolation against Satwant but after coming back from 2-0 down and winning the fourth set 11-1, Satwant edged the fifth 11-8.
The experienced Canvey D team of Talbot Wiseman, Gordon Johnstone and Ray Baker moved into second place with a 7-2 win over Invicta C. Keith Baxter got both points for the losers, including a closely fought five setter against Gordon. Chris Gregory almost added to that total, but having been 2-0 up against Ray he succumbed 11-8 in the fifth. Talbot remains unbeaten in the league after his hat trick, and there were braces for Gordon and Ray.
Closest game of the week was the 5-4 win for Brand Identity C over Customs B. Brand Identity were actually 3-1 down at one stage before storming back with four successive wins to take the match out of the hands of the Taxmen. Richard Riebold was in excellent form winning his three with Dave Humphreys and Colin Smith getting a point each. Spare a thought for Alex Clark of Customs, without a win this season, he was 2-1 up against David before losing the last two sets 11-5, 11-5. Brand Identity are now fourth in the table.
Team selection continues to be a problem for Hullbridge G and H, with the G team having to call up young James Skelt to make up their team for the ‘derby’ against their H team, who couldn’t find a third player at all. It didn’t prevent them winning however, as Dave Booroff and Tony Molisso won all their games to record a 6-3 victory. Bob Shingleton-Smith and Sue Reece made up the G team.
There were contrasting results for the Hockley teams with the F team slipping to a 6-3 home defeat to Rawreth F, whilst their E team overwhelmed Rochford LTC 9-0.
Veteran Jan Thorpe was the star performer for Rawreth with a hat trick, but closely supported by Bradley Nunn who also won his three. Rob Clarke found the going a little too tough. Ben Cook, Claire Stringer and 9 year old Aaryan Vatsa made up the Hockley team and Aaryan’s win was his first in his debut league season. The 9-0 defeat for Rochford was their first this season having suffered so many last year and so was probably a bit disappointing. Young Oliver George showed some promise however, taking sets off Jason Stringer and Ron Rogerson, but Phil Pond took the man of the match honours winning all three matches without dropping a set.
Team of the Week Hadleigh Forum D
Player of the Week Richard Reibold
Paul Strutt DRS