Brentwood TTL Closed 2018
Finals’ night results
Venue: Bluehouse Farm, Tuesday 1st May 2018
Open singles semi final
-Keith Adams bt Liam Squirrell 3-0
Open singles semi final
-Reece Seddon bt Babul McLeod 3-0
Under 18 final
-Toby Kelly bt Matthew Elliott 3-2
Under 21 final
-Liam Squirrell bt Louis Brown 3-0
Open doubles semi final
-P.Brown / R.Seddon bt E.Green / B.McLeod 3-0
Open doubles semi final
-L.Squirrell / I.Wall bt L.McHugh / R.Storey 3-1
-Eric Green bt Bruce Kettle 3-1
Open doubles final
|-P.Brown / R.Seddon bt L.Squirrell / I.Wall 3-1|
Open singles final
|-Keith Adams bt Reece Seddon 3-1|
Final’s night report
The evening opened with the two singles semi-finals. Keith Adams progressed in fairly routine fashion with a -4,-10,-8 win over the giant-killing Liam Squirrell, although this may have been different if Liam had converted one of his two game points in the second end. Likewise Reece Seddon was untroubled in his -3, -9, -4 defeat of Babul McLeod, assisted perhaps by a few early "nets'n'edges" that gave him a good lead to build on. I think it is also fair to say that neither Liam or Babul performed at their best on the night, as can easily happen at finals' nights. The scene was therefore set for a repeat of the previous year's final at the end of the night.
Attention then turned to the two showcased junior events. First up was the under-18s as Toby Kelly played Matthew Elliott in an all-Buttsbury final. This proved to be the closest contest of the night as the more relaxed Kelly survived 3 match points in end 4 to eventually prevail 13-11,7-11,13-15,12-10,11-9. Elliott can consider himself a little unlucky as one of the 3 saved points was a remarkable retrieve from Kelly that just caught the edge of the table - such are the fine margins that can be the difference between defeat and victory in sport. I am sure we will see more from both in the years to come.
In the under 21s we saw another appearance from Basildon TTC's Liam Squirrell, who defeated Louis Brown (Buttsbury TTC) in 3 close ends -9,-9,-9. Despite the closeness of the scores Liam seemed in control throughout and found the important shots and therefore points when required.
Attention then turned to the eagerly anticipated open doubles competition. First up was Brown/Seddon vs Green/McLeod. I confess that I called this one wrong as the left/right pairing of Brown and Seddon pressured the fancied Sports pair and, courtesy of winning the big points at deuce in ends 1 & 3 proceeded to the final in straight sets. The second match was between the Mountnessing pair of McHugh/Storey and Basildon's Squirrell/Wall. This was a close contest finally settled at deuce in the 4th in favour of Squirrell/Wall. Ultimately Mountnessing may rue missing a few too many offensive shots that may have tipped the scales; however the match did produce one of the points of the night that should figure prominently on the highlight video!
The Over-60s final was contested between Eric Green and Bruce Kettle. Opinion in the crowd was evenly divided beforehand as to who would win. Eric flew out of the blocks to an 11-2 first end, but Bruce hit back with a patient 11-6 in end 2 to level the match. The third end proved pivotal, as Eric won the deuce game 12-10 to lead 2-1. In the 4th Bruce adopted more aggressive tactics which, unfortunately for him, did not pay dividends as Eric closed out the 3-1 win. Bruce did produce perhaps the biggest backhand winner that any of us have seen this year during the 4th, which will be on the highlights!
The doubles final was an all Basildon TTC affair, which was played in very good humour - with Brown
being providing the entertainment! As in the semi-final the consistency of the Brown/Seddon pair, along with the pressure applied, proved to be decisive as they recovered from the loss of the first end to score a 3-1 victory. Reece adds Brentwood to his Basildon doubles title for this year, whereas for Brown it ends a 10 year wait since also winning Basildon in 2008.
The final event (as always) was the open singles final, contested (as in 2017) the #1 & 2 seeds Keith Adams and Reece Seddon. Reece started the stronger and especially caused Keith problems with his (improved) services, and took the first end 8-11. The second end was tighter as Adams started to return serves better and recovered from 9-8 down to close out 11-9, draw level and avoid being in the difficult to recover from position of a 2-0 deficit. The 3rd end was strange, as Adams stormed to a 7-0 (and 9-3?) lead only to start 'missing' and for Seddon to work his way back to 9-10 only to fall at the last hurdle and net a heavy push from Keith. Seddon started strongly in the 4th, leading 5-2 before Adams started to take the game to Seddon more, going on a good run of points to aggressively build a 10-6 lead before finally closing out 11-7 to win the title for the 3rd successive year. The final game included another highlight tape special with many Adams smashes returned athletically from the back of the court by Seddon! Afterward the pair reflected on how evenly matched they seem to be (believed to be 4 wins each over the season in various leagues and competitions) so it can only be a matter of time before Reece adds the Brentwood title to the Burnaham one already in his trophy cabinet.
Finals' night matches were filmed (thanks due to Ian Wall) and a link will be posted in due course.
Thanks as always to all the competitors, officials and spectators. The tournament has been played in a great competitive spirit and seen some really good table tennis played. It is especially good to see the improvements in the juniors and young seniors. See you next year!
Finals' night preview (from 27/4/2018)
Given the competitors that remain the open singles could be considered as Basildon SSC vs Billericay Sports, with one competitor from each club in each semi-final. Alternatively it might be considered a battle of youth vs experience as the up-and-coming “Basildonians” take on the “Silvertops” from Sports! Top seed Keith Adams faces stiff opposition to secure a third straight Brentwood closed singles title, having reached this stage by defeating Basildon’s Ian Wall and eighth seed Kim Shead. His opponent is up and coming but unseeded Liam Squirrell who paid no attention to rankings by dispatching fourth and fifth seeds Lee Mc Hugh and Bruce Kettle respectively in fine style. An interesting contest is in prospect, with both players able to play a variety of styles.
The other semi final promises to be rather explosive; Do not expect to see much in the way of long defensive rallies! Last years runner-up and second seed Reece Seddon will be hoping to go one better this year after defeating seventh seed Eric Green to reach this stage. His opponent is the ever-popular and hard-hitting sixth seed Babul McLeod who appears in fine form after defeating third seed Reagan Nettlingham in the quarter final. Blink and you may miss this one - and expect a few points for the “highlights tape!”
Final’s night will then showcase the best of the league’s youth, with two finals from the recent youth tournament run by Paul Sturton. First we will be entertained by the under 18s as Matthew Elliott plays Toby Kelly in an all Buttsbury YTTC final. We will then see a second appearance from Liam Squirrell (Basildon TTC) as he contests the under 21 title with Louis Brown (Buttsbury YTTC).
This year the open doubles trophies will sport new names, as both last year’s holders (Kettle/Shead) and runners-up (Adams/Gatheral) were eliminated at the quarter-final stage. The first semi-final is between Squirrell (yes, again!) / Wall and McHugh / Storey. Squirrell and Wall could possibly be slight favourites for this title following their comprehensive win over last year’s holders, but Richard and Lee will try their best to cause an upset that might be described as a “McHuge Storey” (groan!). In the other half Seddon and “the showman” Paul Brown survived a tough quarter-final, narrowly beating Adams and Gatheral 11-9 in the fifth, and now face the dangerous combination of Green and McLeod - who themselves needed five sets to overcome highly fancied scratch partnership Barrett and Nettlingham.
There is then a gem of an over-60s final in prospect as the top-seeds meet; Ace defender Eric Green faces team-mate Bruce Kettle, all the more intriguing as they are also in the same Southend team and hence face each other very rarely. Very difficult to call.
Finals’ night will then conclude with the two “blue ribband” events, open singles and open doubles, contested by the winners of the night’s semi finals.
Pre-Finals' night results
Singles plate was won by Richard Storey, who beat Trevor Carter in the final.
The ladies’ singles has been won for a 3rd consecutive year by Lin Roff (Billericay Sports), with Sue Hickman (Buttsbury) winning silver.
The over 70s singles was won by Dave Carter (Billericay TTC) who produced a vintage performance to repel the attack of Peter Cranmer (Mountnessing TTC) and win in straight sets.
After a busy night of handicap table tennis scratch handicap player Reece Seddon achieved the impressive feat of winning the main tournament, defeating Eric Green in the final. The last player to achieve this was Brentwood TTL legend Chris Knight, so Reece joins an elite club. The handicap plate competition was won by Garry Hartgrove (Basildon TTC), who defeated Trevor Carter (Brentwood TTC) in the final.
Unfortunately a late venue cancellation meant that several events were not completed - Mixed doubles and the three divisional singles. We have been unable to secure a timely substitute date and hence these will have to remain unplayed for this year. Apologies to those who entered.
Results from the other youth events will be added shortly.
Finally can I record thanks to those who helped make the tournament run smoothly; The helpers who arrived early or stayed late to set up and put away on the various nights; to the umpires; to Paul Sturton for running the youth tournament; to Keith Cullen for his help on the desk; to Alan Wood (and Basildon TTC) and Matthew Brown for facilitating the venue hires