Weeks 11 & 12
Handicap KO Cup – Round of 16
In the Team Handicap KO Cup, after 2 very closely fought preliminary matches the results in round one seem very clear cut – West Maldon A, Blackwater, Woodham C all winning love matches (suggesting perhaps a closer review of individual handicaps for next year….. we say that every year of course!). Dan Piggott’s Woodham B have now completely wiped out the Handicappers from Cold Norton – seems a tad harsh! But for their rewards have an exciting clash against current holders, and stablemates, Lee McChoker’s Woodham A - it’ll be fireworks for sure! The sensible money is now on a Woodham victory – with 4 teams left in the hat, however watch out for the West Maldon A side, if they keep their team they’ll be hard to beat on those handicaps – Dave Razzell + 2, Ollie Wylie +14 , & Blaydon Farmer on +15. The Quarter Finals are all lined up for Week 14 (w/c 17 December), weather permitting!
Maldon E catapult with a 10-0 win
There were a lot of Division 3 players in action in last week’s Handicap Cup, and it’s great to see both Blackwater and St Lawrence flying the Div 3 flag in the quarter-finals. Woodham E’s Sanjay Saptarshi was the star of the Woodham B team in their victory over Cold Norton B. The League performance of the period must surely go to the Maldon E team (Thomas Page, Roger Warren & Denis Crapnell) for their crushing defeat of a very strong looking West Maldon trio of Gary Smith, Blaydon Farmer and Andrea Alleyne (all on very high percentage wins themselves) – the score was a shocking 10-0. This result and the show-stopping form of young Thomas Page have catapulted Maldon E into 2nd place in the league standings, and although a fair few points behind leaders they now have momentum going into the second half of the fixtures. The Woodham D trio had a good points victory over Burnham A but none of the Woodhamites could find a knockout blow against Burnham talisman Michael Pratley who took home the match ball with a fine hat-trick of wins! In the individual averages, Maldon’s Thomas Page has now joined divisional supremo Alan Scammell on 100%. These trailblazers are quickly followed by Burnham’s Michael Pratley, and Woodham’s Sanjay Saptarshi both on > 90%, and then Stow’s Denis Balic on 85% - high scores indeed, don’t these guys ever play each other?
It's a Gray Area
In Division 1 Woodham A’s Cameron Gray registered his first wins of the season, and fine ones they were; 6, 11, 9 over recently in-form Richard Storey and -9, 3, 5, 4 over the always-tricky Matthew Brown. Lee McHugh picked up three wins and for Stow Maries A Gary Brignall picked up two which resulted in a fair 5-5 draw between the two mid-table sides. It was a real family affair for West Maldon A (Gary Young, Daniel Young, Chris Buer) against Mapledene C (Simon Jacob, David Jacob, Susan Body) which resulted in a 9-1 victory for West Maldon; Simon saved the whitewash for his side by beating Chris 9, 6, 8 meanwhile within West Maldon’s nine points they were a couple of hard-fought ones as Daniel just got the better of David -8, 6, -6, 9, 5 and in the doubles the two Youngs defeated the two Jacobs 9, 6, -9, -9, 7. In Mapledene B’s 8-2 defeat to Cold Norton A, Ian Rattray impressed with a quickfire 9, 5, 7 win over Sam Lowman, and in a real clash of styles Barrie Delf did well to get the better of Mike Hayes 9, -5, 8, 6. Cold Norton B impressed by taking three points off of Mapledene A; Eric Green opened proceedings with a fine 10, 7, -5, 8 win over Charles Sweeny, meanwhile Chris Hancox scored an equally excellent result over Lee Prentice 6, -7, 4, 7. The real humdinger in the top flight over this period though was a battle of the titans between Fambridge A and Maldon A where no player remained unbeaten; Maldon’s Paul Sayer made his season debut and was first defeated by John Poysden over four ends, but then beating both Bruce Kettle over five ends and, most impressively so, also Keith Adams over five ends inflicting his first defeat of the season. Adams, in turn, inflicted an only second defeat of the season on Trevor Lloyd, meanwhile Lloyd got the better of Poysden – the match ended in a 5-5 draw.
Baldry pips Piggott
In Division 2 with only one league match in this period the top 3 stay as is, and Allan Steel’s Woodham C leapfrog Mayland into 4th spot – allowing for Mayland’s game-in-hand, the Top 5 have now pulled away to form their own peloton with only 8 points separating them. It’s the half-way stage now so everyone has played everyone and the batting and betting is pretty even still, with 2 key unknowns dominating proceedings – the previously mentioned fear of Mayland’s ability to field a full team each game (ref this week’s defeat to top of the table Stow B, and Maldon C’s rotation policy, although they have an amazing bench to choose from! Lots of hat-trick action this week across the board and these have impacted the individual rankings – Glen Laing remains atop the pile courtesy of not playing, but will drop off next week if he doesn’t play as we base on a 50% participation. Nick Duce and Dawn Baldry both move up the pecking order courtesy of their unbeaten outtings this week. In the match of the week Dawn just about pipped Woodham’s Dan Piggott 7, -6, -9, 10, 10 – and in the deciding leg looked out of it at 6-9 down but our Dawn is made of stern stuff, she gave herself a good talking too and with some fine forehand winners took the leg, the point, and the bragging rights!
And finally it wouldn’t be right to discuss this Division without noting Steve Siggs’ brace against Stow C last Monday, in the week he so sadly passed away whilst playing his beloved table tennis – a competitor for sure, but more importantly a really nice bloke – we remain in shock, and our thoughts are with your teammates, friends and family.
Hall & McHugh - Press & Publicity Officers - Burnham Table Tennis League