Press Officer, Steve Kerns, reports on Finals Night of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Individual Championships held at the Old Chelmsfordians on Monday 13 February 2017.
Ross Saxby takes M&G Investments Chelmsford Mens Singles Crown
26 year-old Ross Saxby is the 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Mens Singles Champion. He was crowned Champion on Monday night at the Old Chelmsfordians Club in Chelmsford. Considered by many people to be the most likely winner he didn’t disappoint although he was hard pushed in both his Semi-Final and Final. Saxby was tied at 2-2 in his Semi-Final against Essex no. one Junior Sam Hume in a match where there was literally nothing between the two players for the first four ends. Scores of 9-11, 19-17, 11-9, 10-12 tell their own story with the ice-cool Sam belying his tender years to level at 2-2. Could he go on and win ?. The answer turned out to be “no” as Ross came out all guns blazing in the fifth end which he won 11-4. In the other Semi-Final George Reeves dominated from the off and although Scott Dowsett levelled at 8-8 in an exciting second end that was as close as he got. George eventually won 11-3,11-8, 11-6.
In the Final it was George who struck first and he was by far the more dominant player as he raced home 11-5 in the first end. The crucial point of the match came at 9-7 in the second end with George leading. Again it was Ross who showed the greater composure and belief just when he needed it and he levelled by taking the last four points to win 11-9. He now had the bounce and look of a Champion and although George continued to pressure him it was Ross who stormed home 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8.
The Ladies Singles Final featured two players who had played in their Group match in the actual Championship event. Lin Roff came out on top there in four close ends but this time it was Dawn Baldry who called all the shots. Hitting with flare and power particularly on the forehand she raced into a 2-0 lead and
although Lin fought back superbly from 4-9 down to level at 9-9 in the third end Dawn wasn‘t to be denied. She claimed the last two points to win her second title - 11-8,11-8, 11-9.
It was title no. 14 for Julie Johnson in the Mixed Doubles where she teamed up with her nephew Ryan Gooday for the first time to beat Jan Fuller and Duncan Taylor in five ends. When Jan and Duncan levelled at 2-2 they must have fancied their chances. Why not ? But in the fifth end Julie and Ryan didn’t put a foot wrong and they ran out 8-11,11-5, 11-8, 11-13, 11-4 winners. Victory to the Aunt and Nephew combination.
The Mens Doubles Final produced an upset of sorts. Playing with confidence and application in what was a very cagey and tight game it was Wale Bada and Reece Seddon who came out on top 11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8 against the two players contesting the Mens Singles Final - Ross Saxby and George Reeves. They became
the fifth different pair to win this title in the last five years - proof if any was needed as to what an “open” event this is.
The Under 21 Singles Final featured two players who had already appeared on the night and in a repeat of the Junior Boys Singles Final it was Sam Hume who beat Ryan Gooday narrowly 11-8, 11-9, 11-9. Ryan was in contention throughout and Sam will have been relieved to have won 3-0. There was never much in it.
The Veterans Final completed what was a great night for Wale Bada. With his spinny deceptive serves and booming forehand he was always looking to attack against Paul Davison. Wale won the first quite comfortably 11-6 and when he shaded the second end 13-11 the writing was on the wall for Paul. Although
Paul dug deep in the third end it wasn‘t enough and Wale ran out a 11-8 winner.
Guests of honour for the evening included the Mayor of Chelmsford - Councillor Patricia Hughes and the Mayor’s Consort - Paul Hughes as well as Anna Emtage - the Charity and Community Relations Manager at M&G Investments, Ken Field - Essex County Table Tennis Chairman and Jayne Johnson - Essex County Table
Tennis Association General Secretary.
Steve Kerns - Press & Publicity Officer - Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League