Southend & District Table Tennis League 2014 Winter Season
Champions, Runners up and Relegation positions almost all resolved
Premier Division. With only a few games left in the Premier division there is little doubt of the final placings at the top and bottom of the league. First to the top and it is congratulations to Rawreth A who will be crowned Champions. The Rawreth side have been pushed all the way by Thorpe Bay A and Hullbridge-Runnymede A, but in the end they have simply been too consistent for the other sides to catch them. At the other end of the table there are still results to come in, but it will need a minor miracle to save Hullbridge C and Rawreth D from finishing in the bottom two places. Both sides have players who on their night have put in good performances and had some good wins but they simply have not picked up enough points regularly to save them from the drop.A couple of notable wins in the final weeks of the season that are worth a mention. That being a superb win for Chris Buer over Basildon Men’s Singles Champion Kevin Read and an equally impressive win for Kim Shead over the vastly experienced Dave Bowles. A win that capped a fine season for Shead who is many people's tip for most improved player in the Premier Division this year. Another great achievement was by Hullbridge-Runnymede A’s Junior Sam Hume, who after a tough start in the Premier won the Premier Restricted Title at the 2015 Southend with a great win over Gary Young in the Final Duncan
Division 1. Lentern B led all the way, losing only once to a Ray Willson inspired Canvey A 5-4 to be well deserved Champions. For them, veteran stalwart Gus Heath, was well supported by 3 other Vets, Paul Churn, John Lott & Steve Appleby: all leading Premier players in their prime and still producing a high level of play. Finishing fast and taking the Runners up spot was Rawreth E, who won 12 of their 13 second half matches, losing only once to the Champions 5-4, Highlight of this team was the steady improvement of Junior Justin Jeffery, who won the Division 1 Restricted Title at 2015 Southend Closed Championships. However this was a team effort, with the squad all performing well: Steve & Chris Buer, John Blackman, Colin Barham, Colin Clements and Trevor Ward. At the other end of the Table, Canvey B return to Division 2 and are becoming the Yo-Yo team and will start as one of the Favourites to gain promotion from Division 2 next Season. Sadly joining then are the Hullbridge Junior Squad Hullbridge D, including juniors; Zoe Davies, Dan Payne, Sam Lowman, Cameron Gray and Sam Fullick. They found the level of consistency in Division 1 a bit too much for them in their first season at this level, but they are all continuing to improve and their turn will come Barrie
Division 2. Hockley B help top spot from the start of the Season and never let up. Led by their ever improving Junior, Matthew Stringer (who lost only 6 matches and continues to improve and won the Division 2 Restricted Title in the 2015 Southend Championships), and he well supported by Paul Strutt, Dennis Squirrel and Neil Klyman. There was a tousle for 2nd place, between Runnymede, Castle Point B and Basildon, but in the end Runnymede edged out in front with their experienced squad of Dmitry Kisil, Tony Coeshall, Philip French, Phil Digby and Steve Giles. At the other end of the Table it is looking increasingly likely that both the Hullbridge Teams will be relegated. There are a few games to be rearranged but it looks too late to save either team. Both Teams have been beset by Illness and injuries this Season and if they overcome these problems, they will both clearly be a force in Division 3 next Season and without doubt their presence at that level will be a big assist to the juniors in that level David
Division 3 This was my first season as Divisional Results Secretary and overall an enjoyable one, especially as Hockley C (my club), finished as Champions with just one defeat all season
To prove I am totally unbiased I would have been just as happy if Hockley D or Hockley E had won it instead!!
Rather than trying to review the whole season in general, here is my own team by team review, with my own selection of their star player. Please feel free to disagree! In order of how they finished:-
Hockley C. This team was selected for the purpose of promotion and they delivered in style! They were top for 13 of the 20 weeks and for the last 7 in a row….Star Player-Stuart Ashtead – 9 M.O.M. performances (but I will mention the outstanding performance of our Junior in this team, Matthew Nariel, who at the Southend Closed Championships won the Novice Under 21 Title and then followed this by taking the Division 3 Restricted Title, well done Matthew and well done his coach Tim Pang.
Hullbridge B – An indifferent first half of the season was followed by a run of 6 successive wins in the last 6 matches, dropping only 1 point, to see them pip Invicta for second place and clinch promotion in the last match of the season Star Player – Adam Jackman – 6 M.O.M. performances, but well supported by Reece Harris-Griffiths, Dan Zeffie and James Goddard; under the guidance of their very experienced Coach, Howard Grant. Clearly this Division is a great training ground for our juniors, where established veterans, such as Jan Thorpe and John Golding to name but 2, playing in that level always give encouragement, which augers well for the future of local Table Tennis.
Invicta B – Always going to be a strong team and promotion candidates, they must have been devastated to see second place taken away from them at the death Star Player – John Golding 8 M.O.M. performances
Canvey D – Again, a slow start to the Season but one defeat in their last 8 games saw them climb from 8th to 4th position Star Player – Stuart Curham: Canvey being another Club with a crop of Juniors, overseen by Geoff Banthorpe
Warehouse E – Their best spell was in the first half of the season which saw them as high as 3rd in the table but only 2 wins in their last 6 matches saw them slip to 5th Star Player – Tamas Mezo 4 M.O.M. performances
Hockley D – Actually in 2nd place in week two it was a bit of a struggle after that but a couple of wins at the end of the season saw them into a respectable 6th place Star Player – Philip Pond
Rawreth H – Having two players in your team who finished with a 100% average should indicate a pretty good season but a lack of continuity saw them bottom after 3 weeks, up to 4th by week 13 and then lose their last 6 games Star Player Jan Thorpe 9 M.O.M. performances
Customs B – You have to feel a bit sorry for Customs who have struggled to find a team most weeks and, whilst 3rd at the halfway stage, 5 defeats in the last 7 games left them in 6th place Star Player – Amar Al Soufi
Rawreth I – This young team not surprisingly found it hard going at the start of the season losing their first 5 games but , 7 wins and 7 losses after that, shows a good level of improvement Star Player – Botond Mezo. Our third Junior Club in this Division and I mention the sterling work done by the Rawreth Junior Coaches Andy Nunn & Mel Jones and Professional Coach Jason Clark
Hockley E – With the biggest squad in the league of 14 players a lack of continuity and a lack of experience was always going to be a problem. Nevertheless there were some promising signs of better things to come Star Player – Brian Parker
Rawreth J Not surprisingly this very young team finished bottom but it is all about improving and playing games for these youngsters Star Player – Matthew Barber
My Report is a bit ‘wordy’ but I felt that there are a lot of positives in this Division for the future of Table Tennis and I felt it right to cover the Division fully Paul
Well, I’m sure you will agree, our Divisional Results Secretaries have done a great job this Season, we have been well supported by Chris Dangerfield, creator of the 365 System, and there are now over 250 Leagues in the UK on this. Our own Computer ‘Guru’s’ Barrie & Berti maintain a constant contact with Chris to ensure all our needs are catered for. Karl Dorn continues to send reports to the Echo each week, although they are not always good at publishing them; we will discuss this with them during the summer. And a big thanks to Jayne Johnson for overseeing this and dealing with queries on new Memberships.
· Nest season on Player Registration do make sure that all your players show their own email addresses on their Table Tennis England Player Registration and ensure they get these Reports.
· Also if your Team Captain hasn’t emailed me back yet on whether you want a Doubles included in your Matches next year or not, please push them to do this: have your view be counted.
· One other change for next Season, unanimously agreed at the last Committee Meeting is that players will now only be able to play up from their Team to a higher one, until they have won 6 matches at the higher level, after that they will have to remain in the higher team. (it used to be like this but the 365b system did not cater for it; Chris Dangerfield is now amending the system to cater for this)
Hoping you all have a good Summer and for those of you playing in the Summer League, have a good Summer Season