With the Closed Championships out of the way, Hockley A continued where they left off with a 9-0 win over Runnymede. Matt Stringer, Tim Pang and Dave Colwill were the unbeaten team and must now be looking ahead to life in the Premier division next year and attempting to stay up, whilst developing the younger team members. Runnymede on the other hand, are still bottom and are staring at another year in Division 2.
Customs A meanwhile, kept pace with the leaders with their own 9-0 victory over Lentern E. Roy Thomas, Dale Gutteridge and Brian Rackham are the team that are holding down the second position and are in a position to gain the second promotion spot at the end of the season.
Hullbridge C’s game against Rawreth E was postponed due to the Finals night, but are also in contention.
Hadleigh Forum B put in a good performance to win 8-1 against the experienced Lentern C side. Dave Woolmer and Tony Jacks were unbeaten for Forum, with the sole consolation point for Mike Grout against Anthon Ranjit-Singh.
Canvey A put in a good performance to take a close 5-4 win over Warehouse B in a match where no-one was unbeaten. Terry Giddens and Ray Wilson scored two each for Canvey, whilst Andrew Paton and Tony Wright did likewise for Warehouse. The deciding match was a win for Peter Cray over Harry Small to give Canvey the victory.
Invicta A had a good 6-3 over Hockley B with a solid team performance. Steve Marr, Michael Piper and Neil Daines all scored two each, but none of the Invicta team were able to overcome Liam Squirrell who scored all three for Hockley.
Division 3, Week 23
Customs B have had two hard matches in recent weeks against promotion contenders Invicta B and Hullbridge G, and have fallen just short both times losing 5-4. This has not affected the league table too much as fellow contenders Hullbridge F dropped 3 points against Warehouse C and Invicta B had the security of a ‘home banker’ against Hockley F, an 8-1 win keeping them at the top of the table. They lead by 12 points from Hullbridge F who have a game in hand. Canvey D and Hullbridge G take up 3rd and 4th spots.
Hockley D lost the chance to close the gap on 5th placed Rawreth H losing 6-3. Ryan Williams and Mathew Barber both recorded hat tricks but young Olivia Jones, playing up from Rawreth I, was not quite strong enough to pick up a point. She fought well against Brian Parker and Kevin Blythe but came closest against Jason Stringer losing 11-9 in the fifth set. The Hockley boys did a lot better in their next game against Warehouse E winning 9-0, Laurie Witte, Jason Stringer and David Cross the successful team.
Warehouse E fared better in their match against Hullbridge F losing 6-3. Paul Ogden was on form again for Hullbridge with 3 wins, supported by Bob Singleton-Smith, 2 wins, and one from Ann Lane. Conrad Gomes got a brace for the home team plus one from Joe Bennett.
The two Customs games vie for Match of the Week but the one against Invicta gets my vote going, as it did, to the final match of the evening when Richard Verrinder saw them home. Customs, however, get the vote for Team of the Week and my Player of the Week is Conrad Gomes for his 2 wins against Hullbridge.