SDTTL Winter League 16/17
• Premier Division. After the last week of the season all but one game involved in the championship race has been played and it couldn’t be tighter. The title has been a three way race all season and the one thing we can now say with certainty is that Rawreth A will not be adding to the many titles they have won in recent years as they finish the season on 179 points. Current leaders are Thorpe Bay A who have now completed all their games and are on 183 points with the only team who can catch them now being Hullbridge A who are on 176 points with one game to play. That game is against Lentern A and Hullbridge A need eight points from that game to be crowned champions. That game will be played on Star Wars Day, May the 4th (may the 4th be with you, get it?) so there will be a final report next week to give a final table round up and confirm who are our 2016/17 champions.
In the final week the top 3 recorded, as they have been most of the season impressive results with Hullbridge A and Rawreth A beating Stanford le Hope and Warehouse A 8-1 respectively. Kim Shead had a good win against Lee Prentice and came a whisker away from another big scalp as he went down 11-9 in the 5th to George Reeves, Charles Sweeney also unbeaten for the Rawreth side. Thorpe Bay kept their dreams of the title alive with a 9-0 win over Lentern A who although fielding two players did have the highly dangerous Wale Bada in their team who took all three of Paul Whatton, John Monk and Paul Sayer to a fifth game but with nothing to show for his efforts.
The other end of the table is a bit more straight forward with the bottom 2 being how it has stood for much of the season with Customs and Stanford le Hope finishing up in those positions. Other games in the final week included a good win for Castle Point with a man of the match performance from Barrie Delf as they beat Hadleigh Forum 7-2 and a 6-3 win for Hullbridge B over Customs for whom Dale Gutteridge picked up two good wins over Tim Cramphorn and Dick Wyman.
DRS Duncan Taylor
• Division 1 Hadleigh Forum B had two games to play this week and surprisingly were beaten in both. In the first, a re-arranged game against HullbridgeD, Hadleigh were only able to field two players and lost 7-2. Ben Matthews played well to beat both Dave Woolmer and Mick Tappenden both in close 5 set games, to earn maximum points on the night. Dave Woolmer had a good win over Matt Rolfe but lost to Jo Hills, again both in close 5 set games. Finally, Mick Tappenden had a single win over Jo Hill
In their second match of the week, a full-strength Hadleigh Forum B lost 5-4 in a closely contested match against Warehouse B, who themselves finished two points off the runner-up position in 3rd . Russell Bright played up for the Forum team and played well to get the better of Tony Wright but losing to Micky Baker and Martin West in 5 set matches. Mick Tappenden did well to beat both Tony Wright and Micky Baker but lost to Martin West again in 5 sets in an odd see-saw match that saw Martin win 11-0 in the fifth set!! Dave Woolmer was the third forum member and managed a single win over Micky Baker, losing a close 5 set match against Tony Wright. So POTM was Martin West, unbeaten for Warehouse, on the night, and what a difference he has made to the team. Martin was out for 8 weeks with an elbow injury and Berti for 11 weeks with a leg injury, otherwise Warehouse could have seen themselves joining Forum in the Premier next year.
Rawreth C finished the season with a flourish and a 6-3 win over Hockley B which was enough to see them take the runners-up spot as predicted last week. A fighting hat trick from Chris Nunn, backed up by two from Gary Mcarthy and one from John Blackman was enough to see them through. Dennis Squirrell put up most resistance with two for Hockley and an good win for David Chenery, playing up from the D team, over John Blackman. David put on a good show only losing to Gary and Chris in 5 sets and may well have staked a place in the Div 1 side for next year with this type of performance.
Canvey A put on a good show to push up to 4th place with a fine 7-2 win over Lentern D. Ray Wilson with three was unbeaten on the night and supported by two each from Terry Giddens and Phil Puckey. Chris Crooks was the winner of both points for Lentern but couldn’t beat Ray. Lentern have secured their stay in Division 1 but will need to improve next year to get back to their previous position.
Hullbridge C are currently in 5th but have a result left to come in against Lentern C.
Invicta A lost their final match 5-4 against Lentern B, who had a good allround team performance with everyone contributing. John Lott and Steve Appleby scored two each and Malcolm Henstock added one to take the win but no-one was able to beat Steve Marr on the night who ended up unbeaten. Unfortunately, only Sid Dorn could add a point and was unable to save the match overall.
With only two results left to come in the top and bottom positions are confirmed:
Champions – Hadleigh Forum B (166 points)
Runners-up – Rawreth C (119 points)
Last Position – Castle Point B (72 points)
Thanks to all the captains for getting their results in promptly and an enjoyable year.
DRS Barrie Delf
• Division 2. Congratulations to the youngsters of Hullbridge E – the only team in all four divisions of SDTTL to go all season undefeated. The squad of James Goddard, Adam Jackman, Reece Harris-Griffiths and Daniel Zeffie have had a fantastic competition, having led the division virtually all season long. This week saw them complete their fixtures with a comprehensive 8 – 1 victory over Basildon Hospital. Reece and Daniel were undefeated, whilst Mike Smith sneaked one to save the visitor’s blushes.
Second place Hockley C played hosts to lowly Invicta B. A hat trick from the ever-reliable Stuart Adshead, with two wins for Joe Lock and one for Neal Klyman gave them a 6 – 3 win. David Barnes and Barrie Murphy got the visitors’ points.
Canvey B demolished bottom side Castle Point D 9 – 0. Player of the match Des Duffield, Tony Westwell and Talbot Wiseman were all undefeated, as Canvey finished off their season in style.
It was an unhappy last week of the normal season for the two Rawreth sides in the division. Firstly, the E team lost 8 – 1 on their visit to Warehouse C. James Spencer and Andy Humphris were both too strong for their visitors. Matt Barber was the only Rawreth player to register a success.
Next, the D team succumbed at home to Canvey C 5 – 4, thanks to yet another Harry Keys hat trick. The talented youngster has had twelve POM awards this season, and an average to be proud of. He took the scalps of both Sam Thompson and Colin Braham, who themselves have been no slouches this season.
Wakering overcame the ladies of Runnymede 7 – 2 thanks, in part, to a hat trick from Paul England. Zac England and Nigel Cook chipped in with two wins each. Barbara Shead and Anne Adlington shared the visitor’s points.
David Barnes DRS
• Division 3. The curtain came down on the 2016/17 season this week and, whilst there were no top or bottom of the table issues to be decided, there was a good mix of close fought games and a couple of records set.
Hullbridge H and Hockley F had a postponed game to play,and the reverse fixture, so they completed their seasons with a double header at Hullbridge. The home team came out winners in both games but there were some very close matches. Toby Zeffie and Abiaz Afzal completed hat tricks in a 6-3 win against Keith Denyer, Graham Gregory and Claire Stringer with Hockley’s points all coming against Thomas Francis. Toby was pushed all the way by Graham in the final match but finally outlasted his opponent 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 17-19, 11-4.
A slightly younger Hockley team (!) of Alex Summers, Harry Sawford and Ben Cook fared slightly better but went down 5-4 to Ellena Hart, Harrison Sadler and William Skelt in the second match. William was in fine form again winning all three including the crunch match against Harry which saw William 2-1 down but fight back to take the final two sets 11-6, 11-3. He had already done the same thing against Benearlier, winning 11-3 in the fifth. Harrison claimed two wins as did Harry for Hockley and there was a point each for Alexand Ben. Ellena was the unluckiest player on the night losing two of her matches in five sets after leading 2-1 in both.Hullbridge have finished the season with five wins in six matches which bodes well for next season.
Finishing one place higher than them in the league table are teammates Hullbridge F who crashed 8-1 to Customs B to record their fourth loss in five games. Richard Kidd recorded a perfect hat trick for Customs, not dropping a set, and Mark Rose also finished with three wins whilst Dean Johnson claimed a brace. Bob Singleton-Smith saved their blushes beating Dean in the last game of the night to grab a consolation point.
Wooden spoonists Rochford finished their first season in the league, as they started it, with a 9-0 defeat this time to Canvey D. They played an unregistered player to ‘blood’ him for the new season but very sportingly told me of their intentions. In fact they have played the whole season in a true sportsmanlike manner never complaining about the defeats they were suffering and, it seems to me, they are looking forward to the new season with enthusiasm rather than trepidation, which would have been completely understandable. Geoff Banthorpesaid this about them – “My admiration to the Rochford team for completing their fixtures this season even though they have been outplayed in most matches”. Geoff, Steve Robinson and Gordon Johnstone were the winning team.
I’m sure all the teams in the Division wish Rochford well in the summer and next season.
Champions Hockley D finished with a comprehensive 8-1 win against Warehouse D. Alex Barnetson and David Cheneryfinished with hat tricks and Jim Nariel won two just missing out to Tamas Mezo. Congratulations to Alex who has completed the season undefeated, the first Hockley player to achieve this since Trevor Vincent in 2010/11.
Runners up Stanford Le Hope B beat Hullbridge G 8-1 but Hullbridge were handicapped by Bill Hoy feeling unwell and he failed to complete two of his games. Dan Harris and Mark Farley both claimed hat tricks and John Handscombe a brace whilst Tony Molisso got the point for Hullbridge. Mark played particularly well on the night coming back from 10-4 down in one set against Bill and then 8-2 down against Tony before winning 17-15.
Hullbridge’s defeat left the door open for Hockley E to snatch fifth place in the division and record their highest ever finish. They beat Warehouse E 8-1 with Phil Pond recording a perfect hat trick, Andrew Strutt with another three and the shy and retiring Laurie Witte with two. Laurie only just missed out on his hat trick after a marathon five set match with Mike W Webb which Mike won in the end 11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 11-13, 12-10. This was Hockley’s fifth win in their last six matches.
Team of the Week – Hullbridge F
Player of the Week – William Skelt