The 2015 Central Essex Summer League continues to flourish and this year some 30 teams are taking part in four divisions drawn from the Chelmsford, Brentwood, Basildon, Braintree and Burnham leagues. Matches are being played over the popular two-a-side format in June and July.

Ramsden A are the early leaders in Division One with two 5-0 wins to their name. Charles Sweeney and Andrew Halling beat Ramsden B 5-0 in a match where Halling was pushed hard by Gary Ward, finally triumphing 3-2 (10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8). Ramsden A also beat Cold Norton A 5-0. It was Keith Adams and Halling who dominated this time.

Last year’s winners Rayne are in second place and they beat Danbury B 4-1. Adam Buxton won twice whilst Danbury’s Chris Hancox made his mark with a fine 3-2 (11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 5-11, 11-8) win over Steve Pennell. Rayne emerged as 3-2 winners over Danbury A. This time Pennell picked up two wins whilst Buxton missed out over four ends to Chris Buer.

Danbury B also suffered a 4-1 defeat against Ramsden B. John Parodi picked up two good victories, defeating Chris Hancox 3-1 (7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4) and Ken Sheard 3-1 (11-6, 14-12, 11-13, 13-11).

In the second division, Ramsden C (Neil Freeman and Dave Fiddeman) made an impressive start by beating Danbury C 4-1. Freeman dominated proceedings, beating Herbie Smith 3-1 (17-15, 11-6, 3-11, 11-4) and Dave Marsh 3-0 (11-4, 13-11, 11-7).

Ramsden C however met their match against Chelmsford who ran out 4-1 winners. Paul Nicol was on top form. He defeated both Neil Freeman (11-8, 11-3, 13-11) and Gareth Davies (11-6, 11-8, 11-7). Freeman also made his mark by getting the better of Ryan Gooday over five ends. OCs B had Frank Hodge to thank as they beat Danbury C 3-2. Hodge defeated both Herbie Smith (3-0) and Dave Marsh (3 1).

Galleywood C, with 14 points out of 15, are hot favourites to win Division Three. Mohammed Mohseni and Victor Chan scored three convincing wins. They beat Danbury D 5-0, Chelmsford B 4-1 and Buttsbury B 5-0. Danbury’s Brian Ellis was very unlucky to lose both of his singles. He missed out 3-2 (5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 14- 12, 9-11) to Chan and he also went down in five ends to Mohseni (7-11, 9-11, 19-17, 11-7, 7-11).

The 4-1 win over Chelmsford B again saw Chan pick up two wins whilst Mohseni missed out against ace defender Dave Parker 3-0 (1-11, 8-11, 10-12).

Cold Norton B did well to beat Chelmsford B 3-2, good going as neither Simon Lowman nor Roy Gandy were able to get the better of Jarek Pietraszuk. In a widely fluctuating encounter Pietraszuk defeated Lowman in five ends (4-11, 11-6, 11-3, 8-11, 11-7).

Felsted RBL ran out 3-2 winners against Danbury D. Brian Ellis picked up two wins for Danbury but Nicholas Butler and Ashley Butler both won once and they secured the victory by getting the better of Alan Shrimpton and Brian Ellis 9-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-7 in the deciding doubles.

Ramsden D (Barry Evans and Peter Mortenson) were decisive 5-0 winners over Old Chelmsfordians D in Division Four. Galleywood D beat OCs C 3-2. Farooq Ahmed won twice for OCs and this included a fine 13-11, 11-7, 11-5 win over David Gatherall.

* The recent Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League 2014/5 Annual General Meeting saw the presentation of three League Awards. Brian Cook, the League Treasurer and Vice-Chairman, was presented with the Rosebery / Pope & Smith Award – the League’s top award for service to the sport. He becomes the second person, after Arthur Clark, to have received this award three times. Brian was a previous winner in 1987 and 2006.

Sarah Austin, who sensationally battled her way to the Ladies Singles’ Final at the M&G Investments Chelmsford Closed Championships was the recipient of the Charlie Wheeler Memorial Award, the award that supports the outstanding and perhaps least expected performance by a Junior player in the League’s Annual Championships.

Finally, Peter Windley was the recipient of the Hill Dowsett Junior Award, which honours the Junior player who achieves the highest playing percentage over a full League campaign. Peter, with a very impressive record of 46 wins out of 53 (86%) helped his side OCs F take second position in Division Four.

Sunday June 28 2015 saw the launch of “Ping! Chelmsford” in the Meadows Shopping Centre. In conjunction with Sport England and Chelmsford County Council, Table Tennis England have provided 19 Table Tennis Tables placed strategically throughout the City Centre with a view of encouraging as many people to play recreational Table Tennis as possible.

Special heavy-duty bats will be left with the tables and participation is free. The event runs until the end of August. Last year some 750 table tennis tables were placed throughout the country in places as varied as Cadbury’s World in Birmingham, Liverpool Street Station, London’s Southbank, Milton Keynes Station and Brighton sea front.

Table Tennis England Area Development Lead and occasional Chelmsford League player John Andrews oversaw the opening in a specially convened Table Tennis parlour in Meadows Shopping Centre and it was very pleasing to see a large number of League players present. All League players are encouraged to join in if they see someone looking for a practice partner and, who knows, hopefully some new faces will be encouraged to take up the game.

To visit the Ping! Chelmsford website, click here

Steve Kerns (press & publicity officer)
June 29, 2015