Bocking, who rather unexpectedly occupy the bottom place in the first division of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League, were the week’s big winners beating Rawreth A 9-1.

Rik James and Sam Hume were both undefeated and Gary Cattermole won twice. Cattermole in fact showed up very well beating Essex President Stuart Gibbs 3-2 (13-11, 10-12, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11) and Simon Neale also in five (9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8. Cattermole lost heavily to Charles Sweeny in three (6-11, 6-11, 5-11.

Bocking also drew 5-5 with Danbury B. Dave Cole led the way with a hat-trick of wins but he was severely tested by Dave Richardson before winning 3-2 (7-11, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 11-9) and by Eric Green where he came through 13-11, 10-12, 11-2, 3-11, 13-11. Steve Whiteley excelled by beating Rik James 3-1 (11-2, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8).

Chelmsford A have had a fine season and although they are unlikely to remain in third place as teams below them have matches in hand they have marked themselves down as a force to contend with. 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford Championships Veterans Singles champion Wal Bada was undefeated in their 7-3 victory over OCs A. Bada beat Brandon Crouchman 3- 2 (11-8, 7-11, 11-1, 18-20, 11-6) after five roller-coaster games.

Leaders Maldon A have been the model of consistency this year and the records of their players illustrate this. Alex Abbott – 82 %, Trevor Lloyd – 81 % and Colin Stallwood – 80 % have been the mainstays of their team. An undefeated Lloyd and Stallwood were joined by John Poysden in their 8-2 win over Danbury A. Poysden showed up well with a fine 3-2 (10-12, 5-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-9) win over Gary Young but he missed out narrowly to Reece Seddon in five (9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 8-11).

The three matches in division two all produced 6-4 scorelines. The 6-4 win for Liberal B over Galleywood A saw Liberal’s Adrian Pitt take a hat-trick and he sealed his side’s victory by beating James Hicks – the 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford Championships Division Two Singles champion by a last gasp 3-2 (8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 16-14) margin. There was also a good 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-6) doubles win for James Hicks and Bryn Thomas over Adrian Pitt and Andrew Huckson – the 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford Championships Veterans Doubles champions.

Hatfield Peverel A came out on top against Liberal B. Liberal’s Robin Armstrong scored his first hat-trick of the season and what an impressive performance it was. He defeated Gary Ward 3-1 (12-10, 11-7, 4-11, 12-10) followed by John Parodi 3-1 (11-2, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9) and he capped his “night of nights” by beating John Gagg in four (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8).

OCs C had Peter Windley to thank as they defeated Writtle Excalibur A. In the battle of the number ones Windley beat Richard Storey 3-2 (6-11, 11-7, 16-14, 11-13, 11-8) to secure the OCs victory.

Division three leaders Danbury G ran out 8-2 winners over OCs D. George Ashley and Sam Lowman were both undefeated and Cameron Gray picked up two wins. Ashley had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Tom Barker in five (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8).

A strong run of results has seen Chelmsford C move into second place. They beat Danbury H 8-2 with Mark Allaway winning his three singles. League President Norman Smith showed up well for the losers by downing the challenge of Paul Nicol 3-1 (11-13, 16-14, 12-10, 11-5).

Maldon C ran out 6-4 winners over Maldon B although it was Dawn Baldry – the 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford Championships Ladies Singles champion – playing for the B side who won her three singles. She defeated Colin Napper 3-2 (11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5) and Ciaran Whelan 3-1 (13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9) and she sealed a memorable hat-trick of wins by beating Jan Fuller 3-1 (11-6, 4-11, 14-12, 11-7).

Division four leaders Hatfield Peverel C suffered their third defeat of the season against Chelmsford E but they look “safe” in first place. Chelmsford E edged the match 6-4. No individual player remained undefeated and Chelmsford‘s Richard Baxter and Richard Upson and Peverel’s Trevor Collin and Dave Carter all won twice. Upson defeated Collin 3-1 (11-9, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4) – only Collin’s fifth loss of the season.

Felsted RBL won twice. Matt Laws and Ian Butler were both unbeaten as they saw off Danbury L 8-2 and Butler led the way in their 6-4 victory over OCs F. Butler’s trio of wins included a widely fluctuating 3-2 (7-11, 3-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-8) success against Farooq Ahmed – the best of the OCs players.

Maldon D drew 5-5 with Writtle C in a match where Mervyn Perriman won his three singles. He completed his hat-trick with a fine 3-0 (17-15, 11-9, 11-8) victory over Neil Thompson. Maldon D also beat Chelmsford F 6-4. The in-form Mervyn Perriman was again the “show-stealer” and he won his three singles. He sealed his hat-trick with a hard-fought 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-7) victory over Jason Clark.

OCs F took full advantage of Chelmsford F being a player short and ran out 8-2 winners. Reserve Tanishq Kotwal looked comfortable at this level and won both of his singles.

The division five match between Writtle Excalibur E and OCs H didn’t go to plan at all. Second-placed OCs H won 7-3 but it was David Bishop who held the side together with three wins. Tanishq Kotwal – with just one defeat prior to this match was beaten by both Keith Pallett 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-13, 6-11) and by Melanie Bonnett also in four (9-11, 5-11, 13-11, 8-11). Even with these defeats Kotwal still has a record of  93 % – further proof as to just how well Pallett and Bonnett played on this occasion. OCs H’s Lawrence Bartlett played his part in the victory by winning twice and this included a very hard-fought 3-2 (11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11) victory over Nicola Pippen.

There was an even bigger shock in the match between OCs G and Anglia Ruskin University which ended as a 5-5 draw. Stuart Wintle became the first player this season to beat Anglia Ruskin captain Pewist Osman and he fought back strongly from 2-1 down to win 11-9, 1-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5. League Stalwart Wintle with a record of 81 % has also enjoyed a fine season.

CLICK Leaders Galleywood C were hard pushed to beat Buttsbury B 3-2. Buttsbury’s Tom Picton won both of his singles. In the game that effectively decided the match Rio Teplezki came through in five ends against James Green winning 10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8.

Buttsbury C ran out 3-2 winners over Buttsbury A although it was James Hughes from Buttsbury A who won twice. This included a hard-fought 3-2 (11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6) win over Toby Kelly.

Black Notley B (Nicholas Grice and Elliot Game) were 4-1 winners over Black Notley A whilst OCs J beat Chelmsford J 4-1. James Mitty beat Jamie Penkman 3-2 (9-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6, 14-12) in the pick of the night’s action.