The Finals of all the Cup competitions in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League apart from the Ladies’ Knock Out Cup have now been played.

Chelmsford A – runners-up in Division One, are the 2019 Open Cup Champions. They beat Writtle 5-0 in the final with Wale Bada, Casey Cross and Rob Shrimpton calling the shots. Cross downed the challenge of 2019 Braintree Men’s Singles champion Lee McHugh 12-10, 11-6, 11-7 whilst Bada beat Matthew Brown 15-13, 11-5, 11-6 and Shrimpton defeated Ryan Pitt 11-7, 11-6, 11-4.

Writtle had been fully extended at the quarter-final stage by Danbury A. Duncan Taylor lost in five ends to Eric Green (11-6, 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11) and Taylor also came up short against Gary Young (9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 8-11) . Lee McHugh was the Writtle match-winner with wins over Young (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4) and Steve Whiteley (11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7). Writtle edged the match 5-4.

Chelmsford were 5-1 winners at the semi-final stage. They beat Chelmsford C. Wale Bada, Wudong Liu and Rob Shrimpton won their singles encounters. Shrimpton clinched the victory with a 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 success against Wiktor Delimat.

Writtle A won their semi-final 5-2 against OCs A. Duncan Taylor showed his prowess as a doubles player by combining superbly with Mathew Brown to defeat Paul Lucas / Terry Dowsett 11-9, 11-8, 11-7.

Chelmsford also won the Division Two Knock Out Cup. Mike Johnston, Christian Bernado and Wiktor Delimat beat Maldon 5-1 in the final. Chelmsford excelled on this occasion winning all three five-enders. Johnston defeated Coiln Napper 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5 whilst Bernado beat Ciaran Whelan 13-11, 11-8, 10-12, 6-11, 13-11 and Delimat played his part by seeing off Steve Scholz 14-12, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8.

Maldon had impressed at the semi-final stage with a 5-1 win over Writtle C. Colin Napper sealed their win with a 12-14, 11-5, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5 victory over John Gagg.

Danbury H (Allan Steel, Eamon Hall and Luca Bailey) are the Division three Knock Out Cup champions. They overcame Danbury G 5-0 in the final.

Danbury G won their semi-final 5-1. What looks to be a comfortable win was anything but and Danbury won the first four games in five ends. Nick Reece Ford beat Trevor Collin 11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8 whilst Peter Hance defeated Peter Layzell 6-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9. Danbury were on a roll and Mo Hardy beat Dave Carter 4-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4.

Danbury H won their semi-final 5-1. Luca Bailey came through over five very tight games to beat Richard Upson 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 9-11, 12-10.

Danbury J made it a league and cup double by beating Writtle 5-1in the Division Four Knock-Out Cup Final. Writtle scored an excellent opening win in the doubles with David Meah / Brian Steward beating Dave Powell / Dave Goody 11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 10-12, 12-10 but Danbury J had no intention of being denied. Rob Kneale sealed their win with a 11-8, 13-11, 11-9 victory over Steward having previously beaten Ian Hockley 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6.

Danbury J beat Chelmsford E 5-2 in their semi-final. Dusan Doszkoty won twice for Chelmsford beating Richard Allen (11-4, 11-6, 11-8) and Dave Goody (11-5, 11-7, 11-6). Writtle were 5-1 winners in their semi-final. David Meah concluded proceedings with a 11-6, 11-2, 11-9 win over Harry Rogers.

Chelmsford G made it three wins for the Chelmsford Club in the Knock Out Cup competitions by annexing the Division Five Knock Out Cup. Sarah Austin, Andy Swales and Ian Austin ran out 6-0 winners in the Final against Chelmsford J. Swales gave them a 2-0 lead by beating Rev Matthews 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 and Sarah Austin made it 3-0 by defeating Taku Nerutanga 11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-6.

At the semi-final stage Chelmsford J had beaten Danbury Dragons 5-3. Rev Matthews defeated Ben Porter 15-13, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 12-10 in a really hard fought second game of the evening and he clinched his side’s victory by beating Ewan Hynd 11-2, 11-5, 12-14, 11-6.

Chelmsford G really had their work cut out in their semi-final and despite leading 3-1 they only edged out Maldon E 5-4. Denis Crapnell won his two singles and he shared in a middle doubles win with Garry Eames. It all came down to the last game and Andy Swales / Ian Austin booked a place in the final by beating Denis Crapnell / Kym Eames 9-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8.

Danbury H dominated the Handicap Cup Final and ran out 5-0 winners over Chelmsford B. Eamon Hall (handicap of 53). Ben Porter (43) and Sam Mortimer Ford (42) always looked the more likely winners and at times they overwhelmed their opponents. Porter powered past Rob Shrimpton (handicap of 64) 13-21, 21-10, 21-1 whilst Mortimer totally outplayed Wiktor Delimat (handicap of 60) 21-0, 21-4.

Chelmsford B had overcome Chelmsford G 5-4 in a really hard fought semi-final. Wiktor Delimat defeated Ian Austin (handicap of 49) 21-18, 19-21, 21-15 in the last game of the evening. Mark Allaway (handicap of 61) had previously beaten Andy Swales (handicap of 46) 21-16, 17-21, 22-20 in an even tighter game.

The Ladies’ Cup Final is through to the Final stage. Hatfield Peverel beat Highwood 3-2. Julie Johnson was undefeated for Hatfield Peverel although Melanie Bonnet excelled for Highwood. She beat Jan Fuller 11-7, 8-11, 14-12, 11-9 – a superb win in anyone’s book.

Maldon beat Chelmsford 3-2. 2019 M&G Investments Chelmsford Ladies Champion Tulay Dundar beat both Kelly Yuen (11-6, 9-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-4) and Dawn Baldry (8-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-4) but Maldon edged home.

Congratulations are extended to Gordon Gatheral – the 2019 recipient of the Rosebery / Pope & Smith Award – the League’s Award for service to the Sport. League President Norman Smith who presented the award at the recent Annual General Meeting thanked League members for their nominations and he praised Gordon for his efforts and “massive impact”.

After a spell as Competitions Secretary Gordon became Divisional Secretary and he energised Division one by creating the “split division format” this season. He is a qualified coach and in conjunction with Chelmsford Council he has established the thriving “Bat & Chat” scheme at Melbourne Athletics stadium which has 35 regular players and is now looking to take on a competitive function as well. He shows real enthusiasm in everything he takes on.

There was further recognition for the Gatheral family at the recent County Annual General Meeting where Gordon’s son – David was presented with the prestigious Corti Woodcock Award – the County’s Award for service to the Sport. The 2018 recipient of the Rosebery / Pope & Smith Award David has been responsible for getting loads of people playing the Sport with his drive, commitment and enthusiasm in setting up coaching opportunities and as an enthusiastic and Qualified Coach as well.

The League were saddened to hear of the retirement of Brian Cook – the long standing League Treasurer and Vice Chairman of the League who has also acted as the purchaser and co-ordinator of the League’s trophies over many years. Brian first joined the League Committee in 1974 and after a move to Muswell Hill he returned to Chelmsford in 1983 and took on the role of League Press Officer. In the days when Press coverage was strictly limited to the local newspapers he often achieved huge coverage. Brian has been the author of the League’s Finals Night programme for many years and has enjoyed taking on the microphone duties at the Closed Championships on numerous occasions. A recipient of the Rosebery / Pope & Smith award on three occasions (1987, 2006 and 2015) he will be hugely missed. David Gatheral will replace Brian Cook as the League Vice Chairman whereas Mathew Brown will take on the role of Treasurer.

Maldon’s Thomas Page is the 2019 recipient of the Charlie Wheeler Memorial Award – the League’s Award for the” best performance” by a Junior player in the League’s Closed Championships. With a record of 64% in division three expect Thomas to be pushing for a first division berth within the next 12 months.

Galleywood’s Charlie Craig is the recipient of the Hil Dowsett Award – the Award for the Junior who having played in 80% of his team’s games achieved the best record in League matches. Charlie was part of the Galleywood C team who were runaway winners of division five.

Those players who follow Veterans Table Tennis at national level will have been delighted to have heard that Neil Charles (M&G Investments Chelmsford Men’s Singles champion in 2008, 2010 and 2011) was crowned National VETTS Champions two weeks ago in Wolverhampton. After beating the highly ranked Andrew Wilkinson (Northumberland) in the semi-final he excelled to get the better of England No 1 Veteran Lorestas Trumpauskas 3-1 in the final. Lorestas was of course M&G Investments Chelmsford Men’s Singles champion in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Finally, the Chelmsford League would like to extend their huge thanks to M&G Investments who sponsored the League’s Closed Championships since 1999. It has been a pleasure working with their Co-Ordinator Anna Emtage. The League Committee will now be looking for a new sponsor or for sponsor(s) who would like to take “ownership” of individual events or competitions.