Veterans KO Cup semi-finals both decided by narrowest possible margins.

The Veterans KO Cup semi-finals in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League produced two thrilling encounters, and both which were decided 5-4 with the last game of the evening.

Danbury C (Dave Richardson, Steve Whiteley and Ivan Chaplin) did well to beat Writtle B, crucially winning all four games that were decided in the fifth end. Steve Whiteley beat Gary Ward 3-2 (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10) whilst Ivan Chaplin recorded a vital 3-2 (13-11, 4-11, 5-11, 11-9, 15-13) victory over Matthew Brown. Dave Richardson and Ivan Chaplin finally sealed the Danbury victory by getting the better of Matthew Brown and Hector Rogers 3-2 (7-11,11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 12-10) in the deciding doubles encounter.

Danbury C will meet ECC (Rik James, Steve Kens and Bryn Thomas) in the final. ECC beat last year’s winners Writtle A in the penultimate round, having lost 5-4 at that stage last season.

Writtle led 4-2 but ECC fought back determinedly. Steve Kerns defeated Kevin Worthington 3-1 (4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3) and Rik James levelled the scores by beating Peter Radford 3-1 (10-12, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5). Everything to play for!

The deciding doubles was close all the way as neither pairing enjoyed any long spells of domination. The ECC pairing of Rik James and Bryn Thomas eventually battled back from 2-0 down to get the better of Paul Cuming and Kevin Worthington 3-2 (10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11). Quite a finish to an excellent match.

Hatfield Peverel A are through to the 2-Down final. Dave Calleja, John Gagg and John Parodi gave nothing away as they beat Danbury A 5-0. Dave Calleja raced to a 3-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-7) win over Graham Briggs whilst John Gagg defeated Neil Want 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-5).

Elmtree Excalibur (Gary Cattermole, Phil Smith and Rod Maclenan) are through to the Open Cup final. They beat Danbury B 5-1. Elmtree dominated the singles clashes. The hard-hitting Gray Cattermole beat Tim Pulham 3-0 (11-1, 11-8, 11-2) whilst Phil Smith beat Neil Want 3-1 (11-8, 6-11, 11-9, 14-12) and Rod Maclennan picked up two wins. He beat Chris Hancox 3-1 (11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 11-6) and Tim Pulham 3-1 (11-9. 10-12, 12-10, 11-9).

Elmtree Graphics B beat their A Side 6-4 in their first division encounter despite the fact that none of their players were able to get the better of the inform Gary Young who completed his hat-trick with a 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 12-10) victory over John Holland.

The match between ECC B and Elmtree Excalibur A had to be abandoned when the scores were tied at 3-3. The match was deemed to be a 5-5 draw. ECC ‘s Rik James showed that he is rapidly returning to his very best form. He beat Gary Young 3-1 (5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7) and Gary Baker decisively 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).

Alistair Hill made his mark with a fine 3-1 (11-13, 11-5, 11-7, 13-11) victory over Glenn Johnson. Champions – elect Maldon A recorded their tenth win of the season, beating Danbury A 6-4. Paul Sayer‘s hat-trick was the difference between the two sides whilst Danbury‘s Antony Greenwood showed up well with a fine 3-1 (5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) win over current M&G Investments Chelmsford Mens Singles Champion – Alex Abbott. This result means that Danbury A are relegated.

ECC E are relegated from Division Three but they finished their season on a high by drawing with ECC D. Allan Thompson did well to win his three singles and he sealed the draw for his team by beating Peter Layzell 3-0 (13-11, 11-2, 12-10) in the last game of the night.

Elmtree Exclaibur C have finished third with 115 points and they completed their Season by beating Danbury E 8-2. Bill Smith and Chris Aukett were both undefeated.

Steve Kerns

Press & Publicity Officer

Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League