There were mixed results for the newcomers in the opening week of the Colchester & District Table Tennis League. The St James club from Clacton suffered a 6-4 defeat to Pegasus B in Division Two with Pegasus debutant Glen Laing completing a maximum, joined by Captain Steve Noble, who is sharing his duties between the A & B teams. Andy Vincent, making his first appearance in the Colchester league, won two for St James. Tollgate C won by a similar score line at Lawford A, relegated from Division One last season. Marcia Ma was unbeaten for the Holmwood House based team and there was an impressive start for Jane Li, winning two as she made the step up from Division Four. George Berry stood firm for Lawford with two wins.

There were no fewer than four 6-4 results from this Division, title favourites Walton C downing H20 Rowhedge D mainly thanks to the experienced Colin Dearman winning three, inflicting a rare defeat on the equally experienced Alan Burgess, who won two. Freshly promoted St Peters got off to winning ways, again 6-4. Roger Warren getting his money’s worth with three five-set wins, 7, 8 & 9 in the final ends, respectively, Colin Powell coming the closest for H20 Rowhedge F. This puts four teams joint top followed by both Tollesbury A & Clairmont, who fought out a 5-5 draw. The two Paul’s starred, Tracey winning three for Clairmont and Freeman two for the village team.

Tollgate A are the early leaders in Division One as they whitewashed Walton B 10-0 with Greg Green, Nigel Hodder and Colin Stallwood all in fine form, undefeated. Green survived a scare against the wily Mark Gale, coming back from two sets down to scrape home 16-14 in the final end! Gt Horkesley A are hot on their heels recording a 9-1 win over H20 Rowhedge C as Gary Cattermole picked up Rowhedge’s sole point with an excellent five set win over Aimee Sparkes. Mike Wright and Richard Goodhand were the stars for Horkesley, the Ipswich based players both remained unbeaten.

Reigning champions H20 Rowhedge A got off to a winning start but not without dramas as captain Michael Andrews suffered a wrist fracture, but despite the pain continued to win his three matches as did Colchester Men’s champion Antony Greenwood. Wudong Liu made an impressive start in the top flight, beating Alan Burgess in three straight sets and taking Andrews to five ends. Despite this his team lost 8-2 as the Rowhedge team’s problems mount up! Their ‘B’ team won 7-3 but there was an impressive start for Gary Young making the jump from Tollgate to Gt Horkesley C as he won three but despite this his team went down 7-3. The highlight of his performance was a straight sets win over old adversary Kevin Gowlett who won two. Colin Stallwood had a productive week as he took two maximums in consecutive days both against Walton teams! He led the ‘B’ team to a narrow 6-4 win at Walton A – his team coming back from 4-3 down to clinch victory.

Division Three is much more straight forward with four different score lines in each match. Dedham A head the pack, winning 9-1 at H20 Rowhedge H with Tony Watson and the ever-dependable Marjorie Culham undefeated. Lawford B accounted for the University of Essex 8-2 with Luke Swain untroubled, winning three. John Moore made an impressive start for Tollesbury B, his three wins helping his team to a 7-3 win at Pegasus D. The Marks Tey clubs ‘C’ team suffered a 6-4 defeat as Gt Horkesley D shot out of the blocks, winning the first six games as no player remained unbeaten!

Pegasus E are the front runners in Division Four with a surprise 9-1 win over Gt Horkesley E. Paul Weston and Barry Steggle won three apiece with Jennie Clarke, Horkesley’s sole winner. The Gilberd School had a tough start losing 8-2 at Dedham B with Marjorie Culham again winning three. Newcomers Tollgate D fared better winning 7-3 with Allan Smith and Richard Baxter both taking three wins without dropping a set! Russell Hillier and John Plummer both starred for St James D in a 7-3 win over Pegasus F with three wins each. Lawford’s C and D teams fought out a tough battle with the ‘C’ team as expected coming out on top with no player able to go through the evening without defeat!