Antony Greenwood capped a thrilling weekend of Table Tennis at the Colchester & District Table Tennis League Closed Championships, winning both the Men’s Singles and Doubles titles. The twenty-four year old came of age, finally fulfilling his true potential! In the Men’s final he faced Tollgate’s Andy Warner from Ipswich and in a pulsating opening set Greenwood came out on top 11-8 by virtue of his harder hitting. It was all change in the second as Warner upped the pace against a more passive Greenwood, reversing the score line to level the match at one set all. Warner’s ‘back from the table’ style and powerful back-hand is a throw-back to the Rik James era and combined with a very ‘vocal’ presence he is an intimidating opponent. The stone-faced Greenwood was not fazed, with his totally opposite ‘laid-back’ demeanour he took the third set 11-9. One got the feeling with Warner’s reputation for long matches, in both previous rounds he had been taken to five sets, there was an air of inevitability of this one going the distance and the crowd were not to be disappointed as Warner won the fourth 11-8. The final set was a tense affair with Warner finally breaking loose to lead 10-7. At this point Greenwood threw caution to the wind and had Warner way back from the table with a series of powerful loop drives and a chop smash which culminated in Warner attempting an unbelievable over-head shot from out of position that only just missed the end of the table! With Greenwood now taking the initiative one sensed the momentum had shifted and when presented with his first match point he made no mistake with a powerful forehand smash. With many rallies lasting between twenty and thirty shots this had been a real test of stamina and as both players embraced at the end Greenwood finally cracked a smile, a smile that in his own words “he had waited fifteen years for!”

Representing the H20 Rowhedge club Greenwood is a product of Colchester coaching and sights the likes of Len Barton, Colin and John Andrews and Alan Burgess as the source of his style of play. He had previously won the Junior Singles title on five occasions and after a break for his studies at University he has returned to help his team win the Division One title.

In the Semi-Finals Greenwood came back from a set down and 10-8 in the second with lady-luck on his side when getting an outrageous edge from a steepling lob that his opponent, Paul Davison (Tollgate) never seemed to recover from. Steve Joslin (H20 Rowhedge), last season’s champion fell victim to another Warner five set epic, unable to penetrate the Tollgate player’s defense and ultimately, his counter-punching style that makes him so entertaining to watch.

Aimee Sparkes from the Gt Horkesley club successfully defended her Ladies title against Sue Welham (Tollgate), a match that never happened last year due to Welham’s injury and withdrawal from all three finals. The Ipswich youngster has an ‘all-action’ style for which Welham never got to grips losing in three straight sets as Sparkes dominated the ladies events..

The all H20 Rowhedge Men’s Doubles final was also a one-sided affair with holders Antony Greenwood and Michael Andrews of the ‘younger generation’ beating the ‘old guard’ and seven

times champions David Moss and John Andrews with some flawless, stroke play without dropping a set, at one point winning nineteen unanswered points! This was in contrast to the two previous rounds where they had comeback from two sets down against both Warner and Green and Young and Hodder!

The Ladies Doubles was an altogether closer match with the challengers, Sue Welham and Hazel Hume (St Peters) pushing Aimee Sparkes and Janet Faiers (Gt Horkesley) all the way, finally going down 11-9 in the fifth end.

In the Mixed Doubles Aimee Sparkes completed an excellent hat-trick of wins on the night, joining forces with Gt Horkesley team-mate Mike Wright to defend their crown against three time champions Gary Young and the unlucky Sue Welham who missed out in all three finals.

The Junior Final was moved to Final’s night and what a good move that proved to be with some entertaining table tennis played by both holder Mark Smith (H20 Rowhedge) and number one seed James Denyer (Walton), both from Clacton. It was to be Smith’s night as he raced into a two set lead with some searing back-hand drives, although Denyer sprung into life in the third Smith showed great self-believe in the fourth end to win in some style! Denyer retained his Cadet title, beating the fast improving Jane Li (H20 Rowhedge) who went on to win the Junior Girls event defeating Alice Rudge (H20 Rowhedge) in a repeat of last year’s final. Smith and Denyer won the Junior Boys Doubles beating Andrew Harvey and Tom Lewis (H20 Rowhedge).

The stylish Nigel Hodder (Tollgate) claimed both the Veteran’s 40+ and 50+ finals against club-mate Trevor Carter in both, with the well-travelled Alan Burgess (H20 Rowhedge) winning the 60+ title against Ken Lewis (Gt Horkesley).

In the Divisional Singles Wudong Liu (Gt Horkesley), Rob Bozier (University of Essex) and Chris Jones (Gt Horkesley) were the winners with Jones completing an excellent weekend for her taking out some notable scalps with clever tactics to win the Senior Handicap Singles.

All in all this was another hugely successful event held at the Rowhedge Table Tennis Club with some of the closest, fiercely fought matches contested in recent years but ultimately played in an excellent spirit! – Below Antony Greenwood receives the Men’s trophy from the Mayor.


Men’s Singles Semi-Finals:
Antony Greenwood bt Paul Davison -9, 10, 2, 6. Andy Warner bt Steve Joslin -6, 6, 6, -10, 8.

Junior Boys Final:
Mark Smith bt James Denyer 7, 7, -6, 8.

Ladies Doubles Final:
Aimee Sparkes & Janet Faiers bt Sue Welham & Hazel Hume 7, -10, 9, -8, 9.

Veteran’s 40+ Final:
Nigel Hodder bt Trevor Carter 8, 9, 9.

Mixed Doubles Final:
Aimee Sparkes & Mike Wright bt Sue Welham & Gary Young 7, 7, 4.

Men’s Doubles Final:
Antony Greenwood & Michael Andrews bt David Moss & John Andrews 7, 0, 7.

Ladies Singles Final:
Aimee Sparkes bt Sue Welham 7, 6, 8.

Men’s Singles Final:
Antony Greenwood bt Andy Warner 8, -8, 9, -8, 10.

Saturday’s Events Winner Runner Up

Cadet Singles James Denyer Jane Li

Junior Girls Singles Jane Li Alice Rudge

Junior Doubles Mark Smith & James Denyer Andrew Harvey & Tom Lewis

Junior Handicapped Singles Jermaine Feron James Denyer

Junior Handicapped Doubles Andrew Harvey & Thomas Lewis Mark Smith & Jermaine Fearon

Senior Handicapped Singles Chris Jones Steve Holland

Senior Handicapped Doubles Richard Goodhand & Mike Wright Nigel Claydon & Andrew Harvey

Division 2 Singles Wudong Liu Alan Burgess

Division 3 Singles Rob Bozier Phil Wolski

Division 4 Singles Chris Jones Ben Jackson

Veteran’s 50+ Singles Nigel Hodder Trevor Carter

Veteran’s 60+ Singles Alan Burgess Ken Lewis

Division One

Tollgate A 16 12 1 3 45 115
Gt Horkesley A 16 10 0 6 55 105
Tollgate B 16 11 0 5 58 102
H2O Rowhedge A 13 11 0 2 29 101
H2O Rowhedge B 14 11 1 2 40 100
H2O Rowhedge C 16 5 0 11 106 54
Walton B 14 4 0 10 91 49
Lawford A 14 1 1 12 116 24
Walton C 15 0 1 14 130 20
Walton A 0 0 0 0 0 0

Division Two

Gt Horkesley C 16 15 0 1 39 121
Walton D 16 12 2 2 45 115
Pegasus A 18 9 3 6 78 102
Lawford B 16 8 3 5 72 88
Clairmont A 15 6 3 6 74 76
Gt Horkesley B 15 6 4 5 75 75
H2O Rowhedge D 16 5 2 9 91 68
H2O Rowhedge E 15 4 3 8 87 63
Tollesbury A 18 2 2 14 127 52
Walton E 17 2 2 13 121 49

Division Three

St Peters A 17 14 2 1 51 119
H2O Rowhedge F 18 9 3 6 75 105
Pegasus B 17 8 3 6 68 102
Gt Horkesley D 17 8 3 6 76 94
Lawford C 17 9 4 4 77 93
Tollesbury B 18 8 2 8 92 88
University of Essex 18 5 2 11 108 72
Pegasus C 15 7 1 7 82 68
H2O Rowhedge G 18 5 1 12 116 64
Dedham A 17 2 1 14 115 55

Division Four

Pegasus D 18 14 2 2 55 125
H2O Rowhedge H 16 14 2 0 37 123
Pegasus E 18 11 2 5 63 117
Gt Horkesley E 16 9 2 5 70 90
Lawford D 17 6 4 7 89 81
Lawford E 17 5 2 10 98 72
Dedham B 15 7 1 7 82 68
CRGS A 16 2 5 9 96 64
H2O Rowhedge I 17 2 3 12 120 50
Gt Horkesley F 16 1 1 14 120 40