Division two is in the spotlight this week in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League. The 5-5 draw between Chelmsford C and Hatfield Peverel saw Peverel’s Dave Calleja hit top form.

Calleja opened with a fine 3-0 win over Waseem Qureshi (11-7, 15-13, 11-5) and he then scored an equally impressive five game win over Mike Johnston. This one could have gone either way and Calleja finally nicked it 7-11, 11-9, 12-14, 15-13, 11-9.

In his last singles Calleja faced Chelmsford reserve Keith Martin (who had scored two excellent wins over Gary Ward and John Parodi) and Martin struck early forging a 2-0 lead. However, it wasn’t enough as Calleja stormed back as if his life depended on it to win 7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4.

Liberal C did well to beat Chelmsford C 6-4. Paul Lombardi and Hannah Pitt both won twice for the Liberal side with Hannah’s 12-10, 11-13, 12-14, 11-2, 11-9 success against Waseem Qureshi perhaps being the pick of the action.

Danbury B ran out 6-4 winners over a two-man OCs B. However, OCs B who are last placed may well consider this to be a “moral” victory and they certainly fought very hard for their four points.

In the games that went to five ends Steve Northcott beat Neil Want (11- 8, 11-6, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6) whilst Trevor Carter defeated Graham Briggs (11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 13-15, 11-5) and Carter also beat Neil Want (14-16, 11-9, 5-11, 11- 9, 12-10).

Maldon B are taking a “Manchester City” like grip on division three. They made it 75 points out of 100 with a commanding 9-1 win over OCs D with Colin Napper and Ciaran Whelan both winning their three singles. Perhaps the big shock here was the game that Maldon lost.

Mick Richardson certainly made his mark with a fine four game win over Hamish Innes (15-13, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7). Whilst Maldon are setting a scorching pace, second placed Hatfield Peverel B have slipped back and they lost 6-4 to Danbury F. Peter Hance and Dave Marsh both picked up two wins for the Danbury side. Dave Marsh excelled to beat Neil Freeman 11-8, 13- 11, 14-12. Third placed Writtle Excalibur B moved into contention with a superb 9-1 win over Danbury E.

All three Writtle players (Paul Sturton, Phil Smith and Louis Brown) hit top form and Danbury missed out in all nine singles. David Gatheral – so impressive in his opening five matches lost all three singles for the first time this season. Paul Sturton kicked off the proceedings with a fine 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5 win over Gatheral and Louis Brown prevailed over five ends (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3). Despite no shortage of effort Gatheral also came up short against Phil Smith and he succumbed 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11. A very strong team performance from the Writtle Excalibur side.

Danbury H jumped into third place in division four by beating Maldon D 7-3. Richard Allen, Robert Kneale and Dave Powell all won twice. The ever-green Shirley Carroll was the best of the Maldon players and she beat both Dave Powell (4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8) and Robert Kneale (9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 11- 4). Danbury H also beat OCs G 6-4. Dave Goody was their match-winner. He beat Aswin Siam (11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9) and Tanishq Kotwal (12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9) and he completed his hat-trick by defeating James Mitty (9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7).

Division five produced two 7-3 results. Chelmsford G jumped into third place by beating OCs H. Martin Hiskey led the way with a hat-trick which he completed with a very hard-fought 11-9, 7-11, 18-16, 11-8 victory over Stuart Wintle – the best of the OCs players. Chelmsford J’s Jamie Dowsett and Richard Gardiner were both undefeated against Hatfield Peverel D. Jamie Dowsett had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Alistair Brown 11-3, 15-17, 8-11, 12-10, 11- 8. Quite a battle!