The outstanding team in the first division of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League this season – Maldon A – have been crowned champions as expected.

They won the title in style. Alex Abbott, Trevor Lloyd and Colin Stallwood ran out 10-0 winners against Rawreth A. They have amassed 151 points to date out of 210.

The battle for second place illustrates just how evenly matched the other seven sides are. Liberal are second with 105 points out of a possible 210 and surprisingly they have only won six of their 21 matches – the second worst return in the division. This week Liberal were 8-2 losers to Bocking. Rik James and Gary Cattermole were both undefeated for Bocking. Cattermole excelled by beating Paul Davison 3-1 (11-2, 10-12, 11-9, 16-14) and James also beat Davison over five roller-coaster ends 11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5.

Bottom side OCs A were impressive 9-1 winners against Danbury A. Scott Dowsett and Brandon Crouchman were both undefeated. Reserve Peter Windley won twice with two excellent victories over Eric Green and Dave Richardson. Steve Whiteley defeated Windley decisively 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-5) to save the “whitewash”.

Rawreth A (who have used 11 players this season) were 8-2 winners over Danbury B. George Reeves in his fourth match of the season led the way with a hat-trick and Mike Hayes and Kim Shead both won twice.

Rawreth B are division two champions with 131 points out of 200. Kim Shead with a record of 92% from his 38 singles has been their mainstay and he will enjoy his first division experience next year.

Rawreth B were held to a 5-5 draw by Danbury C for whom Peter Mynard hit top form. This included a magnificent 11-7, 11-6, 11-7 victory over Kim Shead. In fact, Shead came very close to losing a second singles in the same night for the first time this season. Tony Forster only succumbed 3-2 (11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 5-11, 13-15).

Rawreth B also beat Danbury D 7-3. Kim Shead was undefeated this time. Paul Churn had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Steve Buer 3-2 (9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 9-11, 13-11). OCs B are third – two points behind Danbury D but with two matches in hand. They impressed by beating Liberal B 9-1. Kevin Worthington and Robbie Burton were both undefeated. Ace defender Burton had a real tussle with James Mullane before edging home 3-2 (7-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-9, 13-11).

Hatfield Peverel A were 6-4 winners over Chelmsford B. Julie Johnson excelled here with a hat- trick and she again beat Gary Ward, this time in four ends: 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4.

Bottom side Writtle Excalibur B did well to beat OCs C 6-4. Paul Sturton and Phil Smith both won their three singles. Paul Sturton’s hat-trick included a very hard-fought 3-2 (9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10) victory over Peter Windley.

Galleywood A were 8-2 winners over Chelmsford B. Gary Brignall won his three singles for Galleywood and this included a fine 3-2 (7-11, 11-3, 2-11, 15-13, 11-9) win over Julie Johnson. However, the real standout win here was the superb 3-2 (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8) victory for Alistair Piper against James Hicks.

In division three it was “honours even” when OCs D faced OCs E. Charles Yeung led the way for the E team with a hat-trick and he completed a fine evening’s work with a 3-2 (11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7) victory over Tom Barker. Maldon B ran out 6-4 winners over Danbury F despite the fact that Dave Marsh won his three singles for the losers. This included an excellent 3-2 (6-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6) success against 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford Championships Ladies Singles Champion Dawn Baldry.

In division five Writtle Excalibur E can’t be caught and they secured the title with a handsome 10-0 win over Chelmsford G. Frank Neil, Andy Fox and David Meah were all undefeated.

OCs H are safe in second. Tanishq Kotwal and David Bishop were both unbeaten as they saw off Chelmsford H 9-1. Ben Jackson was on target for the losers with a 3-2 (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9) win over Lawrence Bartlett.

Hatfield Peverel D led by a full-house from Alastair Brown ran out 8-2 winners over Highwood. Brown fought back from 2-0 down to get the better of Martin Goddard 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-2, 13-11) to complete his hat-trick. Hatfield Peverel D also lost 6-4 to Writtle Excalibur D. Nicola Pippen was the Writtle match winner with three good wins over Keith Cullen (11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7), Peter Mortensen (11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7) and Andy Whiley (11-2, 11-8, 11- 6).