Bocking in a race to complete their fixtures

With a large number of matches outstanding, the destination of the first division title remains undecided. It is disappointing that it is the league’s top division that has attracted by far the most postponements and it is an issue that the fixtures secretary and the league’s committee will certainly be aiming to address next Season.

If Bocking are able to complete their fixtures then they look to be the most likely champions. They beat Rawreth A 9-1 with Paul Davison and Kevin Gowlett both scoing hat-tricks and, despite being a player short, they drew 5-5 with ECC A. Kevin Gowlett again won his three singles, including downing the challenge of Steve Kerns 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-8). ECC reserve James Hicks made a telling contribution as he beat Jon Hill 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9) although Hill, who has been on fine form of late, also played his part., beating Lucy Wang 3-1 (11-13, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9).

Danbury A are another side who are trying desperately to complete their fixtures with a hope of getting amongst the honours. Antony Greenwood and Michael Andrews were both undefeated as they overcame a two-man Maldon A 8-2 and they also beat OCs A 6-4. Brandon Crouchman discovered his best form of the season and he secured an excellent hat-trick of wins over Michael Andrews, Antony Greenwood and Eric Green.

Rawreth A did well to beat Maldon B 6-4. Gary Young was the Rawreth match-winner and he scored three very good wins, beating John Monk, Babul McLoud and Ben Warner. ECC B took advantage of the fact that Maldon A were a player short and ran out 6-4 winners. Rik James made his mark by beating Alex Abbott 3-1 (8-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8).

Rawreth B completed their fixtures in division two by beating Chelmsford B 7-3. Paul Churn won his three singles and he received support from Dale Gutteridge and Nigel Lamb who both won twice. Keith Martin picked up two wins for Chelmsford B.

Danbury F made a very satisfactory finish to the season. Herbie Smith led them to a 7-3 win over the higher-placed Danbury G. Herbie beat Tim Pulham, Danbury G ‘s best player 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-13. 12-10, 11-7). Danbury F also drew 5-5 with Maldon C, although none of their players were able to get the better of the impressive Ciaran Whelan who powered his way to a quick-fire 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-5) victory over Herbie Smith.

Runaway division four Champions OCs E completed their fixtures with a 7-3 victory over Hatfield Peverel C. Daniel Berry (91% for the season – 55 wins out of 60) found the cast-iron defence of Ray Eldridge to be too strong, succumbing 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-9), whilst Frank Hodge (82% – 47 wins out of 57) excelled against Eldridge, winning 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-9).

Writtle B completed their fixtures with a 7-3 victory over EPHQ. Brian Steward was undefeated and this included a hard-fought 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9) victory over Francis Whitbread. Elmtree Excalibur D recorded their seventh win of the season by beating Danbury L 6-4. Dave Moles and Wiktor Delimat both recorded hat-tricks. Danbury L were also involved in a 5-5 draw with Danbury K. No one player dominated the evening and the Danbury L duo of Alan Dadswell and Kevin Willis and Danbury K’s Mike Robinson all won twice. Alan Dadswell secured the draw for Danbury L by defeating Norman Hayes 3-2 (11-6, 12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 11-9) in the last game of the evening.

Maldon D are the division five champions. They withstood a fierce challenge from Chelmsford E to draw 5-5 and they eventually finished five points ahead of OCs G. Colin Napper (36 wins out of 39) held the Maldon D side together with a hat-trick although he had to work hard to win all three games. He beat Sarah Austin 3-2 (11-5, 9-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-8) and Adam Kirchell 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8) and he completed a good evening’s work by defeating Ian Austin 3-1 (11-6, 11-3, 7- 11, 11-9).

by Steve Kerns (22nd April, 2014)