A strong Maldon A side opened their campaign with a fine 7-3 win over Bocking in the first round of matches in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League.

In a high-class match their new signing – Wiltshire County player Trevor Lloyd – former M&G Investments Chelmsford Men’s Singles champion Alex Abbott and current Clacton Men’s Singles champion Colin Stallwood all played a part in this success.

Bocking’s all-action Rik James opened proceedings with a “never-say die” 3-2 (6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-9) win over Abbott but he injured himself playing Stallwood and withdrew as a “precautionary” measure.

Gary Cattermole excelled by downing the challenge of Lloyd 3-2 (12-10, 2-11, 5-11, 12-10, 13-11) whilst Stallwood again saw off the young pretender Sam Hume 3-1 (11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10). The battle between Stallwood and Cattermole went all the way “to the wire” with Stallwood eventually triumphing in five (11-13, 11-5, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10).

Promoted Chelmsford A have added Mateusz Zagajewski to their side and he made an immediate impact by winning his three singles as Chelmsford beat Danbury B 7-3. Ryan Gooday also looked very capable at this new higher level and he won twice beating Chris Buer and Dave Richardson. Gooday just missed out 3-2 to ace-defender Eric Green (11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 11-7, 12-14).

The match between Liberal and OCs A finished tied at 5-5. Brandon Crouchman was unbeaten for the Old Chelmsfordians side. He saw off Liberal‘s new signing Paul Davison 3-1 (11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 13-11).

In division two, OCs B impressed greatly by beating Writtle Excalibur A 8-2. They look strong at this level and their attacking trio of Stephen Northcott, Kevin Worthington and newcomer Ashley Skeggs will take some beating. Skeggs and Worthington ruled the roost in this encounter.

Danbury D’s Steve Steve Buer was unbeaten in their 7-3 win over Chelmsford B. His hat-trick was a good one – three convincing 3-0 victories over Mick Richardson, Julie Johnson  and Alistair Piper.

Hatfield Peverel A also impressed by beating Writtle Excalibur C 8-2. The evergreen John Parodi was unbeaten for Hatfield Peverel whilst Lin Roff excelled for the Writtle side. She beat both John Gagg and Peter Brownlow – two top draw wins.

Galleywood A were the week’s big winners in this division with a thumping 9-1 success against OCs C. Frank Hodge opened proceedings with a fine 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9) victory over James Hicks but Galleywood’s Gary Brignall and Bryn Thomas were on top form and they sailed through to an excellent 9-1 success.

Hatfield Peverel B are the early leaders in division three and they notched up their second success by beating Danbury E 8-2. Neil Freeman was their “rock” whilst David Gatherall won twice for Danbury. Freeman showed his mettle by fighting back from 2-0 down to beat Gordon Gatherall in five (7-11, 4-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-3).

Teamwork was the order of the day as Maldon B beat OCs D 6-4 with Tom Elder, Roger Hance and Dawn Baldry all winning twice. Elder defeated David Porter 3-2 (4-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9) in what looks to have been the pick of the action.

OCs E were also 6-4 winners. Nat Ravlic and Charles Yeung were both undefeated against Danbury H. Ravlic had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Mo Hardy 3-2 (11-2, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10). Quite a fluctuating encounter.

Danbury G who were in contention for promotion for much of last season should be in the running again this year. Sam Lowman, Dan Anderson and Cameron Gray all won twice as they defeated Chelmsford D7-3.

Maldon C relied on teamwork to beat Danbury F 7-3. Colin Napper, Ciaran Whelan and Jan Fuller all won twice, although they all missed out against Dave Marsh.

Division four produced three very hard fought matches. OCs F ran out 6-4 winners against Hatfield Peverel C even though it was Peverel’s Dave Carter who won his three singles. Farooq Ahmed did well to beat Colin Barham 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8).

The match between Danbury J and Maldon D finished tied at 5-5. Roger Hance won his three singles for Maldon D.

Chelmsford E had Richard Baxter to thank as they drew with Writtle Excalibur C.  Baxter completed his hat-trick with a 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 12-9, 11-6) victory over Neil Thompson.

There were four clear-cut victories in division five. Writtle E (Frank Neil, Brian Steward and Andy Fox) ran out 8-2 winners against OCs G in a match where Fox edged out Mike Morecroft 3-2 (11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 7-11, 13-11).

Galleywood B (Roger Wilson, Nathan Blore and Kamil Lentas) also won 8-2. They beat Chelmsford G and Wilson and Lentas both picked up three wins.

Hatfield Peverel’s unbeaten Peter Mortensen was the man on form as his side beat Chelmsford H 7-3. The experienced Alastair Brown picked up two hard-fought victories for the Peverel side. He beat Harry Matthews 3-2 (11-4, 11-5, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9) and Jacqui Smith, also in five (11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8).

OCs H (Tanishq Kotwal, David Bishop and Harry Rogers) all won twice to seal their side’s 7-3 win over OCs H. They all missed out against impressive newcomer Pewist Osman.

Buttsbury C’s 4-1 win over OCs J looks to have been the pick of the CLICK action. Daniel Storey beat Fraser Heard 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8), whilst Zach Antoniou beat Adam Chalk in five (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6) in another close encounter.

Buttsbury B (Tom Picton and Harry Hutt) were also 4-1 winners. They beat Black Notley B 4-1. Picton was unbeaten whilst Hutt only missed out 3-2 against Alex Doran (11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 8-11).

There were two sets of 5-0 winners. Galleywood C (Adam Noguchi and Rio Teplizki) beat Buttsbury A and Chelmsford J (Jamie Penkman and Calum Day) beat Black Notley A.