If the initial batch of scorecards are to be believed then we can expect to see some very closely fought matches in the second division and third divisions of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League.

Eight matches have been played and rather incredibly all of them have resulted in 6-4 or 5-5 scorelines.
In division two, Chelmsford B did well to beat Hatfield Peverel A 6-4. Alastair Piper led the way with a convincing hat-trick of 3-0 wins over John Parodi, Gary Ward and Neil Freeman whilst Julie Johnson, who missed last season through injury, made a strong return to action by winning twice.

She sealed the Chelmsford victory by getting the better of Gary Ward by a last-gasp 3-2 (8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 10-12, 15-13) margin in the last game of the evening.

Danbury C were also 6-4 winners. They had an undefeated Peter Mynard to thank as they beat Danbury D. Mynard beat Tim Cramphorn 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 13-15, 11-2) in a widely fluctuating five-setter.

Promoted Writtle Excalibur B drew 5-5 with OCs C. Lin Roffe and Phil Smith both won twice to counter the three wins that League Chairman Dave Porter (playing up as a reserve) scored for the Old Chelmsfordians team. Roffe impressed by fighting back from 2-0 down to beat Peter Windley over five ends (6-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2).

It was honours even when Writtle Excalibur A drew with Galleywood A. Gary Brignall won his three singles for Galleywood whilst Ryan Pitt and Matthew Brown both won twice for the Writtle Excalibur team. Brignall sealed the draw for his side by seeing off Ryan Pitt 3-1 (11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9) in a hard-fought last match of the evening.

New side Liberal B marked their debut with a 5-5 draw against OCs B. Adrian Pitt won his three singles for Liberal whilst Ashley Skeggs and Stephen Northcott both won twice for the OCs second team. The first game of the evening was seemingly the pick of the action between two of the hardest hitters in the division and Northcott finally defeated Andrew Huckson 11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-9 after five furious ends.

OCs D are the early leaders in division three. They beat OCs E 6-4 courtesy of a Dave Porter hat-trick. Porter secured the victory for his team in the last game of the night by beating the better of Drazen Ravlic 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8) in a very hard-fought final encounter.

Danbury F had Dave Marsh on top form as they drew 5-5 with Maldon B. Marsh lost the first end to Dawn Baldry but fought back strongly to win 3-1 (4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-9) to earn his team a share of the points.

In the match between Danbury H and Chelmsford D no single player remained unbeaten. League President Norman Smith and Ivan Chaplin both won twice for Danbury whilst Keith Martin and Jarek Pietraszuk both picked up two wins for the Chelmsford side.

For those who like watching top-class table tennis, the BATTS Club in Harlow is the place to be next Saturday (September 24) when BATTS play long-time rivals Fusion in the Premier Division of the British League.

Fusion’s side will include Lorestas Trumpauskas, the England No 1 Veteran player and three times Chelmsford Men’s Singles Champion. All Fusion’s squad are England top-50 ranked players.

BATTS will include England No 1 Cadet player Ethan Walsh and up-and-coming Sussex star – 19-year-old Jack Bennett. This match represents the return to home and away matches at a single venue for the British League Premier Division after years of playing matches over weekends in multi-table venues.

The action starts at 2pm and admission is free and the doors open at 1pm where entertainment takes place in the form of a “Lightning Shootout” and a raffle. A great opportunity to watch some of the top players in the country.