The Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League Committee are deeply saddened to inform you of the death of Linda Hales – who as Linda Barrow was the Chelmsford & District League Ladies Singles Champion in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

In the mid-1970s Linda was definitely the lady to beat in the Chelmsford League and she also won the Ladies’ Doubles with Clare Hamilton in 1975, 1976, and 1977 and the Mixed Doubles five times. In 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1980 she paired up with Dave Newman and she was also successful in 1987 with Dave Bowles.

Linda was a formidable player throughout her life reaching the dizzy heights of England No 2 Junior and also playing for Essex Senior first team. In more recent years she moved to Dorset with her late husband Tom (best known as Chairman of the Burnham League) and she represented Dorset first team at Veterans level. She excelled in 2014 and with Welsh starlet Chloe Thomas she won the JM Rose Bowl (the National Ladies Town Knockout Cup) for the third time representing Bournemouth.

In 2016 she moved back to Essex and was still playing regularly at a high standard. She was on holiday in Australia when she was taken ill and sadly she never recovered. Popular, friendly and well known on the Veterans National circuit she valued her table tennis friends dearly and will be greatly missed.

* Three players scored hat-tricks in the opening week in the first division of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League. Edward Ogbebor led Chelmsford A to an excellent 7-3 success against Liberal A with three hard-fought wins. He beat Oliver Reynolds 3-1 (11-13, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6), Gary Cattermole 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 11- 6, 4-11, 11-9) and Alan Burgess 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-6). Cattermole in turn made his mark with an excellent win over 2017 M&G Investments Chelmsford Closed Tournament Veterans’ champion Wal Bada 3-1 (12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-3).

Galley wood A made a successful start to the season by beating OCs A 6-4. James Hicks scored a fine “triple” for the Galleywood side.

Danbury A also ran out 6-4 winners. They beat Rawreth A with Gary Young leading the way with three wins. He had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Charles Sweeny and he finally edged a widely fluctuating five-ender 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 14-12. Daniel Young (Gary’s son – who is 13 and ranked no. three at County Under-15 level) made an excellent first division debut with an outstanding 3-2 (6-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9) win over Babul McCleod.

First division teams are asked to note that Rawreth B have been forced to withdraw. With a squad of players all strongly committed to other leagues it became clear to their team captain when he tried to draw up a rota that his players were all fully committed elsewhere and participation would not be possible.

Chelmsford B are the early leaders in division two. They scored a fine 8-2 win over Liberal C. Robert Shrimpton was on top form and he was undefeated, downing the challenges of Andrew Huckson (11-6, 11-8, 11-3), Hannah Pitt (12-10, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7) and Adrian Pitt (11-9, 11-9, 11-8).

The other three matches ended in draws. Writtle A and Danbury C could not be separated. Chris Buer was on top form for Danbury. He beat Ryan Pitt 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-9), Matthew Brown 3-1 (11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 11-6) and Richard Storey by a last-gasp 3-2 (11-7, 4-11, 16-14, 7-11, 11-9) margin.

Hatfield Peverel A were held to a 5-5 draw by Chelmsford C. Julie Johnson dominated this match with three wins. She beat Gary Ward 3-1 (8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9), John Gagg 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-6) before fighting back from 2-0 down to get the better of and John Parodi (11-13, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

The match between Danbury D and OCs C featured some very close games. OCs’ Tom Barker scored a superb 3-2 (12-10, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8) win over Sam Lowman, whilst Dave Porter beat Dan Anderson in five (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9). Cameron Gray made his mark by defeating Tom Barker 3-2 (5-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Chelmsford D opened their campaign in impressive style in division three. Wiktor Delimat and Dave Parker were both undefeated as they beat Maldon C 7-3. Dave Parker was on top form beating Denis Crapnell 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-7), Dawn Baldry 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-9) and Ev Lucas 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3).

OCs D were bolstered by the inclusion of Terry Dowsett but they met their match against Maldon B. Dowsett won his three singles but Maldon shaded the match 6-4. Steve Scholz was involved in two tightly fought battles. He beat Mick Richardson 3-1 (7-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7) and he surged into a 2-0 lead against Dowsett before being pegged back and losing 3-2 (11-9, 16-14, 2-11, 7-11, 7-11).

The match between Harfield Peverel C and Chelmsford E finished tied at 5-5. Hatfield Peverel’s Bob Garson dominated with a very good hat-trick of wins. He beat Connor Payne 3-2 (8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6), Keith Martin 3-2 (11-5, 3-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6) and Richard Baxter 3-0 (11-6, 16-14, 11-6). Trevor Collin also impressed in downing the challenge of Keith Martin 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4).

Danbury E’s Ken Sheard was undefeated for Danbury E but he still found himself on the losing side against Writtle Excalibur B who won 7-3. Sheard scored an excellent hat-trick beating Phil Smith 3-2 (13-11, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8), Rod Maclennan 3-1 (11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9) and Louis Brown 3-2 (11-9, 11-9, 12-14, 3-11, 11-9). Seven of his games finished at 11-9 and Sheard won six of them.

OCs E are the early leaders in division four. Bob Francis led them to a 8-2 win over their F team. Adrian North proved to be his trickiest opponent and he needed the full five ends before he won 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-13, 11-7.

Danbury J were indebted to an undefeated Scott Perry as they beat Maldon D 6-4. He had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Thomas Page 3-2 (11-3, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11).

Nicky Reece Ford won his three singles in a 6-4 victory for Danbury G against Writtle Excalibur C. Steve Siggs proved to be a very difficult “nut to crack” and Reece Ford finally edged home 3-2 (8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10).

The match between Danbury H and OCs G finished level at 5-5. Dave Oxley-Goody dominated with three good wins – all achieved in 3-0 fashion. He beat David Bishop, James Mitty and Tanishq Kotwal.

Chelmsford F were convincing 9-1 winners in division five over Chelmsford F. Newcomer Adinaryana Komma and Ian Austin were both undefeated whilst Harry Buckle won twice. James Higgs was on target for the losers.

Stuart Wintle is always a difficult player to beat at this level and he won his three singles for OCs H but Chelmsford G shaded the match 6-4. Steve Chambers beat Mike Morecroft 3-2 (3-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11).

Highwood A also won 6-4 and Martin Goddard and Keith Fitz-John both picked up two wins. Chelmsford J did well to draw against Hatfield Peverel D. Matthew Elliott won his three singles. He fought back strongly from 2-0 down to defeat Alastair Brown 10-12, 1-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 and he also beat Andy Simmonds 3-1 (11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7).

Buttsbury Bears (Toby Kelly and Dan Slaney) were 5-0 winners over Black Notley in division 1A of the CLICK League. West Maldon were 4-1 winners over Danbury Demons with Noah Sage remaining undefeated. Alex Porter beat Oliver Wylie for the losers.

Aidan Noguchi won his two singles in Gallyewood C’s 3-2 win over Danbury Dragons. Noguchi beat Conor Hall 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 17-15) and Ewan Hynd 3-1 (11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9.

Chelmsford Leopards (Harry Buckle and Max Tyre) are up and running in division 1B of the CLICK League. They beat Chelmsford Tigers 5-0 whilst Chelmsford Jaguars ran out 4-1 winners against Danbury Griffins. Annabel Sweeney was undefeated and she received good support from Melinda Abraham Victor who won once.