The Chelmsford League Committee are saddened to report the death of George Gale, who became a Life Member of the League in 1977 and who won the Men’s Doubles title in the Chelmsford Championships in 1969 paired with his Rosebery team-mate Steve Conquest.

George was a member of the successful Rosebery team who won the Division One title seven times in the 1960s and 1970s.  George also played for the Moulsham Lodge, Crompton and Old Chelmsfordians Clubs.

He was Vice Chairman of the League for two years between 1974-6 and the Assistant Match Secretary between 1971 and 1974 as well as Senior Match Secretary for one year – 1973-4. His wife Jean sadly passed away in 2016 and in later years George kept his passion for sport alive by visiting the Old Chelmsfordians Club regularly and watching their football teams. His son Fraser played in the

Chelmsford League for Rainsford School in the 1980s.

On a personal note George was a photographer by profession and he worked for the Mirror Group and another League Life Member, Ian Whiteside, recalls with fondness that George occasionally undertook leading sporting assignments. One of these was the unforgettable 1973 FA Cup Final between Leeds United and Sunderland and Ian – a keen Sunderland supporter – was the beneficiary of George’s fine action shots from that game – photographs he still has. Mark Sweeting – one of the League’s leading players in the 1970s recalls that George also used his photographic skills for the benefit of League players and many players employed George as their wedding photographer.

The two top teams were both in action in the first division of the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League this week. Leaders Maldon A were held to a draw by Chelmsford A. Newcomer Mateusz Zagajewski was again the best player on view and he beat all three Maldon players to retain his 100% singles record. It was relatively plain sailing against Trevor Lloyd (11-8, 11-5, 11-8) and Colin Stallwood (11-8, 11-2, 11-8) although he needed four ends to beat John Poysden (11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6). Lloyd impressed greatly with a quick-fire 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-6) win over Eddy Ogbebor.

Second-placed Liberal A scored a fine 8-2 win over Danbury A. Paul Davison was undefeated and he received excellent support from Steve Pennell and Adam Buxton who both won twice. Buxton excelled by beating Reece Seddon 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8. Reece has recently followed up his superb win in the Men’s Doubles Final at the M&G Investments Chelmsford Championships with an arguably even better success in the Men’s Singles Final at the Burnham League Championships.

Gary Young was on top form as he led Danbury A to a 7-3 win over OCs A. The stand-out performance here came from OCs reserve Peter Windley who scored two excellent wins over Gavin Price and Glenn Johnson. Windley also took a game off Gary Young before succumbing (11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 6-11).

Peter Windley was also on top form for his usual side – OCs B in division two. He took his three singles against Chelmsford B as OCs shaded the match 6-4. Windley defeated Alastair Piper 3-0 (15-13, 11-5, 11-4), Mick Richardson 3-1 (11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 14-12) and Julie Johnson 3-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7). He looks ready for a crack at the first division next year.

Hatfield Peverel G, the long-time leaders in division three, could well end up out of the honours. They had to face the new leaders Danbury G with only two players and it was Danbury who ran out 6-4 winners. Sam Lowman was the star of the show and he showed his class with a 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-6) victory over Dave Fiddeman and a 3-1 (11-7, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7) success against Neil Freeman.

Chelmsford C who have moved into second place scored a fine 8-2 win over Maldon B. Rob Shrimpton led the way with a hat-trick and this included a very hard-fought 3-1 (9-11, 13-11, 11-9, 12-10) victory over Ciaran Whelan. Maldon’s Jan Fuller just missed out in two nail-biting five-enders. She lost 11-9, 14-12, 7-11, 4-11, 10-12 to Shrimpton and by an equally tantalising 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 7-11, 9-11 to Paul Nicol.

Team-work saw Danbury E beat Maldon B 7-3. David Gatheral, Tim Pulham and Ken Sheard all won twice to negate the two wins that Ev Lucas picked up for Maldon. Gatheral had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Tom Elder 3-2 (9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-15, 12-10).

OCs D had an undefeated Dave Porter to thank for their 7-3 win over Chelmsford D whilst Herbie Smith led Danbury E to a 7-3 victory over OCs E. Herbie needed  five ends to get the better of Nat Ravlic 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 8-11, 12-10.

Hatfield Peverel D scored their 14th win of the season in division four by beating Maldon D 7-3. Trevor Collin led the way with a hat-trick and Dave Carter won twice. Carter’s double included a fine 3-1 (4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9) win over Roger Hance.

Second-placed Chelmsford E also won 7-3. Karl Baldwin, Richard Baxter and Richard Upson all won twice although they all lost to the fast-improving Connor Payne. Payne defeated Richard Baxter 3-2 (7-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8) in the best game of the night.

7-3 was again the scoreline when Elmtree Excalibur C beat Danbury J. Dave Goody led the way with a hat-trick of wins and team-mate Rob Kneale also came very close to winning his three singles. He only missed out to Steve Siggs 3-2 (8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12).

And you’ve probably guessed the score when Danbury K beat Danbury L – also 7-3. Not sure that I’ve ever witnessed all four scorecards in the same division producing the same scoreline before. Eamon Hall was the Danbury K match-winner. He had to pull out all the stops to get the better of Norman Hayes 3-2 (11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 8-11, 11-9).

Division five leaders Hatfield Peverel ran out comfortable 10-0 winners over Galleywood B. Ian Hockley, Brian Steward and Andy Fox all stayed undefeated.

OCs G beat Chelmsford H 8-2. Stuart Wintle (three wins), Steve Pratt (two wins) and Mike Moorcroft (two wins) all played their part whilst Ben Jackson won twice for the losers.

Anglia Ruskin have climbed into fourth place by beating Chelmsford G 7-3. Pewist Osman retained his 100% singles record (34 wins out of 34) and Fadel Aszzari picked up two wins.

OCs J – fourth placed in the CLICK League did well to beat the leaders Galleywod C 3-2. Adam Chalk won twice for the Old Chelmsfordians side beating Lewis Wilson 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9) and Aidan Nouguchi 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9). Chelmsford J (Harry Buckle and Jamie Denman) ran out 5-0 winners over Black Notley B.

Division four leaders Hatfield Peverel – heavy favourites to win the Division Four Knockout Cup as well as the League, were very hard pushed to beat Danbury A 5-3. The usually impregnable Dave Carter lost to both Dave Goody and Dave Powell and it was a very relieved Trevor Collin who finally sealed the Hatfield Peverel victory by beating Rob Kneale in five ends (12-10, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5).

Felsted RBL did well to beat Maldon 5-1. Ian Butler, Matt Laws and Ashley Butler all played a part in that success.

OCs A were also 5-1 winners. Their victims were Danbury B and Dave Newman sealed their success with a 3-2 (10-12, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2) victory over Eamon Hall.

Writtle are also through to the semi-final. Dave Moles, Neil Thompson and Allan Offord beat Danbury C 5-1. Alan Offord played his part by beating Norman Hayes 3-2 (10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7).