The Southend & District Table Tennis League

78th Annual Closed Championships 2004-5 January 31st Ė February 6th


Tony Halling Star of Southendís 2005 Closed Tournament


For the second year in succession, a week was set aside in our calendar, with the all events being played over 5 days and spread around 3 venues.Our thanks go to each of the clubs that helped us put this together; namely The Warehouse Centre, Rawreth TTC and Clements Hall. This year saw a number of new faces entering the Closed Tournament, particularly in the lower Divisions and there were also new winners in most events.


The Menís Singles. This year saw a number of unexpected results, which gave excitement to the Tournament.The star of this year's Closed Championships was undoubtedly Southendís highly ranked England junior Tony Halling. Tony has gradually worked his way up from Division 4 to the Premier Division and is now one of Englandís leading juniors. He was the pre tournament favourite to win the Menís Singles and he didnít let his admirers down.


This Event began with two Group stages preceding the main rounds and, as already stated, there were a number of upsets. In Round 2, Nigel Lamb caused the biggest, by removing joint No. 3 seed Hamish Innes in 4 sets. A further shock was Essex County Junior, Josh Lovett, beating No. 5 seed Duncan Taylor again in 4 sets. Another match of note was former Northumberland County player, Mike Watson (who hasnít played for some 17 years) against Charles Sweeney, the No. 6 seed. The match proved to be one of the matches of the Championships, with Charles just taking it 11-9 in the fifth; clearly Mike will be a different proposition next season if he plays regularly in the Premier Division.


In the Quarter Finals, the shocks continued with No. 7 seed Lee Prentice defeating No. 2 seed, Kevin Read, in what must have been the best match of the Event, 11-9 in the fifth.Then No. 8 seed, Keith Phillips, beat No. 3 seed George Reeves in straight games.


The Semi Finals were a bit of an anticlimax, with Lee Prentice beating Josh Lovett and Tony Halling beating Keith Phillips, both 3 straight.In the Final there was only ever going to be one winner; Tony beating Lee 11-8, 11-4, 12-10.Both finalists have cause to be well satisfied with their results; Tony dropping only one end in the whole Championship and taking his first Southend Menís Title and Lee defying his No. 7 seeding to reach his first Final.


The Menís Doubles saw Tony Halling again prove too strong for everyone and teaming up with his father, Andrew, the pair saw off all opposition. After a close opening game, they beat Hamish Innes and Josh Lovett in the Final 16-14, 11-6, 11-8


The Menís Vets Singles saw the Joint No. 1 seeds, George Reeves and Hamish Innes, reach the Final. Both players have played each other many times and matches are always close. George took the first game at 11-4. Thereafter Hamish took control and won 4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7


Vets Doubles again saw the Joint No. 1 seeds both reach the Final; George Reeves partnered by Andrew Halling and Pete (Spud) Saunders partnered by Jamie Willson. This probably was the best match of the Finals, with the games going alternately until the fifth game. George and Andrew changed ends at 5-3 up and held on to take the Title 13-11, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6


The Vets Doubles Plate.For the Chairman, this was the main Event. The Doubles Plate was slipped in during the final stages of Mondayís events, ensuring that the place that Ken had cleared in the left alcove next to the fire place at 81 The Broadway will be filled with an award worthy of the holders. Of course he could not have done it without the help of Janet Finch who proved to be ďThe Tiger in the TankĒ. For the records, Ken Field and Janet Finch reached the Final beating Brian Cooper and Pam Swan in five games to take the Title 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7

The Ladies. Linda Murray took this yearís Ladies Championship Title.Linda has had a very good season, playing in the Southend 1st Division and representing Essex and proved just too strong for any of her opponents.


In the Ladies Singleís Semi Finals, Linda beat Ann Lane 3 straight as did Janet Finch in the other Semi Final against Tina Penn-Gillam. The Final was always very tight before Linda beat Janet 12-10, 11-7, 11-7


With more or less the same players in the Ladies Vets, the Semi Finals were the same as the Ladies, but this time Tina triumphed over Janet in a tight 5 setter and reached the Final. But once again, Linda proved too strong, running out a comfortable winner 11-2, 11-2, 11-7


The Ladies Doubles was a more open Event.Linda, partnered by 4th Division player, Eileen Noble won their 1st Round tie before going out in Round 2 in 4 games to the eventual winners, Shelley Woolley and Janet Finch (a first Championship win for Shelley). In the Final Janet and Shelley had one of the tightest matches of the Championships against the partnership of Tina Penn-Gillam and Ann Lane, going all the way to 2 games all and 9 all in the fifth. Janet and Shelley eventually winning 11-8, 9-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-9


In the Mixed Doubles, Linda partnered Menís No. 2 seed Kevin Read. As expected they never dropped a game, beating the strong pairing of Dave Calleja and Tina Penn-Gillam in the Final 11-6, 11-5, 11-7


In the Premier Restricted, highly promising junior, Josh Lovett took the Title in style, with comfortable wins over Joint No. 1 seed, Andrew Halling in the Semi Finals and the other Joint No. 1 seed, Pete (Spud) Saunders, in the Final 11-6, 11-6, 11-5


The 1st Division Restricted looked to be between Les Tayler, Roy Thomas and last years winner, Gordon Swan. However Richard Hiskey had other ideas, beating Les Tayler in 4 games in the Semi Final. Gordon meanwhile had an excellent win over Ray Elsdon in the other Semi Final, winning 11-5 in the fifth. Richard then ran out a comfortable winner in the Final, beating Gordon 12-10, 11-6, 11-9


The 2nd Division Restricted saw the emergence of Mike Watson who clearly is of Premier standard. Having not played for 17 years he won his group without dropping a game to reach the Semi Final. Unfortunately he had to withdraw and his place in the Semi Final went to Malcolm Henstock. He played Chris Simmonds, with Chris winning in four. In the other Semi Final Dave Morgan beat Janet Finch also in four. The Final was another one of the Championshipís best matches, with Dave Morgan just beating Chris Simmonds 8-11, 1-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7


The 3rd Division Restricted Semi Finals featured Neil Swan against Jim Stait and Tony Millward against Ross Collins. Both Ross and Jim won in straight games: Jim and Tony are fairly recent additions to our favourite sport and have both made great strides forward over the past 2 seasons. However, in the end, it was the experience of Ross Collins that prevailed; beating Jim Stait in straight games and taking the Title 11-4, 11-4, 11-8


The final Restricted event was 4th Division, where another talented junior, Daniel Nunn won his Group without losing a game. In the Semi Finals he beat Lawrie Neville three straight as did Pam Swan in the other Semi Final against Eileen Noble. In the Final, after a very tight first game, Daniel proved too steady for Pam winning 13-11, 11-5, 11-4


Clearly, with the Menís Singles 2004-5 Champion, Tony Halling, in the Under 18s, there was only ever going to be one winner. However a good Group was held before Tony entered the Event. When he did, he made sure that the 2 players he played had a good game. Andrew Seabrook won the Group, with Daniel Nunn 2nd, Darren Peck 3rd and James Newland 4th. In the Semi Finals Andrew beat Daniel which was a very good win. In the other Semi Final Tony beat Darren. Finally Tony beat Andrew 11-3, 11-2, 11-3.


The Over 60s always produces a good competition with many ex premier players present. The early favourite was George Pavitt, who still plays to a very good standard in the Southend Premier Division. In the Semi Final George beat Les Tayler three straight while in the other Semi, Ray Elsdon beat Ray Farmer in four games. In an entertaining Final George beat Ray Elsdon in four games 11-8, 13-15, 11-3, 11-8


The late start of the Over 70s, saw the Event reduced to 2 players, Lou Hopkins and Lawrie Neville.

A few years ago, Lou initiated this Event and has waited patiently for an opportunity to win it. This year proved to be ďLouís yearĒ and he ran out a good winner beating his long term opponent and friend, Lawrie, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8


The Championship Committee.


Thanks are given to the tremendous amount of work done by the Championships Committee, comprising of Lou Hopkins, Jayne Johnson, Janet Finch, Bob Shingleton-Smith and Ken Field.Their work involves, initially agreeing the playing format for the Championships; setting up the Entry Form and sending it out; recording the various events that have been entered and working out the probable timings; setting out the Draw, Results sheets and Score sheets; collecting the equipment, barriers, score tables etc; setting everything up on the day; running the 5 days events are on; finally taking everything down at the end: a massive amount of work over a fortnight. Having said that, one gets a great deal of personal satisfaction if everything goes well, people help and generally seem to have enjoyed the Championships: WELL DONE THE CHAMPIONSHIP COMMITTEE and a special mention for Jayne for running the control desk for the whole weekend.


We had no Canteen this year, which we all missed, but there were counter benefits in that at all times all players were in the playing area; matches were played promptly and it was rare to see a table without a game being played on it.


Thanks go to David Nunn who ran the Junior Event on Thursday night at Rawreth. David runs the Warehouse junior nights on Fridays and is always willing to help out. Thanks also go to those who helped set up and put away, ensuring that everything was tied up quickly after the Championships finished on Sunday 6th at 6.oo; particular thanks to Kevin Read & Andy Nunn who came down to help on Friday despite not playing that evening. Also to a number of players who helped clear everything away on Sunday; the last to leave being Chris Simmonds and Graham Back of the Warehouse Centre. Also thanks to Bill Smith for his help in moving the screens and score tables to the loft at Hullbridge. If there is anyone else I have forgotten to thank, we much appreciate your help, thank you


We thank Graham Back and the Management of The Warehouse Centre, who were extremely helpful over the weekend, particularly on Friday night when the final match finished at 23.15.



Finally a special thanks to all of you who played in the Closed Championships of 2004-5 and made it one of the best we have ever had. The spirit was first class, help was always there when needed, never a shortage of Umpires and the level of sportsmanship and competition was second to none; again well done everyone.


Report by the Closed Championship Committee 2004-5. 15th February 2005











Menís Singles†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tony Halling beat Lee Prentice †††††††††††††††††††††††† 11-8, 11-4, 12-10


Menís Doubles ††††††††††††††††††††††† Tony Halling & Andrew Halling

Beat Hamish Innes & Josh Lovett†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 16-14, 11-6, 11-8


Menís Vets †††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Hamish Innes beat George Reeves †††††††††††††††††† ††††††4-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7


Vets Doubles††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† George Reeves & Andrew Halling

Beat Pete Saunders & Jamie Willson††† ††††13-11, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6


Vets Doubles Plate†††††††††††††††††† Ken Field & Janet Finch

Beat Brian Cooper & Pam Swan †††††††† ††††††††††9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7


Ladies Single††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Linda Murray beat Janet Finch †††††††††††††††††††††††† †††12-10, 11-7, 11-7


Ladies Vets††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Linda Murray beat Tina Penn-Gillam†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† 11-2, 11-2, 11-7


Ladies doubles†††††††††††† Shelley Woolley & Janet Finch

Beat Tina Penn-Gillam & Ann Lane††††† †††††††††† 11-8, 9-11, 2-11, 11-6, 11-9


Mixed Doubles†††††††††††† Kevin Read & Linda Murray

Beat Dave Calleja & Tina Penn-Gillam††††††††††††† †††††† 11-6, 11-5, 11-7


Under 18s††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tony Halling beat Andrew Seabrook††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††11-3, 11-2, 11-3


Over 60s †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† George Pavitt beat Gordon Swan††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† 11-9, 11-7, 11-8


Over 70s††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lou Hopkins beat Lawrie Neville††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† 11-9, 11-7, 11-8


Premier Restricted †††††††††††††††††† Josh Lovett beat Pete (Spud) Saunders†††††††††††† ††††††† 11-6, 11-6, 11-5


Division 1 Restricted ††† ††††††††††† Richard Hiskey beat Gordon Swan†††††††††††††††††† †††† ††††††††††††12-10, 11-6, 11-9


Division2 Restricted Dave Morgan beat Chris Simmonds †††† ††††††††††††8-11, 1-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7


Division 3 Restricted ††††††††††††††† Ross Collins beat Jim Stait††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† 11-4, 11-4, 11-8


Division 4 Restricted†††††††††††††††† Daniel Nunn beat Pam Swan†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† 13-11, 11-5, 11-4