The Southend & District Table Tennis League
The 78th Annual Closed Championships
Held at the Hullbridge Sports & Social Club and the Warehouse Centre and dedicated to the memory of the late Brench Moon
The 78th Closed Championships were dedicated to Brench Moon, who for many years played a major part in the running of our League, together with his wife Shirley. Sadly Brench passed away in January 2005, aged 67. We have no doubt that Brench and Shirley would have been very pleased at the way this year’s championships went.
The Closed Committee consisted of
The first day
(Monday 13th February) concerned only the Vets doubles. This popular event was held at the Hullbridge Sports
and Social Club and was a great success. There was a good entry, with the
Next event was
the Men’s vet Singles, which was
held at the Warehouse Centre on Friday night, as were the Saturday and Sunday
Events. Favourite for the Vets was always going to be former England Number 1, Stuart
Gibbs. Stuart cruised to the final, where he met George Reeves, who had a major
fright in the Semis, being 7-9 down to Django Fung in the fifth game, before
George dispatched 4 outright winners to win 11-9. On this evidence, one would
have thought that Stuart would take the title comfortably, but George played to
his highest level and ran out a surprise, but worthy, winner.
Again we ran a plate tournament, which was won by
Saturday was always going to be a very busy day from an organization viewpoint. The first events were the over 60s / 70s. The final of the over 60s saw George Pavitt beat old adversary Les Tayler to take the title, whilst in the over 70s, a remarkably fit Bill Chester surprisingly beat 1st Division’s Talbot Wiseman.
events followed and as was always to be, Linda Murray scoped all the titles,
taking the Ladies Singles with a win
over Carolyn Cole 14-12, 11-6, 11-5; the Vets
Singles beating Janet Finch 11-9, 11-5, 14-12 and the Ladies Doubles, together with Ann Lane, beating last years title
holders Janet Finch & Shelley Woolley 11-8, 11-9, 11-7. Finally, Linda won the
Mixed Doubles, partnering the
Ladies, followed the Restricted Events. First off was the Premier Restricted which saw a magnificent final between
In the Division 1 Restricted, Richard Hiskey repeated his 2005 win against former Premier player Chris Simmons, who had returned to the game after many years. After a close opening two games, won one apiece, Richard’s tight game saw him take the title 13-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-5.
The Division 2 Restricted saw the highly
rated Craig Harris, who is undefeated this season in the League play the
impressive Steve Munday. As a junior, Craig was ranked in
In the Division 3 Restricted, no one stood out as favourite. The final was contested by 2 of the Divisions better players, Paul D’allesandri and Paul Lawrence. Paul Lawrence ran out a fairly comfortable winner 11-9, 11-7, 11-9. This was a well earned title for Paul who in recent seasons has played above his level in Division 1, won few but never complained.
Finally, we had the Division 4 Restricted, a Division full of up and coming juniors. It was the old man himself, Bill Chester, fresh from winning the over 70s, who showed them all that they still have a bit to learn by beating up and coming youngster Andrew Seabrook 11-13, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, Bill had actually been there from 9 in the morning to 10 in the evening, great stamina and always an example to all, on how to play the game in a competitive but always friendly and sporting manner: Well done Bill.
events of the day concerned our growing band of juniors, Last year we had 5
entrants but, this year, we had some 25 players. They were split into 4 Groups
playing round robin matches; the winner of Level 1 to play Josh Lovett for the
Junior Title. We compliment Josh for waiting some 6 hours before playing this
match. The title winners were Junior
Boys Champion Josh Lovett,
The Novice levels,
as a mark of respect, were dedicated to the late Bryan Watts, who tragically
passed away at a match just before the Championships began.
For further pictures of Saturdays winners, see Championship photo galleries.
the day of our largest events, the Men’s Singles and the Men’s doubles. In the Men’s Singles, the Seedings Committee were
unanimous in ranking Tony Halling to beat Stuart Gibbs in the final, with the
other 6 seeds being George Reeves, John Monk, Duncan Tayler, Keith Phillips,
The final event of the Championships, was the Men’s Doubles and the final was between the Men’s finalists, Stuart Gibbs and Josh Lovett, against the Halling father and son combination of Andrew and Tony; the current champions. Again form was upstaged: we all thought that Stuart and Josh would take this title. However with Andrew keeping one side very tight, Tony produced his top form and dominated a final that they comfortably won 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.
Everyone agreed that the Championships were a great success. It was our largest entry for several years with over 120 players taking part. The Championship Committee did an excellent job in organizing the event and Jayne produced her usual top dollar effort in running the control Desk. We also thank David Nunn and Howard Grant for running the junior events on Saturday
Both before and
after, we had an amazing amount of help in putting up the tables and taking
them down, scoring and any other job that needed help, for example, both Andy
Our thanks go to the Hullbridge Sports and Social Club and the Warehouse Centre for their help in staging these events; particularly, Jayne Johnson, Glen Johnson and Bill Smith of the Hullbridge Sports and Social Club and Graham Back of the Warehouse Centre
Finally, everything done, the Championship Committee popped down the A127 for a well deserved Pizza.
Report prepared by the Closed Championship Committee
of the Southend & District Table Tennis League
10th March 2006