All three Chelmsford teams who were active this week in round one of the handicap cup won through to the second round. Omar Wasi (F team) and Mark Nolan (J team) both won three out of three matches in their respective fixtures while Jacqui Smith, Jamie Grindlay and Shengbing Zhu produced a stunning fightback to secure progress for the H team.

Handicap cup first round

Chelmsford J’s Mark Nolan (45) won three of three while Dave Parker (48) won both of his matches as the hosts beat Buttsbury E 5-2 to earn a home tie with Danbury B in the second round. All three of Nolan’s victories went the distance – the closest encounter ending 21-19 in the decider against Vivaan Babbar (25).

Chelmsford F set up a second round away fixture with Writtle C following a 5-2 win at Buttsbury A. Omar Wasi (56) won all three of his matches – having to fight back from a game down against Tom Lewis (30) to win 21-16 in the decider. Pav Srinivasamurthy – who looks to have outgrown his 39 handicap following some good wins in division 3 this season – registered two wins to see Chelmsford over the line with two matches in the fixture to spare.

Buttsbury F set up a home tie with Chelmsford H thanks to an Evie Knaapen (50) treble and two wins from Paul Sturton (71). All matches in the fixture were decided in two sets with Ron Tam (36), Jo Hart (35) and Mike Anthony (36) winning a match apiece for the visitors. Anthony’s match with Knaapen was the closest of the evening with the Buttsbury starlet winning 26-24, 26-24.

Chelmsford H staged a late comeback to win 5-4 at Highwood A. Two wins from Roger Patient (51) and one each from Melanie Bonnett (51) and Keith Fitz-John (46) put Highwood in the box seat with a 4-2 lead but Jacqui Smith (40), Jamie Grindlay (40) and Shengbing Zhu (34) all won in two games to snatch the tie from the hosts’ grasp. Zhu (+6) beat Patient (-6) 21-17, 21-18 in the all-important final match.

Writtle D proceed to round 2 after a 5-3 victory at Galleywood. Malcolm Henstock (59) won both of his matches while Pete Layzell (63) won two of three. Gallywood’s Steve Peacock (40) was involved in two of the eight matches which went the distance on the night while teammate Nathan Blore (41) won both of his matches.

Writtle D next face Highwood B who earned a 5-1 home win against Danbury H. Nicola Pippen (45) and Keith Pallett (36) were both undefeated on the night with Pippen not dropping a game. Highwood teammate Dave Cockrell (45, -3) was involved in the closest match of the night – beating Ken Wilding (40, +2) 21-19, 19-21, 21-19.

Two matches in round one remain to be played:

Chelmsford E v Buttsbury C
Buttsbury D v Buttsbury B

Second round fixtures (W/C 11/12/2023):

Chelmsford B v OCA B
Writtle D v Highwood B
Chelmsford E/Buttsbury C v OCA C
Buttsbury F v Chelmsford H
Chelmsford J v Danbury B
Chelmsford G v Writtle B
Writtle C v Chelmsford F
Buttsbury D/Buttsbury B v BYE

League results

Division 1

Danbury C moved to the top of division 1 with an emphatic 9-1 win at Writtle A thanks to trebles from Keith Adams and Paul Davison as well as a double from Trevor Lloyd. Writtle’s Lee McHugh was the sole point scorer for the home side getting the better of Trevor Lloyd in straight games but should perhaps have made it a double on the night having taken a 2-0 lead against Davison. Davison found his form and took games three and four rather comfortably before an epic decider which ended 19-17 in Davison’s favour. 19-17 scorelines in deciding games are probably quite a rarity in table tennis however McHugh agonisingly lost by the same scoreline just two days earlier at the Nottingham Open.

A Sanjay Saptarshi hat-trick and two wins from Neil Want led Danbury B to a 7-3 win over Chelmsford B. Saptarshi continued his fine run of form of late by dropping only one game as Chelmsford B slipped to their fifth loss of the season. Danbury’s Dan Anderson was involved in four five-game matches on the night – losing out to both Waseem Qureshi and Harrison Hill but beating Wiktor Delimat and winning the doubles match with Saptarshi. Saptarshi avenged his only loss in division two this season by beating Hill 3-1.

Standings div 1: 1. Danbury C 38 points (from 6 matches), =3: Chelmsford A & OCA A 36 points (5 matches each)

Division 2

Gary Ward and John Webber won three individual matches apiece and teamed up for doubles victory as Writtle C won 7-3 over teammates Writtle B who were unable to move above leaders Hatfield Peverel A. Ward dropped just one game on the night while Webber had two 3-0 wins before having to come back from 2-1 down to beat Trevor Carter in five. Carter himself was involved in a five-game match with John Gagg and had to withstand a Gagg fightback from 2-0 down to take the decider 11-9.

A Rob Burton treble was not quite enough to prevent Danbury G taking a 6-4 home win over OCA B. The visitors – fielding only two players – may have taken more out of the fixture had Burton and Michael Hayes been able to win a tight doubles contest against Denis Crapnell and Alan Scammell. Hayes and Crapnell were involved in a five-game contest which saw Hayes level from 2-0 down only for Crapnell to convincingly win the decider.

Standings div 2: 1: Hatfield Peverel A 31 points (from 5 matches), =3: Writtle B & OCA B 28 points (6 matches).

Division 3

A Malcolm Storey treble helped Writtle E narrowly beat Danbury K 6-4 and earn their first win of the season. Dave Oxley-Goody and Dave Powell won two matches apiece for Danbury K but Storey and Neil Thompson held firm to win the doubles 3-1.

Standings div 3: 1: Galleywood B 38 points (from 5 matches), 2: Writtle D 28 points (5 matches), 3: Buttsbury A 26 points (4 matches).