David Gatheral completed what must be a rare feat on Monday night when playing six individual matches across two different divisions at two different venues.

Gatheral was the only Danbury C player to attend the fixture at Chelmsford B and following his three singles matches he dashed to Old Chelmsfordians where he competed in another three singles matches for Danbury D. Six individual matches, four wins – great stuff, David!

Division 1

With the scheduled clash between the top two postponed, this week’s focus was on the fight for third place between the trio of teams from Danbury.

Danbury B put some breathing space between themselves in third and Danbury C in fourth thanks to a 9-1 victory at Writtle A – Sam Lowman and Daniel Piggott were on target with three wins apiece while Ryan Pitt was the only Writtle player to trouble the scorers when beating Dan Anderson.

With over 100 ranking places between them, Dave Moles was close to pulling off a shock win against Piggott – finally succumbing 11-9 in the decider.

David Gatheral was the only Danbury C player brave enough to walk the mean streets of Chelmsford and his two wins from three means he can hold his head up high despite the overall scoreline of 8-2 in Chelmsford B’s favour. Adi Kamma took the fourth game against Gatheral 14-12 to level their match at two apiece but Gatheral was able to regroup and come through the fifth by an 11-4 scoreline.

Chris Penrose and Bruce Kettle won both of their matches as Danbury A beat the two players of Galleywood A 7-3. Penrose did well to come back from 2-1 down against James Hicks to take the final two games 11-9, 14-12 while Hicks and Peter Barrett saw victory in the doubles encounter by three games to two.

Standings div 1: 1: Old Chelmsfordians A 92 points (from 12 matches), 2: Chelmsford A 84 points (12 matches), 3: Danbury B 80 points (14 matches).

Division 2

No surprises this week in division two as all fixtures went in favour of the higher placed team. Chelmsford C extended their lead at the top with a 10-0 victory over clubmates Chelmsford D thanks to trebles from Mark Allaway, Victor Chan and Waseem Qureshi.

Second placed Hatfield Peverel A won 8-2 at home to Danbury F off the back of three wins from both Julie Johnson and Martin Archie, while Gary Ward fired a hat-trick as third placed Writtle C narrowly beat Danbury E 6-4. Neil Want had a long evening of table action for Danbury as he lost in five against John Webber, beat John Gagg in five and narrowly lost out to Ward in four – the third game going in Want’s favour 18-16 but the fourth going in Ward’s 12-10.

In the same fixture, Writtle’s John Gagg earned a good 3-1 win over the higher-ranked Tony Forster. Writtle B cruised to a 10-0 win over Danbury G through three wins each for Matthew Brown, Trevor Carter and Phil Smith, though Smith had to recover from 2-1 down against Merv Perriman.

Peter Chastin was back in action for Danbury D and his treble helped his side edge OCA B 6-4 in a match which saw David Gatheral finally find some teammates (see div 1). Gatheral earned another two wins (that’s four on the night!) but was denied a hat-trick by Mick Richardson who recovered from 2-1 down.

Standings div 2: 1: Chelmsford C 81 points (from 12 matches), 2: Hatfield Peverel A 75 points (from 12 matches), 3: Writtle C 72 points (13 matches)

Division 3

Three wins apiece for Gary Brignall and Colin Blore guided division three leaders Galleywood B to a 9-1 win over Writtle D – Malcolm Henstock’s recovery from 2-0 down prevented Galleywood’s Mark Glenister from joining his teammates with a treble.

Richard Baxter and Richard Upson fired hat-tricks as OCA C closed the gap on second placed Buttsbury A with a 7-3 home win against Danbury K. Upson beat Dave Powell 3-1 with the scoreline for the first three games being an exhausting-looking 19-17, 17-19, 13-11, while Baxter had to recover from 2-1 down against Robert Kneale.

Despite only fielding two players, fourth placed Hatfield Peverel B drew 5-5 on the road to sixth placed Danbury H – Gareth Davies and Neil Freeman both going two out of three in singles action as well as teaming up for doubles success.

Chelmsford F’s young side managed to find Danbury successfully and came away with a respectable 5-5 draw with the hosts J Team – Sami Osman was the star of the show with three victories.

Standings div 3: 1: Galleywood B 89 points (from 12 matches), 2: Buttsbury A 74 points (11 matches), 3: OCA C 69 points (from 12 matches).

Division 4

Will Goodchild and Gary Copsey earned three wins each as division four leaders Galleywood C moved to 10 victories from 10 matches on the season with a 9-1 triumph at fourth placed OCA D. Goodchild came from 2-1 down to win against David Bishop while Farooq Ahmed put a point on the board for the hosts in the penultimate game of the evening when getting the better of Nathan Blore in four.

A treble in Norman Hayes’ first appearance of the season guided seventh placed Danbury L to a 9-1 home win against Hatfield Peverel E. Hayes dropped just two games in his three wins while Ken Wilding took just one game more to complete his hat-trick. Michael Burton earned Hatfield’s only victory with his comeback from 2-1 down to beat Steve Martin.

Standings div 4: 1: Galleywood C 78 points (from 10 matches), 2: Maldon B 68 points (from 10 matches), 3: OCA D 63 points (from 11 matches)

Division 5

Winless and bottom-placed Hatfield Peverel F weren’t too far off causing the biggest upset of the season to date as they lost 6-4 to division 5 runaway leaders Danbury M. Hatfield’s Jackie Treacy was in fine form as she beat all three of the Danbury players while Dave Benstead chipped in with a 3-2 win over Steve Martin.

Martin and Graham Naggs managed to edge the doubles encounter with Treacy and Martin Kilbey while Benstead saw his 2-0 lead against Ken Wilding morph into a 3-2 loss. Treacy had earlier recovered from 2-0 down in her opening encounter with Steve Martin to win 3-2 having taken games four and five by 12-10 scorelines.

A 7-3 win saw third placed Chelmsford H close the gap on clubmates Chelmsford J. While finding himself on the losing side, Martin Brunker was the player of the match with his three wins for the J team, while Shengbing Zhu had to recover from 2-1 down to get the better of Shweta Lees.

Michael Anthony scored a hat-trick of 3-0 wins as he led his Writtle F team to a 6-4 win over fifth placed Maldon C. Rob Tam won twice for Writtle despite being beaten in the night’s opening contest by Maldon’s Shirley Carroll who won twice herself. Writtle’s Jo Hart saw two five-game matches, she fought back from 2-1 down to beat James Raymond but later let a 2-1 lead slip against Kym Eames.

Nick Rounce dropped just one game in winning all three of his matches on debut as Galleywood D beat OCA E 7-3. Rounce’s teammate Steve Peacock won his first two matches of the evening but lost out to OCA’s Stuart Wintle who won twice himself.

Ninth placed Buttsbury C won 6-4 at 10th placed Highwood B with doubles from Torsten Greenan, Oscar Hutt and Richard Pond. David Cockrell won twice for the hosts – his first against Richard Pond was not secured until point 30 of the decider. Greenan did get a measure of revenge for his teammate as he went on to beat Cockrell in five.

Standings div 5: 1: Danbury M 85 points (from 12 matches), 2: Chelmsford J 71 points (12 matches), 3: Chelmsford H 65 points (from 11 matches).

Ladies’ Cup

Buttsbury’s reputation for being the strongest club in the league area with regards to female players continued as their A team won 3-1 in the Ladies’ Cup semi-final against Chelmsford. Strong showings at the C&DTTL annual championships by Buttsbury players included event wins from Evie Knaapen and Lucy Elliott as well as runs to the latter stages by Frances Hutt and Aduna Das.

Knaapen and Elliott represented Buttsbury A in their away semi-final clash at Chelmsford where they were faced with familiar opponents in Alesha Ellis-Austin and Grace Liu. Ellis-Austin and Knaapen recently met in the final of both the Women’s and Junior Girls’ singles events with each player adding a title to their collection to sit alongside the Women’s doubles title they won together.

Ellis-Austin started the fixture with a good 3-0 win over Elliott and with Liu 2-1 up against Knaapen things looked good for Chelmsford. But the C&DTTL women’s champion responded and came through games four and five to level the match at 1-1 before her teammate Elliott beat Liu 3-0 to put the visitors 2-1 up.

In a must-win game for Chelmsford, Knaapen took a two-game lead against Ellis-Austin but game three saw Ellis-Austin win 13-11 to keep Chelmsford’s hopes alive. Knaapen was able to keep her focus and took game four and in doing so send Buttsbury A to the final and a clash with their clubmates Buttsbury B.

Bat & Chat

A new record was set at Bat & Chat last Thursday as 60 players were in attendance for the session at the Chelmsford Sports & Athletics Centre – great to see so many people playing, keep up the good work!