Evie Knaapen, 13, added the Women’s singles title to the haul of trophies she had already collected at the C&DTTL Annual Championships while Matthew Mulley continued his unbeaten league form to lift both the Men’s singles and Men’s doubles trophies.

Men’s singles semi-final one: Harry Chivers v #7 Matthew Mulley

Seventh seed Mulley made a slow start against Chivers, 17, who stormed into a 6-0 lead in game one. Mulley then found good form and took 11 of the next 14 points to earn the first game of the evening.

Despite seeing his opponent finish the first game strongly, Chivers regained his composure and was able to take games two and three by 11-9 scorelines, but wIth his back to the wall and in real danger of elimination Mulley upped his level to win game four by 11-7.

With the pressure building on both players Mulley was able to take an early lead in the decider enroute to repeating the 11-7 scoreline and booking the first spot in the final to be played later in the evening.

Mulley bt Chivers 11-9, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7.

Men’s singles semi-final two: #11 Paul Davison v #2 Duncan Taylor

The first game of the second semi-final was a cagey affair and though Davison got his nose in front at 8-5 and 9-6 Taylor went on to go one game up. With the winner of game two still in the balance at 5-5 Davison reeled off four points in a row to gain some breathing room which enabled him to level the match at 1-1.

Davison’s accuracy let him down in game three as he started missing long and Taylor was able take a 2-1 lead with a comfortable 11-4 scoreline. Game four was still in the balance at 6-6 but Taylor was able to win both points on the Davison serve in order to edge ahead and he didn’t look back, securing the match with a score of 11-9.

Taylor bt Davison 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9.

Junior boys’ singles final: #1 Harry Chivers v #6 Harrison Hill

Chivers repeated his fast start in the Men’s semi-final and took an early 6-1 lead against 12-year-old Hill before going on to take the first game at a canter (11-7). The second game saw Chivers take a 5-2 lead and was on the verge of going 2-0 up at 10-8 when Hill mounted a fightback to take game two 14-12 – point 22 saw a fantastic 20-shot rally between the two which brought the house down. From then on-in Chivers was in control of the contest taking game three 11-8 as well as game four 11-5 – in doing so defending the title he won last year.

Chivers bt Hill 11-7, 12-14, 11-8, 11-5.

Veterans’ singles final: #3 Kevin Read v #1 Duncan Taylor

Read beat #2 seed Keith Adams in the semi-final while Taylor set up this clash having disposed of #6 Paul Davison at the same stage. Taylor’s appearance in the opening contest of the evening was possibly a contributing factor to his fast start in this final whereby he took a 2-0 lead. Read wasn’t about to roll over though and took a close third game 11-9 before reeling off games four and five comfortably – the defending champion toppled but his night was not over.

Read bt Taylor 6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-5.

Men’s doubles final: #1 Paul Davison & James Donald v #3 Mark Mulley & Matthew Mulley

Mark and Matthew Mulley took the Men’s Doubles titles with a 3-1 win over number one seeds Paul Davison and James Donald. The Mulley brothers breezed through the first game but Davison and Donald got into their groove in game two when narrowly going down 13-11. Davison and Donald took their improved level of play into game four which they won by an 11-8 scoreline and while they had good chances to take the match to a decider the Mulley brothers edged game four 12-10.

Mulley & Mulley bt Davison & Donald 11-4, 13-11, 8-11, 12-10.

Ladies’ singles final: #2 Evie Knaapen v #4 Alesha Ellis-Austin

Evie Knaapen took the 2024 women’s singles title with a fine three-game win over Alesha Ellis-Austin. In a repeat of the Junior Girl’s final Knaapen took a two-game lead but unlike that match up there was no comeback this time for Ellis-Austin as Knaapen’s excellent all-round play proved too much.

Knaapen adds the Women’s singles title to her Women’s doubles title (with Ellis-Austin) and Mixed doubles title (with Jamie Elliott) – she was also runner up in the aforementioned Junior Girls singles as well as the Junior doubles (with Harrison Hill).

Knaapen bt Ellis-Austin 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.

Evie Knaapen (left) and runner up Alesha Ellis-Austin receiving their trophies from the Mayor of Chelmsford.

Men’s singles Final: #7 Matthew Mulley v #2 Duncan Taylor

Matthew Mulley was crowned 2024 Men’s singles champion with a 3-1 win over Duncan Taylor in the Final. Mulley found arguably his best form of the night to race into a 2-0 lead but Taylor raised his game to take the third game in comprehensive fashion.

Mulley got his nose ahead in game four and never looked back, securing the Men’s singles title to sit beside the Men’s doubles title he collected earlier.

Mulley bt Taylor 11-7, 11-5, 3-11, 11-9.

Matthew Mulley (left) and runner up Duncan Taylor receiving their trophies from the Mayor of Chelmsford. 

The Chelmsford & District League Committee were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Chelmsford – Councillor Linda Mascot, the Mayor’s consort Mr Ian Mascot, Chris Bryden – East Area Manager at Table Tennis England and Steven Funnell – director of F&S Energy – the sponsor of this year’s tournament.

Division 2 cup

The Final’s Night wasn’t the only local table tennis drama of the week as the division 2 cup threw up three fixtures which were not decided until the ninth and final contest of the tie.

Despite losing the first matches of the night, Chelmsford D fought back to beat Writtle B 5-4 on the road and earn their place in the semi-finals. The drama started as early as the second match of the night where Phil Smith beat Keith Martin 3-2 however this was countered by the visitors with Dusan Doszkoty and Alex Tkachuk hitting back for Chelmsford with individual wins over Trevor Carter and Trevor Collin.

Writtle then recaptured the lead on the night with a 3-2 doubles win before Martin beat Collin and Tkachuk won in five against Carter. Smith then beat Doszkoty 3-1 to level the tie at four matches each with the duo of Martin and Tkachuk seeing the visitors through to the last four thanks to a 3-1 win over Smith and Collin.

Chelmsford D will next face Chelmsford C who were involved in a thrilling 5-4 win of their own against Danbury D. Doubles wins was the order of the evening for Chelmsford who won all three doubles matches including the all-important ninth match of the night.

Chris Buer opened the Danbury account with a 3-0 win over Alesha Ellis-Austin though Chelmsford C skipper Waseem Qureshi produced a come-from-behind 3-2 win against John Tendler having been 2-0 down.

The five-game excitement continued as Steve Buer beat Sami Osman 3-2 (which including a 13-11 scoreline in the fifth game) before individual wins for Steve Buer and John Tendler put Danbury within touching distance of progressing to the next round.

A captain’s performance from Qureshi in his 3-2 victory over Chris Buer kept Chelmsford in the tie and he must have thought his efforts were all in vain when Ellis-Austin and Osman trailed 2-0 to Chris and Steve Buer. Any celebrations by the people of Danbury would have proved to have been premature as the Chelmsford duo were able to turn the corner and put their side into the next round with a hard-fought 3-2 win.

The third and final thriller in the division two cup this week was the matchup between Danbury D and OCA B. The contest was opened with a titanic doubles match between Danbury’s David Gatheral/Eamonn Hall and OCA’s duo of Robbie Burton and Mick Hayes – Gatheral and Hall battled back from 2-0 down only for Burton/Hayes to take the decider 13-11.

Hall and Hayes saw five-game action in their singles contest with Hayes recovering from 2-1 down to win games four and five 11-9, 12-10. When Dave Porter put OCA 4-2 up on the night with a four-game victory over Hall the visitors must have thought they had one foot in the semi-finals but Danbury’s Gatheral then won 3-1 against Hayes before teammate Sanjay Saptarshi won 3-0 against Rob Burton.

This set up a ‘winner takes all’ doubles decider in which Saptarshi and Hall raced into a 2-0 lead before being pegged back by a 16-14 reversal in game three. Was this going to be the turning point for OCA’s Porter and Hayes? Alas no, Saptarshi and Gatheral were able to regain their focus to take the game, match and fixture courtesy of an 11-9 fourth game scoreline.

Division two cup semi-finals to play:
02/04/2024: Writtle C v Danbury D
19/02/2024: Chelmsford D v Chelmsford C