The Chelmsford A trio of Gary Young, Josh Bickles and Saul Chivers started the new season in fine form as they posted a dominant 10-0 home win over last season’s division 2 champions Galleywood A. Young failed to drop a single game in the contest while Ben Page was the pick of the Galleywood trio, not only narrowly losing in two of his three games with Young but also taking Chivers to five games. Writtle A brushed aside Chelmsford B by a scoreline of 8-2 in a match which saw the league’s number 1 ranked player Duncan Taylor score a hat trick of 3-0 wins and in doing so conceding a miserly 4 points or less in seven of the games. Lee McHugh also went undefeated, dropping just one game on the night. Danbury A and B teams battled to draw with Sam Lowman the only player undefeated, Chris Penrose came back from 2-1 down to edge out Sanjay Saptarshi with the doubles match also decided in the 5th game – Penrose and Eric Green claiming the point from Lowman and Ian Wall. Last season’s division 1 champions OCA A could only field two players against Danbury C. #14 ranked Paul Davison pulled off a fine win over #4 Paul Lucas after Lucas had edged out Keith Adams in five games. Lucas and Mark Mulley fought back from 2-0 down to beat Keith Adams and Davison in five but it was not enough to prevent a 6-4 loss on the night.
Maldon A and Hatfield Peverel A were the two big winners in week one of division 2 both securing 7-3 home wins. Lloyd Bennett-Smith hit a treble for Maldon dropping just one game in doing so, with Hamish Innes and Dawn Baldry both earning two wins apiece. Innes had to dig deep for his two wins – his match with Dusan Doszkoty was an entertaining 14-12, 6-11, 11-7, 12-14, 14-12 scoreline, with his victory over Keith Martin also going the distance. Alastair Piper went undefeated for Hatfield Peverel A in their fixture with Writtle C dropping just a set in each of his matches, the doubles saw Martin Archie and Neil Freeman recover from two games down to beat John Parodi and Gary Ward. OCA B got the better of Danbury G by a 6-4 scoreline with Mick Richardson claiming three straight 3-0 wins over Denis Balic, Mervyn Perriman and Robin Armstrong. Michael Hayes joined Richardson to narrowly beat Balic and Armstrong 3-2 in the doubles. Writtle B and Danbury F contested a 5-5 draw with Steve Buer edging Richard Storey in four tightly contested games. John Tendler registered two 3-0 victories though was beaten 3-1 by Storey who made up for his earlier disappointment against Buer. Chelmsford C and Danbury D drew five apiece with Harrison Hill notching three wins. Hill was made to work hard though with wins over Sanjay Saptarshi and David Gatheral both in five. Earlier, Saptarshi also went the distance in his triumph over Waseem Qureshi.
Last season’s Div 4 champions Buttsbury A started life in Div 3 by claiming an emphatic 9-1 win over Danbury J with a hat trick apiece for Jamie Elliot (89% win average last season) and Paul Sturton. Elliot fought back against Danbury’s Gordon Gatheral who had held a 2-0 lead. Neil Freeman earned three points for his Hatfield Peverel B side in their 5-5 draw with Writtle E. Freeman impressively rallied from 2-0 down against Neil Thompson and also got the better of Ian Hockley in a tight contest. Hockley himself had earlier come from 2-0 down to beat Paul Mulley. Richard Baxter scored a treble in OCA C’s 6-4 win over Chelmsford E though in the opening contest found himself 2-1 down against Alesha Ellis-Austin. The second match of the night saw Rev Matthews overturn a 2-0 deficit to beat Tom Barker. Richard Upson earned two wins – his second of which was from a losing position of 2-1 against Ellis-Austin. Galleywood B beat Chelmsford F 6-4 with John Holland losing just 2 games in his three victories against Pav Srinivasamurthy, Omar Wasi and Atharv Gupta. Wasi and Srinivasamurthy won two matches apiece with Wasi coming from 1–0 down to win 3-1 in both of his victories. Bryn Thomas and Srinivasamurthy played out the only match which went to five games – Srinivasamurthy being the victor. The Writtle D team of Pete Layzell, Malcolm Henstock and Trevor Collin all won twice in a 7-3 win at Danbury H. Danbury’s Peter Lucraft also secured two wins on the night, overturning a 2-1 deficit to oust Layzell. Henstock overcame the disappointment of a 19-17 first game loss against Lucraft to rally 3-1.
Buttsbury B started life in Division 4 with a hard fought 7-3 victory on the road at Danbury L. A remarkable 8 of the 10 matches went to five sets with Oscar Hutt and Greg Cooper both involved in four apiece. Jenne Seibolt scored a fine hat-trick, the second win of which was a tightly contested affair with Cooper (11-9, 19-17, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6). Alex Wilson didn’t register a win however he was involved in two five setters – Oscar Hutt producing a fine comeback in their encounter (11-13. 4-11, 13-11, 13-11. 12-10). Galleywood C won 7-3 at Chelmsford G with Bryn Thomas winning all three of his matches without dropping a game, Will Goodchild narrowly missed out on a treble when losing his opener 11-9 in the fifth against Salih Salim. Peter Mortensen’s efforts were not enough to prevent his Hatfield Peverel D side from losing 6-4 at OCA D. Mortenson came back from 2-1 down to beat Farooq Ahmed in five after also rallying from a losing position against David Newman in his 3-1 win. Newman himself had recovered from 2-0 down to get the better of Bob Hills – the second of Hills’ five set losses on the night after Russell Hall overturned a 2-1 deficit.
Danbury M were the biggest winners of the week in division 5 with a 9-1 win over Highwood B. Oliver Martin and Peter Harverson both scored three wins, with Steve Martin chipping in with two. Oliver Martin fought back from 2-1 down against Martin Goddard to take the decider 13-11, and later came from 2-0 down against Ketih Pallett to win the decider 16-14. Ron Salton dropped just one game as he hit a treble for Galleywood D as they beat Buttsbury C 6-4. Francesca Hart shone for Buttsbury C winning two matches from 2-1 down. Douglas Bawuah won three matches for ARU despite their 6-4 loss to Chelmsford H – all three of Bawuah’s wins being in the deciding set. Jason Clark, Jacqui Smith and Shengbing Zhu all won two matches for Chelmsford. It was a long night for Bawuah who was also involved in a five set thriller with partner Santiago Rubio against Smith and Clark. Hatfield Peverel F and Maldon C drew five apiece with Alastair Brown having to work hard – all three of his wins completed in the fifth set. Brown battled back from 2-1 down against James Raymond and 2-0 down to Kym Eames. Jackie Treacy also performed well with two 3-0 wins. Martin Brunker earned three wins for his Chelmsford J team despite their 6-4 loss at Writtle F. Brunker held his nerve in tight contests with Michael Anthony and Ron Tam. Shweta Lees earned a victory on debut with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Jo Hart.