The second Over-60s Premier Weekend took place at Milton Keynes Table Tennis Club, where Kent (pictured above) retained their title for the second time – making it three wins in a row. Newcomers to the division, Leicestershire, were runners-up.

Recap of Rounds 1-3.

The first weekend back in November saw holders Kent and Cheshire as the only two teams with a 100% record. But Leicestershire were in hot pursuit with two wins under their belt and hoping for a slip-up from their two rivals.

At the bottom of the table, Hertfordshire and Essex were yet to secure a point. But both were hoping for better things in the second weekend. Essex had faced the three strongest sides in the competition and Herts were back to full strength with the recovery of the reliable Stuart Seaholme from injury.

Lancashire, Bedfordshire and Sussex knew that their mid-table positions were deceptive and that further points would need to be secured to keep them clear of the relegation zone.

So all to play for at both the top and bottom of the table as we went into the second session.

Report of second session

Once again, counties were all fielding very strong players who featured in the top five of the VETTS Over-60s rankings. For the men, this included Chris Rogers (Le) and Diccon Gray (K), and for the ladies Jan Johns (Ch) and Karen Smith (Le).

It was fantastic to see that Cheshire had included in their squad former England International, European champion and table tennis legend John Hilton. John joins a distinguished list of former internationals and European champions such as Stuart Gibbs, Simon Heaps and Nigel Eckersley who have played in the O-60s Premier Weekend in recent years.

Round 4

There were no surprises in Round 4. Kent and Cheshire continued on their winning ways, with Leicestershire still in touch with the leaders. Essex and Hertfordshire still failed to register a win and Sussex and Bedfordshire couldn’t get any closer to safety. Lancashire’s 6-4 win over Essex meant they were nearer to avoiding the drop.

Round 5

Essex secured their first win at the expense of Hertfordshire. Sussex and Bedfordshire lost to Cheshire and Kent respectively. Leicestershire kept in sight of the two leaders with a close win over Lancashire. So as we moved into the Sunday session, there was little change to the top of the table compared to the start of the previous day. But at the bottom, both Essex and Lancashire had significantly improved their survival chances. Nonetheless, the relegation battle was still between Lancashire, Bedfordshire, Sussex, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Round 6

Sunday morning’s matches saw a significant change at the top of the table with Leicestershire beating Cheshire. Kent secured another win to put them in a commanding position in the table. Another win for Essex, this time over Bedfordshire, gave them a good chance of avoiding the drop.

But Hertfordshire would be relegated following their defeat to Lancashire – which in turn made Lancashire safe in the division for another year. Sussex still couldn’t add to their single victory in the competition and so were firmly in the relegation places.

Round 7

Sussex needed a convincing win over Essex to have any chance of survival and although they battled hard could only secure a 5-5 draw. So the two teams relegated were Sussex and Hertfordshire.

At the top, Cheshire needed a convincing win over Kent to secure top spot but could only manage a 5-5 draw. But this was the only blemish on Kent’s record. Leicestershire beat Hertfordshire to secure the runners-up slot.

Final table and full results

The final divisional table and all the results are on the county championships website. Click here to view the table. From there you can click on the links above the table to access the detailed results, scorecards and player averages.

Notable individual performances

Karen Smith (Le) led the way as the only undefeated player in singles matches in the competition. Chris Rogers (Le), Diccon Gray (K), Mark Brown (K) and Sandra Harper (Bd) won all but one of their singles matches. The top doubles pairing was Diccon Gray & Mark Romano. And the top mixed doubles pairing was Chris Rogers & Karen Smith.


Thanks are due to Alan Cherry and his colleagues at Milton Keynes Table Tennis Club for hosting both Premier Weekends.

Runners-up Leicestershire