THE new Southend and District Table Tennis League season has swung into action but the defending champions Runnymede A were without a match and must wait a week before beginning the defence of their Premier Division title.

This enabled likely challengers Rawreth A, Legra A and Rawreth B to steal a march on their rivals with all of them recording impressive 9-0 victories over Rawreth C, Lentern A and Hullbridge A respectively.

In Division One, Colin Clements, Matt Rolfe and Neil Want all secured maximums in their 9-0 victory against newly promoted Lentern E.

Roy Thomas also grabbed a maximum for Customs A but was unable to prevent his team from losing to Hadleigh Forum D 5-4.

In the Lentern derby, the C team went away with bragging rights after a 6-3 win over the D team.

There were also wins for Hullbridge B, Warehouse B and Canvey A in the opening week of the season.

In Division Two, RESSC A look the team to beat after last season’s relegation.

They overcame a strong Rawreth E side 5-4 despite a Gus Heath maximum.

Newly-promoted TT–on-Sea @ David Lloyd A, struggled, losing 7-2 to Invicta A.

Kieran Skeggs scored all the losers’ points.

Cliff Noakes won all his games for two-man Wakering, but it was not enough to overcome Warehouse C who won 6 – 3.

Tony Coeshall was unbeaten for Runnymede C to lead his side to a 6-3 win over Forum C.

In Division Three, the David Lloyd Centre and St Peter’s have started the season strongly by recording 8-1 victories against Hullbridge D and Legra D respectively.

Steve Marr and Jan Thorpe were undefeated for the David Lloyd Centre, as were Paul Reed and Ken West for St Peter’s. Canvey D’s Geoff Banthorpe recorded a maximum in his side’s 7-2 win over Hullbridge E.

Elsewhere, Castle Point A also recorded a 7-2 win thanks to hat-tricks from Barrie Delf and Keith Neville, and Jack Hympfer-Jones’ treble was enough to secure a 6-3 win for Rawreth F over Runnymede D.

In Division Four, Hullbridge H made an impressive start to the season, recording an 8-1 victory over Customs B.

Grant Burgess and Harry Obeney were undefeated for the Hullbridge team.

The youngsters of TT-on-Sea @ David Lloyd B secured an emphatic 7-2 victory over Hullbridge G with Behn Taylor taking maximum points for his side.

Hat-tricks for Bob Gabe and Simon McKenzie helped Hadleigh Forum D to a win over Warehouse Centre D.