There was some more riveting table tennis in Week 3 of the Bexhillians Internal Club Competition, providing thrills and spills as well as some splendid recoveries.
The closest match to date was Ball Bashers 6-3 defeat of winless Slovakquickdust with Ryan Heselden unbeaten and Nick Coleman winning two for the Bashers and Martin Kapusta two for the losers. Seven of the nine sets went the distance including the last five as the Slovaks let slip a 3-1 lead. Heselden was the only Basher to win in the opening four and that by 13/11 in the third against John Bradbury before he won, again in three games against George Reidy. In a much-awaited clash, Heselden faced Kapusta and seemed comfortable as he hit his way to a 10-1 lead in the decider. Pressure built as Kapusta fought his way back to 7-10 before Heselden clinched an excellent win. There was still time for Nick Coleman to edge home 13-11 in the third against the unlucky Reidy.
This match also provided the thrills and spills referred to when John Bradbury, chasing a retrieve, dived head first into the barriers, ending up almost under the table of the adjoining court. This transgressed two Covid Protocols at once as players are not supposed to touch the barriers, let alone take a header through them, nor venture into another bubble without a mask! (only joking Boris)
Something had to give when the top two teams met and it was Ivory Rose who lost their unbeaten record. Going Down edged home 5-4, boosted by the inclusion of Paul Barry who was unbeaten. Graham Gillett won two for Ivory Rose but it was the bit part players who provided the drama. Alan McCleave (IR) was cruising against Brian Busbridge when he led 11-4, 10-4 but let his opponent back in to level at 14-12. Busbridge tried to return the favour in the decider at 10-7 before scraping home 12-10. Performance of the night came from the volatile Pete Robinson who lost to Barry 13-15, 9-11 in a frenzy of counter-hitting. McCleave came from a game down to beat John Ellis but found Barry at 4-4 a step too far.
Another match in the balance to the bitter end saw TT Allstarz beat Bats Atoxic 5-4 with a Roy Funnell maximum and two wins for James Gorridge. John Dyson won two for the Toxics, who lived up to their name by turning out three ‘funny bats’ for the first time. The teams exchanged wins for the first seven sets, leaving Toxics 4-3 up. Funnell beat Dyson 16-14 in the third and Gorridge beat Sue Pingram 14-12 in the third before Dyson beat Paul Hyland 11-9 in the third.
All set for a grand finale and Allstarz did not disappoint, with Gorridge outlasting Roger Pingram over three games before Funnell beat Sue Pingram 11-9, 11-9.
It looked like the competition was going to see its first match without a losing bonus point but it was not to be as Rose & Two Thorns beat Winter Mixtures 6-3 with Rose Rainton winning three and Tony Catt two. Andy Panayi continued his good form with two for the losers. The eponymous Pam Winter was unlucky to go down to Catt in two close games before, at 2-6 down in the match ‘Supersub’ Trevor Towner picked up an unexpected losing bonus point for the Mixtures with a good win over Sheila King.