The Hastings & District Table Tennis League’s Team Handicap Event swung into action at the end of the regular season. As well as providing a plethora of close games, the handicap format enables players to revert to the format of best-of-three games, up to 21, with players taking five services at a time.
The first round saw two nail-biting finishes – none more so than Monarchs’ 5-4 defeat of Bexhillians B in Group 3. Peter Harding and Alison Jordan won two each for the winners while John Ellis and Malcolm Hilton did likewise for Bexhill. From 3-3, Hilton (+4) squeezed past Andrew Edwards 22-20 in the third, before Alison Jordan (+3) beat Trevor Towner 21-19 in the third to level at 4-4. Harding (+10) clinched the win for Monarchs with a three-game defeat of Ellis.
A similar scenario in Group 1 saw Hollington B edge out Tackleway B 5-4 with two wins each for Bradley Britt and Adam Akar (Hollington) and Gina Rogers and Dave Wilson (Tackleway). Again from 3-3, Wilson beat Yasar Akar (+11) 21-19 in the third, only for Adam Akar (+14) and Britt (+17) to gain the win, beating Rogers and Roy Funnell respectively.
In the same group, NALGO A beat Bexhillians A 6-3 with two wins each for Paul Hyland, Tristan Hyland and Mike Courtnage. Bexhill’s Ken McEwan also won twice.
In Group 2, Bexhillians C beat Tigers 7-2, with all the first seven matches requiring a deciding game. Maximums for Alan Chumbley and Diane Webb proved decisive for Bexhill. Tigers’ John Campbell was involved in two epics, beating Dom Goodson 21-18 in the third from +11 and losing out 19-21 in the third to Webb from +12.