As the dust settles over the table tennis season, Hollington Academy A have taken the First Division title in the Hastings & District League for the third successive time.
Paul Barry, Nathan Darby and Bashar Ubaid were joined by Barry’s son, eighteen-year old Ryan Heselden. A measure of this squad’s superiority is that Barry and Darby went through the season unbeaten, Ubaid achieved 85% and Heselden 70%, up from 46% in his last season at Bexhill.
Bexhill A just pipped Saints A for runners–up but ended eight points behind the champions. David Rayment and Robert Warner both managed 89%, with the latter below peak fitness all season. Also in the squad were Ryan Warner and Martin Kellaway.
Despite winning 6-4 and drawing 5-5 with Academy A, Saints had to settle for third place and no silverware. Dave Butler (89%), James Winchester (82%) and John Wond will be looking for some consolation when they meet the Academics in the Watts Cup final.
Rose Rainton led Hollington Academy B to fourth place with a sixteen point gap between them and Saints.
At the other end of the table, Bexhill E found life in the top division difficult and they finished bottom of the table without winning a game, despite Graham Primett impressing in his first season in Hastings.
Hollington Academy D filled the other relegation spot after a late recovery from Bexhill D lifted them clear on sets won. Academy D suffered from illness and injury and were unable to field a full team towards the end of the season.
Bexhill C were comfortable in mid-table despite Graham Gillett being another to suffer from injury problems.
Hollington Academy C also had issues early season but unearthed a gem in thirteen-year old Arthur Bracken who recorded 81% and two victories over Nathan Darby
in Watts Cup and the Hastings Closed. Academy C sadly lost the services of another junior, Fraser Kent, through illness for the entire season.