The SDTTL Bill Smith Hard Bat Tournament

Held at the Hullbridge Sports Association

On Saturday 8th November 2014

Once again, Bill Smith oversaw a very enjoyable day of Table Tennis, where everyone has the same ‘Bat’ advantage.  This is always the first of the SDTTL events in their season’s calendar and one that the stalwarts of Hard Bat look forward to.  There was a good standard of Table Tennis with some great games played during the day.  It was good to see some  new faces and faces from previous years in Brian Adams, Mike Hayes, Dick Wyman, Dave Reynolds and former World Over 75 Champion, Fred Lockwood.

Played in groups of 6, games were best of three, all points counted.  The points where then the decider as to who went through to the quarter finals and who went through to the plate.  The points won were also to select the Doubles Partnerships with the higher half of the table  paired with those from the lower half to give a fair advantage for all.

The Open Singles Event saw ‘Sand Paper Bat Guru’ Fred Dove, win in fine style, playing excellent Table Tennis throughout the day.  The Runner up was Fred’s close associate in the ‘Sand Paper Bat world’, Glenn Johnson and needless to say the match was closely fought, with Fred taking the title in the 3rd game.

The Plate event saw some of the leading Premier Players (with modern bats) finding themselves in the rare position of being in a Plate Event. This was won by Dick Wyman, who also narrowly defeated Babul McLeod.

Finally the Doubles, where the Players finishing in the higher positions in the Open are paired with those at the opposite end: albeit that all the players were of a good standard. The Final saw 4 very good local League players contest a tight match, with Fred Dove completing the Double together with Dave Reynolds beating Paul Churn & Dave Norris.

The Medal Presentation rode on the back of 50s/ 60s /70s sing along evening at Hullbridge to raise money for the Key Hole Cancer Treatment Charity.  This event was put on by the renowned ‘Crooner’ John Lott who kept everyone entertained throughout along with guest star, Will I Am Smith, who joined him for a few numbers:  Bill proved very popular.   John puts on these evenings to raise money for this worthy course.
Along with the raffle, the evening raised just over £650.  John passed on his thanks to everyone who attended the evening for their generosity.

Ken presented the day’s medals during the evening’s interval and thanked the following people.

  •  Bill Smith. Bill resurrected this Tournament several years ago and brought it back to Hullbridge.  Bill collates the day’s events, collects the scoring tables and nets from Rawreth, chases everyone up and is everywhere on the day. And steps in to make up a group when someone had to drop out.  In recognition of Bill’s super efforts with this event, the SDTTL renamed the event a few years ago to the ‘Bill Smith Open Hard Bat Championships.  Its and Open event as this draws in people from Local Leagues that like to enter a different type of event.
  • Glenn Johnson for all his help on the day and for donating and preparing the food and drinks keeping everyone happy.
  • Jayne Johnson for running the Control Desk.
  • The Hullbridge Sports Association for allowing Southend to use their fine Function Room & Match Room for these Championships.
  • And to all those who helped set up and take down the Hall

Ken concluded by thanking all those who had supported both events on the day.

Author: via Southend Table Tennis League
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