The ATTA held its pre-season Hard Bat Tournament on Friday as well as the usual club night for all players. Numbers for this tournament were down on last year, but most of the top players attended. A consolation event was held this year for first round losers, in place of a doubles competition which unfortunately made the previous event overrun the time constraints.
In the main event the seeds were Ray Carver, Richard Fettes, Steve Harris and Tony Brown. Steve was unlucky in that Andy Barnes (Andover Open Singles Champion), who came into the draw on the night, beat him in the first round. Richard defeated Nick George in the first round and whilst both players did not relish playing with hard bats, the match proved to be very exciting with a lot of good rallies.
Ray cruised through to the semi-final where he had to play Andy who had experienced a much harder passage to get there. It was a tight, cagey game, with Andy running out the eventual winner 21-11, 21-19. Tony meanwhile had an easy route to the semi-final where he met Richard, who was fresh from his victory over Karl Jones. Richard overcame Tony in style winning 21-14, 21-13.
The final proved an interesting encounter with Richard taking the first game from Andy 21-9. Andy hit back immediately and took the next game 21-13. The match then went to the deciding game and Andy who was in the ascendancy with a 10 point lead managed to turn victory into glorious defeat and lost 21-17.
In the Consolation event, as expected, Steve Harris and Nick George made it to the final. The rallies were long and drawn out with Steve taking the first game comfortably 21-10. Nick came back strongly in the second game but Steve proved too good, winning 21-18.
Well done to both Richard and Steve.