The penultimate round of matches in the club team competition saw the return of an old favourite and some close matches leaving everything hanging on the clash of first and second next week.
Leaders Rose & Two Thorns went into their game with Going Down without Tony Catt, knowing that a win was essential for their title hopes. This was achieved but only by a 5-4 margin thanks to a Rose Rainton maximum but with Sheila King chipping in with two wins. The match was probably decided by King’s defeat of former Tigers colleague Brian Busbridge in the only set which went to three. John Ellis won two for Going Down.
The clash between second and third placed teams TT Allstars and Winter Mixtures was bizarre, even by Bexhill standards, with none of the Mixtures regulars available for selection. The three ringers recruited by Trevor Towner included himself and former Bexhill A stalwart Lewis Mayhew, also a former Hastings Singles champion and Watts Cup winner, now plying his trade mainly in the Crawley League. Mayhew was unbeaten but that was all the Mixtures got with two wins each for Arthur Bracken, James Gorridge and Paul Hyland ensuring a 6-3 win for Allstars. Most of the excitement came early, with 16 year-old Bracken losing to Mayhew 11-13, 12-10, 9-11 before Towner came close to a first win over Hyland, ultimately losing 10-12 in the third after a push-fest.
Third placed Ball Bashers beat Ivory Rose 7-2 with three wins from Paul Barry and two each for Ryan Heselden and Kevin McEwan. Graham Gillett’s two wins kept Ivory Rose interested but they are now out of contention. A win over bottom team Bats Atoxic could see Ball Bashers take second place, dependent on the result between the top two, but the title is mathematically beyond them.
Slovakquickdust beat Bats Atoxic 6-3 with maximums for George Reidy and John Bradbury as the Slovaks won three of the four sets which went the distance. The last set saw Bradbury pull away in the third after sharing two deuce games with Keith Lindsay.
The title will be decided on Thursday 29th July when Rose & Two Thorns face TT Allstars with Rose & Two Thorns having a one point lead. A win by 7-2 or better for Allstars, denying R&TT a bonus point, would give Allstars the title; an Allstars win by 5-4 would leave the teams level on points with R&TT winning on sets; an Allstars win by 6-3 would leave them level on points and sets and the title will be decided on games.
I will change the website league table set up so that games won/lost are displayed so that you can check my maths. At the moment R&TT have a small advantage on games.