The end of season Eastern Valley Table Tennis League Tournaments commenced this week with the Hard Bat Singles. After proving to be the most popular tournament last season it was decided to hold another competition this year. There were 24 entries split into 6 groups of 4 with the top 2 in each group progressing to the knockout stages. During the Group stages there were a few surprise results, including the defeat of leading Eastern Valley players Tony Collins by Iestyn Howells and David D Lloyd by Colin Price. Group winners Howells, Price, Jon Allen and Geoff Strangeway had byes direct to Quarter Finals. The other group winners, Jozef Sujanec, and Ben Allen joined the group runners up in Round 1.
In Round 1 there were wins for Michal Luckanic over Michal Policht , Mark Farrow over Sujanec, Ben Allen over Collins and Mark Edmunds over Lloyd.
In the Quarter-finals there were wins for Luckanic over Howells, Farrow over Price, Ben Allen over Jon Allen and Geoff Strangeway over Mark Edmunds.
In the Semi-finals, Michal Luckanic, who was proving very adept with the hard bat, ground out a narrow 11-10, 11-10 win over Mark Farrow. The other semi-final saw Geoff Strangeway, who consistently does well at hard bat events, take on youngster Ben Allen and it was Allen who came out on top 11-8, 11-7.
This set up a Final between Blaenavon Aces' Ben Allen and Cwmbran Tigers' Michal Luckanic, which promised to be a titanic affair. We were not disappointed as the final was very competitive with one player gaining early advantage only for the other to fight back. In the end Ben Allen came out on top 11-10, 10-11, 11-10, with the score line highlighting the closeness of the match.