At the Christmas break in the Hastings & District Table Tennis League, the Division 1 table has a familiar look, with last season’s top three teams occupying the same positions.
Champions Bexhill A lead by 3 points from Hollington A, with Watts Cup holders Saints A 3 points further back in 3rd place. Bexhill have won all ten of their matches, but have dropped a point in five of them. Rob Warner and Lewis Mayhew have been their mainstays as they cope with a smaller squad than last season.
Hollington have overcome the loss of Nathan Darby to maintain their challenge and have, in unbeaten Paul Barry, the league’s outstanding player to date. Saints can never be ruled out, with Dave Butler (also unbeaten) and Ritchie Venner outstanding.
The season’s high spot probably came with Barry’s defeat of Venner – his first loss in Hastings for four years.
The pack is led by Tackleway A, for whom Roger Pingram and John Wilson have been consistent, and Bexhill C, whose former Sussex champion Graham Gillett has been in fine form, including a maximum against Bexhill A. Hollington B are tucked in behind these two, followed by Bexhill B, Hollington C and Saints C.
Promoted Saints B have found life hard in Division 1 and they languish at the foot of the table, with their nearest rivals being perennial strugglers Tigers A and Tackleway B. With all three having a three-player squad, availability and reserve strength may yet decide the relegation issue.