At the end of the table tennis season, Bexhill A have retained the championship of the Hastings & District League with a 5 point margin after pulling away from the competition in the last month of the season. Once again Bexhill had to draw on all five members of their squad of Lewis Mayhew, Rob Warner, Martin Kellaway, Keith Barber and Bob Lowe. Warner had a fine season and, with Kellaway available for only half the matches, the contribution of Barber and Lowe should not be underestimated.
Hollington A had to overcome the loss of Nathan Darby because of work commitments which made their second place even more creditable. Paul Barry had an outstanding season for Hollington, as did Ritchie Venner and Dave Butler for Saints A, who finished in third place in a repeat of last season’s standings.
Tackleway A, led by John Wilson and Roger Pingram, were the best of the rest but they finished some distance behind the top three.
For the second successive season, a Saints team (Saints B), who won last year’s 2nd Division, found life in the top division quite demanding and they finished bottom with a solitary draw to show for their efforts.
Individually, the struggle to top the averages made for an incident-packed season, with Ritchie Venner just coming out on top, despite losing his first league game for 4 years. This was Venner’s only defeat of the season, at the hands of Paul Barry, and which he avenged in the re-match, with Barry finishing less than 1% behind, losing only twice himself.
Dave Butler finished in third place with 2 defeats and would have ended the season on top but for a defeat in the last match of the season to Bexhill C’s Graham Gillett, who finished fourth.
Bexhill’s title was reflected in Warner, Mayhew and Kellaway all making the top 10 while James Winchester (Saints A) had a welcome return to form and Rose Rainton (Hollington B) had a good season.