The Hastings & District Table Tennis Association held their annual Veterans Closed Tournament with two significant changes from recent years. The tournament was held at the Hastings Academy Sports Hall in mid-week and all Singles events were played as Mixed Singles, dispensing with the traditional Men’s and Women’s over-40’s events.
The over-40s Singles was won by defending Men’s Champion Dave Butler (Saints)
who defeated Hastings’ top woman player Rose Rainton in the final 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11.
Semi-finalists were drawn from two groups, with a ‘group of death’ containing Paul Barry (Hollington Academy), Rob Warner and Graham Gillett (both Bexhill).
The group had to be decided on countback with the unlucky Warner losing out after gaining his first win over Barry. In the semis, Rainton had an excellent win over Barry and Butler beat former Sussex champion Gillett.
There was a strong entry in the over-50s, with Martin Kellaway taking the title with a final win over Robin Gibbs (Hollington Academy) which went the distance. Both players were making their debuts in the age-group. In the semi-finals, Kellaway beat Andy Summers (Bexhill) who had eliminated three-time winner Roy Funnell (Tackleway) and Gibbs beat clubmate Nick Standen who had beaten defending champion John Ellis (Bexhill).
Brian Beaney (Bexhill) won the over-60’s title he last won in 2008, beating Mike Funnell 3-2 in the final. Beaney beat the holder Sheila King (Tigers) in the semis, while Funnell came through against Pam Winter (Bexhill) who had eliminated Andy Syrett (Saints).
The over-70s singles was played as a group final where the last contest saw Tigers’ Dave Mitchell take the title on his debut, beating the holder Norman Beaney who finished runner-up.
Barry and Nick Standen (Hollington Academy) took the Men's Doubles event with a five-set win over Kellaway and Tony Catt (Tigers).
The Mixed Doubles was played as a group and was won by Rainton and Warner thanks to a five-game win over runners-up King and Catt.
The Handicap Singles saw some closely competed matches before Paul Hyland (NALGO) took the title with a 21-16, 23-21 win over Keith Lindsay (Tackleway) who received a 6 point start in the final.
The tournament was organised by Rose Rainton, assisted by Robin Gibbs and Jamie Martin.