There was a real feast of table tennis at the Bexhillians Table Tennis Club on Sunday, 30th September 2018 when 32 players battled to win the coveted Konrad Pieterse Singles Shield and the Drawn Doubles title. Although the majority of players were from the Hastings League there was good representation from other leagues in Sussex and the Brighton area as well as players from Kent including two of England’s high ranked Cadets. There was a good mix of youngsters and senior players and also six female players in the two events which were both mixed competitions.
The day started with groups with the top two placed players in each group going through to the knock-out rounds. The seeding was upset when Kent Cadets, Shem Lejarde and Arthur Bracken, topped their groups, Shem going on to reach the Semi-finals and Arthur the Quarter-finals. Local players Paul Hyland and Brian Beaney also finished in first position in their groups against seeding. The other group winners were Nathan Darby, John Wilson, Owen Brown and James Gorridge. Moving on to the Semi-final stage Nathan Darby had a win against 13 year old Shem Lejarde 3-1 and in the other half of the draw 15 year old Owen Brown from Horsham defeated Number 2 seed, John Wilson also in four. The stage was set for final between Nathan Darby and Owen Brown and what a superb final it was with the match swinging one way and then the other before the final point went in Nathan’s favour 12-10, 8-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9. Compliments must go to both players for the highest level of sportsmanship and the respect they afforded each other at the end of the match.
We were honoured to have Bridget and Martina Pieterse present the singles trophies and Bridget spoke about how much Konrad would have loved to have seen so many youngsters playing as it had been so important to him to see the younger players developing in all the sports in which he had been involved.
The doubles event threw up some interesting pairings when the draw was made and as with the singles event the top two in each group went through to the knock-out stages of the competition. There were some very competitive matches and once again several youngsters were at the forefront of the event. Shem Lejarde along with local youngster, Tom Nguyen, played brilliantly to reach the Semi-final stage and were unlucky to lose a very close five game match 14-12 in the fifth end against opponents Nathan Darby and Kevin Rowe. The other Semi-final was also a tight run match with Owen Brown and John Wilson finally winning the match against Dan Starnes and Mike Funnell in five. The last match of the day after nearly nine hours of table tennis saw the winning pair of Owen Brown and John Wilson win 11-8, 11-0, 10-12, 11-9 against Nathan Darby and Kevin Rowe. A fitting match to end the day.
Bexhillians Table Tennis Club would like to thank everyone who supported the competition and to those who added to the donation made by the club to Sussex Air Ambulance which was Bridget Pieterse nominated charity.
3rd October 2018