As the Hastings & District Table Tennis League takes a three week festive break, a look at the First Division table shows the title is a finely balanced three horse race.
Defending champions Hollington Academy A head the table from Saints A who are level on points but have won four fewer sets. This despite the fact that Saints have won all eleven matches, including inflicting the Academics only defeat with a 6-4 win.
Academy A literally snatched the lead in a rearranged match played five days before Christmas in which they hammered third-placed Bexhill A 9-1.
Paul Barry and Nathan Darby are both unbeaten for Academy and Bashar Ubaid has lost only three times.
For Saints, Dave Butler and James Winchester have both lost twice but what may prove significant in their pursuit of the title is the pair’s unbeaten doubles record.
Robert Warner and David Rayment have led the challenge for Bexhill, who are still only five points adrift, having lsot 6-4 to Saints in November.
Hollington Academy B, some distance back, are the best of the rest, with Robin Gibbs making an impressive return. They have an interesting Watts Cup draw against Academy A.
Bexhill C will be hoping that Graham Gillett suffers no recurrence of his knee problems as they seek to head the mid-table group.
Other contenders in this category include Tackleway A and Bexhill B.
The Bexhill club have five teams in Division One, but two of these occupy the relegation spots at half way.
Second Division champions Bexhill E look most at risk, having accumulated only three points, six points less than Bexhill D.
Bexhill D are within touching distance of Tackleway B, who have a game in hand.
Floating between the relegation zone and mid-table are the D and C teams of Hollington Academy.
This is somewhat of an achievement for Academy C who struggled to field a team in the early part of the season. Things seem to have stabilised with the addition of two reserves to the squad and both C and D sides should have no concerns about retaining their status.