The First Round of the Watts Cup, the senior knock out competition of the Hastings & District Table Tennis League took place last week and provided some close encounters, if not too many shocks.
The draw did throw up a titanic clash between holders Bexhill A and Saints A, currently third and second respectively in Division One, which saw the holders bow out by the narrowest of margins. James Winchester (Saints) and David Rayment (Bexhill) both won their two singles with Rayment notching an excellent win over Dave Butler and Winchester edging past Ryan Warner. Without the injured Robert Warner, Bexhill brought in Graham Primett and his win over John Wond kept Bexhill hopes alive before Winchester and Wond took the final doubles for a 5-4 win.
Favourites and league leaders Hollington Academy A had Paul Barry and Nathan Darby unbeaten in an 8-1 defeat of Hollington Academy B.
With First Round defeat offering a path into the consolation Minor Trophy for teams outside Division One, Division Two promotion contenders Hollington A showed no sign of taking the easy option as they took on Bexhill C, fifth in the top Division..
Bexhill won 5-1 but were made to work, with John Wilson narrowly losing to Kevin Barry and having to come from 2-1 down to beat Shaun Godfrey in five games. Andy Chapman and Graham Gillett were unbeaten for Bexhill.
Nalgo A beat Tackleway D 6-3 with Zac Allen (Tackleway) and Paul Hyland (Nalgo) winning both their singles. The singles were shared 3-3, but Nalgo won all three doubles to go through.
Another tight game saw Bexhill H beat Tackleway B 5-4 with a straight games win in the final doubles.
Second Division Bexhill G against runaway Division Three leaders Saints C was made even more interesting when Bexhill were forced to field two reserves.
Bexhill’s Brian Beaney and Dom Goodson won two each and Caz Hall won one with Saints winning two doubles.
Saints’ playing order selection left number one Dave Watters playing only one singles as they lost 2-5.
Hollington Academy C beat Nalgo B 6-0 and Hollington B gained the same result against Hollington D.