Eastbourne Vets 2019 by Toby Oliver

Last Sunday saw the annual Eastbourne Veterans tournament take place at Shinewater Leisure Centre. There were brilliant games across all the categories with the standard of play extremely high.

The over 40’s event was won by Eastbourne Borough’s Martin Kellaway as he beat Laughton’s Tony Rowell 9-11 11-6 11-5 11-6. Kellaway started the match slowly, going 10-5 down with multiple errors. However, he quickly found his form with Rowell able to just hold on to take the first game 11-9. From there it was one-way traffic with Kellaway able to find his range giving Rowell little chance.

The over 50’s final was an amazing match between teammates and doubles partners Kellaway and Anthony Sidoli. The match was played at lightning pace with both players showing their quality. In the end, it was Sidoli who took the title, winning 10-12 11-6 9-11 11-9 11-5, his first win over Kellaway. After the match, Sidoli said: “We practise together a lot, so we know each other’s game a bit. We tend to not do our serves to each other, so we do keep a bit behind.”

The over 60’s event was won by Rowell, who beat Bishopstone’s Graham Primett in straight sets. After easily taking the first set 11-2, Rowell was put under pressure as Primett raised his game. However, it was not enough as Rowell took the title, 11-2 12-10 11-7.

The over 70’s event was conducted in a round-robin format, with Eastbourne Borough’s Brian Busbridge winning the group with Polegate’s Nigel Cromey coming in second.

The handicap singles event gave players in lower divisions the chance to beat much better players. The final was between Cromey and Polegate’s Andy Hyde. En-route to the final Cromey had beaten both Rowell and Sidoli. Cromey took the win 21-15 21-18 with his six-point advantage.

The doubles final was a high-quality match up. The Eastbourne Borough pair of Kellaway and Sidoli beat Bishopstone’s Tony Anderson and Primett 11-6 11-5 10-12 11-8.

Finally, the drawn doubles event gave the opportunity for lower division players to play with much better players. It was won by Sidoli and Deanne Vvedensky who beat Anderson and Hyde 6-11 11-7 11-8 11-6. Sidoli was full of praise for his partner: “She was a delight to play with and she played really well, it was a really positive experience.”

Pictures of the event available via Gallery menu.

Author: via Hastings Table Tennis League
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