Hastings Academy A have one hand on the trophy in Division One of the Hastings & District Table Tennis League after defeating nearest rivals Bexhill A 8-2 to take a five point lead. Nathan Darby was unbeaten and Paul Barry and Ryan Heselden both won two for Academics while Lewis Mayhew won twice for Bexhill. Four tight sets in the middle of the match proved decisive with Darby beating Mayhew 11-9 in the fifth, Heselden coming from 0-2 down to beat Robert Warner 13-11 in the fifth, a five set doubles win for Barry and Derby before Mayhew squeezed past Barry 11-9 in the decider. From 5-2 up, Academy took the next three for the loss of just one game.
Academy B moved back into third place with an 8-2 win over Hollington A in which Dave Butler and James Winchester were unbeaten.
At the other end of the table, Bexhill D took a useful point when losing 6-4 to Academy C who had three from Robin Gibbs and two from supersub Jamie Martin. Graham Primett won two for Bexhill who could even have won the match with reserve Chris Hack losing 9-11 in the fifth to both Gibbs and Martin.
In Division Two, Tackleway C beat Bexhill F 7-3, but the dropped point is the difference between them and leaders Academy E. Adrian Goodrum took a maximum and Mike Charter won twice for Tackleway as did Tina Beaney for the losers.
Two wins apiece for Doug Bick, Harvey Webb and Aaron Pain saw Tackleway E home 6-4 against Bexhill E despite Pam Winter’s maximum for the losers.
Chris Hack, John Bradbury and Harry French were all unbeaten as Bexhill G beat Academy G 10-0 leaving Bexhill just about in touch with the two leaders.
Third Division leaders Monarchs B were held 5-5 at Bexhill H where thirteen year-old Emily Koester made her long awaited league debut for the home team with an excellent maximum. Bexhill’s Dom Goodson won two as did Andrew Edwards for Monarchs.
George Reidy and Adam Ward were both unbeaten as Bexhill I beat Tackleway F 7-3.