The final of the Hastings and District Table Tennis Association Team Handicap Final between Bexhillians 'D' and Bexhillians 'C' took place at Bexhill Y.C.C. on Thursday 18th August with the 'C' side winning 5-2 (last 2 games not played).
The final got off to an exciting start with evenly matched pair John Ellis (D side and conceding 3 points) and John Bradbury (C side) both employing a varied array of aggressive top spin and smash tactics coupled with carefully controlled chop defence as they constantly tried to out manoeuvre each other in this epic battle. The luck finally favoured John Bradbury in the last few points of the last set with a 21-18 15-21 21-19 win.
Emily Koester (C side and conceding 10 points) then had an excellent close game with Malcolm Glover (D side) running out 21-19 21-18 winner-with a fabulous display of forehand top spin and smash combinations.
In game three Brian Busbridge (D side) had to give Martyn Murray (C side) 11-point start with Brian using all his guile and trickery to claim the first set, however in the second and third sets Martyn switched his game to fast serves and quick volley smashes to great effect running away from his opponent 17-21 21-10, 21-4.
With the C side three-nil up and cruising Bexhillians D needed to stop the rot quickly and Malcolm Glover did just that with an impressive win over John Bradbury (conceding a 10-point start). With the game evenly poised at a set apiece Malcolm finally found some cracks in John's normally rock-solid defence, a consistent display of pushing peppered with some lovely smashes saw him home with a 15-21 21-17 21-12 victory.
The D side were now back in the match (at 1-3), so it was game on as John Ellis psyched himself up to face Martyn Murray (who had a huge 13-point start). Alas this really was a bridge too far for John with Martyn once again utilizing a fast serve and smash volley game (on 2 out of 5/6 points average approach) to romp away with a 21-4 21-10 win.
At 4-1 down and staring defeat in the face the D side desperately needed another win and this time Brian Busbridge came to the rescue with a superb victory over Emily Koester. The veteran campaigner enjoying a 5-point start employed every trick in his book - twisty arm top spins awkwardly placed down both flanks coupled with deep chops and telling smashes to rather bamboozle the talented young player out of her familiar smooth attacking style and Brian sealed it 21-16 21-9.
At 4-2 to Bexhillians C the match looked like it could still possibly go to the wire-so as Malcolm Glover faced up to Martyn Murray there was still everything to play for. Buoyed up from 2 out 2 wins and with an 8-point start Martyn 'raced out of the blocks' with his now familiar fast serve and smash volley tactics into a telling lead and though Malcolm put a resilient combination of defensive and attacking shots he could never quite catch his opponent who got a decisive 21-15 21-18 win to claim the game and the overall match 5-2 (last 2 games not played).
The Team Handicap Tournament had been played over the summer months starting off with 12 teams (4 groups of 3) with the top two going through. In the semi-finals Bexhillians D beat Monarchs A 5-4 and Bexhillians C beat Hastings Academy A 5-3.
Bob Lowe (Monarchs A) won the trophy for the most games won / best average by a player not reaching the final.
Pete Harding organized and ran the event superbly and was thanked for all his hard work.
The 'Dave Power Memorial Cup' and trophies were presented by Mike Funnell, President of H&DTTA.