Veterans Tournament Report

The Hastings and District Table Tennis Association recently held its veteran's table tennis tournament at Bexhill YCC with a good turnout of twenty players, five in each of the age groups - meaning a 'round robin' system (everyone playing everyone) could be uniformly employed with the top two from each group going through to the staged finals.

The over 40s was the strongest it had ever been with top East Sussex veterans Lewis Mayhew and Andy Norwood competing with local legend (and many times 40s champion) Paul Barry and also joined by new 'young vets' James Gorridge and Malcolm Barber.

With an incredibly high standard of fabulous table tennis on display Lewis was unlucky not to make it to the final stages, just missing out after having match point against Paul Barry who joined Andy Norwood as 40s finalists. The final was very close with Paul seeming to have the upper hand at one set all and leading comfortably in the third with his amazing close net control, but an incredible volley of audacious loop smashes saw Andy 'steal' the leg 12-10 and then on to victory 11-7 in the fourth to take the title.

The 50s favourite Faldie Adams was given a close game in the group stages by Andy Panayi and it was these two that comfortably made it through to the final but this title decider did not have the drama of their earlier encounter and Faldie ran out a decisive three straight winner with an amazing mixture of defensive control and vicious attack.

Roy Funnell won the group stage of the 60s with 5 straight wins (though Nick Standen took him to deuce in the 5th) and the runner up in the group spot had to be decided by 'count back' as Nick Standen, Mike Courtnage and John Bradbury all won two games each! Nick just squeezed through by one set to compete against Roy in the final - unfortunately for the crowd the earlier close exciting encounter was not repeated and Roy ran out a clear three straight winner with a very positive show of winning smashes on both wings to take the 60s crown.

The 70s saw Mike Funnell and Pam Winter emerge as the top two with no one sure who might lift the title after their deuce in the 5th group stage game but the final followed a different script after a sticky one set all opening. Mike found a bit of confidence and consistent top spin attack to comfortably lift the trophy with a 3-1 win.

Ten pairs of players competed for the doubles title with 'New Kids on the block' Andy Norwood and Lewis Mayhew seeing off all the opposition and lifting the title from defending champions Paul Barry and Nick Standen in a comfortable straight sets win.

The trophies were presented by HDTTA President Mike Funnell who thanked everyone for making it such a successful day with special mention to Trevor Towner and Paul White for preparing the hall/putting up the tables.

The tournament was organized by Mike Funnell and assisted by Paul Barry.

Author: via Hastings Table Tennis League
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