At the Christmas break in the Hastings & District Table Tennis League, the Division One table has a familiar look with last season’s top three teams occupying the same positions.
Reigning champions Bexhill A lead by three points from Hollington A, with Saints A three points further back in third place.
Bexhill have won all 10 of their matches, but have dropped a point in five of them. Rob Warner and Lewis Mayhew have been their mainstays as they cope with a smaller squad than last season.
Hollington have overcome the loss of Nathan Darby to maintain their challenge and have, in unbeaten Paul Barry, the league’s outstanding player to date. Saints can never be ruled out, with Dave Butler (also unbeaten) and Ritchie Venner outstanding.
The season’s high spot probably came with Barry’s defeat of Venner - his first loss in Hastings for four years.
The pack is led by Tackleway A, for whom Roger Pingram and John Wilson have been consistent, and Bexhill C, whose Graham Gillett has been in fine form, including a maximum against Bexhill A. Hollington B are tucked in behind these two, followed by Bexhill B, Hollington C and Saints C.
Promoted Saints B languish at the foot of the table, with their nearest rivals being Tigers A and Tackleway B. With all three having a three-player squad, availability and reserve strength may yet decide the relegation issue.
Standings (played-points) - Division 1: Bexhill A 10-35, Hollington A 10-32, Saints A 10-29, Tackleway A 9-23, Bexhill C 9-23, Hollington B 10-23, Bexhill B 9-16, Hollington C 9-15, Saints C 9-14, Tackleway B 10-10, Tigers A 9-6, Saints B 10-2.