Veterans roll back the years

Multiple event winner Dave Butler (right) with Hastings & District Table Tennis Association chairman Andre Keen

Multiple event winner Dave Butler (right) with Hastings & District Table Tennis Association chairman Andre Keen

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The Hastings & District Table Tennis Association held its annual Veterans’ Tournament at Hollington TTC on Sunday.

Top seed and last year’s runner-up Dave Butler (Saints) took the over-40s men’s singles in an event played as a group final. Butler, who last won the title in 2011/12, defeated runner-up Robin Gibbs 11-3, 11-6, 11-6 with a display of controlled aggression.

Rose Rainton (Hollington) won the over-40s women’s singles for the fifth consecutive year by defeating Pam Winter (Tigers) 11-6, 11-5, 11-3. Winter had a good win over Sheila King (Tigers) to claim second place.

The over-50s mixed singles has a new name on the trophy after John Ellis (Bexhill) beat John Wond (Saints) 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 in the final. Roy Funnell (Tackleway), who had held the title for three years, lost in the semi-finals to hard-bat man Wond.

Once again the largest entry came in the over-60s mixed singles, which was won by Sheila King (Tigers) in her first year in this age group.

King beat holder and Tigers team-mate Brian Busbridge 12-10, 13-11, 12-10 in the final. At the semi-final stage, King had beaten Martin Richards (Tackleway), while Busbridge edged out Mick Funnell (Tackleway).

The over-70s mixed singles was played as a group final where Norman Beaney regained the title, beating runner-up Phil Toze 3-1.

Butler combined with Keith Lindsay to take the over-40s men’s doubles with a 12-10, 11-8, 11-6 win over Busbridge and Andy Summers (Bexhill).

Gibbs joined with Rainton to capture the over-40s mixed doubles against Busbridge and King. Butler completed an outstanding day by winning the over-40s mixed handicap, taking the final 21-18, 21-18 against Andre Keen.