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Grantham league 'hard bat' table tennis competition won by Sasha

Cliffedale Chandlers players dominated the early stages of the annual Grantham and District Table Tennis League Hard Bat competition, held over two Monday evenings (August 12 and 19) at The Meres leisure centre.

The competition, which had 32 entrants in eight groups of four, was played using a bat consisting of a short pimpled rubber adhered directly to a wooden surface, differing from regular table tennis bats which have a sponge layer between the rubber and wood.

This difference makes for a decreased speed of ball and less spin, making the game more of a tactical one, with the scoring reverting to the old first to 21, best of three sets.

Champion Sasha Martin and runner-up Richard Pullen. (15772873)
Champion Sasha Martin and runner-up Richard Pullen. (15772873)

After the first Monday, when the group stages were decided, the Grantham club had five group winners with Helen Turley, Emma Turley, Terry Willson, Gregory Fray and Sasha Martin all making it to the last 16 and the knockout stages the following Monday.

The knockout stages started well for the club's players with four of the five making the last eight, only Terry failing to make it to the quarter-final stage.

It was at this stage the club's players dwindled from four to two as Emma lost to Ancaster Sports' Richard Pullen (21-12 21-10) and Helen Turley was defeated by clubmate Gregory (21-11 21-7). Sasha overcame Martin Carnelley (21-9 21-17) to set up an all Chandlers tie in the semi-finals.

The two semi-finals went pretty much to form with Sasha defeating Gregory, who put up a spirited second set display but was eventually beaten (21-7 21-19). The other semi-final was just as tense an affair with Pullen of Ancaster Sports beating Carnelley (21-14 22-20).

The final also proved just as tense as the semi-finals with points being traded back and forth until Sasha took advantage of a couple mistakes and eventually took the first set 23-21.

And the second set was just as enthralling to watch but once again the Chandlers player came through, claiming the set 21-16 to become the new Grantham and District Table Tennis League Hard Bat champion.

+ Cliffedale Chandlers are always looking for new members of all ages and abilities, so if you are interested in trying something new or different, or if you are interested in playing league table tennis, you can contact the club through their Facebook Page @CliffedaleChandlersTTC or pop along to any of the club's sessions (information about these can also be found on the club's Facebook page).

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