Children in Need Hardbat GP

Author:
Russell Moore

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Please note - this news article was published more than five years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.


Tables turned back 60 years for charity

It was the brainwave of new Committee member Andrew Sullivan. A selection of hard bats had come into his possession and with them a spark of an idea to raise funds for Children in Need.

Now, Cippenham Table Tennis Club runs a Grand Prix competition for members every Tuesday evening so the format was already tested – how about taking that format, pushing it back six decades to the time before sponge and then sandwich bats made the old simple rubber-faced bat obsolete, have a bit of fun in the process and do our bit for this very worthwhile charity? Revert also to 21-up, a scoring system that many revere but which was eliminated from competitive table tennis ten years ago.

Probably due to a number of league matches taking place the same evening the entry was not great, but ten players took to the tables all wielding modern incarnations of the antique weapon. No-one could predict the outcome of any match and there were some long and close encounters – long, because most players were unsure how to attack effectively with equipment foreign to them.

Former Bucks county player Jon Bradbury gave a cameo appearance, winning his three matches in the first round group before giving up his place in the top group in order to deliver his young son home at a reasonable hour.

It was a tough group that he left with Ricky Hardcastle finding his attacking prowess just in time to recover from 10-5 down in the decider to beat Graham Trimming 21-19. Sue Hayes, having overcome Armando Borges and Malcolm Makarian to make it into the top three, then also took Ricky to another 21-19 in the third result before giving second best to the 21 year old who was playing with a hard bat for the first time.

In Group 2, new member Ashley D’Sa was showing more than a little adeptness placing the ball in all parts of the table with his hard-faced racket, getting the better of organiser Andrew Sullivan and super veteran Terry Boxall whose game many assumed would be more suited to a hard bat.

In the final group Ashley beat Sue but could not find the same form to beat Ricky who emerged as a worth winner.

In total, £60 was raised for Children in Need, helped by Andrew’s partner Hannah Meyer who sold home makes cakes to swell the coffers.

by Graham Trimming

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