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Due to popular demand, St Neots TTC are once again holding a bat testing day courtesy of Bribar. Tables will be available for trying out different bats during the session, food and drink will also be available for purchase.
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The Revolution TTC Summer League commenced this week on Tuesday with initially four teams (others are welcome - please contact John Alsop). The Hartbreaker husband and wife team of Ruth & Chris Hart took on the youthful Sidestrike team of Josh Hallam and Ben Baguley. Chris Hart showed his experience winning 3-0 against Ben whilst Josh fought a close battle with Ruth Hart in the first four legs before finally working out the correct tactics to secure the match -10, 9, -11, 9, 5. The doubles (a single game) went quickly to the Hartbreakers and Ruth bounced back to beat Ben 3-0 before Chris sealed the 4-1 overall victory by defeating Josh 10, -6, 4, 1.

The Spinalot team of Cate Thomas and Barbara Wright had a closer battle, but same overall 4-1 win, against the Batgirl & Robin team of Julia Newton and Alan Gobey. Alan Gobey caused the most problems for Spinalot extending Cate Thomas to five sets after leading 2-1 but eventually losing -4, 4, 11, -4, -5. His match against Barbara Wright was even closer but this time in his favour winning 7, 7, -12, -10, 9. Julia Newton showing improvement after her first season in the league lost both her matches and the doubles was secured 11-8 by Spinalot. Battle re-commences next Tuesday 13th May at 8.00pm.
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Former Bedford Modern pupil, Andy Trott, combined with Revolution TTC's John Alsop to become runners-up in the Southern Masters VETTS double's tournament held at Crawley on Sunday 13th April. On the way to the final they defeated the No. 2 seeds Costas Papantoniou and Jimmy Walsh 3-2. However, previous winners England No. 1 veteran Lorestas Trumpauskas and England No. 12 Ritchie Venner were just too strong for them in the final winning 13-11, 11-7, 12-10.
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Table tennis and the ETTA received a vote of confidence from Sport England that it was back on the right track, as they announced future funding plans for the sport. This brings the security of a combination of three years funding for core costs and one year further investment in development and talent programmes, with the prospect of further funding if this progress continued.

ETTA's CEO, Sara Sutcliffe welcomed the decision. She said: "This announcement gives us the security of being able to focus on longer term planning and not lurch from year to year in a financial vacuum.

"The past six months have been a major - and necessary - journey for the sport of table tennis. We reviewed every aspect of the way the sport was managed and operated. We knew that the future of table tennis in England depended on us getting it right - and getting it right first time.

"This announcement is a vote of confidence that we are on the right track. However, it is the start of a journey, not the end of it. Now we have some security to plan for the future and a clear mandate that we are on the right road.

Sport England have committed a further 2.3M over the next year for the ETTA's participation and talent programmes and, in recognition of the progress made, a further 1.2M has been committed to its core funding until 2017.
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On 26th/27th October, Bedfordshire county's Veteran 1st team, playing in Division 2B, won two of their matches against Herts 2nd (6-4) and Surrey 3rd (8-2) and drew their last match with the Essex 3rd team. Their close match with Herts saw sisters Sandra Harper and Janice Laing play each other with Sandra just scraping home (-5, 6, 17, 13). Keith McConnell and John Alsop both lost to the tricky Derek Balding but losses by Herts No. 2 Stuart Seaholme to Alsop and Steve Dobbins and wins in all of the doubles matches secured the win.

Next up were Surrey and the 8-2 result did not do justice to a hard fought victory. Dobbins and Harper just squeezed home 11-9 in the fifth in the mixed doubles and Harper battled through to win 11-6 in the fifth against Surrey's Maria Taylor Woodward. Steve Dobbins eventually found the consistency of the Surrey No.1 Phil Snelson too much and went down 11-4 in the fifth after leading 2-1 in games. John Alsop won both his singles and Keith McConnell picked up a win in a close -8, 15, 5, 10 match against Ajay Shah.

Their match result with Essex was a huge disappointment where despite leading 4-1 they lost the next 5 games before Keith McConnell and Sandra Harper secured the final mixed doubles (3-1) after losing the first game. Sandra unexpectedly lost to Lin Attridge (1-3) and John Alsop blew a 10-5 lead to lose to the higher ranked Dave Bowles (14-16). Keith McConnell improved his weekend average by winning both his singles including an excellent 11-7 in the fifth win in the opening match against the Essex No. 1, and higher ranked Stuart Kimm. Despite the disappointment they finished second in the division but now have to beat the leaders, Surrey 1st, in the final round of matches on 29/30th March.

John Alsop
Match Secretary
Bedfordshire Table Association
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