HOLSWORTHY’S Nathan Jukes was the winner of the North Devon Table Tennis League’s annual hard bat competition at the Bideford Youth Centre on Friday, December 15.

The tournament was contested by 18 entrants split almost equally between first and second division players on four tables.

From a random draw, two groups of nine were formed, matches then being played within each group, one game up to 11, on a round-robin basis. This gave every individual eight games. The top two players from each group then went forward to the semi-finals.

In Group One, both Nathan Jukes (Holsworthy A) and David Sillifant (Holsworthy A) each won seven of their eight matches but Nathan was declared the winner beating David on the head-to-head result. Nathan only lost to Sue Gale (The Backhanders) in this section.

Group Two was far tougher with more than half being Division One players. However this didn’t stop Martyn Beer (Misfits) winning all eight outings, while runner-up Tim Cooke (Blazing Paddles) lost to just Martyn.

The semi-finals were played over the best of three legs. Martyn beat David 11-5, 11-7 whilst Nathan overcame Tim 11-6, 11-9.

The final in front of an appreciative audience produced a keenly-fought contest with great attacking shots, Nathan on his forehand against Martyn’s backhand.

It was fitting that that the match went the full distance, Nathan, saving match points in game four, ultimately winning the deciding game with a little help from nets and edges, 5-11, 11-5, 6-11, 16-14, 11-7.