Isle of Man Table Tennis Association’s annual Harold Wilcock Hard Bat Tournament was held at the NSC last week.
The late Harold Wilcock was a keen exponent of the ’pimples out’ hard bat playing style, which has no sponge between the outer rubber and the bat itself.
It therefore requires a different playing style to master it and tends to result in longer rallies and some exciting play.
The tournament was first played in the early 2000s, with the trophy having been donated by the Wilcock family. The event always attracts a small but keen entry field, as it did this year.
The entrants were split into four groups, with the top two going through to the knockout stage. Matches were decided on the basis of the best of three games.
From group A, Scott Lewis emerged as the winner with Neil Ronan being runner-up, while group B was topped by Sean Drewry with four wins ahead of Malc Lewis in second with three.
In group C, Khayee Vinas was the winner with three victories and Graham McFarlane was runner-up with two.
Sadly, John Magnall had to retire injured after winning his first three matches.
Finally in Group D, Brian Crellin was the winner with four victories ahead of Jason Quirk in the runner-up position with three.
In the knockout stages, S. Lewis beat McFarlane 11/6, 11/4, Crellin defeated M. Lewis 11/5, 12/10, Vinas got the better of Ronan 11/9, 11/7 and Drewry was too strong from Quirk 11/8, 13/11.
The semi-finals were played as the best-of-five games and Crellin had a great match with S. Lewis, triumphing 11/5, 11/2, 11/8.
In the other semi, Vinas recorded a tremendous win over Drewry in a close match which went to the fifth end 10/12, 11/7, 12/10, 3/11, 11/7.
Vinas showed signs of carrying on her good form into the final, but it was not enough and she was unable to repel the in-form Crellin, with the latter taking the title 11/5, 11/5, 8/11, 11/3.
This was a highly-successful competition once again which was enjoyed by all who entered - many thanks go to tournament organiser Kevin Drewry.