Mark Kilby Hard Bat Tournament
Post date: May 08, 2018 7:30:52 PM
Paul Hainsworth claimed his 8th Mark J Kilby Memorial Hard Bat title yesterday evening with a tight 2-1 victory over Josh Stacey in the final. It was the final tournament of the 2017/18 season and the 35th airing of the event as Hainsworth won one of the most entertaining finals in memory.
The tournament once again proved to be a leveller as some players adapted to the unique style of hard bat play better than others. The first round stages threw up some close affairs and it was hard to predict who would progress from most groups. By the quarter finals however, there were only players from the 1st and 2nd Divisions left and some thrilling matches ensued, none more so than Green Trophy player Lawrence Stacey beating veteran Chas Elliot 24-22 in the deciding end with an outrageous winner after a topsy-turvy match. That was as far as Stacey would get however as he came up against the imperious Hainsworth in the semi-final, losing 2-0. In the other semi-final, Josh Stacey ended the run of Ben Foss 2-1.
Many had Hainsworth down as clear favourite for the final, but Josh Stacey has improved every year with the hard bat and pushed him all the way this time, playing fast attacking strokes to good effect. The experience of Hainsworth paid off in the end however, as he recovered from 19-16 down in the 3rd game to win it and seal the title 18-21, 21-16, 21-19
The defeat also earned Stacey the Hard Luck trophy for the 2017/18 season
Josh Stacey (L) & Paul Hainsworth (R) with Barry Kilby