A TOP day of touchtennis resulted in more than £800 being raised for Havens Hospices.

Some of the world’s finest players took on the best of Essex in the event, which was sponsored by Wilkins Kennedy, at Brentwood Hard Tennis Club.

And chief organiser Chris Phillips was delighted by the day.

“We were able to raise more than £800 for the charity and there was some really good touchtennis played as well,” said Phillips.

“Some of the world’s best players came down and the longer the tournament went on, the standard of the matches really rose.

“It was great to watch, and above all else it was just really good fun.

“We’re really grateful to Wilkins Kennedy for sponsoring the event and also to Brentwood Hard for letting us use their great courts.

“With a bit of luck, hopefully we will be able to do something similar next year but we want to try and make it bigger and better.

“It’s the first time we had put on an event like this so it’s the best way to learn.

“But everything went to plan, apart from Luke Mayes picking up quite a nasty injury.

“He looked like he was in the form of his life out there and we all wish him a speedy recovery.”

World number four and pre-event favourite Ed Ellis claimed the singles title as he saw off number two seed Hugh Impey 4-1, 4-0 in an entertaining clash.

And Ellis was delighted to have triumphed.

“It was great to achieve my first title at the Havens Hospice charity event,” said Ellis.

“To help raise money for a good cause, play touchtennis, and end up with the trophy meant is was definitely a weekend well spent.”

Several members of the Southend-based Essex Storm club also took part in the event.

Luke Mayes advanced the furthest and reached the quarter-finals of the competition before an ankle injury saw him having to pull out.

Andrew Heath triumphed in the consolation singles event before Macca Neaves and Ben Mason triumphed in the final of the doubles.


Macca Neaves (left) and Ben Mason triumphed in the doubles

Some stunning rallies eventually saw them edge past Ellis and Impey in a keenly contested clash which was ultimately decided by a final set tiebreaker.

Touchtennis is played regularly throughout south-east Essex and is a simplified version of tennis.

Matches are played on a reduced-size court with foam balls and shorter rackets.

The sport is often referred to as the T20, or five-a-side, of tennis, with events taking place across the country and Europe.

The event also brought to an end Phillips’ fundraising for the London Marathon, which he also ran for Havens Hospices.

In total, he has now raised more than £9,000 for the charity.

For more details on where to play touchtennis, visit www.touchtennis.com.