News Release - BSMTTC News 39
Dateline: 30 January 2016

Cup Run Continues 

The Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup  held by Bath Street 1, and Ken Jackson the team captain being presented with the cup last season by Mrs Marjorie Murphy whose family sponsor the competition.

He may be a 'legend' in his own lifetime but neither this nor his status as Club President could help young Billy Clayton (above) in this cup match. Whilst Dave Stoddern (left) and his team mates made full use of their greater consistency and fire power to work off the handicap deficit and come out victors overall on this occasion.

The BathStreet 6 side of Rob Peat, Dave Stoddern and substitute Mal Kent - Rob seems delighted by the outcome against his clubmates, but he had to work right to the end to ensure success. 

With 7 teams in the last 16 of the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League's Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup competition it would have been somewhat surprising to find that all Bath Street teams avoided each other in the Round 3 draw. And so it proved, with 4 teams involved in inter-club rivalry matches. At least this guaranteed that at least two teams would progress to the quarter final of the competition! And this time round 6 teams effectively found themselves playing at 'home' as against the last round where 6 of the 7 'played away' (see previous report of 9 January 2016).

 

The Club has a tremendous history in this competition and is the current holder of the trophy. So there was a strong tradition to maintain in the Round 3 matches played in the last week of January 2016.

 

 

Bath Street 6 and Bath Street 4

 

The first match of the week featured an all Bath Street line up with Dave Stoddern's Bath Street 6 facing the visit of Keith Dudley's Bath Street 4. Dave was forced into a late change of his line up with regular member Colin Mitchell being away on a skiing holiday. But what a substitute he was able to secure, bringing in the very useful Mal Kent with a tough +18 handicap compared to Colin's rather generous +21! This meant that Dave's team started by having to make up a handicap deficit of 102 points to overcome the visitors of Keith, Fred Bainbridge and Billy Clayton. This looked like a very even contest that could go either way.

 

In order to make the handicap advantage work Keith's team needed a star performance from Division 1 "big hitter" Fred who would need to take advantage of his senior status to increase the handicap advantage. Otherwise it looked as if the team of Dave, Mal and Rob Peat would have the edge on the lower ranked players Keith and Billy. Fred started well enough winning the opening encounter but making up just 9 points over the 2 games. However when he faced Mal Kent a shock win by Mal in the first end resulted in the honours even, Fred just making up 1 point. This proved to be a key point in the match. And by the end of the 7th set Dave's team had closed the gap to just 1 point. Dave then duly dispatched Billy Clayton meaning that Fred would need to beat Rob Peat by 24 points in the final set to take the match. But Rob was up for the challenge and matched Fred point for point in the first game with Fred just winning out 19:21. However Rob worked even harder in the final leg, ensuring that Fred could not close the gap, winning the second end 21:16. A tremendous match with Dave's BSM 6 team finishing with a winning margin of 390 points to 364.       

Bath Street 7 and Bath Street 5

 

Having already successfully come through two rounds of the competition Mary Delamere's Bath Street 7 team must have fancied their chances of once again making their high handicap advantage work for them in their home clash with Dave Noden's Bath Street 5. Mary found that with her recurring shoulder injury she could only act as non-playing captain for this tie and brought in the more than capable Des Logan again to accompany Barbara Alcock and Tom Bell. This meant that the 'home' team would start the match with a handicap advantage of 173 points over Dave, Brian Crolley and Peter Ashley. But there is no doubt that everyone of the visitors is a fighter, and once they had worked out that in effect the home side were struggling to get the ball past them for clean winners they just set about working for every point to bring the deficit down. The only question was could they bring the deficit down quick enough to secure the match? As it was it took until the 8th set before the visitors finally cleared the deficit. This meant that in the last set of the night Barbara would have to beat the higher ranked Brian if the BSM 7 team were to taste success for the third time. It wasn't to be, despite a really spirited effort, Brian pulled out all of his cunning and superior fire power to overcome Barbara 12:21, 11:21. Captain Dave was declared 'man of the match' by his team mates for conceding just 43 points over the match, Brian 67 and Peter 71 weren't far behind. All in all a good match played, as you would expect amongst club mates, in an excellent spirit. The BSM 5 team winning out 459:483, to become the second club team into the quarter final draw.    

    

Conspiring over the score card? Bath Street 5 (left above), Peter Ashley, Brian Crolley and Dave Noden. And the two teams after the match (above right), you can spot the Bath Street 7 team - Tom Bell, Des Logan and Barbara Alcock, as they all have matching team T shirts - apart from captain Mary Delamere.

Bath Street 3

 

Last season's runners-up Bath Street 3, Barry Davis, Dave Roberts and Ted Cramsie, were the only Bath Street side effectively facing an away match in this round. Their visit to Maghull looked potentially like a tough assignment with uncertainty about exactly who the Maghull side might feature in their line up. Also an injury to Ted in the week before the match gave cause for slight concern, but in the end he was able to play. Still having to make up a handicap deficit of 123 points against a good side was going to be a tough task. Steve Braddick did his best for Maghull to make the handicap work for them, by winning his three singles but was only able to add 27 points to the differrence to the advantage of his side. In the end that was just not enough as Barry, Dave and Ted took all the remaining games to give the visitors a 22 point winning margin 334:356, with captain Barry conceding just 63 points over the evening to gain 'man of the match' award for the visitors. A very good result keeping the team on target for another shot at the title perhaps?

    

Bath Street 1

 

Wednesday was the turn of the Cup Holders, Bath Street 1, captain Ken Jackson, Ricky Brown and Darren Taylor. They had a home draw against Crosby High, another club with a number of potential star players amongst their squad, so presenting uncertainty about who the team might face. But the record of 'relentless' Jackson in this event is second to none providing a strong incentive to his fellow team members for top class performances. On the night the teams looked fairly evenly matched but the handicap advantage for the Crosby High side of just 50 points meant they had little margin for error if they were to wrest the title from the hands of the home side. And indeed, after just 3 sets the home side had wiped out the handicap deficit and simply never looked back despite some very close games. By the time Darren narrowly dropped a set to the higher ranked Sylvia Graham, and then only by 7 points, the match looked to be in the bag. And so it proved, the home side running out convincing winners 373:306. It looked to one observer as if Ken was determined to go for his third consecutive final appearance in this event.

    

Bath Street 2

 

The last Bath Street team up for the week should have been the newly formed Bath Street 2, Graham Turner, Ian McElwee and Julia Cornish. They faced the visit of Arriva. The match had already been moved from the Friday to the Thursday to accommodate the visitors as the Arriva team were due to go on a busmans holiday at the weekend for the annual Arriva table tennis tournament. In the end however word was received from the Arriva secretary that they were unable to field a team for the Thursday evening also and so were conceding the match. No-one likes to win matches this way, but sometimes it just can't be helped. The Bath Street boys (and girls!) therefore also progress to the quarter final draw.

    

Conclusion

 

Another incredible week for the Club in the Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup, five teams through to the last eight and the only 2 teams eliminated knocked out by their clubmates! Surely this must be unique? What is certain is that there will be at least 1 all Bath St derby in the quarter finals, which are due to be played in the week commencing 15 February. Unfortuantely that is also a full league programme week so it looks as if there could be some fixture problems to resolve! Still, rather that than have no teams left in the competition. Great effort by all the teams.    

© BSMTTC 2015