News Release - BSMTTC News 40
Dateline: 20 February 2016
Cup Holders Through
Five of the Club's teams were in Cup action this week. The stage being the Quarter Finals of the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League's Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup competition. A reasonably kind draw left the club with a team in every match of the quarter finals and with just one derby match - guaranteeing at least 1 place in the semi-finals - there was a possibility for the Club to take all 4 places in the semi-final. It would have to have been an exceptional effort from all to achieve that especially as all the teams faced some very tough matches. Reports on the previous rounds can be found under 30 and 9 January.
However the Club has a tremendous record to maintain in this competition, having won the cup in the last 2 seasons. So excitement and expectations were high!
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.
Bath Street 1
The Cup Holders, Bath Street 1, captained by 'ruthless' Ken Jackson supported by Ricky Brown and Darren Taylor faced a midweek home draw with Sefton Park 1. With the experienced visitors having a handicap advantage of 71 points this looked to be a stern challenge for Ken's men if they were to have a chance of retaining their title. But in this kind of event Ken really is ruthless, and Ken and Ricky seem to bring the very best out of Darren who once again performed well above his ranking against higher ranked opponents. In fact Darren as the lowest ranked player in either team scored 108 points and only conceded 103, an amazing achievement against players from a division higher. The visitors started well enough as Ricky narrowly dropped the opening set, but by just 5 points. After that though they achieved only 1 more set win at set 7. However by then the home side were trailing by just 6 points with Ricky and Ken still to play. Ricky then effectively made the match safe with a 25 point win at set 8 leaving Ken in the luxurious position of not having to over exert himself in the final set which he duly won adding another 15 points to the gap between the teams. In the end the home team triumphed by 357:323 having outscored the visitors by 105 points. No one is betting against ruthless reaching the final again.
Bath Street 6
Cup Week proved to be a busy but successful week for Dave Stoddern and his team of Rob Peat and Colin Mitchell. As they also play together in the league they first had to fit in a League match before visiting Merseyside Police on Thursday for their cup clash with Police 1. Dave's team are however fast becoming a team to be reckoned with in this competition, but faced a strong Police side containing quality players who had a small handicap advantage of 27 points. Encouragingly Rob knocked these points off in the opening set! Narrow wins for the home side in the next two sets kept the match very even and by the end of set 6 just 5 points separated the two sides. Sets 7 and 8 were however to prove decisive with first Colin and then Dave taking good wins to leave the visitors ahead. Rob was then able to hold his own against the higher ranked home No.1 in the final set to leave the visitors with a clear victory 340:370. A first semi-final appearance awaits.
Bath Street 2 and 5
The Cup Week ended with the one derby encounter in the Quarter Finals. A match that pitched BSM 2, Graham Turner, Ian McElwee and Julia Cornish, against BSM 5, Dave Noden, Brian Crolley and Peter Ashley. To say this was keenly contested would be a slight understatement! Three of the competitors were team mates in the League but on different sides in the cup and despite the seeming friendliness off the table, as one of our pictures shows, no quarter was given on the table and every single point was fought for. The key to the match was going to be how would Julia fare against her higher ranked opponents, could Ian match any points that Julia might drop and if so how would Graham fare in the middle ground as the outcome of his sets might then determine the outcome of the match. In the end Ian only dropped 59 points, but Julia won a fantastic 72, this difference taking 13 points off of the handicap advantage of just 18 points for the Bath Street 5 team. This left Graham needing to win his three sets by just 6 points to give the home side a chance, and there was no guarantee of this! However luck played a large slice in the outcome as Graham somehow clawed out a win in his opening set with Dave. By the end of set 7 points were exactly even with Ian to face Peter and then Graham to take on Brian. Ian effectively set up the win leaving Graham plenty of margin for error in the last set. And so after a hard fought match it was the Bath Street 2 team that finished ahead 411:379. A great evening.
Bath Street 3
Having been both a winner and a runner up in this competition Captain Barry Davis knows all about how to play in the Vets Cup. And with his experienced team mates of Dave Roberts and Ted Cramsie they faced a very tough home draw against East Wavertree 2 whose team contained some equally experienced players, with an overall small handicap advantage of 20 points. This match started well enough for the home side and by the end of the third set the handicap had been eradicated and the Bath Street team were 7 points ahead. But then, as captain Barry said, "it all went wrong"! Two heavy defeats for Ted and surprise defeats for Barry and Dave both to lower ranked opponents meant that by the end of set 7 Barry's men had a mountain to climb, trailing by 55 points. Despite a slight recovery with Barry and Dave winning the last two sets the damage had already been done. The final resuly 310:341 in favour of the visitors. The handicap difference had been held and added to by a further 11 points. Sadly it will not be a third final in a row for Barry and Ted. Graciously Barry admitted, on the night, the best team won.