News Release - BSMTTC News 43
Dateline: 8 May 2016
What a great day! Twenty two members of the club took part in the 2015/16 season Club Tournament, held at Crosby High School on Saturday 7 May, by kind permission of the Crosby High Table Tennis Club and its leader Dave Graham. It proved to be a great venue for the event with continuous play on 4 tables enabling the whole competition to be completed in the day. The first time the Club has been able to hold its tournament on a single day. What was particularly encouraging was the mix of members taking part, with social non-league playing members competing on equal footing with regular league playing members.
The format of the day consisted of 3 events, the main event the Ron Georgeson Memorial Handicap Singles. Each set being 5 games played up to 11, with a pre-determined handicap added to the points scored by the lowest ranked player. The player with the most points over the 5 games including the handicap being the winner. Then there was a Plate competition, for everyone who lost in the first round of the main event, a second chance to play again, also on the same handicap basis. And finally a ‘Fun Doubles’ event, where the only handicap was your partner! The doubles pairings being arranged by matching the highest ranked player with the lowest ranked and so on, throwing up some very interesting pairings!
The Ron Georgeson Memorial Shield stands proudly in the centre. The trophy presented to the memory of the former long serving Club Secretary Ron Georgeson was the focus of attention for the Main Event of the Club Tournament. And alongside the very tasteful individual trophies to be presented to all winners and runners-up for them to keep.
Members gather around the Ron Georgeson Memorial Shield for the Bath Street Marine TTC tournament held at Crosby High School on the 7 May. But how about a game of 'Spot the Difference'? Below is a second picture of the crowd. Who is in one picture but not in the other, and who is missing from both? We have no idea why, he was definitely there and not taking the pictures! Maybe he had slipped out for a 'fag break' at the critical moment....?
In order to get everyone playing as quickly as possible, the day started with the fun doubles. 4 groups of 3 pairs with each pair playing the others in the group. The winner of each group going through to the semi-final. Groups 2,3 and 4 started off together.
Group 2 matched Colin Mitchell & Lesley Blanchard, with Julia Cornish & Ilona Kuznik, and Graham Turner and Gordon Benson. Ilona making her club debut, as a new member joining the club for the next season, and Gordon also a newcomer to the social members of the club. From the off the ladies pair, both league standard players, looked in good shape taking the first set against Colin & Lesley by 3:0. Colin & Lesley made Graham & Gordon work a lot harder in the second set but in the end succumbed once more 3:1. In the girls versus boys group decider it was the girls who made all the running with a comprehensive 3:0 win over Graham & Gordon. Julia and Ilona were through to the semi-final.
Group 3 matched tournament organiser Dave Noden & Ian Brownrigg, with Miguel Monteiro & Liz Adams, and Club President Billy ‘the Legend’ Clayton & Tom Bell. This looked like a very even group and so it seemed when the first game between Dave & Ian and Miguel & Liz finished 12:10. But Miguel & Liz struck back straightaway to take the set 3:1. Dave & Ian fared little better against the very experienced pair of Billy & Tom who ran out 3:0 winners. In the group decider after a nervous start with Miguel & Liz taking the first game 15:13 they accelerated away to take the set 3:0. Miguel & Liz were through to the semi-final.
Group 4 matched Keith Dudley & Mary Delamere, with Peter Ashley & Des Logan and Ted Cramsie & Don Gibson. Peter playing in his first club tournament and it was great to see Don being able to play – not bad at nearly 85! The group was effectively decided in the first set when Peter & Des ran out clear 3:0 winners over Keith & Mary. Ted & Don were not able to make any impression on Mary & Keith or on Peter & Des. Peter & Des were through to the semi-final. However there was consolation for Ted and also Keith & Mary. The latter went through to Group 1 as the highest placed runners-up in groups 2,3 & 4, and Ted also got a second bite of the cherry into Group 1 being the highest ranked seed to be knocked out in any of the other groups.
So with the constitution of Group 1 finally fixed Les Dodd & Doreen Smith, both newcomers to the club, faced Ted Cramsie & Ray O’Leary and Keith Dudley & Mary Delamere. The first match between Les & Doreen and Ted & Ray was an epic, with Les & Doreen coming back from 2 games down to take the set 3:2. The closest first round match in all 4 groups. Keith & Mary proved too strong for Ted & Doreen in the second set winning out 3:1 and maintained their winning performance in the group decider when Les & Doreen were not able to repeat their earlier success. The second chance paid off and Keith & Mary were through to the semi-final.
Main Event - The Ron Georgeson Memorial Handicap Singles
Next up was the first round of the Main Event, with all players being in action to decide who would stay in the Main Event and who would move into the Plate event. Allocating a handicap for such matches is never an exact science, but the first round did throw up one or two very interesting and close finishes. Perhaps none more so than Tom Bell v Peter Ashley, Peter winning by just 1 point with Tom having a 12 point handicap advantage. Club Secretary Graham Turner also only just scraped through finishing up just 4 points ahead of team mate Julia Cornish who had a handicap advantage of 18 points. No.2 seed Ted Cramsie also had to fight all the way to overcome Lesley Blanchard who started with a handicap advantage of 39 points. Ted narrowly winning through 55:50. Other winners in the first round were Mary Delamere, Les Dodd, Ilona Kuznik, Colin Mitchell, Dave Noden, Keith Dudley, Miguel Monteiro and Ian Brownrigg.
With just 3 matches in the second round the surprise here was the 3 games to 2 win by Peter Ashley over team mate and captain Keith Dudley. With no handicap advantage for either, Peter won out 51:46. In the other two second round matches Graham Turner beat Ilona Kuznik 55:34 with Ilona having just a 12 point handicap advantage and Miguel Monteiro overcoming Ian Brownrigg’s 25 point handicap advantage to win through 55:33.
The 4 quarter final matches were played simultaneously, one on each table and again there were some surprises. Top seed Ted Cramsie a regular league division 2 player fell to Miguel Monteiro who has played the season through in division 5. Miguel has however been playing some great table tennis and in effect didn’t need his 9 point handicap advantage winning all 5 games against his higher ranked opponent. Club Secretary Graham Turner who has also spent the season playing in division 5 took full advantage of a slightly off colour Colin Mitchell of division 2 to win through 4 games to 1 55:36 with a 5 point handicap advantage. And Peter Ashley made the most of his 8 point handicap advantage to edge out Dave Noden 52:48 with the set going 3 games to 2 in Peter’s favour. The other quarter final winner was Les Dodd who overcame the 17 point handicap advantage of Mary Delamere to go through 55:41.
The Plate Competition
The first stage of the Plate competition was played in groups, with the 4 winners going through to a semi-final. Group 1 contained what appeared to be the class act of Julia Cornish who came through her two matches with decisive victories to take the first semi-final place. In Group 2 Des Logan was the clear winner making light of Doreen Smith’s handicap advantage to secure the second semi-final place. In Group 3 Tom Bell was having no nonsense with team mate Billy Clayton to secure the third semi-final place. In Group 4 Don Gibson had to retire after his first set against Liz Adams, leaving Liz to overcome Lesley Blanchard if she was to progress to the semi-final. Liz duly took the games overcoming Lesley’s 11 point handicap advantage to win through 55:46.
The first of the semi-finals was the Fun Doubles, both matches played simultaneously, with Miguel Monteiro & Liz Adams facing Peter Ashley & Des Logan and Keith Dudley & Mary Delamere facing Julia Cornish & Ilona Kuznik. As it turned out both matches had clear and decisive 3:0 outcomes with Peter & Des and Julia & Ilona taking places in the Final.
In the Plate competition, Julia was in semi-final action again facing Des Logan, with Liz Adams taking on Tom Bell. All 4 players being regulars in division 5 of the league. Des was perhaps surprised to find he had no handicap advantage against Julia. The first 3 games were fairly even as you might expect, with Julia taking a 2:1 lead. But decisive wins in the last two games for Julia meant she ran away with a 53:34 victory. The big surprise though was in the second semi-final where Tom Bell needed to overcome the small handicap advantage of 3 points in favour of Liz to secure a final place. The expectations were that Tom should do this, but Liz was in the mood to defy the form book taking the set 3 games to 2 and a place in the Final 52:42. The stage was set for an all-female Plate Final.
The semi-final of the Main Event included three teammates from the G Team of division 5 of the L&DTTL with the only outsider being newcomer to the Club Les Dodd. Les faced Graham Turner, and what a match of contrasting styles this proved to be. After 4 very cagey games that finished 2:2 Les was ahead by just 1 point, he also had a handicap advantage of 4 points putting him 5 ahead. The writing seemed to be on the wall for Graham. But somehow a swing in the final end saw Graham win the game 11:5 and the set by the narrowest margin 50:49. What a cliff hanger. A shock was to follow in the other semi-final with Miguel Monteiro facing teammate Peter Ashley, with Peter having a 4 point handicap advantage. The smart money would have tipped Miguel to take this match despite the handicap. But Peter turned on some real style with some magnificent attacking play to completely upset the form book and take the match 3:2 with a winning margin of 51:44, in effect he won without the handicap.
The Doubles semi-fianls, Peter & Des, Miguel & Liz on the nearest table. Ilona & Julia, Mary & Keith on the furthest table.
The two semi-finals in the Plate competition. On the left Tom Bell and Liz Adams and on the right Julia Cornish and Des Logan.
The two semi-finals in the Main Event, with Graham Turner and Les Dodd on the nearest table and Peter Ashley and Miguel Monteiro on the far table.
And so to the last three matches of the day, the three finals. And the good news here was that everyone stayed to watch the finals. It was ladies versus men in the doubles final. Peter Ashley & Des Logan raced into a two game lead with the girls, Julia & Ilona, having no answer to Peter’s devastating forehand attacking shots, some loose serving giving him too many chances to make clear winning shots. But the girls pulled one back in the third end, and it seemed they were starting to find their own range. But in the fourth end, some generous serving again presented the men with clear chances which they duly took. Peter and Des taking the title 11:8, 11:4, 6:11, 11:8.
There was to be no rest for Julia, for no sooner was the doubles ended than she was called back to the table for the final of the Plate competition. The surprise here was that she was able to play at all in the later stages of the competition, a caffeine induced health scare looked at one stage as if it might prevent Julia from being able to continue in the competition, as it was she played a total of 37 games in the day! The Final of the Plate was to be an all-girl affair with Julia taking on friend and fellow division 5 player Liz Adams. A good open match followed but Liz only rarely threatened to hold back Julia’s dominance when she took the third game. In the other 4 games Julia’s powerful forehand cross court shot was just too strong enabling her to take the match 54:27 to add a second trophy to her haul for the day.
On to the Final of the Main Event with Club Secretary Graham Turner facing Peter ‘the socks’ Ashley. Both players being perhaps surprise finalists. As teammates each knew the others game well and with Peter having an 8 point handicap advantage this looked like being a close match. However Graham took the first three games by storm with some tight controlled play and some devastating forehand attacking shots, so that by the end of the third Graham was 8 points ahead taking into account the handicap. Peter fought back in the fourth making the most of Graham’s errors and perhaps a little complacency, reducing the margin to just 3 points. But that was the end of the fightback. Graham pulled himself together and raced through the final end 11:1 to complete an excellent victory 50:37.
All that was left was for Club President Billy Clayton to present the trophies to the winners and runners-up ably assisted by the tournament organiser Dave Noden. Billy thanked the members for participating in what had been a great day of table tennis and expressed appreciation to Dave Graham and the Crosby High TTC for the use of such excellent facilities. All in all a most enjoyable day of table tennis.