Dateline: 13 April 2017
News Release - BSMTTC News 61
Great Cup Action
When you start a match 46 points behind against a team whose standard is on a par with your own team then you really have your work cut out to achieve a positive result! This was exactly the scenario that Captain Keith Dudley and his team faced in the semi-final of the L&DTTL Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup.
The Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup
In recent years Bath Street Marine has had a tremendous record in the L&DTTL Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup. This week saw the semi final stage of this years competition with the club having just 1 team left in the competition, BSM 5, captained by Keith Dudley. Having agreed to defer the match for 1 week to assist their opponents, the team then found that they were without No.1 Les Dodd who had made such an important contribution in earlier rounds to get the team through to the semi-final. Only players who have not already played in the competition can be brought in as substitutes and then at the semi final stage only if they meet strict qualification criteria. This severely limited the choice, so captain Keith Dudley turned to veteran campaigner and Division 3 team captain Brian Crolley to fill the place and to join Peter Ashley and himself for this semi-final held at Marine on the 12th April.
The opponents for this match were fellow Division 4 players from Waterloo TTC. Having played the Waterloo team in the League Keith knew that there wasn't a nat's whisker between the two teams and was slightly surprised to find the Waterloo side with a handicap advantage of 46 points. With both Keith and Peter having dropped sets to Waterloo in the League the match looked as if it was going to be a really tough affair and very difficult to pull back the handicap advantage.
In the first set of the night Peter faced the visiting No.1; after dropping the first game Peter rallied and stormed back to narrowly take the second, allowing the Waterloo side to add only 3 points to their advantage. Keith also narrowly dropped 1 game in the next set but overall pulled 8 points back and when Brian stepped up to comfortably take the third set a positive start had been made. Two more very close shared sets followed before Brian made serious inroads into the deficit in set 6 with a good win over the visiting No.3. It looked like Waterloo would increase their advantage in set 7 but an excellent second game turn round by Keith meant that he gave away just 3 points overall so that by the end of the 7th set Waterloo were just 12 points ahead. The next set proved decisive with Peter taking apart his name sake to snatch 17 points taking BSM into the lead for the first time in the match. Brian needed to hang on in the final set of the night if the home team were to see it out. The first game was a real close affair going to the visiting No.1 by 1 point. But belying his 80 years of age Brian stormed back in the 2nd with a comprehensive 21:12 victory. A great night of table tennis and a superb victory by the Bath Street team to secure a place in the Cup final once again.
This was a real team effort with every member working their socks off - even if Keith didn't have any on - for every single point. Cos we all know what points make! Hero of the night has to go to Brian for standing in at the last moment and contributing 40 points to the deficit reduction. Peter also put in a very strong performance matching a player who he had lost to a week earlier in the League and contributing 17 points to the deficit reduction. Keith could so easily have dropped points but fought for everything and in the end contributed 2 points to the surplus. So that, by the end of the night a deficit of 46 points had been turned into a winning margin of 13 points. An excellent match