Dateline: 27 April 2017
News Release - BSMTTC News 62
When the top two teams in a division meet in a cup final you can expect a very close and keenly fought contest. That was exactly what happened in the Final of the L&DTTL Division 4 Divisional Cup competition (The Forrest Cup) in which Keith Dudley's Bath Street E Team took on Merseyside Police C on Wednesday 26 April at Wavertree Labour TTC..
What a Match!
Drawn as the Home Side on the night the Bath Street side, captained by non-playing team member Keith Dudley, lost the advantage of the first call to the table. And were perhaps surprised when the Police team decided to call on Les against the Police No.2 Dave McMahon. The first two ends were shared in a match of contrasting styles before Les took a grip on the set taking the next two games with some defiant play. Rightly Captain Keith decided to call on his main man Miguel for the next set. Miguel has been a true no.1 for the team this season, hardly putting a foot wrong in the second half of the season. Although the third end of his match against his counterpart Police No.1 Tom Purcell was close Miguel was in control throughout to give the team the opening 2 sets. .
Next to the table was No.4 Peter Ashley against his counterpart John Moore. Peter raced through the first game, but when John changed the style in game 2 Peter didn't seem able to adapt allowing the Police No.4 to take the next 2 games to bring the match score to 2:1. Graham was next to the table against Police No.3 Mike Winders. This was a funny match with both players having spells of making errors. Having taken a 2:1 lead Graham seemed to be in control only for Mike to race back taking the 4th with ease. And so to the first set to go to a 5th game decider. If Mike ran away with the 4th then it was Graham's turn to run away with the 5th to make it 3:1 to Marine.
Somewhat surprisingly Graham was then called straight back to the table to face the Police No.1. After 2 games it looked as if Tom was going to run away with the set. But Graham struck back and after a real tussle in game 4 it was honours even. However Graham couldn't maintain the momentum and could do no more than catch the ball from some flashing vintage backhands to bring the Police right back into the match 3:2.
It was time for captain Keith to bring out his big guns again to try and restore the lead. And indeed Miguel did exactly that securing his second 3 straight victory of the night with a comfortable win over the Police No.2. 4:2.
The winning line seemed to be in sight for the Bath Street Boys, but the Police were having none of that as first John Moore, who proved to be the Police 'Man of the Match', and then Mike Winders dispatched Les and Peter in successive matches to leave the score tied at 4:4. It was a disappointing end to the season for Peter who finished the night unusually without a win to his name.
The match would be decided by 1 set of doubles. After some discussions each team decided to field their No1 and 2 players for this vital encounter. A slightly surprising choice by the police side to leave out their man of the match. But there was no doubting that Miguel and Graham, who seldom played together in the league, were well up for this final encounter. The first end was close just going the way of the Bath Street Boys, but Miguel and Graham seemed to have a little left in the tank and raced away with the next two ends to secure the set and the match. 5:4 to Bath Street. The first time in a considerable while that a Bath Street team has completed a league and cup double.
It was an excellent match played in a very competitive spirit and well managed by the L&DTTL Man Com representative Paul Gittins who, despite himself being a Merseyside Police player, showed no partiality in his excellent refereeing throughout. The trophies were presented by Paul at the end of the match before the customary photo shoot!
A great season for Keith and the E Team and particularly disappointing that at the end of the season we will lose Miguel who is returning to Portugal.