News Release - BSMTTC News 82
Dateline: 02 September 2018

Super Saturday!

The 1st of September, super Saturday, and so it proved to be for the 2018 Club Tournament held once again at Crosby High School. And for the 35 members who took part there were 100 sets of table tennis played meaning there was no shortage of play for any player. The Finals of the 3 events will be held at Marine on Wednesday 5 September starting at 7pm. Once again there were people of all ages playing from under 10 to over 80 with around one third of the participants being women. It was a great afternoon organised by our new tournament Director Lesley Blanchard with a little help on the day from 'Doug & Phil' who proved to be excellent in running the control table and keeping the whole event flowing smoothly. 

Loads of play for all!

36 members of the Club were expected to take part but a last minute illness meant just 35 played. The event was started to honour the memory of former long serving Club Secretary Ron Georgeson, and has proved to be very popular. There are three events; the Main Event, the Handicap Singles; a consolation singles for those who lose in the first round of the Main Event; and a Fun Doubles mixing people of vastly different abilities. The 3 events guaranteed that everyone who took part would get at least 6 sets of table tennis on the day, and a minimum of 24 games! It was good to see the current holder of the shield, Colin Turner, in action once again and he will be featuring heavily in Finals Night. But it was also good to see several people playing in the club tournament for the first time, and at least two of those will feature on Finals Night. 

Fun Doubles

All 6 tables were brought into use right from the start, with every participant involved in the first event, the Fun Doubles! The 'fun' is the fact that you do not know until the day who you will be playing with and with teams of often very mixed ability players that can be 'fun' too! The players were formed into 6 groups, each of 3 pairs so that each group had 3 matches each played as the best of 3 up to 11. The pairings were determined by the tournament organizing committee of Lesley Blanchard (Tournament Director), Club Chairman Ian McElwee and Club Secretary Graham Turner. There is no doubt there was some great competition in these matches! 

Group 1 involved Darren Taylor with newcomer Jean Hale, Andrew Armstrong & Ray O'Leary and Euan Mason with Sue Young. Euan & Sue started well with a convincing 2:0 win against Darren & Jean who fought back in the next set against Andy & Ray only narrowly loosing 2:1. This set up the group play-off, but surprisingly Euan & Sue could not repeat their first match form going down 2:0 to give Andrew & Ray a place in the next round. 

Group 2 was a very close affair, with every pair winning 1 set. The opening set saw two very strange games. Keith Dudley and Jenny Givens taking the 1st 11:0 but then struggling to close out the set in the 2nd game against Dave Noden and Angela Taylor before winning it 18:16! By now Dave & Angela, who was playing in her first ever table tennis tournament, were in the swing of it and took the next set against the very strong pair of Mark Benson and Mary Delamere by 2 games to 1. It was then Mark & Mary's turn to recover by beating Keith & Jenny 2:1. But that single game won by Keith & Jenny was enough to give them top spot in the group and a place in the next round. 

Group 3 ended up being a very quick affair, with just 1 match! The group was affected by the last minute player withdrawal and was comfortably won by Nathan Jago and John Donnelly. You might say however that John was a little ungracious, as his opponent was his wife Grace who was partnering Ted Cramsie.

The first semi-final group was therefore known, Andrew & Ray, Keith & Jenny and Nathan & John. 

The Ron Georgeson Memorial Shield was the main focus of attention for the 2018 Club Tournament held at Crosby High School. Ably managed on the day by our own dynamic duo 'Doug & Phil'

Fun Doubles

Group 4 proved to be another very evenly matched group and strangely the pair who might have been tipped as favourites finished up bottom! The damage was done in the very first set where Steve McCormick (a doubles winner last year) paired with young Hugh Frediani-Bellis faced Graham Turner and Migs Morris. All 3 games went to deuce with Steve & Hugh winning 2:1. Graham & Migs redeemed themselves in the second set with a 2:0 win over Ned Hassan & Elaine Core. But again the losers fought back with Ned & Elaine taking a convincing 2:0 win against Steve & Hugh. With each pair having notched up 1 win, it was the game won by Graham & Migs in the first set that proved decisive to give them the top spot in the group and a place in the semi-final group.

 

Group 5 produced a clear and perhaps surprising winning combination of Sunil Sapre (a new member to the club) paired with Tournament Director Lesley Blanchard. They opened up with a decisive 2:0 victory over Fred Bainbridge & Archie Mason and finished with a second 2:0 decisive win over Tom Bell & Tony Rimmer, who had previously beaten Fred & Archie narrowly by 2:1.

 

Group 6 featured two pairs who had also played together last year and the third pair each playing in their first club tournament. Losing finalists from last year, Colin Turner and partner Mary Sefton opened up against tournament first timers Josh Taylor & Ann Brewer. a very close match followed with Colin & Mary snatching the set 11:7 in the third. Josh & Ann however took their next match with an equally narrow 2:1 win over Des Logan playing with grandson Finn Mason. Surprisingly Des & Finn fared little better against Colin & Mary who recorded a straight 2:0 win to take the group and a place in the semi-finals. 

The second semi-final group was therefore known, Graham & Migs, Sunil & Lesley and Colin & Mary

Above, the pairs from Group 4 and below Colin & Mary in action against Des & Finn from Group 6

The Fun Doubles - Semi-Finals

The two semi-finals were played as a group of 3 pairs with the winner of each group going through to the Final to be played on Finals Night. Interestingly both groups were won decisively. In Group 1 it was 14 year old Nathan Jago playing with John Donnelly, a social player playing in his first club tournament, who took centre stage. They started with a decisive 2:0 win over the experienced pair of Keith Dudley (a winning finalist last year) & Jenny Givens but were made to work much harder by Andrew Armstrong & Ray O'Leary before taking a clear 11:3 win in the deciding game to give themselves a straight 2 set victory in the Group. Last year Nathan reached the semi-finals of the doubles, this year going one better securing a place in the final. That's progress.  In Group 2 last year's losing finalists Colin Turner & Mary Sefton also took a decisive win, again perhaps surprisingly. They opened up with a 2:1 win over Graham & Migs and finished with a closer 2:1 win over Sunil Sapre & Lesley Blanchard. Maybe Colin & Mary will be able to go one better this year when they appear in the Final on Finals Night? 

The Main Event

The main event, The Ron Georgeson Memorial Handicap Singles, started out with 12 groups, each of 3 players. The players for each group were drawn, one from each of 3 pools. The 12 group winners would go forward to 4 groups of 3 players to form the Quarter Finals and the remaining runners-up and third placed players going into the Consolation Singles. Each set involved playing 5 games with a handicap being added to the points scored by the lower ranked player, the set then being decided by the number of points scored including the handicap. This approach meant that every single point mattered and that the higher ranked players would have to work extra hard to overcome their handicap disadvantage.   

It has to be said that in the majority of groups in the first stage the places were decided fairly clearly. The tables below show the outcomes in the top half of the draw with each of the group winners achieving decisive victories. Colin Turner, Keith Dudley and Ned Hassan forming the first Quarter Final group and Josh Taylor, Andrew Armstrong & Darren Taylor forming the second Quarter Final Group 

The Main Event

In the bottom half of the draw it was two of the top seeds, Ian McElwee and Fred Bainbridge who were made to work the hardest! Fred just winning his group by a single point, and Ian just edging past his young protege, Euan Mason. And in the only group decided by a single match Graham Turner was forced to use all his defensive luck to get past Steve McCormick. In the end it was Fred Bainbridge, Ted Cramsie and Graham Turner who formed the third group for the Quarter Finals and Dave Noden, Nathan Jago and Ian McElwee who took their place in the fourth Quarter Final Group. Some very tough matches were set to follow.

The Main Event - Quarter Finals

There were some superb matches in the 4 Quarter Final Groups. In the first group the pick of the matches was between Ned & Colin. Ned forcing the No.1 seed to work his socks off to overcome the 18 point handicap deficit which resulted in the group win for Colin by just 9 points.

 

There were more fine matches in the second group featuring Father & Son, Darren Taylor, the No.4 seed against son Josh, the No.6 seed. In an epic encounter Josh made his 3 point advantage count taking the set 3 games to 2. Enough to push Father Darren into last place in the group and Josh into the semi-finals with a 6 point group win over second placed Andrew Armstrong.     

The Main Event - Quarter Finals

In the bottom half of the draw, both groups were to provide very surprise outcomes. The third group looked likely to provide the No.3 seed Fred Bainbridge with a fairly straightforward route to the semi-finals. But a battling defensive display by Ted Cramsie to a 4 games to 1 win in the opening set put Fred on the back foot which enabled Graham Turner to capitalize in the second set. This set up a battle for top spot between Ted & Graham. Ordinarily Ted would have been expected to win this encounter but fortune favoured the brave and somehow Graham was clear with a game to spare. A shock outcome. More shocks were to follow in the last Quarter Final group where 14 year old Nathan Jago found himself up against the No.2 seed Ian McElwee and the No.5 seed Dave Noden. In the opening set somehow Nathan made his 13 point handicap advantage work, showing no nerves to take the set 4:1. Dave then faced fellow Liverpool League Division 3 club mate Ian and with a 6 point handicap advantage it was going to be tough for Ian. Dave stole the match 3:2 leaving Ian needing a big win in the final set against Nathan if he wished to move on to the semi-final. With absolutely nothing to lose and a 19 point handicap advantage Nathan really went for it, and although he lost 3:2 once the points were added up he had won the set by just 2 points.  A tremendous group win for Nathan. Semi-finals of the consolation event last year, semi-fianls of the Main event this year. Brilliant progress for this young man.    

Above, from the Quarter Finals of the Main Event, left, Ned v Colin and right Darren v Josh and below Dave takes on Ian, Nathan is there somewhere scoring! 

The Consolation Singles - Plate

The Consolation Event featured all 24 players knocked out in the 1st Round of the Main Event. This meant that everyone got 2 more sets of singles, giving each player a minimum of 20 games of singles on the day! And for some, it showed they had played 20 games! The event was again structured in groups with 8 groups of 3 players, the winners of each group going through to a straight knock out quarter final. The semi-finals and final to be played on Finals Night. All of the groups were keenly contested and there were some very good matches, but once again most of the groups were settled decisively. The tables below show their own story. 

Above, some pictures from the Consolation Event; top Euan Mason v John Donnelly, John put in a great performance all day. Middle; Angela Taylor & Sue Young, first timers in the club tournament. Left, on the tables; Steve McCormick v fGrace Donnelly; Hugh Frediani-Bellis v Ray O'Leary and Sue Young. And right Elaine & Migs march off for their matches.

The Consolation Singles - Plate

Just about the final action of the day was the 4 Quarter Finals of the Plate. At least there should have been 4, but somehow three of the players involved in two matches had disappeared. Those two matches involving 3 of our juniors were resolved at the club on Monday.  In the two Quarter Final matches played, Sunil Sapre, playing in his first club tournament, overcame the veteran Tom Bell 4:1 to claim his place in the semi-finals by 51pts:41. And in a super match team mates Mark Benson and Steve McCormick could hardly be separated. Steve won 3 games to 2 but once the points were added and the 1 point handicap advantage in favour of Mark was taken into account, Mark booked his place in the semi-finals 48pts:45. Very close.

 

The end of a super afternoon of continuous table tennis. Special thanks go to Doug and Phil who did a tremendous job at the control table. Look forward to seeing everyone at Finals Night on Wednesday the 5 September at 7pm.   

And finally, does this picture typify what it is really all about? Having fun, and a lovely cup of tea with friends! Tom Bell proudly displaying his club T-shirt and a very nice smile!

© BSMTTC 2015