News Release - BSMTTC News 74
Dateline: 13 January 2018

Cup Holders Through

The holders of the L&DTTL Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup safely came through the first round of the 2017/18 competition this week, with a narrow 28 point victory over Arriva 3. Playing under the banner of BSM 4 this year they were the first team in action in the cup week with a home tie on Monday evening. Captain Keith Dudley, playing his first competitive match for about 2 months, once again led the team comprising of himself, Les Dodd and Peter Ashley. And they certainly didn't have things all their own way in an evenly balanced contest. Just 10 points in handicap, in favour of Arriva, separated the two sides showing how evenly matched they were. It needed a titanic performance from Les Dodd to see the team through, winning all 6 of his games and contributing 64 points to the victory. Overall the home side managed to win 10 out of the 18 games to give them an overall victory by just 28 points, showing how important Les's contribution was. 

Playing as BSM 5, Keith Dudley and his team of Peter Ashley, Les Dodd and himself, won the Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup in the 2016/17 season. They made a good start this season under the banner of BSM 4

There was more success

Also playing on Monday was BSM 2, captained by Dave Noden and joined by his regular league team mates, Darren Taylor and Ted Cramsie. They faced a tricky visit to Sefton Park. They also found they faced a handicap deficit of 177 points to make up against very reasonable opposition. Nevertheless they set about their task with relish. Even so, it wasn't until the end of the 7th set that they finally caught up! Then, in the eighth set, Ted dropped the first, and only game of the night, leaving the home team still in with a chance going into the final set. But for the home team to win it would have meant that Darren Taylor, the visiting No.1, would have to lose! And Darren was in no mood for that, affirming his No.1 status and his position as Man of the Match with a 19:42 win to give the Bath Street visitors a 37 point victory. Of the night, captain Dave said "Good win, excellent hosts, really good contest, marvelously sporting night with good crowd and supporters". 

Captain Barry Davis (right), with Matt Wilson (centre) and Colin Turner, riding high in L&DTTL Division 2, but facing tough opposition in the Veterans Handicap Cup as BSM 6.

Wednesday's Action

On Wednesday, some of the Club's top players, Barry Davis (captain), Matt Wilson and Colin Turner (pictured above), faced a visit to Maghull. However, the home team asked if the match could be played at Marine. Unsurprisingly the Bath Street team were happy to accept the change! One of the great things about this competition is that it allows players of mixed levels to play together as a team. This was certainly the case for the Maghull 2 team bringing together players from Divisions 3 & 5 to give themselves a 120 point handicap advantage over their Division 2 opponents. Then, when Matt just got the better of a 20:21 game in the first set and Colin dropped a game in the third set it looked as if this could be a very close run match. But after that the boys settled down and led from the front by Captain Barry, who at first had indicated he wasn't going to play in this event this season, they set about polishing off the handicap deficit and ended up 83 points ahead! A decisive 272:355 victory. Colin & Matt each added 61 points to securing the win, but Barry's margin of 81 points has to take the Man of the Match award. This team are going to be tough opponents for anyone in future rounds. 

And so to Thursday

A further 3 teams were due to be in action on Thursday. Captain Keith Hardman and his team of Mark Benson, Stuart Reid and Tony Rimmer, playing as BSM 2, were due to host the much higher ranked Arriva 1 team. And with a handicap of close on 300 this looked like being a really interesting contest! In the event, the Arriva team found they couldn't get a team to the match, and so conceded to the BSM team! Keith said on hearing the news, "we will take a win by any means at the moment"! 

Playing with a quality player in the team seems so often to act as an inspiration to the rest of the team. And there is no doubt that Captain Andrew Armstrong found that he had quality in his BSM 3 team, in the form of Keith Williams, one of the Liverpool League's top male players. Having to make two last minute changes to the line up seems to have acted in favour of the BSM 3 team for their visit to Wavertree Labour, with Andrew able to bring in Keith and Graham Turner to join the team in place of Tony Bramham and Ray Hibbs. With Keith in the line-up a handicap disadvantage was always going to be likely, but in the end the team found themselves facing just a 70 point deficit against their Wavertree opponents comprising players form Divisions 4 and 5. It was likely that Keith would be able to make up that difference providing the other two team members could match their opponents. In the end not only were they able to match the opponents but the visitors managed to win all 18 games to end the evening 104 points ahead. A good evening, great to watch a quality player in action and a privilege to be in the same team.

Captain Andrew Armstrong (right) with Keith Williams (centre) and Graham Turner playing as BSM 3 on their visit to Wavertree Labour. It was a privilege to play alongside a true quality player in this match. 

Overall

So, overall a very good Round 1 for the Club's teams with 5 out of 6 teams through to the draw for Round 2. Now we wait to see what Round 2 brings........

All the results were:

Merseyside Police 1 431pts v BSM 1 424pts

BSM 2 378 pts v Arriva 1 0pts

Wavertree Lab 3 339pts v BSM 3 443pts

BSM 4 424 pts v Arriva 3 396 pts

Sefton Park 4 385pts v BSM 5 422pts

Maghull 2 272pts v BSM 6 355pts

The closest match

The last team in action on Thursday was the BSM 1 team captained by Des Logan, with Steve McCormick, and Herve Gillet making his league debut. They faced an away visit to the much higher ranked Merseyside Police 1 team fielding players from Divisions 1 and 3. A handicap advantage of 213 points did though provide the visitors with a real incentive to really 'go for it'. Despite the home side winning the first 8 sets, coming into the final set of the night the visitors were still 25 points ahead. Just 18 points in the last two games would see the Bath Street visitors through. Up stepped captain Des, but facing the very strong John Dyson from Division 1. A disastrous first game left Des with a mountain to climb in the second, and try as he did it was just a step too far, enabling the home side to sneak home by just 7 points! A great effort by the whole team. 

© BSMTTC 2015