News Release - BSMTTC News 77
Dateline: 23 March 2018
Cup Quarter Finals
One area where Bath Street Marine Table Tennis Club seems to do particularly well is in the L&DTTL Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup, and this week it has been the Quarter Final stage. With 4 teams in the Quarter Final there was just 1 match that didn't involve a marine team! Pity though that two of the teams had to play each other, still, at least it guaranteed one team would be in the semi-final draw!
The week started with a tremendous match involving BSM 5 (Dave Noden (captain), Darren Taylor and Ted Cramsie, against Maghull 3 (Janette Hutchings, Denise Chorley and Chitra Balakrishna). It was a very experienced Bath Street side, including a former winner of this trophy with the club, Darren Taylor, which took on the girls of Maghull. And they definitely needed all of their experience with a handicap deficit of 137 points to make up. Even so, the boys certainly didn't have it all their own way and some really good table tennis followed. It was not until the seventh set of the night that the home side finally cleared the handicap deficit, and two very close final sets only added 8 extra points for the home team resulting in a very narrow home victory by just 15 points. A great start to the week.
The members of BSM 5 and Maghull 3 from left to right - Dave Noden, Denise Chorley, Janette Hutchings, Ted Cramsie, Chitra Balakrishna and Darren Taylor. Both teams contributed to a great cup match at Marine on Monday 19 March.
Tuesday saw a second very keenly contested quarter-final fixture at Marine featuring two evenly matched sides. BSM 3 (Andrew Armstrong (captain), Graham Turner and Ian McElwee standing in for Keith Williams - who had taken himself off to the Echo Arena to watch and listen to Paloma Faith!); and Sefton Park 2 (Neal Jennings, Ian Findon and Alan Staniland). With the visitors starting 55 points ahead this was going to be a tough test. After 4 very even sets the difference remained at 42 points and increasingly looked difficult to close. But an excellent performance by Ian in set 5 reduced the deficit to just 12 points. Andrew however still had to face the visitors best two players, both ranked higher than himself. Against the odds Andrew clawed a two-straight win in set 6 to reduce the deficit to 3, and even better hung on in the final set off the night against the visiting No.1 to record another 2-straight win. For these two heroic sets there is no doubt that Andrew deserved the Man-of-the-Match award, albeit that it was Ian who contributed most to reducing the deficit gaining 61 points for the home team. In the end the winning margin of 42 points looks good, but the truth is this was far from an easy match. A very even, and keenly fought match played in a very good spirit.
Wednesday brought the only derby match of the quarter-finals featuring the cup holders BSM 4 (Keith Dudley (captain), Peter Ashley and Les Dodd) acting as the 'visitors' against the very strong BSM 6 containing three players currently sitting at the top of Division 2, Barry Davis (captain), Matt Wilson & Colin Turner. Even with a 121 point start the cup holders were going to have to play their very best to have a chance to hang on to the trophy.
The BSM 3 side of Ian McElwee, Graham Turner and Andrew Armstrong and to the right the visitors from Sefton Park with their supporters, from left to right, Neil Jennings, Alan Staniland, Eric Wood, Ray Jones and Ian Findon.
And also aside, the match card showing that after a fairly shaky start the home side picked up the gauntlet in the second half of the match to record a very good win.
Could they do it?
There is a good reason why Barry, Matt & Colin are currently sitting at the top of the 2nd Division of the League. It is because of their proven quality. And from the start of this match they made their quality clear as they started out to clear the 121 point deficit. So determined were they that it took just 5 sets to clear the deficit. Even then they didn't take their foot off the pedal, pressing on to record a decisive victory and tip the cup holders out of the trophy. The final margin an emphatic 88 point win, the clearest margin of all 3 matches. There is no doubt that BSM 6 will be a tough team to beat for anyone.
Above the members of BSM 4 and 6, from the left Les Dodd, Matt Wilson, Colin Turner, Peter Ashley, Barry Davis and Keith Dudley.
So, overall a very good Quarter Final round with 3 teams through to the semi-final, a remarkable achievement. It guarantees that there will be a team from Marine in the Vets Final again this year!
All the results were:
BSM 3 445 pts v Sefton Park 2 403 pts
BSM 5 419 pts v Maghull 3 404 pts
BSM 6 359 pts v BSM 4 271 pts