News Release - BSMTTC News 127
Dateline: 19 September 2021
The wait is over!
At last! A new season of league table tennis is about to begin! Monday 27 September sees the launch of 2021/22 season of the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League. The corona virus pandemic has taken its toll on the league which reduces to 50 teams for the new season. The Club has also been impacted by the pandemic so far as competing in the league is concerned, and this time round will field just 6 teams in the league, The lowest number for 10 years! Despite this, it seems fair to say that every player who is participating is really looking forward to getting started. It is another step on the road to recovery after the restrictions of corona virus. But we are under no illusions, covid is still with us and a cautious approach will be adopted for all league play, to ensure as far as possible the safety of all players.
So what are the prospects for the club's teams? Here is a brief round up.
1st Team (Division 1)
Newly crowned club champion, Dermot Tierney, will once again lead the club's top team in the top division. He will be joined by first division regulars Keith Williams, and Liverpool Ladies Champion, Clare Peers. Colin Turner will join the squad as a very welcome addition which should ensure the team can field 3 first division regulars for each match. Life is tough at the top though and with a full division of 10 teams the pressure to perform will be unrelenting. There are some very strong teams in the top division this year, so the team will have to really work hard to get into the top half of the division. Fifth place or above would be an excellent result. Much will depend on stalwart Keith Williams, and whether his fellow team members can provide strong back up after such a long absence from competing at the top level.
A Team (Division 2)
Octogenarian, Brian Crolley, surprisingly finds himself elevated and leading the A Team which has been moved up into Division 2. They will be relying heavily upon former division 1 player, Barry Davis, who had been contemplating a season off after covid! But such are Brian's powers of persuasion that Barry has come out of retirement to help the team try and retain a place in what is often the toughest of divisions. Another division with a full complement of 10 teams life is going to be really tough for the Bath Street Boys. But with the irrepressible enthusiasm and determination of captain Brian, this team will be fighting for every single point. Nevertheless, they will do well to stay out of the relegation zone! All too often teams that are pushed up a division end up moving down again! Let's watch and see what happens, maybe they will just pull a few surprises!
B Team (Division 2)
After a few years of absence, team captain Dave Stoddern, finds himself unexpectedly back in Division 2. With the reconstruction of the league this team, which had expected to play in Div 3, is another that has been pushed up and faces the prospect of life in this really tough field. This looks like the team of the 'Dave's', for captain Dave will be joined by Dave McMahon and Dave Noden. But they will also have an element of youthfulness as 17 year old Euan Mason tastes life at this level for the first time. But Euan has the real potential to improve, providing his A Level exams don't get in the way too much! The team will also be able to call on veteran campaigner Ian McElwee and it is likely that Freddie Bainbridge may also put in an appearance. This team will however, also find it hard to stay out of the relegation zone, so survival in the division is probably the best they can hope for!
C Team (Division 4)
With the A & B Teams having been pushed up, the club unexpectedly finds itself with no team in Division 3, so the C Team in Division 4 will be looking to push as hard as they can to fill that gap and gain a promotion. Andy Armstrong once again leads the squad, but with two new players, in the form of Sam Pierce and Steve Rees, the team has a new look. Regulars Keith Dudley and Mark Benson also join the squad. This is a strong and balanced squad, and if Sam and Steve can get back to their former best then this team will definitely be in the mix for a promotion spot. You can expect to see them in the top four and hopefully occupying one of the promotion spots come the end of the season. A team to keep an eye on!
D Team (Division 5)
Club Secretary, Graham Turner, will once again lead a 'junior' squad into league action. 3 newcomers, Ellis Parry, Daniel Duncan and Luca Bonato, will be given their first taste of senior league action and will be joined by Henry Sinker and Archie Mason both returning for a second taste of league play. With the division having been condensed to 10 teams there is going to be no hiding place in this division where the majority of the teams will feature some very experienced, good quality, players. The only good news about division 5 is that you can't be relegated! It will be interesting to see just how our teenagers do in this competitive and hostile environment. Hopefully they will learn quickly, keep their heads up, and set out to do their very best from day 1.
E Team (Division 5)
Keith Hardman will once again lead the 'squad', and with about 13 players at his disposal the issue is going to be who to play, and how to give some experience to those trying league play for the very first time. With the addition of Steve McCormick and Stuart Reid to the line-up the squad is considerably strengthened from the last time out, and will be no push over this time round. It is however going to be a really tough division this year and with so many good sides the team will struggle to get halfway up the table. There is no doubt however that the team will be competitive in every match and have plenty of room to improve over the season.
All that remains is to wish all of our teams the very best for the new season. Results and comments for all of our teams will be found on the club website throughout the season and also on the official LIverpool League website on TTLeagues at https://liverpool.ttleagues.com. What is certain is that everyone visiting Marine can be assured of a warm welcome and every match will be played in the best spirit of table tennis.