News Release - BSMTTC News 101
Dateline: 16 November 2019

Divisional Cup - Round 2

Like the football Premier League the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League has been on an international break this week - well, not quite international break, but at least a break for the 2nd Round of the respective Divisional Cup competitions. The club had 5 teams in action in 4 out of 5 of the cup competitions. It was only in the top division where the club's teams were narrowly eliminated in the 1st Round. 

Here is a brief report on how all 5 teams performed. 

Forrest Cup (Division 4)

The week started with the F Team (Steve McGing (Captain), Ned Hassan, Steve McCormick and Richard Woodley) hosting Linacre. This looked on paper as if it could be quite a close match. The visitors having a strong No.1 but otherwise the teams looked fairly even. The match started well enough and after three sets the home side were 2:1 ahead with wins for Ned and Steve McGing. Strangely the home side then called on the doubles, more usually left as a decider in a cup match, which the visitors won comfortably and then called their No.1 back to the table bringing the score to 2:3. By this stage Richard had not played at all, so sportingly the home captain then called him to the table. Richard has only just returned to play following surgery so is a little rusty, and perhaps that showed. When he lost his first set the opposition spotted that he was slightly out of touch so immediately called him back to the table for his second set! And in a flash, the match was over, the visitors completing a 2:5 victory. It all finished so quickly the home captain didn't even have a chance to get a photo! You can see the card opposite though. Captain Steve said after the match, "I was a bit naive in my choices..!"

Hyde Cup (Division 3)

The match of the week was almost certainly on Tuesday when the D Team (Brian Crolley (Captain), Andy Cheung and Mal Kent) acted as hosts to the C Team (Ian McElwee (Captain) - but not playing, Dave Stoddern, Dave McMahon & Euan Mason). There is no doubt that the lower ranked D Team were the underdogs for this match with the C Team 5 places above them in the current divisional league table. But the D Team had made it quite clear in the match build up that they were definitely not going to just roll over! Captain Brian is a perfect gentleman, but once on the table he is a lean, mean, fighting machine! And absolutely no push-over for anyone, despite his 83 years! And, with Captain Ian not playing due to illness, the two sides now looked quite evenly matched. The visitors called on their junior, Euan to start the match and he duly obliged taking the first set. When Dave McMahon then took the second the home side looked to be in a spot of trouble. Up stepped captain Brian to face Euan who already had a win under his belt. Maybe Euan showed Brian just a little too much respect, or maybe Brian was just his usual inspirational self, soon the match score was 1:2. Mal then made the scores even with a grueling 3:2 win over Dave McMahon in which he had to save two deuce games to stay in the set. Back to the table came Euan, and back to his first set form dispatching the home No.1 Andy 1:3. The C Team were back in the lead and so far, Vice Captain, Dave Stoddern, arguably the D Teams's best player, had not played! The wait seemed to tell in his first set enabling the D Team to get back onto even terms. Captain Brian then pushed the D Team ahead in another 5 game thriller edging out Dave McMahon. Dave Stoddern then produced some of his best form to square the match at 4:4. The decider would feature the two captains Brian v Dave S. Maybe it was the effect of playing two sets consecutively but Dave just didn't seem able to repeat the form he had shown in the previous set, and Brian was totally determined not to let him repeat that form! A three straight win for Brian gave the D Team the match 5:4 and Brian the 'Man-of-the-Match' award for his unbeaten and outstanding performance. A great match.      

Friends on an off the table the members of the C & D Teams after a thrilling match. The members of the D Team in their light blue team tops, Brian Crolley, Andy Cheung and Mal Kent. And in mixed colours the members of the C Team, Dave Stoddern, Euan Mason and Dave McMahon.

Rumjahn Cup (Division 2)

The strangest match of the week was on Wednesday, when the B Team, under Captain Dave Noden, were due to play Wavertree Labour B at Wavertree. On arrival at the venue the BSM Team were told the match on that night was Wavertree Lab C v Cadwa - also in the Div 2 Cup. On checking the booking it was clear that the BSM Team had been told their match was on the Wednesday! And when Cadwa didn't appear it was also clear the home club had given the two visiting teams the respective wrong nights! Rather than concede the match the members of Wavertree Lab C all acted as substitutes for their B side allowing the match to go ahead as Wav Lab B v BSM B. Once underway the Wavertree team raced into a 2:0 lead. Ted Cramsie then came to the table for the visitors. In taking the first game, Ted suffered a calf injury. The second end slipped away, with the injury not clearing. It looked as if the set might have to be abandoned but somehow Ted managed to keep going and even more amazing he took the set to make the match score 2:1. Wavertree immediately called back to the table the BSM substitute player, Graham Turner, to take the score to 3:1. Captain Dave was then involved in an epic dual with Wavertree No.3 Steve Johnson. Eventually winning out 2:3 to bring the match score to 3:2. After a brief tea break Wavertree strangely called Dave back to the table. Another epic battle followed with Dave recovering from 2 games down to pull off a brilliant 2:3 win deep in the fifth end. This left the match score tied at 3:3. However by this stage it was clear that Ted would not be able to play any more of his sets, and he still had two to play. So, even if the one other remaining set was played it would still mean victory for Wavertree because of the 2 concessions. In the end the teams agreed to end the match at that stage with the victory going to Wavertree Lab B 5:3. A very strange evening, with some intervals of very good table tennis.   

On the left the two members of BSM B, Ted Cramsie & Dave Noden; and to their right the members of Wavertree Lab C, who on the night played as Wavertree Lab B, Jason Ao, David Ao & Steve Johnson. The BSM B team are struggling for players at the moment, with No.1 Darren Taylor out injured, a new injury to Ted likely to keep him out of action for a while and Dave Lovelady their reserve spending more time on the Isle of Man. Looks like they will have to dig deep over the next few weeks!  

Stamp Cup (Division 5)

The final match of the week on Friday evening featured the new Junior Team in the Div 5 Cup. Life has been really tough for the juniors in Div 5 so far this season. They played brilliantly to get through the first round of the cup, but now faced a very strong and experienced Sefton Park side. There are two things you can say about the boys from Sefton Park, they were really encouraging to the juniors and they had a great supply of very tasty sweets, which they happily shared! On the table however the juniors of Henry Sinker, Keiron McEvoy and Archie Mason were not able to match the strength and experience of these seasoned campaigners. Although Team Manager, Graham Turner managed to scrape through his two singles - and one of them only just - there was little more joy for the home side with the match score ending at 2:5 in favour of Sefton Park D. The juniors are however learning all of the time, and keeping a good team spirit.

Above, to the left, the members of BSM H (Junior), Archie Mason, Graham Turner, Captain for the night Henry Sinker and Keiron McEvoy. To the right the members of Sefton Park D, from the centre, Captain Dave Cunningham, Lawrence Cain, Alan Staniland and Eric Wood. 

Picture - by permission.

© BSMTTC 2015