News Release - BSMTTC News 103
Dateline: 18 January 2020
New Year - New Cup!
The New Year has brought the start of the second of the cup competitions run each season by the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League; The Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Singles Cup. A competition for players of all standards, with, as the name suggests, two conditions. The first is that all players must be 'veterans' (over 40!); the second is that all players have a handicap! The better the player, the lower the handicap - at least in theory! Sadly, handicapping is not an exact science and some of the handicaps allocated seem, at least to this writer, to be quite strange for the current standard of the player and often seem to lack consistency across levels. Be that as it may, it is a fun competition which in theory gives everyone a chance - and a competition in which the Club has a very good track record. This season the club entered 6 teams and you can find out more about how they fared in the first round of the competition below.
Above, the Frank Murphy Trophy. Presented to the League by the Murphy Family to the memory of Frank, a regular participant in the Liverpool League until his death.
The Cup Week started with two teams in action on the Monday evening. BSM 1, featuring Keith Hardman (Captain), Tony Rimmer and Bernard Cooney, were at home and entertaining a comparable team in the form of Sefton Park 4. A match which featured players primarily from Division 5 of the League. So, on paper it should have been a fairly even contest. The home side started with a 50 point advantage on handicap, but by the end of the third set it looked as if that figure was not going to be anywhere near enough! And in truth, the match as a spectacle was over at that point. The visitors had disposed of the handicap disadvantage in the first 3 sets and only had to hold on to the remaining games to secure their win. This they did, ending up with a win by 111 points. A massive gap for what should have been two fairly evenly matched sides. The match card opposite tells its own story.
Also playing on Monday was the BSM 4 team of Steve McGing (Captain), Steve McCormick and Richard Woodley. They were visiting Maghull and again found themselves facing a fairly comparable team. With a 63 point handicap advantage for the visiting BSM team this looked like an even contest in the making, albeit that the Maghull team included 1 much higher ranked player. The match started well enough with a fine win for Richard in the second set balancing out the expected home team win in the opening set. But in the next two sets things went badly wrong for the visitors with the two Steve's surprisingly dropping their respective sets quite badly, where they might have expected better. Richard again did his best to keep the visitors hopes alive in set 6, but by the end of it the home team had closed the handicap gap and were 1 point ahead. But if the two Steve's could pull something out of the bag in their respective final games the prospect of a win was still on the cards. Regrettably, neither could raise their game against comparable standard opponents resulting in the home side taking the last 3 sets reasonably comfortably, and the overall match by 55 points.
Not a very good Monday!!
Above, the BSM 1 v Sefton Park 4 match card;
The members of BSM 1 - Tony Rimmer, Bernard Cooney & Keith Hardman
The members of Sefton Park 4 - Chris Adewoye, Lol Cain & Alan Staniland.
To the left; the match card of Maghull 3 v BSM 4
and the members of the two teams: Alan Chan, Peter Crichton & Harry Hobson (Maghull 3) and Steve McGing, Steve McCormick and Richard Woodley (BSM 4).
A Trip to Bootle!
Tuesday was the turn of the 'Three Dave's' (BSM 6 ) to take a trip to Bootle YMCA. The team of Dave Noden (Captain), Dave Stoddern and Dave McMahon faced Bootle YM 2. Looking at the line-ups on paper this also looked like a fairly even match; and so it would have proved had it not been for the handicaps. Surprisingly, the home team started with a 21 point handicap advantage, and the bottom line is that they then stayed in front throughout the match, gradually increasing their advantage until they led by an impressive 84 points at the end of the match. There were highlights for the visitors along the way with Dave Stoddern winning 4 out of 6 of his singles games. The captain chipped in with a couple of game wins, but it was really too little against a very competent side. Captain Dave was forced to admit, they were a "good side - totally deserved - we were dreadful!" A little harsh on the team, but the captain had certainly hoped for a better outcome!
Above, left, the match catd Bootle YMCA 2 v BSM 6 and above the BSM trio of Dave's, McMahon, Noden & Stoddern.
Wednesday saw the BSM 3 Team (Mark Benson (captain), Ned Hassan and Graham Turner) entertaining Sefton Park 3 at Marine. One thing about the Frank Murphy Cup is that you never know who will be in a particular team until they turn up as teams can be mixed standard players and placed in any order. But if I were a betting man I may have had a small wager on "Benson Boy" in the 7:30pm at Marine on realization that the visitors were bringing along players of a very similar standard to the home side. The surprise here was that the visitors had a handicap advantage of 103 points, a lot to make up. However, the home side set about their task and, despite one small slip, by the end of 5 sets the scores were even. After the tea break, Mark, Graham & Ned secured further wins to give the home side clear ground towards the finish line. There was a minor stumble by Benson Boy in the final furlong but the team were already clear by that stage enabling them to go on and take the match by 473 points to 426. It was a great evening with a competitive match played in a good spirit by all. 1 all between BSM and Sefton Park in the Vets Cup in Round 1!
Above, the match card for BSM 3 v Sefton Park 3 and to the right the two teams, Sefton Park 3 - Roy Cunningham, Dave Cunningham & Paul Carlin and BSM 3 - Mark Benson, Graham Turner & Ned Hassan.
The last 2 of the club's teams in this competition were in action on Thursday. BSM 2 (Ian Brownrigg (captain), Jenny Givens and Barbara Alcock) visited Mrseyside Police where they faced very strong opposition. And BSM 5 (Andrew Armstrong (captain), Colin Mitchell and Keith Dudley) entertained Bootle YMCA 1, another very strong team.
Ian and his girl band started their match with a massive 208 point handicap advantage, but against strong and very experienced opposition would it be enough? There is no doubt that the BSM team made the home side fight for every single point, and it wasn't until the penultimate set of the night that they finally caught up, and even then they still needed the final set to ensure victory. In the end the margin was 49 points in favour of the Police side, a very good effort by the BSM side.
Arguably, the best and most even match of the week involving the BSM teams, was that between BSM 5 and Bootle YMCA 1. With the Bootle team having slightly higher ranked players in their line-up the BSM team started with a 53 point handicap advantage. But could they hold onto it? The visitors started strongly, taking the first 3 sets but only 26 points off of the deficit. But the BSM team fought back with wins by Andrew and Colin by the narrowest of margins. Two more very even sets followed in which Bootle only gained 12 points off the deficit. Then Colin struck the decisive blow with a 15point win over the Bootle No.2 leaving the BSM team just needing 6 points in the final set to hold on for a win. Keith duly obliged and the match was secure, Bootle only being able to knock 20 points off the opening handicap deficit leaving BSM 5 ahead 443 points to 410. A good competitive match, albeit a little vocal at times, with everyone a winner - Bootle winning 11 out of 18 games but BSM winning the match. 1 match each also between Bootle & BSM.
So, overall, just two teams through to Round 2, let's see what the draw brings!