News Release - BSMTTC News 120
Dateline: 19 June 2021

Unstoppable Army!

 

What a week of great table tennis we have had!

 

Gradually our members are returning to play, and we have been able to re-start the Marine Mini League (MML). This week has seen the Divisional Cup competition for all of the teams in the MML. A straight knock out cup event where every game won counts for 1 point, to be played through in the space of 1 week! For some teams this will have meant playing 3 matches in a week!

 

The draw was made some time ago, and the first round arguably featured 3 of the strongest teams in the MML – so at least 1 of the best teams would be going out!

Round 1

The opening match on Monday night brought together Hardman’s Heroes against the mighty Andy’s Army. Despite an heroic effort the match was effectively lost before the Heroes got a point on the board! The Army taking the first 4 sets to rack up an unassailable 12:0 lead. Tony Rimmer achieved a consolation for the Heroes with a very narrow 3:2 win over Sue Young, but this was a tremendous performance by Sue picking up 5 out of a possible 6 points. The match finished 3:17 in favour of the Army.

 

The other Round 1 match on Tuesday was a far tenser affair. With both sides having to bring in a substitute, much was going to depend on the battle of the respective No.1’s and 2’s. But in fact, it was the Mavericks substitute No.3, Billy Dunleavy, who really made the decisive contribution, surprisingly beating the Marauders No.2 Roy Carroll by 3:0! The other big surprise was that the Maverick’s No.1, Steve McCormick lost both of his sets, going down 3:1 to Roy and 3:0 to the unbeaten Marauders captain, Peter Crichton. After all the ups and downs the match finished all square at 10:10! The adjudicator therefore had to be called in to determine the result, as no ‘rule’ had been set to determine the winner in the event of a draw! After counting back the points it was decided that the Mavericks were the winners having scored more points in total 174:156! A ‘draw’ rule was then immediately set for the semi-finals and final!!

Semi-Finals

Wednesday saw the first semi-final pitching Mason’s Utd against the seemingly invincible Andy’s Army. United were forced to make a wholesale change to their team with all 3 players effectively substituting! Looking at the respective line-ups after the restructuring this match had 9:9 as the potential score line written all over it! So, the question was whether any player in a loosing set could snatch a game to build the team score above 9? The decisive breakthrough came in the second game of the third set, when against the odds Keith Dudley snatched one game from Sam Pierce who hadn’t had the chance to warm up before the match started. There were no further surprises in the remaining 3 sets, leaving that 1 game as the difference between the two teams, 9:10 in favour of the Army. The Army marched on to Friday’s final.

 

In the second semi-final played on Thursday, McCormick’s Mavericks faced Sam’s Starters. Steve Rees returned for the Mavericks and Graham Turner led the Starters in place of Sam Pierce who had played for United the previous evening. As it turned out the juniors, Archie Mason & Ellis Parry playing for the Starters, were unable, on this occasion, to match their more experienced opponents, dropping all 4 sets. Archie probably suffering the after effects of his 13th birthday the previous day! A good match nevertheless with the Mavericks going through to the final 12:6.

 

Then came the shock! Having won the semi-final all 3 of the Mavericks who had played announced that they were unable to play in the final the following night, despite knowing well in advance that the tournament final would be on the Friday at the end of the cup week! Leaving team captain, Steve McCormick, with a real dilemma!

The Final

Several phone calls and a great effort by Steve and a team was finally arranged to face up to the Army in the final. And what a terrific match it was. Over the course of the cup week, Ian Brownrigg has appeared for 3 separate teams, including appearing in the final for the Maverick’s. The substitute had to face the first set, against the ever-improving Sue Young. A very even contest followed with Sue getting the Army off to a winning start 3:1.

 

Two terrific sets followed. First Andy Armstrong being forced to fight all the way to narrowly get the better of Steve McCormick 3:2 and then Keith Dudley pulling off perhaps the win of the night with a tremendous 3:2 win over the Maverick’s other substitute, Peter Crichton. 9:5 to the Army after 3 sets.

 

Maverick’s captain Steve, returned to the table for the 4th set really needing a 0:3 win. But Sue produced some of her best play to steal a game and a valuable point. But the Maverick’s were back in the match, just 2 points behind. If they were to stay in the match a big shock would be needed in set 5 as substitute Ian faced the master tactician Keith. Ian played well, but Keith just had that little bit too much for him running out 3:0 winner. In effect the match was over.

 

The two No.1’s finished the evening off with a tremendous contest, with Andrew finally winning through 3:2. Making the final score 16:10 in favour of the Army.

 

A great week of competition and worthy winners Andy’s Army.

 

Winner and Runner-up medals were presented to the teams by Club Secretary, Graham Turner.

You can find all the score cards below the pictures!

Below, the Gold Medal winners, Andy's Army; Sue Young - who had a terrific tournament, Keith Dudley & Andrew Armstrong - both Keith and Andrew won 5 out of 6 sets over the week. Terrific performances.
 

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And finally, the Gold & Silver medalists, Andy's Army & McCormick's Mavericks.
 

Below - each of the Teams in the MML Cup. From the top:-

Hardman's Heroes

Andy's Army

McCormick's Mavericks

The Marauders

Mason's United

Sam's Starters

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Cup Match Score Cards