News Release - BSMTTC News 121
Dateline: 23 June 2021
At last! The Club 2020 tournament is underway. The annual club tournament, for the Ron Georgeson Trophy, should have run in the autumn of 2020, however due to the corona virus lockdown restrictions this was not possible. However, following the easing of restrictions from 17 May 2021, the event, which was planned last autumn, began on the 7 June!
The tournament will include just 2 events this time round, the Main Event, the Ron Georgeson Handicap Singles Trophy, and a singles Plate for all who don't get through the first round of the main event.
Round 1 of the Main Event has now been completed and some details are below. You can find all the information about the tournament, the draw for each event, results and tables on the website under 'Club Tournament 2020' which can be found on the 'League' tab.
Round 1 (Groups 1 - 4)
The first round of the Main Event has been played in small groups, mostly of 4 or 5 players. Each group included 1 seeded player and it has to be said that there have been very few surprises at this stage, despite some very close and competitive matches.
In Group 1, top seed, Dermot Tierney, had to pull out some of his deadliest serves to pull back handicap differences. Even then he still allowed one set to slip away when new junior, Ellis Parry, managed to get some serves back in the fifth game to grab 7 points, just enough when added to his handicap to give him a 57:55 victory over Dermot, despite Dermot winning all 5 games! The beauty of the points system. Every point counts, and the winner of each set is the player with the highest number of points. Dermot had to face another very narrow set, winning by just 1 point against tournament first timer, Bobby Vint. But at the end of the day Dermot had scored the most points and won the group. Keith Dudley and Ellis Parry finished on equal points, but Keith just edged second place because of a better points difference between points won and lost. A great group.
Dave McMahon, another seeded player came through Group 2 relatively unscathed, but again there were some close encounters en route to the top spot. The contest for second and third place was decided by just a single point, in favour of club chairman, Bernard Cooney. His rival Roy Carroll, who just doesn't like playing against chop, dropping vital points in the final set of the group, against Dave. But at least all the players in the group won at least one game!
Club Secretary, Graham Turner, found himself as the seeded player in Group 3, where he faced a strong challenge from club newcomer, Peter Crichton. But in the final set between the two players Graham made a decisive break to take all 5 games. Sue Young fought well in this group, showing just how much her match play has improved, but in the end just fell short.
In Group 4, Euan Mason who was the seeded player, had to withdraw from the group as he is now a working student. Andrew Armstrong came in as the seeded player in what should have been a 5 person group. Unfortunately, at the last minute due to health issues, 2 members of the group were unable to participate leaving Andrew, Stuart Reid and Martin Joyce to play for the one qualifying place. Playing in his first tournament, Martin was the surprise package but was no match for Andrew who took the top spot with a margin to spare.
The top player from each group going through to the Quarter Final, Dermot Tierney, Dave McMahon, Graham Turner & Andrew Armstrong, where they will play as a group with the winner and runner-up going on to the semi-finals.
Three of the 4 groups in the top half of the Main Event draw.
Group 1 - Dermot Tierney, Keith Dudley, Bobby Vint & Ellis Parry
Group 2 - Herve Gillet, Bernard Cooney, Dave McMahon & Roy Carroll.
Group 3 - Peter Crichton, Janet Gilbertson, Graham Turner & Sue Young.
Three of the 4 groups in the bottom half of the Main Event draw.
Group 5 - Euan Mason, Steve McCormick, Barry Davis & Martin James.
Group 6 - Colin Turner & Billy Dunleavy - somehow the girls seemed to escape the camera!
Group 8 - Ian Brownrigg, Tony Mitchell, Archie Mason, Mark Benson & Sam Pierce.
Group 7 seemed to evade the camera altogether!
Round 1 (Groups 5 - 8)
The biggest shock of Round 1 came in Group 5. This group was a partial re-run of one of the groups in the 2019 tournament, pitching the current holder of the trophy, Barry Davis (the No.3 seed) against Steve McCormick. Having missed his own group, Euan Mason also found himself in the mix, replacing his younger brother Archie. A difficult group for the underdogs! Unfortunately, Tony Rimmer was unable to take up his place on the day, leaving Martin James to do battle with the giants! Barry believed he had won the group, winning 13 out of 15 games. But those 2 games dropped cost him dearly, especially as one was to Steve. Euan had the misfortune to face Barry in his first competitive game after several months lay-off and it showed! Although he did manage to sneak the fifth end, the points lost in the first 4 games were enough to put him out of the running for top spot despite winning 10 games. Steve on the other hand performed well in all 3 sets he played, and although he only won 7 games once all the points were added up, Steve was ahead by just 1pt! In a tournament where it is all about the points that 1 point was enough to give him the top spot, and knock out the trophy holder!
Group 6 included an interesting mix of players. Colin Turner, the No.2 seed, was the seeded player facing the much under rated Billy Dunleavy, and the teenagers Eleanor Sinker and Iris Mason. Billy has been in amazing form recently playing in the Marine Mini League where he has already sprung a few surprises. Obviously a hidden talent. As a result some might say Billy had a rather generous handicap! But it proved not to be enough in the final group encounter with Colin, who raced through to ensure that he won all 15 games played securing the top spot and place in the quarter finals.
Tournament Director, Dave Noden, took the seeded spot in Group 7, but was pushed - quite literally - all the way by club newcomer Steve Rees. Steve only returned to play in 2020 after several years absence, but some of his former quality is already starting to emerge. In the end, despite his efforts, Steve just fell 3 points short of dislodging Dave from the top spot. Although she didn't win a game, Jean Hale maximized her handicap to take 3rd place with Keith Hardman finishing at the bottom despite having won 5 games! It's all about the points!
The final group in this half, Group 8, was a full 5 person group and here the encouraging fact is that everyone won some games. Another club newcomer, or perhaps one should say returning player, Sam Pierce took the seeded spot in the group and went on to show that his own rather unconventional style plus his combination bat make him a very difficult player to play against. Indeed, none of the other group members had any answer allowing Sam to take all 20 games he played with room to spare. Another one for the handicap committee to look at! There were however some very competitive games throughout the group with all picking up at least 2 wins.
So the 4 top players, Steve McCormick, Colin Turner, Dave Noden and Sam Pierce will form the second quarter final group, with the winner and runner-up going on to contest the semi-finals and final.
There are however, no losers in this tournament with all the remaining players from Round 1 going into the plate contest.