News Release - BSMTTC News 122
Dateline: 14 July 2021
The Club Tournament has been continuing apace, and there has been some excellent table tennis. Hopefully it won't be long now before we can allow in a few spectators!
Having completed Round 1 of the Main Event (see report of 23 June) it has been possible to move forward with the Quarter Finals of the Main Event and Round 1 of the Plate competition (a consolation event for all who do not get through Round 1 of the Main Event).
Both of these rounds have been played in small groups and 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.
Quarter Finals of the Main Event
The first Quarter Final group included top seed, Dermot Tierney. From the start it was clear Dermot was determined to reduce the handicap disadvantage as quickly as possible and demonstrate his superior fire power. And the fact is that try as they might none of the other members of the group could quite match his power on both wings of the table.
Dermot was superb. His power and spin on both the forehand and back hand combined with persistently tricky serves allowed him to come through his 3 sets relatively unscathed. Both Andrew Armstrong and Dave McMahon came close to matching him for 1 game out of 5, but when they did he just upped his level for the next game pushing back their advance.
The only question then was who would gain second place in the group to secure the runner-up spot and go through to the semi-finals. And between the other 3 group members there were some really close and tough battles. Surprisingly, both Andrew & Graham Turner narrowly edged past the higher ranked player, Dave. But when it came to the shoot out between Andrew & Graham, Andrew was exhausted having just come through a grueling encounter with Dermot! It was enough to give Graham a chance, so to his surprise Graham took the runner-up spot and a place in the semi-finals!
As each Quarter Final included 4 group winners from Round 1 there was no doubt there would be some very tough competition in each group. The second Quarter Final group was clear evidence of that. This group had it all. Second seed Colin Turner, unexpected qualifier Steve McCormick, Tournament Director Dave Noden and unknown quantity, Sam Pierce - just getting back into match play after a few years absence!
In the opening set Steve nearly made his handicap advantage pay, just loosing out to Dave by a single point! But it was the closest he would get. In the second set the No.2 seed Colin had to face Sam who he had not seen play before! Sam's unorthodox style and handicap advantage, together with a slightly slow start from Colin enabled Sam to pull off the group surprise with a 2 point win. Colin not really getting started until the third game of the set!
Colin did his very best to pull it back in his next two sets but Sam was able to match him all the way in his remaining sets, and when Sam won well in his final set against Dave there was a lot for Colin to make up in the final set of the group. Even then he had a chance, but then for just one game against Steve he took his foot off the accelerator and eye of the prize allowing Steve to score 9 points. Those few extra points were enough to deny Colin the top spot. So, he had to be content to go through as runner-up facing the tougher semi-final draw. Sam was the surprise winner and will prove to be a very dangerous opponent in the final stages.
The two semi-finals are therefore set, and will be played on 'Finals Night' - date to be announced. They are:
Dermot Tierney v Colin Turner
Sam Pierce v Graham Turner
Below, the two Quarter Final Groups:
Group 9 - Dave McMahon, Dermot Tierney, Andrew Armstrong and Graham Turner.
Group 10 - Sam Pierce, Steve McCormick, Colin Turner and Dave Noden.
Below some of the Plate Groups:
Group 1 - Bernard Cooney, Lesley Blanchard & Eleanor Sinker.
Group 2 - Sue Young, Jean Hale, Keith Dudley & Stuart Reid,
Group 3 - Keith Hardman, Peter Crichton, Bobby Vint & Tony Mitchell.
Group 4 - Herve Gillet, Daniel Duncan & Martin Joyce.
Group 5 - Euan Mason, Steve Rees & Ian Brownrigg.
Group 6 - Iris Mason, Roy Carroll, Ellis Parry & Mark Benson
Plate Round 1 (Groups 1 - 6)
The consolation event, The Plate, always throws up some interesting contests with very mixed ability groups. All of the groups should have included 4 or 5 players but unfortunately there were a few who couldn't make it for Round 1, making some groups even more interesting!
Group 1 should have been 5 players, but in the end just 3 played-off for the 1 place in the semi-final group. With every player winning at least 1 game the group was quite close, but with 9 wins out of 10 Eleanor Sinker was the surprise winner to bag a semi-final place.
In Group 2, Keith Dudley put in one of his more ruthless displays taking all before him. Nevertheless there were still some very good games. But in the end there was a clear winning margin.
Peter Crichton was the dominant force in Group 3 despite very strong performances from Bobby Vint, Tony Mitchell and Keith Hardman. In fact things were so tight that Bobby and Tony tied for second place. None of the other members of the group could though fully handle Peter's spin serves leaving him as clear group winner.
The group for the first semi-final was therefore set as Eleanor, Keith & Peter.
In the second half of the draw, Group 4 should also have been a 5 person group but finished up with just 3 players. And a really close group it was with just 9 points separating all 3 players. It meant everyone won some games with Herve Gillet just coming out on top by the narrowest margin of 4 points.
In Group 5 the other members, must have been a little disappointed to find Euan Mason in the group! Euan started the tournament as the No.4 seed, but due to a last minute switch of groups narrowly lost out in the Main Event ending up in the Plate. He was however made to work hard by Steve Rees who succeeded in the fifth end of their set in taking 1 game from him. It wasn't enough though, Euan going on to win the group by just 7 points.
The final group, Group 6, had some excellent table tennis played by junior players, Iris Mason & Ellis Parry. In fact Ellis featured in some of the closest sets in all of the groups, missing out on top spot by just 8 points. Winning 14 out of 15 games, Mark Benson took the group title to secure the final semi-final place.
So, the second semi-final group will be Herve, Euan & Mark. Both semi-final groups will be played on Monday 19 July.