News Release - BSMTTC News 131
Dateline: 11 December 2021

Frank Murphy Cup

 

Cup action always throws up some very interesting matches! And none more so than the Liverpool League, Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup, which can match players of quite different standards. With the sometimes strange handicaps intended to bridge any gap between them. The trouble with handicapping is that it is not an exact science, and in cup matches it often depends on what happens at the time! The past week has seen the first round of the 2021/22 competition with 30 teams in the draw. The club had 6 teams due to play, with at least 1 guaranteed a place in Round 2 as two teams were drawn against each other! 

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Close starter

 

The week started with the visit of BSM 5 to Sefton Park on Monday. A reasonable BSM team of Steve Rees, Mark Benson and Graham Turner found they were facing a mixed ability team in Sefton Park 5. Looking at the two teams as they lined-up this match had close contest written all over it! Once again, Club Secretary, Graham, managed to get lost in locating the cricket club, but a friendly local taxi driver soon put him right, guiding him to the correct spot! With the visitors conceding 34 points on handicap the last thing that was needed was a bad start, albeit late! However that was what happened with Steve missing out badly to Alan Staniland. However by the end of the fourth set the visitors were just ahead. But by the end of the sixth set that lead had gone and the home side were back in front. This see-saw pattern continued so that going into the final set the mariners were 14 points ahead. Could Steve hold on in the final set against the outstanding player of the night, Geoff Hough of Sefton Park? Geoff pulled out all the stops in the first game of the final set to reduce the difference to just 3 points. Steve fought back well in the second game, but in the end it was not quite enough. Sefton Park had pulled the points back and left themselves a 3 point margin of victory. A very close match effectively won by Alan Staniland's victories over Steve and Mark. Not the best of starts to the week for the Bath Street boys.

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On the left: BSM 5 - Mark Benson, Graham Turner & Steve Rees. On the right: Sefton Park 5 - Geoff Hough, Alan Staniland & Dave Cunningham.
Below the match score card. The visitors had every chance to win this match....... but it wasn't to be! 

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What of Wednesday?

 

Four teams were in action on Wednesday, two away from home and two playing each other at Marine! In the derby at Marine it was a job to control the crowds at times as the spectators nearly tumbled over onto the playing area! Away from home there were two excellent matches.

BSM 3, with an all 1st Division line-up of Dermot Tierney, Clare Peers and Colin Turner, visited Bootle YMCA facing the Bootle 3 team of Len Dyson, John Moore and Jim Geddes all from Division 4. There may have been a skills gap between the players of the two sides but there was also a massive handicap gap of 152 points which would have to be made up! The visitors set about their task with energy and efficiency, such that by the end of the 6th set they were ahead by 5 points. The seventh set continued in the same vein, resulting in the home side deciding to concede sets eight and nine in favor of an early night! Quality always shines through.

BSM 4 also included a top quality player, in the form of Keith Williams, for their visit to Maghull, where they found they faced 'Maghull Ladies', and a 150 point handicap deficit! And what a match this proved to be. Keith got the visitors off to a flying start, but stumbles by Keith Dudley in sets 3 and 7 meant that by the end of the eight set the visitors were still behind by 31 points with just 42 points left to play for. In the final set Keith had to pull out all of his skill and experience to try and salvage the match. And salvage it he did! With relentless consistency he won the set and did enough to prevent the home No.1, Audrey McGing, scoring the needed 15 points. A breathtaking finish to seal the match by 4 points. 

Below left, Bootle YMCA 3 v BSM 3; The BSM team, Colin Turner, Dermot Tierney and Clare Peers. The Bootle team of  John Moore, Len Dyson & Jim Geddes.
Below right, Maghull 3 v BSM 4. The BSM team, Keith Dudley, Keith Williams and Andrew Armstrong. The Maghull Ladies, Audrey McGing, Denise Chorley & Pat Merry.

 

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The derby!

 

The Wednesday derby match featured BSM 1 and 2, strangely enough with both teams captained by the same person, Keith Hardman! With several regulars not being available for this match, Keith was forced to bring in some players with very limited league match play experience. Hardly surprising therefore that with such diverse teams just 21 points separated them on handicap. But it was the BSM 1 team, who started behind on handicap, that made all of the running, winning 8 out of 9 of the sets. The only relief for the BSM 2 side was a fine win by Ian Brownrigg over Tony Rimmer. The outcome was clear and decisive, a win for the BSM 1 team by 117 points. Dave Aimson proving the outstanding player for the BSM 1 team. A great evening's entertainment for the small group of additional supporters present.

Below the derby between BSM 1 v BSM 2.
The spectators! Lesley Blanchard, Tommy Bell & Billy Dunleavy.
Left: the BSM 1 team of  Bobby Vint, Dave Aimson & Tony Rimmer.
Right: the BSM 2 team of  Ian Brownrigg, Keith Hardman and Bob Wolstenholme.

 

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And finally........

 

The last team due to play was BSM 6, Dave Stoddern, Dave Noden and Freddie Bainbridge. However, at the last minute, their opponents, Sefton Park 3, found that they were unable to field a full side due to illness and were forced to forfeit the match without a point being played.

 

So, the club has 4 teams through to the 2nd Round, a very good start.