News Release - BSMTTC News 133
Dateline: 8 January 2022

A New Year?

 

Happy New Year to all our followers! 

It may be the start of a New Year, but this week actually sees the end of the first half of the 2021/22 Liverpool League table tennis season. Despite the ongoing covid pandemic the Club has been able to play the majority of its matches in the first half of the season, with just 2 matches directly impacted by covid. 

The first half of the season effectively ended with two derby matches at Marine! The first, in division 1, featured our own 1st team who were the visitors playing Anfield 1st, who this season are playing their home matches for the first-time at Marine. So the match was like a derby! Courtesy of photographer Ray Hibbs, you can find a collection of pictures from the match below.

The second derby this week was in division 5, where our 'senior' squad faced the junior team. The senior team have seen a big improvement in their fortunes this season, additions to the squad and improved performances from individual players having made a significant difference. The juniors themselves are on a learning curve and the team for this match included 2 juniors playing their first season of league table tennis. It was a really good match, the juniors showing how much they have improved by coming through as 8:2 winners. It was particularly pleasing to see the juniors finish the evening by winning both doubles sets. Something rarely achieved so far this season. Courtesy of photographer Andrei Ioanitiu, you can find a collection of pictures from the match below.

So, how are our teams doing so far? In division 1, the 1st team currently sit in 4th place only just ahead of their close rivals Jaguar Land Rover. They can't quite match the top three teams but hopefully they will be able to maintain this mid-table position. All 4 members of the squad contributing to some very good team performances so far.

The A & B Teams who are both in division 2 currently sit in 5th and 8th positions respectively. The A Team have benefitted by being able to sign-up former first division player, Barry Davis, who was set to take a season off before Captain Crolley swept in with an offer too tempting to refuse! That additional quality has enabled the team, who didn't really expect to be in division 2 this season, to achieve some very good results in the first half. There seems every likelihood that those excellent performances can continue, ensuring a mid-table position for the team. By contrast the B Team have struggled as a result of injury to regular team member, Dave McMahon, and impacts of A level education for Euan Mason. Nevertheless they are holding their own, and a possible new signing for the new year should enable them to stabilize their situation and take a step forward.

 

This season division 4 is extremely strong, with two outstanding teams at the top. Andy Armstrong's C Team are doing all they can to challenge those leaders and currently sit in third place. With Sam Pierce gradually getting back to his best they have a very strong No.1 and the rest of the team are doing their best to support, but realistically it seems unlikely that they can close the gap. It is quite unusual to see such strong teams at this level.

In division 5 the D & E Teams currently sit in 4th and 8th places respectively. The surprise here is how well the Junior D team has done, with 3 of the regular team members playing their first season of league table tennis. It has to be said though that they have benefitted from 1 or 2 points being gifted to them as a result of opponents having missing players. All the same they have put in some very good performances. The 'senior' E Team has also seen improvement in its fortunes and at last are starting to pick up a few points, despite being affected by health issues through their squad. Pictures from the recent match between the two sides are featured below. Both teams should be able to do enough to maintain mid-table positions.

Let's see what the second half of the season brings! 

   

Above - Liverpool Division 1 league match - Anfield v BSM 1st played at Marine on 3 Jan 2022 (Pictures courtesy of Ray Hibbs Studios)

Below - Liverpool Division 5 league derby - BSM E v BSM D (Junior) played at Marine on Friday 7 Jan 2022 (Pictures courtesy of AI Photographic Services - Andrei Ioanitiu)