News Release - BSMTTC News 163
Dateline: 11 November 2023
The hunt for silverware
Nine of the club's teams have been in action this week in the respective Divisional Cup competitions in the Liverpool & District League. In this week leading up to Remembrance Day, when we traditionally remember those who have served our country, it seems appropriate to also remember those who serve our sport. Here is a brief report on how they have fared.
1st and A Teams (Division 1 - The Readman Cup)
Both Div 1 teams were in action midweek, and both with away ties. The 1st team visited Crosby High, to play against their A team. On this occasion the BSM were able to take a strong side and were also helped when a member of the home side had to retire during the match due to injury. With the BSM team already ahead at this stage it effectively ended the match. A win 1:5 for the 1st team.
The A Team faced a sterner challenge in their visit to Maghull. This proved to be a real cracker of a match. None of the BSM players could match the home No.1, Ritchie Venner, who remains one of the league's top men players. There is some great video footage from this match on the Liverpool League Facebook page. But the BSM boys were also made to work really hard against the other two Maghull players, Liam Shaw and Steve Collins. Steve almost pulling off a surprise taking Lawrence Kenwright all the way to the fifth end. In the end however, it was only Ritchie who picked up points for the home side resulting in an excellent 3:5 win for the visitors.
Above: Clare Peers and Dermot Tierney were joined by Steve Green for the visit to Crosby High. The card shows the outcome.
And below: The BSM A team of Matt Wilson, Colin Turner & Lawrence Kenwright, the Maghull team of Steve Collins, Ritchie Venner & Liam Shaw.
B Team (Division 2 - The Rumjahn Cup)
Team Captain, Barry Davis, fielded his strongest side of himself, Julian Quirk and Colin Mitchell for their home clash with Crosby High C. It was a match of high quality all around, and after the first 4 sets honours were even 2:2, with Julian winning both for the home side, but only after two titanic battles both needing all 5 games to decide the outcome. Somehow, however, after that it was all one way, with the visitors running away with the next 3 sets! Enough to keep Julian and Barry from returning to the table and earning the visitors an excellent 2:5 win.
Above the BSM B team, Barry Davis, Julian Quirk & Colin Mitchell; The Crosby High C team of Sarang Sapre, James Bartolo & Jack Savage; and the match card.
E, F & G Teams (Division 4 - The Forrest Cup)
All three teams in Div 4 were also in action at the end of the week. Unfortunately, two of them faced each other - and will do so again in the league next week! The derby was between the F and E Teams. Both teams had to effectively bring in substitutes to cover injury absences. The F Team have been regularly using Brian Crolley for the injured Mark Benson - it is good to hear that Mark is progressing well toward recovery. And the E Team had to bring in Graham Turner to replace captain Andy Armstrong who is also currently on the injury list. And what a match this proved to be! First up was quite a surprise. The home captain called on his No.1, Marcin Bytnar, against the E Team No.1 Steve Rees. Two players with completely different styles. In the modern game most of the time you would back an attacker against a defender, and this seemed to be the gamble here. Especially when Marcin sailed through the first end with some blistering backhand winners. But Steve is a fighter! He made small changes to his defensive game, enough to sow seeds of doubt in Marcin's mind, and it paid off! Mistakes crept in and Steve was able to take the second and went on to take the next two also for the set. If that was a surprise then two matches involved pure grit and determination. Harry Hobson for the F team, took on Keith Dudley. What a battle! All 5 games were needed and at the end of them just 2 points separated the two players. 4 games went to 11:9 and in the middle of them was a 12:10! How close can you get? And the 2 points difference was in favour of Harry. Then there was the set between Brian Crolley and Dave Aimson! Brian may be well over 80 but he still plays a mean game of table tennis! Again all five games were needed. This time there were 4 at 12:10 and in between one at 13:11! But this time the 2 points fell in favour of the E Team. It was a terrific match, and at the end of it the E Team were ahead 2:5.
The week ended with the juniors of the G Team taking on Maghull D. For the juniors, Kai Morgan was the star taking in some style both of his singles, Henry Sinker added another win as did Ivan Maksym. But none of the BSM players could match the top two players for Maghull, which meant that after 8 singles honours were even. A doubles decider was needed. James Haskell and Ivan Maksym were the chosen pair for the BSM side and it has to be said, they had real chances to take games here. But, in the end the Maghull pair took the first 3 games, all 12:10 to secure the set and the match. An excellent night of table tennis, and a slightly disappointing outcome for the BSM side.
Above the players in the BSM F & E teams: Brian Crolley, Harry Hobson, Peter Crichton & Marcin Bytnar; Keith Dudley, Steve Rees, Dave Aimson & Graham Turner.
Above right, the BSM G team, Ivan Maksym, Henry Sinker, James Haskell & Kai Morgan. And next to them, the Maghull D team, Denise Chorley, Gary Hamilton, Ged Hanley and Naresh Tagore.
H, I & J Teams (Division 5 - The Stamp Cup)
The week started with the 2 junior teams (I & J) in action at the Anfield Sports centre. Two very good matches, but both with the same outcome! The J team faced the visit of Harold House B - who nearly conceded the match when they realised they only had 3 players available! But the 3 players that did come were very decent players, and a little too much for these inexperienced juniors. Nevertheless the juniors put up a real fight, ultimately going down 2:5.
The match between the I team and Maghull F featured no less than 7 junior players, and what a match this was. Some first class table tennis by all of the juniors. The match started well for the home side with both Seb Rice and Will Rice winning their opening encounters, both sets needing all 5 games to decide the outcome, fabulous competitive table tennis from all 4 players. The next pair of sets brought Kai Morgan and Shamal Harave to the tables for the home side. I think it has to be said that Kai was probably the unluckiest player of the night! He faced arguably the best two players for the visitors. His opening set went to 5 after some very strong attacking play from both players with the visitor, Aldrin George, just winning out 10:12 in the fifth. Kai then came straight back to the table for the third pair of matches, this time facing older brother Adwin George. And again what a match, fabulous play from both juniors. But once again it was the visitor who got the decision in the fifth game, this time 7:11. The visitors were now 2:4 up. Neither Will or Shamal could halt their march to victory in the final two sets allowing the Maghull team to claim the victory 2:6. A first class match featuring some very exciting junior table tennis. Great prospects for the future.
Keith Hardman's H Team were also in action midweek, hosting the visit of Cadwa B to Marine. Captain Keith, says he could not praise his players more highly for the way they played in this match. Again some very competitive table tennis. At one stage it looked as if this match may also need a doubles decider when in the eighth set Alan Hale fell behind to Ali Bruce. But somehow he clawed his way back into the match, and having done so went on to take the final game to give his team the 5 points needed for a win and avoiding a doubles decider. The card tells its own story of the night, but particularly good to see Steve McCormick playing well again.
Above left, the H Team, Bobby Vint, Steve McCormick, Alan Hale & Stuart Reid, and on the right the match card.
On the left the BSM J Team, Charlie King, Eddie Thurgood, Ezra Stephan-Whiteford and Dylan Hoare, and on the right the BSM I team, Kai Morgan, Will Rice, Seb Rice and Shamal Harave. Below, left Harold House B, and below right Maghull F.
And in conclusion.......
A week of very good table tennis and keenly contested matches with some real cup drama, and 5 teams through to the next round, the semi-finals.