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News Release - BSMTTC News 151
Dateline: 21 January 2023

Fifty fifty!


Another week of great table tennis involving 4 of the clubs teams. This week has been the Round of 16 in the LDTTL Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup competition, with 4 of the club's teams involved. This team competitions brings together players of all standards, with the handicaps intended to be the 'leveller' giving players of all levels a real chance of success. But handicaps or not, very seldom is there any substitute for quality, and this was proved again this week in the club's matches.




First up was a home encounter for Alan Hale's BSM 3 team. Alan was joined by Rafal Glowacki and Bob Wolstenholme. They faced Merseyside Police 1 whose team included Paul Gittins, Tom Purcell and Lawrence Cain, all players from a much higher level, and who had already overcome one BSM team in the previous round! The hope was that the handicap advantage of 175 points might be enough to give Alan's boys a fighting chance against such quality opposition. The scorecard below tells the story. The quality of the opponents meant there was every likelihood that they would win the games, so this match was all about trying to limit the damage. When Rafal pulled off an outstanding win in set 7 the home team still had a real chance of beating the odds, and they were still ahead as the match went into the last set. But the quality continued to shine through as Paul Gittins calmly dispatched Bob in the last set and finished off the clearance of the handicap deficit. A really good match, but in the end it was the quality of the higher ranked players that shone through, giving the Police side a  narrow victory. 

230117_VetsCup_BSM 3-WA0000A.jpg
230117_VetsCup_BSM 3 v Merseyside Police 1-WA0001.jpg

Above the players of the BSM 3 v Merseyside Police 1 teams, from the left - Lawrence Cain (MP), Paul Gittins (MP), Bob Wolstenholme, Rafal Glowacki, Tom Purcell (MP) and Alan Hale. And on the right, the match score card.   

Tuesday away


On the same night the BSM 6 team visited Sefton Park for their match against Sefton Park 1. It was great to see Matthew Wilson making a return appearance for the club in this match. This was Matt's first Liverpool match this season, having been out of action for a little while as a result of injury. And what an impact he had, joining forces with Lawrence Kenwright and Fred Bainbridge in a slightly changed set up for the BSM team. With the BSM team including two current division 1 players the question was again whether quality could overcome handicap advantage? In this match however, the handicap advantage for the Sefton Park team was just 79 points, suggesting there wasn't too much difference in quality between the two teams. The truth was however, that the BSM team won 17 out of 18 of the games played and Lawrence and Matt showed that they had just too much quality, especially when backed up with some good solid play from the evergreen Freddie. The visitors from BSM took just 6 sets to clear the handicap deficit and didn't look back, going on to complete the victory with room to spare. The score card tells its own story, and along side the players of the BSM team.   

230117_VetsCup_BSM 6 v Sefton Park 1.JPG
230117_VetsCup_BSM 6.jpg


The midweek match was at Marine, with the BSM 4 team of Colin Mitchell, Steve Rees and Mark Benson hosting visitors from Crosby High, Sylvia Graham, Gemma Grant and Tony Bramham. With both teams having a quite mixed standard line-up this looked to be a potentially very interesting encounter and just 7 points separated the teams on handicap at the start. But to make this work to their advantage the BSM players would have to match their higher ranked lady opponents. All three of the BSM players put in a real effort. Mark got the nearest matching Sylvia all the way, and dropping just 10 points overall. Coming straight back off of the ski slopes probably didn't help Colin, and neither could Steve quite match the ladies. It was probably the points dropped against the Crosby High No.3 which did the most damage to the home team's chances so that by the end the visitors were ahead by 33 points. Once again it seems that quality won out. 

230118_VetsCup_BSM 4-WA0001A.jpg
230118_VetsCup_BSM 2 v Crosby High 2-WA0002.jpg

Above the BSM 4 team of Colin Michell, Mark Benson and Steve Rees, with Gemma Grant & Tony Bramham of Crosby High 2. And on the right the match scorecard.  


The cup week should have ended with Andy Armstrong's BSM 2 team facing Arriva 1. But in the end the bus boys couldn't raise a team and so had to concede the match without a point being played. No-one wants to win that way, but with cup matches having to be completed in the scheduled week there was just no alternative!

And in conclusion.......

So, overall it was fifty fifty for the club's teams, two through to the last 8. Watch this space for the next round!

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