News Release - BSMTTC News 154
Dateline: 18 March 2023
It has been a nervy week in the Quarter Final Round of the LDTTL Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup competition. With just 2 teams left in the competition and both facing very tough draws, something special would be needed if the club is to have any representation in the final stages of this year's competition. Would the teams be like Liverpool FC in the Champions League, or like the teams from that other city, not so far down the road? To see how they fared, read on,
A quite different looking BSM 6 team, captained by A Team captain Colin Turner, faced a visit to Crosby High school to take on Crosby High 2, who had already knocked a BSM team out in the previous round. It was good to see Julian Quirk back in action for the club, following injury, in this match and he was joined by the evergreen Freddy Bainbridge and A Team regular Matt Wilson. They faced a real mixed strength Crosby line-up, with division 1 player Gemma Grant, joined by Peter Crichton from division 4 and Tony Bramham of division 5 standard. With the mixed Crosby team having a significant 131 point handicap advantage. Gemma and Julian opened the show, and what a set this proved to be. In the end just 1 point separated the 2 players with Gemma just holding that 1 point advantage. The BSM visitors would need to score heavily against the 2 weaker Crosby players if they were to make inroads into the handicap difference. Freddy started the charge, and Mat & Julian joined in showing the difference in quality between players in division 1 and those in the lower divisions. But even when Matt beat his fellow division 1 opponent Gemma, the BSM team were still behind. And when Freddy slipped up by dropping one game to Peter Crichton the BSM boys still had a mountain to climb. Matt Wilson is though a great mountaineer and dragged the team to the peak single handed, only to see the team slip back when Gemma overcame Freddy. So, going into the last set of the night the BSM team were still behind, but now by just 7 points. Could Peter pull off another shock in the final set? Short answer, no! Julian gave no chances taking a comprehensive win and securing the match for the visiting BSM team. One place in the semi-final secured.
To the left the scorecard for the Crosby High 2 v BSM 6 Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup match.
And above, the two teams:
BSM 6 - Julian Quirk, Freddy Bainbridge & Matt Wilson.
Crosby High 2 - Peter Crichton, Gemma Grant & Tony Bramham.
For the third time this season, in this competition, Merseyside Police 1 were visitors to Marine. And having won against good sides on their previous two visits hopes of a hat-trick must have been high, especially when you have a division 1 quality player, like Paul Gittins, in your line-up. Just 20 points separated the teams on handicap, a very fair reflection of the players of each side. The minus handicap of Paul giving the small advantage to the BSM side. And it was Paul who started off for the visitors completely removing the BSM handicap advantage in the first set! Things didn't look good for the home side! But strange things happen in cup matches. A fighting display by Keith Dudley overturned the two players respective rankings restoring the BSM lead! What's more they never looked back, with the Police No.2 & No.3 both failing to impress the scorers despite some very close sets. And so, it cam to the final set of the night with the BSM team 32 points ahead. But with Paul still to play in the final set there remained a chance to score the hat-trick. Indeed, Paul pulled out all the stops to try and squeeze as many points as possible out of the final set, but Andy Armstrong stood firm, working for every possible point. Paul won the set, as expected, but it was not quite enough! In the end, the Police had only taken 11 points off of the BSM handicap advantage leaving them 9 points adrift! A brilliant win for the BSM boys of Andy Armstrong, Dave Noden and Keith Dudley. There are some great pictures from this match on the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League Facebook page - well worth a look!
Above the scorecard for the BSM 2 v Merseyside Police 1 Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup match.
And to the left the two teams:
BSM 2 - Keith Dudley, Dave Noden and Andrew Armstrong
Merseyside Police 1 - Tom Purcell, Paul Gittins and Lawrence Cain,
And in conclusion.......
So, an excellent cup week and two teams through to the semi-final! Those matches are going to be even tougher!