News Release - BSMTTC News 155
Dateline: 15 April 2023
Happy Birthday Ritchie!
The Bath Street Marine clubhouse was the stage for both semi-finals of the Liverpool & District Table Tennis League, Frank Murphy Veterans Handicap Cup semi-finals, with both matches featuring Bath Street teams. It was also the stage for celebrating the birthday of Maghull's top player, Ritchie Venner. So, would it be a happy birthday......?
Tuesday saw the birthday boy, Ritchie, in action. His team, consisting of himself, his wife Susie and new boy to the Liverpool League, John Dixon, as guests of BSM 6. For this match the BSM team had their top line-up out, Colin Turner (captain), Lawrence Kenwright and Matthew Wilson. This match promised and delivered some top quality table tennis. Courtesy of John, the Maghull team started with a 91 point handicap advantage. A massive advantage when you have a player the quality of Ritchie in your team. Indeed Ritchie proved on the table exactly why he is one of the league's top players. On his birthday he put in a scintillating display of top class table tennis. His 3 division 1 quality opponents put up a tremedous fight, but were no match, allowing Ritchie to add a further 53 points to the handicap advantage. Interestingly all 3 of the BSM players scored similarly against him showing how strong overall the BSM team were and that despite different styles they were all very evenly matched. In the previous week, Susie Venner, who plays in Div 2 of the League, had been the star of the show when her team won the Div 2, Divisional Cup, but this week neither she, nor John, were able to get close to matching the strength of their Div 1 opponents. So, although Ritchie was able to take his 3 singles in some style, the BSM boys were able to take the remaining 6 matches in equal style. Even so, it was not until set 7 that the BSM team finally cleared the handicap deficit. By the end of the eighth set the BSM team were 41 points ahead. Ritchie would have to win the final set 21:0 21:0 for his team to win the match. No way was Lawrence going to allow that! In what was arguably the best set of the evening with some dynamic fast table tennis, Ritchie was able to gain 18points. But it wasn't enough, the BSM team taking the match 296 points to 273. A brilliant win against a very good team. In the end it was the BSM team who enjoyed the birthday celebrations and will now appear in the final in a fortnights time.
Left - the birthday boy, Ritchie Venner, best player of the night. To his right the Maghull 3 team - Ritchie Venner, Susie Venner & John Dixon.
Foloowed by the BSM 6 team of Lawrence Kenwright, Matthew Wilson & Colin Turner.
And the match scorecard - BSM 6 v Maghull 3.
The second Veterans Handicap Cup semi-final was also at Marine. Andy Armstrong's BSM 2 side were the hosts to Cadwa 2, led by the wily fox, Ian Wensley, with his line-up of Div 3 players, himself, Mike Power and Robbie Puddifer. This looked like being a very even contest, the slightly surprising aspect was that the all division 3 side had a small handicap advantage over the BSM side which featured 2 division 4 players! But with just 9 points separating the teams on handicap, everything would depend on who won or lost on the table on the night. Dave Noden started things off well for the home side, winning the opening match and disposing of the handicap difference. But it was a totally different story after that! The next six sets all went the way of the visitors, all were close so with two sets left a miracle was still mathematically possible. But when Dave Noden was only able to peg back 7 points in the penultimate set there was effectively nothing captain Andrew could do in the final set, which proved to be the best of Andrew's sets on the night. However, the fine margin of just 1 point in his favour was nowhere near enough to affect the outcome of the match. A clear win for the visitors, 380 points to 434. Cadwa 2 will therefore join BSM 6 in the final in just over a weeks time. Keep your eyes peeled for details.
Dave Noden - the only successful player for BSM 2 on the night!
The match scorecard - BSM 2 v Cadwa 2
The Cadwa 2 team - Ian Wensley, Robbie Puddifer and Mike Power
The BSM 2 team - Andrew Armstrong, Dave Noden and Keith Dudley
And in conclusion.......
The final of this competition will be in the week commencing 24th April. We will announce the date as soon as it is known. Spectators will be most welcome. Will the club be able to hold onto the trophy.......