New Season is Upon us
Southport & District Table Tennis League sponsored by Merseyrail
Table tennis gets underway this week, with again the big question, can anyone stop Crosby TTC’s domination. After quite a battle Crosby B took the title from their A team, and have now earned bragging rights to become once again Crosby’s A team, so can number one Jack Dempsey, lead them to retain their title. Waddington D who gained promotion from the 2nd Division, will also be known as the C team, making up a trio of Waddington teams in the top flight, can any of them match Waddington A’s great performance last season of third place. A straight swap has also happened with Argyle B and C teams, with the B team relegated, then their promoted C team led by Angus Taylor will assume the B team’s title. A little confusing at first, but it will all become clearer. Crosby C, the other relegated team will also take their place in Division 2 as Crosby D, leaving what looks like a very strong threesome of Crosby A,B and C. One piece of negative news is that Holy Trinity B have withdrawn from the league, leaving ten teams to battle it out.
Division 2 welcome two promoted teams, Division 3 winners Waddington E and Dennis Morley’s North Meols, replacing Southport C and Crosby F who start life in the third. Apart from the runaway winners, last season’s campaign was an intriguing battle, and by the looks of things this season too could be the same, making picking a winner a very tough call. However, that equation was made a little simpler after the late withdrawal of Waterloo A, a tough decision here, after doing so well these past two seasons. So it’s also ten teams in the second.
News from Division 3 comes with mixed blessings as well, sadly both Southport and Waterloo (third place last season) have had to withdraw, but on the plus side Argyle have added to their numbers making it four teams for them in the third, making it a ten team division here too. Apart from the instant rivalry created at Argyle, this league too could be anyone’s, Para’s will be as strong as ever led by Ian Littlewood, so they will have to be watched.
We also hope to welcome back a few familiar faces from recent and more distant times … Barry Crook, Ula Kucsek and Nick Miller for Argyle, Lyn Riding for Para’s, Ian Lunt, Andy Armstrong and Mike Delahunty for Waddington, will I’m sure all help make this coming season every much as compelling as the last. Good luck to all. As always all fixtures/Results/Tables and News can found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 1 Southport & District TTL
With defending champions Crosby A without a match, we head to Waddington, to see how runners up Crosby B fair against last season’s surprise package Waddington A. Good start for the visitors, with captain Joe Mullin winning in four against Darren Taylor, before Sam Pierce made it 0-2, in three straight verses Colin Fyles. Could home captain Gordon Wood, get his team back on track, Josiah Nix stood in his way. Gordon soon got that reliable defence working, stifling Josiah’s spinney top spin attack, giving him a 2-0 lead, 11-6,11-8. Better from Josiah in the third pulling one back 6-11, but that recovery didn’t last, 11-8 to Gordon in the fourth, and its 1-2. Matthew Wilson to face Joe Mullin next, the two number ones, and with his Single’s Final loss to Joe from last February still fresh in the mind, Matthew had a score to settle? Straight forward as you like for Joe in the first, taking it 5-11, much closer in the second, 11-9 to Matthew and again by the same score in the third, he’s turned it around. Some great attacking play from both players, although both were making errors, that could be said to be early season jitters. Nevertheless back came Joe to tie things up 10-12, but this night was to be Matthews 11-8 in the fifth and more important Waddington were level at 2-2. Two wins from Stefan Schober Thomson over Darren and Gordon, either side of an epic five game win for Josiah against Colin, put the visitors in a strong position at 2-5 ahead. Matthew up next to stem the tide for the home side, facing Sam in what turned out to be another classic encounter. Intriguing tussle, first one way then the next, 7-11,11-6,5-11,11-4 and we were in the fifth, who would triumph. Couldn’t have been closer, Matthew completing a great night for himself, 11-9 just, and his team were still in the match, it’s 3-5. Both Matthew and Sam stayed at the table to be joined by their doubles partners Darren and Joe, and the visitors combination came out on top in four games to secure a hard fought win. Stefan and Josiah then added the icing to the cake with another win in four over Colin and Gordon, super nights table tennis throughout. Final score 3-7 Crosby B. Elsewhere in Division 1, Crosby C started well with a convincing win at Argyle A, and promoted Argyle B too, got off to a flyer winning 7-3 at home to Southport A. Waddington C the other promoted team were not as fortunate losing out 2-8 to Holy Trinity A.
A great match between Southport B and promoted Waddington E was the highlight in Division 2, indeed after leading 1-4, the visitors maybe should have won the match, but a great comeback by the home side resulted in a win a piece for Jonny and Jeff Cummins, Tom Taylor and Nigel Pilkington against a double win for Dave Mullan and single wins for Dave Williams and Gordon Imrie. In fact Southport could well have nicked the win but for a great comeback by Waddington’s two Daves in the final doubles, all square in the end at 5-5. North Meols had a tough baptism away at Holy Trinity C, being understrength didn’t help but Les Rimmer and George Bradley together mustered three valuable points.
In Division 3, both Para’s and Argyle G started off their campaigns with good wins over Southport D and C respectively, as did Argyle E winning 8-2 against Crosby F. In the other two match’s Crosby H and Argyle F finished all square, whilst Crosby G won well against newcomers Argyle H.
Overall an interesting first week, not too many questions answered as yet, and to be fair quite a few teams were not at full strength, so for all Fixtures/Results/Tables/Averages and News go to www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Lancashire Table Tennis Association Junior (U/18) & Cadet (U/15) Trials
September 10th – 11th 2016 - Garstang
The Southport and District Table Tennis League (SDTTL) were well represented in the Lancashire Junior Trials held recently in Garstang. Day 1 saw the trials for U/18 boys and girls with 7 boys and 2 girls entered from the Southport league. They played against the best players in Lancashire and Cumbria with the objective of being selected to represent Lancashire in the County Championships.
With a couple of players pre-selected due their high national rankings and 2 Junior Teams competing for Lancashire there would up to 6 places for boys and 5 for the girls to fight for – the players play in a series of round robin matches which results in a county ranking from 1 to 30!
The performance of the weekend was undoubtedly 15-year-old Yameen Al-Dahiri who remained unbeaten in the junior boys event including victories against the top 2 seeds. He finished as the top ranked player from the weekend and can expect to hear of his formal selection shortly. He should be joined by training partners and team mates Rhys Davies and Stefan Schober-Thomson who finished 5th and 6th respectively.
In the girls event 13-year-old Daisy Boulton battled into the final available place (5th) against much older opposition before returning the next day to take part in the Cadet (U/15) event. With only 1 team representing Lancashire in this age group, the battle for selection would be even more difficult with a much larger number of entrants. The boys would need to finish in the top 4 and the girls in the top 3 in order to gain selection.
This time 6 boys and 3 girls represented the league with Daisy repeating her success of the day before claiming the 3rd available place after a series of very close matches. She will be joined in the team by 11-year-old Rhys Davies who lived up to his billing as top seed winning all his matches and dropping only 1 set in the process.
Al the players gave a good account of themselves and Max Davies and Rashad Al-Dahiri (the brothers of each of the day’s winners) each came within a win of making the team themselves. This is the league’s best ever result at the trials!
WEEK 2 Southport & District TTL
After last week’s home loss to Crosby B, Waddington A picked themselves up and handed out a maximum defeat to their C side, where only Dave Noden and Joe Brolly came close to getting points on the board. Champions Crosby A handed out Southport A the same treatment, sending out a clear signal of intent to retaining their 1st Division title. An understrength Argyle A ran into more trouble against Crosby B, resulting in a second loss for them, although in the circumstance, three valuable points earned. To round things off in the top flight, we head off Crosby C where they entertained Argyle B. Both sides started the season last week with good wins and it was the home side who started where they left off. With both the doubles being called on first, Rhys Davies and Josh Parker overcame Angus Taylor and Nick Wilson in three straight, whilst on the other table Francois Rafferty and Peter Ashley did likewise to Monica Coogan and Derek Mahen, it’s 2-0 Crosby. Argyle’s number 3 Nick then had to face Josh again, and soon found out he was up against it once more, first two games to the home player 11-3,11-5. Good reply by Nick in the third taking it 6-11, but back came Josh to clinch it in the fourth 11-7 and Crosby stretch their lead to 3-0. Monica next to face young Rhys, and what a task lay ahead! Super display from Rhys, quality topspin attack accompanied by lightning speed, Monica played her part in an intriguing contest, but the Crosby player took it in three straight to make it 4-0. Francois then made it 5-0 for his side with a win over Derek, and the match was secured fittingly by Rhys, after another wonderful show against the visitors number one Angus Taylor, who to be fair also played a great game, but Crosby now lead 6-0. No let up by the home side, as Monica and Francois were up next to play a game of cat and mouse, or hit and retrieve, whatever the description it was very entertaining. Never seen a player(Francois) retrieve so far away from the table, great attack too from Monica in amongst that solid defence, but victory was Francois's, 7-0 Crosby. Could Argyle salvage something , well Nick Wilson certainly looked like he could as he edged the first two games against Peter Ashley, 9-11,10-12, and that look turned into reality as he won the third 8-11, making it 7-1. Peter quickly then made amends winning in four games verses Derek, reinforcing a convincing win, Crosby lead 8-1. Last word though went to Argyle, and Angus Taylor, a classic encounter decided in the fifth, 12-10,9-11,7-11, 11-6,8-11, where that score line tells all. Solid defence coming out on top over topspin attack, fabulous tussle to end a table tennis treat, great match, final score 8-2 Crosby C. That win puts them firmly on top, but with a ‘derby’ match against their B team next week and Crosby A in waiting, then that could all change.
Argyle D are the early leaders of Division 2, after a good win away to North Meols, it could have been better but both George Bradley and Colin Avery for the home side had other ideas. Waddington E continued their decent start with an excellent win over Holy Trinity C. Double success for Dave Mullan along with a single win apiece from Irene Mullan and Joe Brolly were important, but taking both doubles decided the outcome. Waddington D started their campaign off with a comprehensive win at Holy Trinity D. Another close affair was fought out at Argyle C where the home side edged out Crosby D, only two contests went to five games, both of which went the way of the home side, I repeat, so close.
In Division 3, Argyle G and Para’s have already opened up a five point lead ahead of Crosby G, who have 14pts in third. Southport C got that winning feeling back, overcoming Crosby F 7-3, where Carol Robertshaw marked her return with a fine double for the Crosby outfit, Selwyn Goldthorpe also chipped in with a single win.
All Fixtures/Results/Tables/Averages and News can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 3 Southport & District TTL
In Division 1, there was a bit of a surprise at the all Crosby clash between there C and B teams. It didn’t help the B teams cause that due to a date mix up they had to play the match a player short, and with that coupled with the great form of Rhys Davies for the C team, then the result in truth would still turn a few heads. Another super double win for Rhys, and a single success for Peter Ashley was enough to secure the win that keeps them top of the league with 23pts, five ahead of the B team in second. Crosby A have yet to field their strongest four, but still had too much for Argyle B suffering their second loss at Crosby in four days. Crosby A are third on 17pts, with a game in hand. Argyle A recorded their first win against Waddington C, whilst Waddington B got their campaign off with a very close win over Southport A, Phil Robinson for Southport and Waddington’s Martyn Coleman with two wins each being the pick of the bunch.
We start our Division 2 roundup, with a visit to The Amelan Hall, Southport B verses Holy Trinity D. Even start in this one as the visitors Dave Bradley overcame Southport’s Nigel Pilkington in in four games, before Phil O’Mullane squared things up again in four games against Holy Trinity’s captain Ron Makin, it’s 1-1. Graham Chellew up next to face Holy Trinity’s number one John Moore, and with Graham’s top spin attack against John counter block attack, this was set to be interesting! First blood to John, 6-11, quick reply from Graham 11-7, into the third and with Graham leading in the later stages by six points surely Graham must edge back in front, no, it’s level at 10-10, John slowly picking away at that lead and it continued as he edged the third 12-14. Similar story in the fourth, Graham has another comfortable lead, but manages this time to see it out, 11-9, and that form was maintained in the fifth,11-6 and Southport lead 2-1. Dave soon got it tied up at 2-2, winning in three verses home captain Jeff Cummins, and the match was taking on a familiar pattern, confirmed as the next two encounters were shared, Phil winning in three straight against Richard Woodley, and Ron getting the better of Nigel in the same manner, it’s 3-3. Graham restored Southport’s lead in a closer than it looks score line, 12-10,11-8,11-7 against Richard, before an epic battle between John and Jeff, which had you guessing throughout. Jeff’s plan was to attack at every opportunity, John’s was to return it with interest. First one way, then the other, super game to watch, first two games shared 8-11,11-8, John took the third comfortably 2-11, back came Jeff to win the fourth, just 11-9. Into the fifth and the seesaw ended on John’s side, 6-11 and not surprisingly we are level again at 4-4. Just the doubles to go, and bets were off for the way the match would finish. Home pairing Jeff and Nigel face John and Richard, and the Southport pair did their bit winning in four to edge them in front. Likewise Holy Trinity’s duo of Dave and Ron, exacted the same outcome over Graham and Phil, again winning in four games. Final score 5-5, great match of table tennis, with probably the right result, which was never in never in doubt! A 7-3 home win for early leaders Argyle D over Waddington E kept them in pole position on 24pts, Waddington E move up to second place on 14pts ahead of a group of four teams who all have a game in hand of the top two, this including Argyle C and Southport B, who along with the leaders are the only sides to remain unbeaten.
Argyle G lead the way in Division 1, after a maximum win against Crosby F, on 29pts they now have a 6pt advantage over Para’s who surprisingly suffered a setback at the hands of Argyle F who had Ben Aitken in their ranks, winning two. Lewis Hible also pitched in with a super win over Ian Littlewood, but young Patrick Devlin’s performance was the highlight of the win, a fabulous full house for him (two singles and a doubles), securing his teams win, and a name to look out for. Crosby G who are now third on 20pts won a close ‘derby’ encounter with their H team, two wins apiece for Chris Moustaka (G team) and Felix Anderson (H team), being the key contributors. Argyle’s lead will come under the microscope in the next few weeks, as they face both their nearest rivals! Argyle E look well placed in fourth on 15pt, having played a match less, and also being unbeaten, alongside their G team and Crosby G. All details of Fixtures/Results/Tables/Averages and News can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southort
WEEK 4 Southport & District TTL
At the top of Division 1, Crosby A showed their credentials and a strong team in winning well over their C team. Two wins a piece for Jack Dempsey and returning captain Sylvia Graham, along with single wins for Yameen Al Dahiri and Liam Shaw, against wins for Rhys and Mark Davies for the C team, resulted in a final 8-2 score line. Mixed success for the Waddington club, a great win for their B team away to Argyle B, where double wins for both Roger Neal and Dave Britton contributed well to the 2-8 victory. On the other side of the coin Waddington C went down 3-7 at home to Crosby B, where even the inclusion of Dave Mullan at number one couldn’t stem the tide completely. After those results we have a three way tie at the top, Crosby A,B and C all on 25pts, although the A team hold the upper hand having played a match less.
Argyle D on 24pt, still lead Division 2 even though they had a free week. Their lead was cut somewhat by Waddington E (23pts) and Argyle C (21pts) who had convincing wins over North Meols and Southport B respectively. Argyle’s win was certainly helped by the welcome return of Ula Kuszek. Crosby D won a close ‘mini derby’ against their E team, it finished 6-4, where the outcome was probably decided on a terrific five game battle of the number ones, Sarang Sapre overcoming Rashad Al Dahiri. In the all Holy Trinity encounter, Holy Trinity C came well out on top with a 2-8 win over their D team, putting them up to fourth position with 19pts.
We take a trip to the Spinal Unit at Southport Hospital for our feature match, the 3rd Division clash between Para’s and Crosby H. Never an easy place to go, especially if it’s your first competitive match, that’s what faced Crosby’s Harry Griffiths, and although he didn’t get much change out of Kostya Sinitsa, enough promise was shown, however Para’s take an early lead. Another daunting task lay in wait for the visitor’s young captain Felix Anderson, his opposing captain Ian Littlewood. Surprisingly Felix took the first 6-11, before Ian levelled winning the second comfortably 11-3, turnaround time? None of it, Felix with some fine set up and attacking play edged the third 8-11, but again Ian rallied to level it again 11-6. What a superb battle this was becoming, and the best was left till last, a tense ever so close seesaw game finishing with a decisive smash from Felix, 9-11 and Crosby are level, it’s 1-1. Mark Wilson then restored his sides lead winning in three straight over Sunil Sapre. Crosby’s Jack Taylor with an excellent effort against Matt Spofforth’s spinny game tied things up again at 2-2. Enter Felix, this time facing Kostya, another epic, surely not? Felix narrowly won the first 9-11, Kostya returned the favour 12-10 in the second, and he won the third 11-8 to edge in front. Back came captain Felix, and in some style, taking the fourth 5-11, and capping a fabulous night for him, clinched the fifth 8-11, and his side lead 2-3. Matt overcame the ever improving Harry 14-12,11-7, 11-4, to make the score 3-3. Great performance from Crosby so far, but could it last? Well experience finally had the last say, wins for Ian and Mark against Sunil and Jack , put the Para’s in control at 5-3, and with only the doubles left, a home victory looked more than likely. Which was exactly how it turned out, firstly Ian and Kostya secured the win, beating Sunil and Harry in three straight, which was followed by Mark and Matt’s similar winning margin over Felix and Jack, giving a final score of 7-3 Para’s. Superb match, highlighted by Felix Anderson’s wonderful double. Leaders Argyle G without number one Krzystof Gorny just about had enough to hold off Crosby G, two wins a piece for Jacek Dzimera and Ilona Kuznik, as well as teaming up for a doubles win were key factors in the win, whilst Crosby’s Nick Moustaka with an excellent double win and his brother Chris’s single win, almost claimed parity. That victory leaves Argyle G still ahead on 35pts, Para’s are second on 30pts with Crosby G third on 24pts. Argyle E remain unbeaten after a good win over their H team, and are well placed in fourth with 23pts, having played a match less. Southport D came out on top against their C team, a fine double from the D team’s Mal Collier, being the standout performance in this one. Next week is Cup Week, with the first round of the Anon Cup, so how will the lower clubs fair against their illustrious opponents. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
CUP WEEK 1
Southport & District TTL Anon Cup 1st Round
There were no shocks or surprises in the First Round of this seasons Anon Cup, and with all those first division teams ‘seeded’ so as not to meet each other, it was to be fair the expected outcome. But would the same picture confront me at our ‘feature match’ where First Division Waddington C hosted Crosby E from the Second. Fingers were crossed for the unexpected, but quickly began to uncross at the news that Crosby would be without their number 1, Rashad Al Dahiri, Sunil Sapre was back in the spotlight coming in at number four. Up first, home number one and Captain Ray Hibbs to face his opposite number Max Davies. Decent start for Crosby’s young captain, keeping in touch until the latter stages of the first game, when the experience told, 11-7 Ray. Repeat performance and score line in the second, and again in the third, 11-7, 11-8, Waddington lead 1-0. Sunil came out all guns blazing and took the first 7-11 against Brian Haslam, who then calmly eased to take the second 11-6. Close third game with a mixture of the previous two, Brian edged it 11-9. Sunil battled away but was always playing catch up, eventually losing out 11-7 in the fourth, it’s 2-0. Change needed, maybe the doubles could be the answer, Crosby’s Max and Dylan Walsh verses Dave Noden and Nick Foss. Super encounter this, with some well drilled doubles play from both sides of the net, close to! 11-8,12-10, both to Waddington, but no doubt in the third, another gear found by the home pair, 11-3, making it 3-0 for the first division outfit. Crosby’s Tony Bramham up next to try and stem the flow, good start taking the first 6-11 against Nick, but back came Nick in some style, 11-7,11-4,11-8, putting his team four up. Dylan then gave a very impressive display against Brian, even when two games down, he rallied to pull one back 9-11, before losing out in the fourth 11-3. It was all over soon after that, Dave Noden had too much for Max, winning in three straight, 11-4,11-5,11-7, giving us a final score of 6-0 Waddington C, and a thoroughly entertaining evening. They progress to round two, and whilst Crosby E get a second chance going into the hat for the first round of the Plate competition, which runs parallel to the main event.
Elsewhere in the round, there were a couple of close contests, the all Third Division clash between Argyle F and Southport C produced a grandstand finish, where after the singles, the score stood at 3-5 to Southport. Two wins from Lewis Hible and a single for Pat Devlin had kept the home sides hopes alive, and when they then paired up to win their doubles, there was still a glimmer of hope, until the visitors second pairing of Paul Harrison and Dai Davies snuffed that out winning in three straight, making it a full house (winning two singles and a doubles) for both of them. Final score 4-6 Southport.
In the all Second Division match visitors Waddington D, were getting ready for an early finish, leading Holy Trinity D, 0-3 and then 1-5, the end seemed nigh. That is until John Moore won an intriguing four game tussle against Chris Foley, making it two wins for him on the night. Home captain Ron Makin then pulled another point back, overcoming Waddington’s captain Frank Proffitt in an epic encounter decided in the fifth, that’s 3-5. Alas the comeback was over, having taken the first game of the first doubles, it seemed it was still on, but Holy Trinity’s pairing of Ian Lunt and Chris Foley took charge of the situation to take the next three games and clinch the tie, super finish,3-6 Waddington.
Finally, a family affair took centre stage at the Argyle C verses Waddington B tie, and although the First division team progressed, it wasn’t before Argyle’s young Nick Wilson just got the better of his Dad Ged in an enthralling contest decided in the fifth, brilliant effort young man.
Back to league action next week, you can find all information at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Table Tennis England County Championships – Lancashire U/18
October 8th – 9th 2016 – Wellingborough / Widnes
Lancashire had 2 teams competing in the County Championships with the 1st team in the Premier Division competing in Wellingborough and the 2nd team competing in division 2 in Widnes. Teams are made up of 3 boys and 2 girls who between play 10 matches against the opposing counties.
The Southport League provided 4 players (all from Crosby TTC) to the 2 teams with another unavailable on the day. Yameen Al-Dahiri was in the 1st team who played the 7 seven strongest counties in the country. The team’s objective was to avoid relegation which they did with wins over Devonshire and Hampshire and Yameen himself getting a notable win against a much higher ranked opponent.
Unlike the premier division the 2nd division is spread over 2 separate weekends which meant that the team played just 3 matches. Unfortunately, the team was severely hampered when one of the girls broke her arm the night before and one of the boys was unavailable for the first match. The 3 remaining players battled hard and only lost 6-4 after having to concede 4 points. There were good wins for two Southport Players – Rhys Davies and Stefan Schober-Thomson.
A last minute call to Joshua Parker meant that all 3 boys were from the Southport League and they duly won their next match against Cheshire’s 2nd team with all 3 winning 2 matches each as Lancashire ran out 8-2 winners. The final match against a very strong Derbyshire team ended in an 8-2 defeat having lost a couple of the matches by the narrowest possible margin. All the players ended up with a win average of at least 50% and had it not been for injury and withdrawal, Lancashire may still have been in with a chance of promotion with 4 fixtures still to come in March.
WEEK 5 Southport & District TTL
There was little change at the top of Division 1, Crosby A (34pts) consolidating their position with a fine win at Waddington B. As Crosby B (25pts) were without a match, Crosby C (32pts) took over second berth after a good home win against Waddington C, although victory could well have been greater, if they had fared better in the doubles which were both won by the visitors. Even at this early stage, the three Crosby teams seem to be dictating things, can anyone make an impression and break up their monopoly, the coming weeks will hold the answer.
Leaders of Division 2, Argyle D, had a big boost with the return of Nick Miller, whose season was delayed by injury. However, opponents Holy Trinity D didn’t let the leaders have it all their own way, in particular Keith Dudley with two wins, provided some stubborn resistance. Argyle C in second place made the trip to third placed Holy Trinity C and at the half way stage led 1-4, but back came the home side to square things up by the end. Five all it finished with victory in both doubles being the key to the outcome. Argyle D lead on 31pts, Argyle C stay second on 26pts with Holy Trinity third on 24pts.
In Division 3, we head off to The Amelan Hall to drop in on Southport C verses newcomers Argyle H. First up are the two number ones, and what a contrast we have on show. For the visitor’s teenager Patrick Devlin, was playing only his fifth competitive match in his first full season, whilst his opponent Southport’s captain Bill Bradley, was playing in his countless match (approaching 1400) in his sixty third season for the same club. Now, after that great build up, would the contest deliver? It certainly did was the answer, five ding dong games, 11-7,9-11,11-5,11-4, Bill finishing things off edging the fifth 11-9, wonderful contest. Paul Harrison then made the score 2-0 for Southport, winning in three straight over Mo Mohammadi. Andy Bush then increased his sides lead further in similar fashion, Connor Peake not getting to grips with Andy’s spinney game. It was soon 4-0, after Stuart Gibson’s win over Kasraa Mohammadi another young player in his first season. Kasraa stayed on to suffer the same fate as Connor, against Andy, his spin again causing to many problems. With the match virtually safe at 5-0, could Mo, salvage something for Argyle when he faced Stuart, taking the first game 7-11, helped the cause, sneaking the second 9-11, meant the chance was his, and finally winning the third 7-11, made it 5-1, they were on the board. Bill and Pat renewed their rivalry in the first double’s encounter, being joined by Stuart and Mo respectively. Another epic battle for Bill to endure! Taking the first 11-7, eased his worries, but the Argyle pair stormed back to take the next two games 1-11,8-11. Bill had seen everything before, and with a steady hand when it was needed, the home pair gradually got their game together winning the next two, 11-8,11-7, at the same time securing the match, it’s 6-1. Second doubles pairing Paul and Andy made it 7-1 with victory over Connor and Kasraa, and when Paul finished off a difficult tussle against Pat in four games, it was left to Bill to complete a good night for him overcoming Connor in four tough games, 13-11,11-7,11-13,11-5, he certainly gets his monies worth doesn’t he. Final score 9-1, a good result for Southport, and a lot of promise showed by Argyle, a great night’s work from both sides.
With leaders Argyle G without a game, Para’s missed the chance to takeover at the top, a 3-7 loss to third placed Crosby G meaning that they stay second on 33pts, two points behind the leaders and two points ahead of Crosby G. They were without number one Ian Littlewood, but a great all round performance led by captain Elliott Cooper ensured the Crosby outfit kept in touch with the leaders. Argyle F came out well on top in the mini derby against their E team, moving them up to fifth just behind their E team.
All Fixtures/Results/Tables and News can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 6 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A (41pts) stayed out in front after a good home win against Holy Trinity A, Jack Dempsey and Matty Laird both unbeaten on the night being the main contributors to Trinity’s downfall. Crosby C were taken a little by surprise it seems when they visited Waddington B. Only Josh Parker got to grips with the home side, winning both his singles, whilst a double win for Martyn Coleman and victory in both doubles were decisive in the narrow home success. Crosby C stay in second place on 36pts as Crosby B (25pts) had another free week, but now have the advantage of a couple of matches in hand. Argyle A still find themselves in the lower reaches, even after a close win at Southport A. Better times must surely follow, with both Barry Crook and Chris Parkes making welcome returns, both recording double wins. Argyle B fought back from 1-4 down to share the spoils with Waddington A.
Top of Division 2, is our starting point, with the all Argyle clash between second and first placed C and D teams. First up, the two number ones, Nick Wilson for the C team verses Nick Miller, with an interesting fact, that Nick Miller won the Town Championships back in 1996, five years before young Nick was born, proving again Table Tennis brings all ages together. Great match to get us underway, with both players producing some sublime attack and counter play throughout. Three close games, 8-11,9-11,9-11, all to the D team player, they lead 0-1. Mike Parker then squared things up with a disciplined win over D team captain Les Lord. Next in the fray, C team captain Jules Dutch with a more than tricky test against Les Dodd. Restraint seemed the name of the game for Jules, limited hitting accompanied by dogged defence, served him well, taking the first,11-8, then the second just 13-11, and the third to 11-7, test passed and the C team lead 2-1. That lead was extended after the best encounter of the night, Ula Kuczek stormed off to a two game lead 11-8,13-11, before Adam Ziaber fought his way back to take it to a decider 9-11,6-11. Same intensity again in the fifth, but the win was Ula’s, making it 3-1. Les Dodd found some form against young Nick, indeed he had to, having taken the first comfortably 2-11, Nick took the second 11-7, but the recovery didn’t last, Les took the next two 7-11,8-11. Same scenario in the next contest, Nick Miller getting the better of Ula in four games, and it’s all tied up at 3-3. Turning point for the leaders? Well, nobody told the C team, as second wins for both Mike Parker and Jules Dutch over Adam and Les Lord respectively, put them firmly back in the driving seat at 5-3, so the doubles will settle this match. Second doubles called first, Jules and Mike to face the D teams Nick and Les Lord. Cagey affair, all the way apart from when Nick intervened with his top spin attack, which gave them the edge winning it 9-11,6-11,9-11, it’s now 5-4. Nick and Ula to complete proceedings against Les Dodd and Adam. Very tense finish, first blood to the C team pair 11-8, good reply from the leaders 9-11. Even closer in the third, 12-10 C team, have the D team pair got anything left. Simple answer was no, 11-7 to the Nick and Ula, and the match, final score 6-4 Argyle C. Super nights entertainment, from two very good sides, who look like they will be there or thereabouts in the promotion chase.
A top of the league battle also leads the Division 3 news, second placed Para’s taking on leaders Argyle G. With Para’s back to full strength, the match looked to be evenly set at 3-3, but two wins again for Argyle number one Krzysztof Gorny and second win on the night for debutant Adrian Hyland, help secure a valuable win. Argyle G (42pts) now lead Para’s by six points. Argyle E’s convincing win at Crosby H, meant that they leapfrogged Crosby G (31pts) who were without a match, into third place on 33 points. Argyle H and Crosby F battled out an entertaining draw earning both sides valuable points.
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WEEK 7 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A (47pts) stayed out in front at the top of Division 1, after a narrow win at Waddington A. Rivals Crosby B without captain Joe Mullin still managed to pull back two points on the leaders, winning well over Southport A, but stay in third place on 33pts still with a match in hand, just behind Crosby C on 36pts. Argyle A ran out comfortable winners in their ‘derby’ match against their B team, lifting them from 9th to 4th in one fell swoop. Holy Trinity A were also looking good to register a convincing win against Waddington B, leading 3-0 and then 5-1, it looked like it was all over, but stubborn resistance from visitors made them wait until the final encounter of the evening, when eventually victory was secured in the second doubles.
Argyle C are the new leaders of Division 2, after a convincing away win at North Meols, which puts them on 41pts, six ahead of their D team (36pts) who had a free week. Both Waddington D and Holy Trinity C also played catch up with good wins, putting them both in contention with 34 and 33pts respectively. However the new leaders will have to watch their backs as they have played a match more than the others.
Argyle G with a maximum win over Southport D strengthened their grip on the leadership of Division 3, and with the Para’s without a match then could Argyle E or Crosby G capitalize when they clashed at this weeks ‘feature match’. We start with the ‘doubles being called on first, Argyle’s Andy Stuart and Emily Clare taking on Elliot Cooper and Chris Moustaka. Good start for home side edging the first 12-10, before being pegged back 7-11. Andy’s heavy chop defence began to cause problems for the Crosby pair, resulting in Argyle taking the next two comfortably 11-5,11-3, to lead 1-0. Instant reply from Crosby’s second pairing, Ted Sloan and Nick Moustaka, winning in four games against Ray Clarke and John Hepple, making it all square at 1-1. Emily verses Ted up next, and what a super tussle this was, with Ted in charge initially, winning the first two 7-11,8-11, back came Emily with some fabulous winning hits to level 11-8,11-6. Into the decider, and it was who would be the braver, 7-11 to Ted and his side lead 1-2. Crosby were looking impressive and extended their lead, with Chris overcoming John in another epic five game battle, coming back from 2-1 down to clinch his sides third point, 2-11,5-11, great turnaround. Brother Nick then followed suit winning an entertaining contest in four over Argyle’s captain Ray Clarke, Crosby lead 1-4. Could Andy stem the flow against Crosby’s young captain Elliot Cooper, well that’s exactly what he did, heavy chop returns again being a decisive weapon which Elliot could not handle. Three straight,11-6,11-7,12-10, and that’s 2-4. It was soon 3-4, after Ray did a repeat performance on Elliot, this time in four games. Nick then restored his sides two point lead with victory against John, finishing things off in style 2-11 in the fourth. At least a draw for the visitors, but could Ted clinch it against Andy. Another solid performance from the home number one, and another three straight win, to cap a great night for him, and to give his side a chance to tie it all up. 4-5 Crosby. Emily to face Chris to round off a tremendous night’s table tennis, and what a finish. Emily just managed to sneak the first 13-11, more convincing in the second 11-8, but Chris found a second wind to take the third 9-11. Exhausting fourth, as both players fought anxiously, Emily did enough, just, 11-8 and its ended all square, final score 5-5, great performance from both teams indeed after that draw both leapfrog Para’s, Argyle E are into second on 38pts, trailing their G team by 14pts, Crosby G go third on 36pts, just ahead of the Para’s. Southport C’s win over Crosby H was their third in a row, and along with Argyle H have 34pts, each now looking well placed.
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WEEK 8 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A (53pts) remain 100% and on top of Division 1, but left it very late in their win against Argyle A. Both teams were not at full strength, and it was left to Peter Ashley stepping up from the C team to clinch the win in the last contest of the evening. Crosby C had Francois Rafferty back in their excellent win at Holy Trinity A, keeping them in second on 43pts. Crosby B also applied the pressure with a good win at Argyle B, putting them on 41pts also with a match in hand. Waddington A looking like they are beginning to hit last season’s form in their ‘derby’ against their B team, Matt Wilson again being a key factor. Those 9 points lifting Waddington A to fourth place on 32 pts.
With the situation at the top looking a little more interesting, what’s happening at the bottom is the call at our feature match where Southport A entertained Waddington C. Southport’s Bernard Frank up first to face Nick Foss, and a cracking start from Nick catching Bernard by surprise with some excellent attacking top spin, taking the first 7-11. Bernard got into his stride at the double, winning the next two games 11-4,11-7, but Nick struck back to square it up in the fourth 9-11, only for Bernard to take the fifth 11-4, 1-0 Southport. Another intriguing tussle developed, Jim Irving verses Brian Haslam, again going the full distance. Jim edged the first 12-10, Brian then seemed to take control winning the next two, 5-11,9-11, but having got on level terms winning the fourth 11-4, Jim clinched the fifth 11-7 to put his side 2-0 up. It was soon 3-0 as number one Miro Veliky beat his opposite number and Waddington captain Ray Hibbs in three straight, before we were again treated to an extraordinary contest. Home captain Alan Nolan against Dave Noden. Straightforward as you like for Alan in the first 11-3, duly replicated in the second 11-4, and leading by five points it looked like the third was his too, but somehow Dave fought his way back to sneak it 11-13. That recovery resumed in the fourth, an 5-11 advantage tying it up, and we are into the fifth. Again the momentum swung, Alan swept into an 8-2 lead, surely not? Indeed Dave inched his way back to 8-8. Alan then took the next two points, only for Dave not just to level but to win it 10-12, great contest, 3-1 Southport. A win a piece in the doubles encounters made the score 4-2 for the home side. Bernhard then extended the lead overcoming Ray in three straight, and the match was at least safe at 5-2. Nick made the home side wait again in a dogged tussle with Jim, with the first two games bringing the best out of both players, first blood to Nick, 10-12, and even closer in the second 16-14 in Jim’s favour. Nick then seemed to find another gear, taking the next two 3-11,7-11, and they are still in it at 5-3. Victory secured in the next, Miro continued where he left off against Ray to do a repeat performance on Dave, three straight to make it 6-3. Alan then put the icing on the cake, recovering from that earlier loss, to win a see-saw battle in fine style, 11-8 in the fifth, to give us a final score of 7-3 Southport. Super nights entertainment, and with three of the four contests that went to five being won by the home side, Waddington could well have deserved a little more. As it is they stay rooted to the bottom on 14pts, whilst Southport move up to mid-table.
Division 2 leaders Argyle C must be wondering what hit them, when they suffered their first league defeat at home to Waddington E. But to be fair any team with Dave Mullan in it, is going to be a tough call, include great double win performances from Joe Brolly and Dave Williams, then you may well be in a little trouble. It finished 3-7, which still keeps the Argyle outfit in front on 44pts, but only by just a point from their D team who had a convincing away win at Crosby D. Holy Trinity C (42pts) also closed in on the leaders, after a comprehensive win over Waddington D. Advantage does lie with the chasing teams who both have a game in hand. Waddington D stay fourth on 35pts, ahead of their E team who now have 32pts.
Whilst leaders of Division 3 Argyle G (52pts) had another free week, could Para’s or Argyle E close the gap. Well they did but not by the margin they probably needed too, a close 6-4 win for the Para’s, winning both doubles being decisive, meant that both sides now have 42pts. Fourth placed Crosby G’s match against Southport C was postponed so they to mark time on 36 and 34pts respectively. Cup action next week with the 2nd of the Anon Cup and the 1st round of the Plate competition.
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CUP WEEK 2 Southport & District TTL
Anon Cup 2nd Round
With Quarter final places up for grabs, the only surprise of the round occurred before a ball was even served, Crosby B withdrawing from their home tie against Waddington C due to player availability. So with the holders out, Waddington C were the first to progress and join Argyle D who had a bye. Crosby A overcame Waddington B quite comfortably, only Ged Wilson threatened the home sides clean sweep taking Yameen Al Dahiri to a deciding game in an enthralling attacking encounter which see-sawed throughout, 13-11,9-11,11-3,5-11,11-7 it finished, Crosby winning 6-0. Argyle B faired a little better against Crosby C, getting just the one point in a 1-6 loss, Monica Coogan with the win. It was one traffic at 3rd Division Southport C, where Argyle A from the First were just too strong, completing the inevitable maximum win. Chris Foley for 2nd Division Waddington D was the only thorn in 1st Division Holy Trinity A’s side, winning the first game of the evening in the fifth against home captain Brian Crolley. Away captain Frank Proffitt nearly improved the score line missing out narrowly in a five game tussle with Graham Oates. There was a similar story at the all 1st division clash between Southport A and Waddington A. Wins for Miro Veliky and Bernhard Frank had kept Southport in it until a Gordon Wood win dealt the decisive blow making the score 2-6. Finally 3rd Division leaders Argyle G were well beaten by a strong Holy Trinity C team. Only doubles pairing Krzysztof Gorny and Ilona Kuznik managed to break the Trinity stranglehold, resulting in a 1-6 away win. Of the eight teams in the quarters six are from Division One, with two from Division Two, and with an even split of two teams a piece from Argyle, Crosby, Holy Trinity and Waddington, wonder what the odds would be for four ‘derby’ matches….
Anon Plate 1st Round
This competition gives a second chance to those teams eliminated from the Anon Cup 1st round. Crosby E are already there having a bye to the quarters, so who joined them? Holy Trinity D welcomed back Chris Blackburn for his first game, and having already taken the first point of the evening, Gordon Parmenter winning in four over Tommy Taylor, Chris capped his debut with an entertaining win against Jeff Cummins to put his side two up. Ron Makin then chipped in with a win to make it 0-3, before Phil O’Mullane pulled one back for Southport. Two wins then for the visitors number one John Moore either side of another success for Chris put the tie beyond the home side at 1-6. Phil completed his double for Southport and with both teams sharing the doubles it finished 3-7. Closest match was at Para’s where they entertained 3rd Division Waddington E. Each side took it in turns to get points on the board, wins for Ian Littlewood and Kostya Sinitsa were cancelled out by wins for Waddington’s Joe Brolly and Brian Holden, added to that a doubles success (both decided in the fifth) for each team and it was all square at 3-3. Further wins for Andy Armstrong and Frank Pearce put daylight between the teams, and at 3-5 down the Para’s needed to win both the remaining contests, to take the match into ‘countback’. Ian verses Joe next, and what a fabulous battle we had, first to Ian 11-6, second to Joe 9-11. Epic third 18-16 to Ian, followed by a great response from Joe, all out attack and it’s all square,5-11. Repeat performance in the fifth, 5-11 again for Joe and the match is Waddington’s. Mark Wilson pulled it back to 4-6 but it was too late. Division 2 leaders Argyle C, eased past Crosby D, where only Josiah Nix with two wins made any impression for the visitors. Also through were Argyle E and F teams, along with Crosby G, all gaining good wins over Crosby F, Southport D and Argyle H respectively. One match is still to be played between Crosby H and North Meols, that result should be in next week. Back to league action too, and with the news that the Crosby B v A contest has been postponed and Crosby C have a week off, then it’s likely that the rest can play a little catchup….
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WEEK 9 Southport & District TTL
In the 1st Division,while the ‘cats away the mice will play’, the cats being Crosby A,B and C without a match, and the mice the chasing pack. A good week for Holy Trinity A, started it off with a rearranged match away to Southport A. Without number one Barry Davies, Ted Cramsie from their C team stepped in and produced the goods, winning both his singles and a double’s partnering Mal Kent. Captain Brian Crolley also chipped in with a win, as did Mal. For Southport Miro Veliky and Bernhard Frank kept the home side in it throughout, both with two wins a piece and a vital first doubles success, earning the Southport side a creditable draw. Argyle A too, pressed all the right buttons in their convincing home win over Waddington B, where Nick Miller playing up from the D team was impressive with a full quota of wins, and the same can be said for Barry Crook, who is beginning to look like the fearsome adversary of old, matching Nick’s haul. Down at the wrong end of the table Argyle B denied bottom team Waddington C a share of the spoils, taking the match in the last contest of the evening, double’s pair Chris Parks and Allister Taylor delivering the decisive blow, this after home pair Dave Noden and Nick Foss had kept their hopes alive. Well the week got off to a reasonable start for Holy Trinity A, could it end that way? We head to Waddington A to see how it turned out for them, and with the news that Barry Davies was back, Holy Trinity would be without captain Brian Crolley, Sue Hughes taking his place. Home captain Gordon Wood up first to face Mal Kent, and a good start by Gordon taking the first 11-9, didn’t last, next three to Mal 9-11,5-11,9-11, and the visitors lead. Matt Wilson squared things up, winning in three straight verses Colin Mitchell, before Sue Hughes restored her sides lead, overcoming Colin Fyles in four games, it’s 1-2 Holy Trinity. First doubles next, Matt and Darren Taylor up against Barry and Colin. A very close first was edged by the home pair 11-9, the second was even closer, fabulous tussle with just about everything happening, 13-11 to Matt and Darren. More straightforward in the third 11-6 Waddington, making it 2-2. Darren and Barry stayed at the table, and Darren’s thoughts at the end were that he wished he hadn’t, a comprehensive win for Barry, and the visitors lead again,2-3. Second doubles pairing Colin and Gordon tried to no avail against Mal and Sue, always playing catch up, three straight and we are at 2-4. Promising start for Darren, an 11-5 win in the first against Mal, but with that infamous back hand hit and block working overtime, Mal dominated the next three, 5-11,5-11,9-11, making the match at least safe at 2-5. Matt brought his side back into the frame after beating his opposite number Barry in three games, could they pull it off? ‘Leaving the best till last’ sums up the climax of this entertaining encounter, part one, Gordon verses Sue, and the murmurings were, we could be here for some time. Two great defenders, just the one point at stake, who would falter. First game to Sue 8-11, in the second Gordon knuckled down tempting Sue to attack, which worked very well giving him the next two games, 11-9,11-4. Fascinating battle, Sue fought temptation and got herself back on level terms taking the fourth 8-11. Exactly the same in the fifth, 8-11 to Sue, and the match was safe, it’s 3-6. Part two, the two Colin’s conclude the match, a total opposite this one, a feisty attacking affair throughout, first one way, then the other, mistakes yes, winners in abundance, five games 10-12,11-5,11-9,5-11,5-11, super entertainment with a final score of 3-7 Holy Trinity. That win along with their earlier draw lifts them to fourth place on 39pts, Argyle are fifth on 38pts.
Argyle D (51pts) regained top spot in the 2nd Division, with a good victory over Waddington D. Holy Trinity C (50pts) kept well in touch, moving into second place after matching the new leaders win against Southport B. Argyle C without a match drop to third with 44pts. Fielding their familiar line up for the first time this season with the welcome return of captain Dennis Morley, North Meols recorded their first win against an understrength Crosby D. They stay in bottom position but in closer proximity to Southport B.
No real change at the top of the 3rd Division, Argyle G remain out in front on 58pts. They probably expected more from their match against their H team, but with Ben Aitken in opposition, then 6-4 will do nicely. Connor Peake and Mo Mohammadi also had good wins against the leaders. Para’s (48pts) moved back into second spot after a close win over Southport C. Argyle E on 42pts are third ahead of their F team (41pts). Crosby G drop to fourth with 40pts, after a home loss to Southport C who now have the same points total.
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WEEK 10 Southport & District TTL
Division 1 leaders Crosby A were on the end of a near shock when they entertained bottom team Waddington C. Yes, they were understrength being without key players Jack Dempsey and Yameen Al Dahiri, but the visitors look liked they deserved their draw, with all four team members contributing to those five valuable points, including a full quota from Nick Foss. Crosby B were also short of personnel but managed to fare a little better, winning 3-7 at Waddington B. Crosby C too, had to bring in Max Davies from their E team, making it a real family affair joining Dad Mark and brother Rhys, but it was a great double from Francois Rafferty along with success with Mark in the doubles that made the difference in an excellent 4-6 triumph. So the three Crosby outfits stay resident at the top, Crosby A are still out in front on 58pts, the C team lie second on 49pts followed by the B team on 48pts, who have a match in hand. Holy Trinity A (46pts) remain in striking distance, this after a good win against Argyle A who drop to fifth.
Argyle D stayed at the top of Division 2 with 61pts after a maximum win over Southport B. Holy Trinity C (58pts) kept up the pressure, winning well against Crosby E, whilst Argyle C (52pts) have slipped away a little even after another excellent win at home to Holy Trinity D. It looks as though the two promotion places already will be fought over by these three teams. After last week’s fillip of a first league win North Meols trip to Waddington D looked an interesting bet, so it’s there we go for our feature match… Good start for the home side Chris Foley winning in three straight over Bill Dawson, and obviously looking to improve his form quickly, Bill stayed at the table to take on Tom Caunce. Not exactly what he had in mind, Tom taking the first two games with some efficiency, 11-6, 11-8. Back came Bill to take the third 4-11, reversing all that had gone before, same again in the fourth and the same score 4-11, the hits were going on with regular purpose, we are into the fifth. Turnaround complete, fabulous encounter, 6-11 to Bill and it’s all square. Certainly on a mission here, Bill is joined by captain Dennis Morley to commence battle with home pairing Ian Lunt and Tom. Very close and cagey first, just being edged 12-10 by the home side, a little more straightforward in the next two with Ian taking charge, 11-6,11-4, making it an early finish for Bill and a score of Waddington 2 Bill Dawson 1… Karen Gibson verses George Bradley up next , ‘textbook technique’ verses ‘a style of his own’, and this was a belter to witness. First game to Karen with an impressive 11-5 advantage, had she fathomed George’s style out, well not really as he’s back with a vengeance taking the second and third, 8-11,8-11, with a combination of deft back-hand angled drop shots and hits. Pendulum swings back to Karen in the fourth, 11-8 and we are into a decider. What a game, tension from both sides of the net adding to the drama, at 10-10 it’s anyone’s! At 14-16 it’s George’s, like I said an absolute belter, it’s 2-2. North Meols number one Les Rimmer then put his side in front winning in four, over opposite number Ian, before Tom equaled things up again with a three straight win against Dennis, 3-3. Having won a doubles already could Waddington cash in again, Chris and Karen take on Les and George. Team work is the key here, and Chris and Karen showed they had just a bit more than their opponents, taking it in four,11-4,7-11,11-9,11-7, the home side lead 4-3. Karen stayed put to face Dennis, who after a very promising start finally lost out 13-11,11-1,11-4, making it 5-3. Grandstand finish needed by the visitors, and they were half way there, Les battling to overcome a gritty performance from Chris in three games, 9-11,4-11,11-13, closer than it looked. Ian against George to finish off proceedings, so no pressure George you need to win this. Intriguing encounter, first game to George 6-11, second also 8-11, very close third but as Ian was gaining confidence, George pounced to take it 9-11, final score 5-5. Wonderful night of table tennis, resulting in I think a fair result, credit to both teams. That result keeps Waddington D in fourth place with 42pts, and although still at the bottom on 25pts North Meols must be encouraged by recent results.
With leaders Argyle G’s mini derby against their E team called off, Para’s took the chance to join them on 58 pts after a maximum win over Crosby F. Argyle F also improved their position winning well against their H team, and can now probably count themselves in the mix with 49pts. Argyle E drop to fourth on 42 pts, but like Argyle G they have matches in hand so can’t be ruled out. Crosby G also find themselves in a similar situation in fifth position on 40pts but with a match in hand.
League action takes a break next week, with the 1st round of the Gunson (Handicap)Cup. A favourite with the lower teams as they hope to compete on a level playing field having been awarded a handicap, so surprises expected..
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Gunson (Handicap) Cup 1st Round
Eight contests of five games, first to eleven, a total of 440 points at stake to protect or to reach. Either way every point counts. A handicap is given against the higher placed side, to equal things up… Closest match of the round came at Third Division Southport D where Crosby D from the Second were the visitors. Textbook start from the Second Division side, maximum points from Sarang Sapre, as well as keeping Dai Davies to well below the required rate of seven points a game, 22-55. Mal Collier eased Southport back in the frame with an outright 49-38 win over John Aitchison, valuable points taken here enhancing their 160 point handicap. Josiah Nix turned up the heat again with another maximum against Mals 33points as did John making up some more ground winning 28-55 verses young Matt Bishop, Crosby trail by 9 points. Another superb effort from Jordan Shandley increased that lead to 29 points, a 41-41 tie against Marcus Doyle being more remarkable having trailed 19-33 after three games. Catch up needed, and slowly the lead was whittled away, but Dai Davies drew on all his experience to stop the visitors in their tracks three points short, 409-406 Southport progress, great finish… An all Second division clash between Argyle D and Holy Trinity D also provided a tight finish, 140 points the advantage given to Holy Trinity, and overall after a see-saw encounter where an outright win for Dave Bradley 39-49 over Adam Zaiber was the highlight, a good all round performance from the visitors ensured victory by a score line of 406-415. Second Division Crosby E were also pushed very close by Argyle E from the Third. It started very well for the home side, captain Max Davies recovered from losing the first game to Andy Stuart, to come out on top 51-26 to eat into Argyle’s 100 point benefit. From then on though, each contest seemed to swing the advantage one way and then the other, this was going to be close. Argyle’s Emily Clare’s win over Dylan Walsh 38-51 certainly gave the visitors a boost, as did captain Ray Clarke’s epic tussle with Tony Bramham, only one point separating the two at the end 48-49 in Ray’s favour. This was the perfect example of a pivotal moment, not only did Ray reach his target, but denied the Crosby player his 55 points. Crosby number one Rashad Al Dahiri chipped in with two maximum 55’s, as well as keeping his opponents at bay in the process, restricting them to a total of 64 points. Down to the last encounter then, which saw Emily put up a brave fight against the ever improving Max, 55-39 to him, begging the question who had won. Well at first it seemed Argyle had nicked it, but wait , a recount! Eleven points it was, but to Crosby 406-395. Whist events were in doubt here , on the other table Third Division Crosby H with a 200 point advantage were struggling a little to overcome Southport A. Captain Felix Anderson did do his side’s cause justice with two fine performances against Miro Veliky and Jim Irving, wrestling eight points from Jim in a 38-47 loss and 35 points gained against Miro’s maximum. A super effort also from Harry Griffith’s kept the tie alive, but the First division outfit were just too strong, running out winners at 403-432. As the results came in, it was looking more and more that the top teams were getting their own way, a perfect example was at Argyle G who top Division 3, they were facing First Division Waddington B with a 180 point advantage. In a word, ‘experience’ saw them through to a 15point win, 415-430, when it mattered the bar was raised by the 1st Division outfit, and both Ged Wilson and Martyn Coleman raised it considerably. Waddington A eased past their E team, who were a little understrength, as did Waddington D completing a similar win over Crosby G from the Third. Lowly Crosby F came very close to upsetting their high flying B team, but another gear for them saw them through. Crosby C did likewise to Second Division Southport B, Nigel Pilkington’s 49 points offered the most resistance. Southport C from the Third gave First Division Argyle B a thought or two before succumbing 405-430, both Paul Harrison and Andy Bush with 60pt hauls did a fine job. North Meols continued their good run winning by 47points at Argyle C, lots of maybe’s here, but the fact remains Les Rimmer and George Bradley do take some stopping. Waddington C forgot about their perilous position in Division 1 overcoming a buoyant Argyle F from the Third, dropping just the six points, victory was theirs by 38pts. It was not all bad news for the lower teams, the Para’s did exceptionally well to see off a strong Holy Trinity C from the Second, a good team effort highlighted by Kostya Sinitsa’s great total of 85pts. Finally, if there was a performance to clinch a match then among others Argyle H’s Kassra Mohammadi’s against their First Division A team, was a worthy one, his 58pts gained certainly went someway to his sides great win. Eight First Division teams line up for the second round, along side four from the Second and three from the Third, and it’s not the end of the line for those 1st Round losers, the Plate Competition beckons, running side by side with the main event.
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WEEK 11 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A (58pts) remain Christmas break leaders of Division 1, but only just, as their B team again continued their catch-up campaign with a convincing win over Holy Trinity A, a 9-1 win reducing the arrears to just the one point. Crosby C complete the top trio on 55 pts after a close home win against Southport A, where Bernard Frank proved to be Crosby’s stumbling block having a fine match with a full quota of points to his name. Argyle A are now in fourth place with 48pts, a 7-3 win over Waddington A doing the trick. Barry Crooks return to the fold has certainly coincided with their move up the table. With the all Waddington clash between C and B called off. Waddington C remain firmly rooted at the bottom on 23pts.
To start off our Division 2 roundup we head straight to Argyle, for the top of the table clash between leaders Argyle D and second placed Holy Trinity C. Great start for the visitors, Norman Lindsay getting the better of Adam Zaiber in four pulsating games, 11-6,5-11,8-11,9-11. Les Dodd verses Bob Carr next and this was a very close tussle, between two players who don’t give anything away. Very cagey indeed, Les’s close to the table angled assault against Bob’s spinney chop defence, nothing in it in the first just edged by Bob 12-14. Same in the second, although an 8-11 score line again to Bob suggests otherwise, the grip from both players was then tightened in the third, another game of intrigue was finally taken by Bob 11-13, very close, the visitor’s lead 0-2. Holy Trinity’s Gordon Parmenter up next against home captain Les Lord, who was caught a little cold in the first, losing it 3-11. Terrific reply from Les in the second returning the compliment 11-3, and the third was his too, 11-9, before Gordon rallied to take the fourth 5-11, and we are into a decider. Gordon continued his attack with care, picking his moments well, finally winning the fifth 9-11, the dream start continues 0-3 Holy Trinity. Number one Nick Miller then got his side back in the race ,winning in four games over Norman, and the fightback continued with Les Dodd’s fabulous win over Ted Cramsie, five games of see-saw action, 12-14,11-7,7-11,13-11,11-8, it’s 2-3 for the visitors. Adam to face Gordon next, who continued where he left off against Les, taking the first two games just, 10-12,10-12. Adam found another gear, or was it two, 11-3 indicated he had, and with some style thrown in to boot. Super reply from Gordon in the fourth finding some extra gears of his own, 8-11 he took it, completing a fine double on the night, and his side lead 2-4. Bob then completed his double with a three straight win over Les Lord, making the match safe at 2-5. Up next the two number ones, Nick verses Ted, and the deficit was reduced after a fine win by Nick in three games, 3-5 Holy Trinity and the ‘Doubles’ will decide if there will be a winner!.. Nick stayed put to be joined by Les Lord to take on Norman and Bob, and true to form, Nick’s attacking prowess proved too much to handle, three straight and Argyle are back at 4-5… All on the last contest then as Les Dodd and Adam take on Ted and Gordon, and a very good a start for the home pair, 11-7 to them in the first. Great repost from the visiting duo, with a convincing 4-11 win, which was followed by a more gritty 10-12 advantage. More grit followed in the fourth with a mixture of everything thrown in, topspin attack, deft angle drop shots, counter block and most important for Argyle, a 12-10 score line, into the fifth. Tense finish to a fabulous table tennis match, and the visitors have their win, 8-11 to Ted and Gordon giving us a final score of 4-6 Holy Trinity C, a terrific result for them with those notable performances from Bob Carr and Gordon Parmenter being the key. However even with that win they remain in second place on 64pts, but now just a point behind the Argyle outfit on 65pts. Argyle C (61pts) kept up their challenge with a resounding win at Crosby E, opening up a 15 point gap to fourth placed Waddington D, who narrowly lost out to their E team in their ‘mini-derby’. North Meols stretched their unbeaten run to three matches, an exciting 5-5 draw against Southport B still leaves both teams as they were in the bottom two places.
In Division 3, Argyle G finished off the first half of the season in familiar fashion, a 9-1 win over their F team putting them out in front on 67pts, with the only 100% record across the three divisions. Again it was number one Krzyzstof Gorny who led another thorough team performance. Para’s are still in second on 58pts, followed by Argyle F on 50pts. Crosby G and Argyle E stay in touch, both on 46pts.
Southport’s Closed Championships are on the horizon in the New Year, Championship Sunday will take place on February 5th at Formby High School, with Finals Night on the following Tuesday 7th Feb at Argyle… all information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport , and with that it just leaves me to wish everyone a ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’…
WEEK 12 Southport & District TTL…
With leaders Crosby A without a match, Crosby C took the initiative and took over top position in Division 1 with a convincing win over an understrength Argyle A. Crosby B too, had the same chance, but came across a resourceful Waddington A, and only managed a narrow 6-4 success, which was mainly due to fabulous double from the visitors number one Matt Wilson. Crosby C now have 64pts, Crosby B have 63pts, with their A team on 58pts, but with matches in hand on their rivals. Holy Trinity A (50pts) lost ground on the top three after a surprise loss to bottom team Waddington C (30pts), who will be most happy to gain their first win, even though their opponents were a little below par. Southport A’s exciting close win over Argyle B, was down to an all round team performance, led by Miro Veliky’s super double, along with valuable contributions from each team member.
Both Argyle D and Holy Trinity C kept up their assault on the Division 2 title, with convincing wins over Crosby E and North Meols respectively. Argyle D lead on 74pts, one point ahead of the Holy Trinity outfit. Argyle C without a match this week are still in third place on 61pts, and with the next team Waddington E back somewhat on 47pts, then it’s hard not to see past the current top three for those two promotion spots. Indeed Waddington E were involved in an intriguing battle with Southport B, leading 4-1 and then 5-2 , they were pegged back by the visitors to a tense 5-5 finish.
In Division 3, leaders Argyle G maintained their push for promotion and their maintained their 100% record, with firstly a great win in a rearranged match against their E team, followed duly by another convincing victory over Southport C. Where in fact Southport’s number 2 Paul Harrison took the plaudits with an outstanding win over Argyle’s talisman Krzysztof Gorny in five games. Those two wins now put the Argyle outfit on 84pts, and to see first hand how their closest rivals fare, we head to the Spinal Unit Sportshall, for the Para’s verses Southport D clash. Southport arrived without their number one Dai Davies, so their task had got even tougher, first up young Matt Bishop(in his first season) with the daunting task of facing Para’s Kostya Sinitsa. Indeed it was, but not before he showed some encouraging glimpses of promise, in a three game loss. Mark Wilson then made it 2-0, overcoming Southport captain Jordan Shandley, in three straight, although it did look closer than the score suggests as both players adopted the stance of ‘attack is the best form of defence’. Matt Spofforth against Pat Merry next, and with Matt’s spinney game causing all sorts of problems, it was no surprise he took the first two games,11-4,11-3. Super reply from Pat in the third, with some excellent topspin attack, she takes it 9-11. That was as close as she got, initiative regained, 11-6 to Matt in the fourth , it’s 3-0 Para’s. Another very tough task lay in wait for Pat Boylett, Para’s captain and number one Ian Littlewood. Straightforward as you like in the first, Ian taking it 11-6. Hang on though, Pat’s matching Ian point for point in the second, it’s 10-10, surely not… she’s pinched it 11-13, remarkable effort that is. Nearly back to normal service in the third, close again but it’s 11-8 to Ian. Into the fourth, and an 11-1 win to Ian, ‘what happened there? Pat asks with a beaming smile, I don’t know, so answers please on a postcard, 4-0 Para’s. Young Matt to face Matt Spofforth next, and what a terrific fight he put up, taking the first 6-11, before losing the second 11-7. So close to regaining the lead in the third, just being edged out 12-10, and with fourth slipping further away 11-6, the home side now lead 5-0. Further wins for Mark and Kostya secured the win making the match score 7-0. Could Jordan get his side on the board, only Ian stands in his way. Great effort here again from Jordan, running his opposite number so close throughout three very competitive games, 11-9,11-9,11-8 to Ian, 8-0 Para’s. Maximum win achieved with victory in both double’s encounters, which to be fair always looked on the cards. So a very efficient performance from the Para’s alongside a very promising performance from Southport, not forgetting a super nights table tennis throughout. With that win Para’s now have 68pts in second place 16pts behind the leaders. Argyle F are third on 58pts after their good win against Crosby H, a point ahead of their E team who kept in touch after a maximum win at Crosby F. To round off this week’s events, Argyle H verse’s Crosby G must get a mention, What a match this was, no fewer than eight contests went to 5 games, only one to 3 games, and of the 47 games played 19 went beyond 9-9. A great 2-8 win for Crosby in the end, which keeps them in touch with the top on 54pts and with a match in hand.
Gunson Cup 2nd round next week,as well as the 1st round of the Plate (Cup 1st round losers), all information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Gunson Cup 2nd Round….
With Quarter Final places up for grabs, we start off at The Waddington Club for the all Waddy clash between their C and B teams. Both are in the lower half of the 1st Division so the advantage of 60pts goes to the C team who are the lower of the two. They also have the benefit of bringing in Dave Mullan from the E team, making this may a very close run affair. Great start from the C team, Dave Noden pulling out all the stops in an outright 49-45 win over Ged Wilson. Just to re-cap, the team awarded the advantage, need to reach a target minus that handicap,so either 47pts or 48pts per contest would do the trick, however the the team starting off from scratch need to maintain maximum points of 55pts throughout. Meaning Dave’s win puts his side 11pts to the good, like I said great start. Martyn Coleman then brought the B team back into it, with a 41-53 win over Brian Haslam, reducing that lead to 7pts. Dave Britton (B team) continued the good work edging out Ray Hibbs 44-51, but again the B team dropped points in failing to reach that 55pt maximum, and with the actual score now at 134-149, the handicap added still gives the C team a 7pt lead. Putting the maths to one side, the first three contests have produced some fantastic table tennis from both sides of the net, and that continued as Dave Noden produced probably the defining moment of the match, recording the first maximum, in a 55-36 win over Martyn, increasing the C team’s lead to 34pts, a long way back for the B team now. Dave Mullan’s introduction against B team captain Roger Neal saw the writing on the wall, a titanic tussle ending 47-44 to Dave, tightening the grip to over 40pts. Even Dave Britton throwing everything at Brian, still didn’t secure that elusive maximum, 42-54 to Dave, and the C team can win it in the next encounter. Captain Ray Hibbs with the honour against his fellow captain Roger Neal, and with their target a step too far, Ray duly obliged winning 55-41. Dave Mullan put the finishing touches to the win, with a another win against Ged, but it was all over before that, final score 441-366 Waddington C. Great match, super evening’s entertainment, thank you Waddington…..An understrength Southport A (1st Div) found the going very tough against 2nd Division Waddington D, where only Miro Veliky scored his required maximum points, whilst every Southport player reached or passed their target score, giving them a comfortable win after the 160 handicap was added. Luck deserted Crosby E on their visit to 1st division Holy Trinity A, a late withdrawal as well as number one Rashad Al Dahiri not being available, meant little chance for the 2nd division outfit with three players. Crosby C showed the difference between 1st and 3rd division sneaking past Southport D, just by only by 9pts. In fact they were the only team this week playing off scratch to reach that maximum 440 pts. Waddington A missed out exactly in that fashion, falling short of that maximum by 43pts, Argyle B’s Monica Coogan being the main reason with two outright wins totalling 107pts, assuring a narrow win by 13pts. North Meols certainly didn’t need their full advantage of 100pts, especially when number one Les Rimmer is on song, two wins with an aggregate of 108-53, put paid to Holy Trinity D’s evening. Finally Para’s went through on a walkover, against Crosby B. That leaves a Quarter Final line up of four teams from the 1st and two each from the 2nd and 3rd.
Results (handicap in brackets)
Waddington "C" ( 100 ) 441 v Waddington "B" ( 0 ) 366
N. Meols ( 100 ) 431 v Formby H.T. "D" ( 0 ) 360
Southport "A" ( 0 ) 363 v Waddington "D" ( 160 ) 521
Waddington "A" ( 0 ) 397 v Argyle "B" ( 140 ) 410
Formby H. T. "A" ( 0 ) 436 v Crosby TTC "E" ( 200 ) 370
Para's "A"( 260 ) W/Over v Crosby TTC "B" ( 0 )
Southport "D" ( 300 ) 431 v Crosby TTC "C" ( 0 ) 440
Argyle "H" v BYE
Gunson Plate 1st Round
Three Argyle ‘derby’ matches gave us half the ties in this, the first round of the Plate, and it started with victory for Third division leaders Argyle G over their A team from the 1st. A generous handicap of 300pts meant the G team needed 17/18pts per encounter, which they accomplished, with Jacek Dzimiera producing a decisive 80pts towards the cause. Argyle D who currently top the 2nd division, left it to the last contest of the night to edge past their F team from the third, who put in a great shift, particularly Pat Devlin who produced his sides only outright win, 8pts being the winning margin. Same scenario and outcome for 2nd division Argyle C in another close call against Argyle E, 16pts the difference here. Only 13pts separated Holy Trinity C and Southport B, and again with the home side dropping 16pts from that required maximum, Southport’s consistency in point scoring and achieving their target, putting them through. Tremendous match in the all 3rd division clash, between Crosby G and Southport C, nothing in this one throughout, with both teams scoring well. Only one maximum 55pts in the match, that coming from Crosby’s Chris Moustaka, and in the end just 4pts away from victory, 400-403 to Southport, great finish. Finally Waddington E had a night off being given a walkover by Crosby D, leaving an equal split of four teams from the 2nd and 3rd divisions in the Quarter Finals, interesting draw to follow! Back to league action next week...
All information can be found at www.tabletenis365.com/southport
Results (handicap in brackets)
Crosby TTC "F" v BYE
Crosby TTC "H" v BYE
Crosby TTC "G" ( 0 ) 400 v Southport T.T. "C" ( 60 ) 403
Argyle "E" ( 160 ) 414 v Argyle "C" ( 0 ) 430
Argyle "G" ( 300 ) 530 v Argyle "A" ( 0 ) 429
Formby H.T. "C" ( 0 ) 424 v Southport T.T. "B" (120 ) 437
Argyle "F" ( 240 ) 417 v Argyle "D" ( 0 ) 425
Waddington "E" ( 0 ) W/Over v Crosby TTC "D" ( 0 )
WEEK 13 Southport & District TTL
Crosby B (70pts) returned to the top of Division 1, after a good win at Argyle A, which could well have been bettered if they had a full quota of players. Crosby C (70pts) travelled to Argyle B without number one Rhys Davies, where the winning of both double’s was decisive in a narrow 4-6 success. Crosby A’s maximum win against Southport A sent out some ominous signals to their close rivals. Returning to full strength for the first time in awhile the message was clear, and means they lie third on 68pts, but with one match in hand on their B team and two on their C. Of course they all still have to play one another, (the A and B also with the added interest of a rearranged match against each other), so anything could happen! Waddington A got much the better of their C team, in a match void of regular number ones, and with the A team winning the three contests that went to five games, then it could well have been closer. Nick Foss with an excellent double for the C team was the stand out performance.
There are new leaders at the top of the 2nd Division, Holy Trinity C are in ‘pole’ position on 81pts, but only just, on matches drawn. Argyle D are in second also on 81pts, 16pts ahead of Argyle C, who have played a match less. It all came about after Holy Trinity’s commanding win at Waddington E, where only Dave Mullan, resisted what looks like not just a strong team ,but a strong squad. Argyle D, without number one Nick Miller, couldn’t match the eight points, having to settle for seven against North Meols. Argyle C lost ground in the promotion race, missing out narrowly at Crosby D, again it was Sarang Sapre and Josiah Nix both with a full house of wins that did the damage although Marcus Doyle’s epic 16-14 clincher in the fourth game against Naresh Tagore, looked to be the match winner. Waddington D (55pts) move into fourth place after a convincing win over Holy Trinity D.
We head off to Crosby for a double 3rd Division affair, Crosby G hosting Argyle F, whilst Crosby H take on leaders Argyle G. With the late withdrawal of Crosby G team captain and number one Elliot Cooper through illness, H team captain Felix Anderson was drafted into their lineup at the last minute, leaving room for Joe Wilson to enter the fray for the H team. Great start for the G team, double’s pairing Nick Moustaka and Ted Sloan, getting the ‘bit between their teeth’ overcoming Argyle’s Pat Devlin and Gary Hible in four games, 11-7,11-7,9-11,11-5. Felix then made it 2-0 with a three straight win against Argyle captain Lee Hones, before his number one Lewis Hible pulled one back, by getting the better of Ted Sloan in three games, it’s 2-1 Crosby. Pat up next to to face Chris Moustaka, which turned out to be a fascinating tussle with Pat’s stubborn defence holding out very well against Chris’s attack. First game to Pat 5-11, all square after two 11-8 Chris, very close third, edged 9-11 by Pat, and it’s all square on the night, 6-11 to Pat in the fourth. That two point lead was re-established, after wins for Felix and Chris over Gary and Lee respectively, making the score 4-2 Crosby. Lewis to the rescue ? well the ever improving Nick stands in his way, and after a well balanced first couple of games, 5-11,11-5, it’s all to play for. Both players were now producing the goods, especially with their consistent topspin attack, couldn’t be closer, Lewis sneaks the third 9-11. Same intent again in the fourth, and a near replica outcome, 8-11 to Lewis, makes it 4-3. Ted then settled his team’s nerves making the match at least safe for home side, although Gary did give him a few surprises on the way, taking the third 7-11, in particular casted a few doubts, nevertheless Crosby lead 5-3. Second doubles pair Chris and Felix then secured the victory, winning in four games over Lewis and Lee, before Nick and Pat contested the encounter of the night. Cracking performances from both sides of the net, initially Nick looked to have full control, taking the first two 11-7,11-7, back came Pat in fine style to level 6-11,6-11. Both found another gear from somewhere, and it was neck and neck throughout the fifth. Who would summon up that final hit, or make that fatal slip, super shot from the home player, 12-10 Nick, leaving us with a final score or 7-3 Crosby G….. In the other match, and without their captain, Crosby H were finding it even more difficult against division leaders Argyle G. A procession of wins kept the points coming for the visitors. Even facing loss after loss the young Crosby team never threw in the towel , in fact the determination on the faces of Jack Savage, Ewan Walsh and Joe Wilson throughout, will undoubtedly be remembered, as a reminder as they will be much improved the next time paths are crossed . Acting captain Harry Griffiths too, stepped up, leading the way with excellent performances against Krzysztof Gorny and Adrian Hyland ( five games 2-11,11-9,12-10,6-11,8-11), hard to believe it’s his first season ! For Argyle further wins by Ilona Kuznik and Jacek Dzimiera, completed the maximum win , which maintained their top position on 94pts, still with that 100% record, and 21pts clear of second placed Para’s (73pts), who being under strength were held to a draw by Argyle H. Crosby G’s win, certainly keeps them in touch with a promotion place, now on 61pts with a match in hand. Argyle F are fourth also on 61pts but with one less win.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 14 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A tightened their grip at the top of Division 1, taking over the number one spot. A commanding win at Argyle B, meant they are now level on 77pts with Crosby C, who themselves helped the A team cause by overcoming an again understrength Crosby B 3-7. Another super double win for Rhys Davies, was again a key factor in the win, and added to this, his inclusion in the Lancashire Under 15 team, along with Daisy Boulton,made it a great week. They will play in the Premier Division of an eight strong county event at Wellingborough over the weekend of 11th-12th February. Getting back to Division 1, at the top, Crosby A lead Crosby C, both being 4pts ahead of Crosby B(73pts), but with the A team having matches in hand on both their rivals, favourites they certainly are! Southport A and Waddington B were involved in a very close match, where neither team had more than a one point lead. Southport’s number one Miro Veliky with a full quota of wins, being the stand out performance…. We head to Waddington to see how their C team get on against Argyle A. Late change in the Argyle lineup, captain Mark Jagger leaving himself out, and bringing in Chris Parkes at number one, Mike McCormack also comes in for Matthew Hyde, tactical move? We will have to see. First blood to the visitors, Barry Crook winning in three straight against Nick Foss. Brian Haslam up next to face Mike, a game each in the first two,11-8,9-11, intriguing contest this, and it continued, very close in the third, 11-13 to Mike. nothing between them really, 11-13 to Mike again in the fourth, it’s 0-2 Argyle. Enter the two number ones Ray Hibbs verses Chris, and Ray needs to be patient, in this one. Why? Chris just seems to get everything back. Great work from both players throughout, controlled defence, topspin accuracy, unforced errors, well not that many. Terrific encounter, 9-11,9-11,8-11, to Chris, and yes, he edged it Ray, the visitors lead 0-3. Could Dave Noden get his side back in it, Paul Lunan his opponent. Strong start from Dave, taking the first 11-7, even better in the second game,11-4. Good reply from Paul in the third, subduing Dave’s attack as well as working in his own loop attack, 8-11. Into the fourth, and much closer again Dave gaining a slight advantage to take it 11-9, it’s 1-3 Argyle. First doubles pairing of Chris and Mike restored that 3 point cushion for Argyle, winning in three straight against Ray and Brian, before home pair Dave and Nick won an exciting encounter in the fifth verses Barry and Paul, after trailing twice the win was theirs’ taking the last two 11-9,11-3, making it 2-4 on the night. Barry Crook then made it at least a draw for his side, overcoming Ray in three, 4-11,11-13,4-11. Argyle then chalked up their sixth win in the league, Mike getting the better of Nick in three straight, and the final coats of gloss were put on the victory by first Chris who had an eventful win over Dave in four games, followed finally by Paul whose win in four games against Brian gave us a final score of 2-8 Argyle A. Credit to both sides for a super evening’s entertainment… Argyles win lifts them to fourth place on 60pts, whilst Waddington C remain at the bottom on 34pts
With the leaders by ‘a snip’ Holy Trinity C without a match, second place Argyle D took their chance to retake top spot, gaining seven valuable points in the promotion race at Waddington E. However leading 1-7 in the latter stages, it could well have been an even better outcome. Argyle C kept in touch, winning well, at home to Waddington D, leaving the the top three as follows… Argyle D on 88pts from 12 matches, Holy Trinity C 81pts from 11 and Argyle C 73pts from 11. Waddington D are fourth a little off the pace with 57pts. It certainly looks like that the top three will battle it out for those two promotion places, interesting times ahead. North Meols battling home win over Crosby E lifted them off the bottom, leaving the Crosby outfit in their place. Southport B too, had an impressive win at Holy Trinity D, where the first four points all went the way of the Southport team, each one too being won in the fifth, if that doesn’t spur a team on, I don’t know what would.
Argyle G just keep on rolling, at the top of Division 3, after another maximum win over Crosby F, put them through the 100pt mark after 12 matches. Para’s in second place even without Kostya Sinitsa, kept themselves in the promotion hunt after a good win over Argyle F, but are now 24pts adrift of the leaders on 80pts. Crosby G are now in third place with 68pts, this after a good win over their H team, and having played a match less than the others, they look to be well placed to challenge for promotion. Argyle E’s convincing victory at Southport D, keeps them in fourth place on 66pts, still in with a shout.
With the Town Championships Sunday already completed, news of the winners at Finals Night will hopefully feature next week… all information can be found at... www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 15 Southport & District TTL
Attentions turned to Argyle this week for Finals Night, following on from the previous Sunday’s qualifying tournament at Formby High School. First to the table was the 3rd Division Restricted Singles, an all Crosby clash between Ted Sloan and Felix Anderson. Great start to the evening, as both youngsters put on a fine display, close too with Felix taking the first 8-11, and edging the second 10-12, before he took the third in some style 2-11. Darren Taylor and Ray Hibbs, both from Waddington up next to contest the Over 55s Singles. Darren off to a flyer here, winning the first two games 11-7,11-7. Super reply from Ray though, finding his form in a hard fought third, 11-9, and even better from him in the fourth, 5-11,and it’s all square. Something had to give, and it was Darren who retook control in the fifth, with a blend of accurate hitting and stubborn retrieving, 11-5 and the trophy is his. Great expectancy greeted the Open Doubles Final, an all Crosby affair, Sylvia Graham & Jack Dempsey verse’s Sam Pierce & Rhys Davies. It certainly did not disappoint, with each player producing some superb table tennis throughout four games, 11-9,9-11,11-6,12-10 it finished in favour of Sylvia and Jack, great to watch. Next up the 2nd Division Restricted , Janette Hutchings from Holy Trinity facing Waddington’s Dave Mullan. Cagey one this, with both players serving up a defensive treat. Question was, who would get the chance to introduce their capable hitting game. Dave won on that score and took the match 9-11,7-11,8-11.. In the all Crosby Junior Singles Final, Rhys Davies was definitely the favourite, against Felix (in his second final of the night), as it was after all 1st verse’s 3rd Division. After a nervous start from Felix, Rhys controlled and took the first game 11-2. Much better from Felix in the second, and although it went to Rhys 11-8, Felix showed how much he had improved this season. Same again in the third, but a wonderful effort from the third division player could not stop Rhys completing the win 11-7. A wry smile from Felix at the end saying he will be hoping to meet up again next season, maybe in the First Division. Having got his hands already on the Over 55s title, Darren was again up to face Francois Rafferty in the Over 40’s Singles Final. Cracking encounter this was, played at a tremendous pace crammed with attacking play. Francois opened up superbly and took the first 4-11, back came Darren to sneak an intriguing second 12-14. Francois playing like he had ‘a train to catch’ took the third 1-11, remarkable! With the train obviously missed, Darren came back into it, but fell short again 6-11, it’s Francois title, Phew! To round off the evening the main event ,the Open Singles Final, between Jack Dempsey and Yameen Al Dahiri both from Crosby. Terrific effort from both players throughout in a pulsating attacking contest. At this level, great attack normally means you get equal measures of great counter hit and block, and Jack had the lion’s share, taking the first two games 11-8,11-7. Yameen hit back taking the third 8-11, but it was to be Jack’s night, with a near perfect controlled response, 11-7 in the fourth, he takes the Open Singles to go nicely with that Doubles Trophy. A tremendous nights table tennis was rounded off with the presentation of the trophy’s by League Chairman Roger Neal...
As well as the hullabaloo of Finals Night, a full league programme was also played, and the top of Division 1 took on a familiar look. Crosby A lead with 85pts, this after a comfortable win over their C team, who were noticeably understrength. Crosby B are now second on 81pts, winning well at Waddington C doing the trick there, and Crosby C finish off the trio in third place with 79pts. Argyle A are back in fourth position with 60pts, a point ahead of Holy Trinity A. Waddington C remain rooted at the bottom on 36pts, seven points behind Argyle B and Waddington B who both have 43pts.
Holy Trinity C returned to the top of Division 2 after a convincing win over their D team, and lead with 90pts, thats 2pts ahead of Argyle D who did not play this week. Argyle C (80pts) kept in the promotion hunt, but only just, after winning at Southport B. Waddington E are fourth on 58pts, one point ahead of their D team who with games in hand look the more likely to challenge for third place. At the bottom, Crosby E (42pts), North Meols (44pts) and Southport B (46pts), look to be the teams to be fighting the drop, although Holy Trinity D (51pts) and Crosby D (50pts) must be looking over their shoulders.
It turned out not to be unlucky 13 for Division 3 leaders Argyle G (111pts), as a 7-3 home triumph against rivals Crosby G maintained their 100% record, and although on the losing side Elliot Coopers double was indeed the highlight of match . Para’s stay second with 88pts after a good win over Crosby H. Argyle E’s mini derby win over their H team moves them into third place on 73pts, two points ahead of Crosby G. Some respite from league action next week with the Quarter Finals of the Cup and Plate competitions. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
ANON & GUNSON QUARTER FINALS
Crosby A continued to strive for a League and Cup double, with an efficient win over their C team. It was a good start for the C team, with a win a piece for Francois Rafferty and Rhys Davies against a win each for the A team’s Jack Dempsey and Joe Mullin. All square at 2-2 was the best it got, as a Matty Laird win followed by victories in both doubles virtually secured the win, leaving it to Jack to clinch the tie with a four games win over Rhys, 2-6 A team. Holy Trinity A were just too strong for their C team, having shared the first two contests, the A team romped away to book their place in the semi-final line up. Argyle A also eased past Waddington C, although things did look to be on the up after Waddington pair, Dave Noden and Nick Foss brought the score back to 4-2. However wins for Barry Crook and then Mike McCormack sealed the win. An all 1st Division Semi Final line up awaits, if Waddington A can get past 2nd Division Argyle D, next week.
Similar story in the Plate competition, with no surprises as such, comfortable wins for Waddington E, North Meols and Argyle C saw them through. Third division Crosby G even without their number one and captain, Elliot Cooper made a good fist of it against an understrength Crosby E from the 2nd Division. Two wins for Crosby E’s Daisy Boulton along with a doubles success with Harry Griffiths, help put paid to the third division sides resistance. So the Semi’s will be an all 2nd Division affair, and with Argyle C the highest placed, then they must fancy their chances.
We head to the Spinal Unit Sportshall, for what looks like a fascinating encounter between the Para’s from the 3rd Division and 1st Division Crosby C. With a 280 pts advantage given to the Para’s, the visitors need to keep them to 20pts or less per contest, whilst maintaining a 55pts maximum throughout. First up Crosby’s Mark Davies to face Ian Littlewood, and a great start here for Ian , a 32-55 loss, edging his side ahead. Back came Crosby, with Rhys Davies clawing back 6pts in a fabulous battle with Mark Wilson, so entertaining, and although a 14-55 outcome, so many positives can be had by the Para’s number 2. It’s 46-110 Crosby. Matt Spofforth got off to the best possible start against Peter Ashley, taking 9 pts from the second game, but was unable to keep up the pace, eventually losing out 16-55. Mark Davies then gave his side a slight advantage at the halfway stage, winning 14-55 over Kostya Sinitsa, making the match score 76-220 Crosby. Another epic battle ensued for Mark Wilson against Francois, terrific stuff again, worth the admission money alone. Fabulous hitting from Mark, exhibition retrieving from Francois, resulting in a 18-55 win for the Crosby player, and his side nudge further ahead 94-275. Could Kostya get his side back in hunt, well Peter was doing his level best to deny him the pleasure, restricting him to just five points in the first two games. But what a response, from Kostya, finally getting his punch block working like a piston, 10-11, 6-11, 10-11, meant a creditable loss, 31-55, and his side now have a slender 5pt cushion, 125-330. Still a big ask for Ian and Matt, 36 pts required from the last two encounters, and they face the players they wouldn’t necessarily pick, Rhys and Francois respectively... Has to be said, two great finishes from the Crosby duo, a 12-55 win from Rhys and an 8-55 from Francois, ensured their passage through to the semi’s with a final score line of 425-440. Fabulous entertainment.. Crosby C will be joined by Argyle B who overcame Holy Trinity A, where two outright wins for Monica Coogan, virtually accounted for the difference between the sides. Waddington D just had about enough to go through against North Meols, 34pts being the winning margin. First division Waddington C always seemed to be in charge at 3rd Division Argyle H, who were without their regular number one and two, a 49pt win completes the semi final line up of three teams from the First Division and one from the Second.
Argyle D squeezed past their C team in an enthralling all Second division clash. With the advantage of just 20 pts going to the C team, the tactics were simple, just beat your opponent! With four outright wins for the D team and three for C team, along with a draw, 45-45 between Ula Kuczek and Les Lord, then the die was cast for the match to be decided in the last contest. So so close, Nick Wilson just falling short in his 48-46 win over Les Dodd. Same scenario was applied to Argyle G’s home tie with Southport B, top of the Third against near bottom of the Second equals no handicap awarded. A very different outcome here though, mainly due to a superb all round performance from the visitors, only Argyle’s Krzysztof Gorny with two wins, resisted the onslaught carried out by Jeff Cummins, Tom Taylor, Graham Chellew and Phil O’Mullane, very well deserved. Southport C too, progressed winning the all 3rd division match against Crosby F by 61pts. Waddington E made it to two semi finals in the week, but with opponents Crosby H arriving a player short, then the outcome was inevitable. Three teams from the 2nd Division and one from the Third will contest the semi’s.
Back to league action next week, all details can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 16 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A (92pts) continued to dominate the top of Division 1, although a more convincing home win over Waddington B was averted by an excellent response from the visitors pairings who pulled off victories in both the doubles. Crosby C moved back into second place on 87pts following a good win at bottom team Waddington C (38pts). Crosby B without a match this week are third on 81pts. Waddington A with Matt Wilson back at number 1, got the better of Southport A, consolidating their mid table position. We head off to Argyle for our feature match, where their B team who find themselves second bottom take on a full strength Holy Trinity A. One change for the home side, Angus Taylor makes way for Chris Parkes at number one. Up first, Allister Taylor to face Holy Trinity’s Barry Davis, and a good start for the visitors with Barry taking the first two games, 6-11,8-11. Great reply from Allister in the third,11-8, but normal service resumed in the fourth, 4-11 to Barry, and it’s 0-1 visitors. All square after two, Monica Coogan kept up her recent good form to overcome a tireless Brian Crolley in four games, this match was brewing up. Mal Kent restored the visitors lead with a four game win against Derek Mahen, before Chris Parkes again tied things up at 2-2, a four game win over Colin Mitchell, kept the the match simmering very nicely. Allister to take on Mal Kent next, and although Mal took it in three straight, Allister made him work, with some exceptional retrieves and counter hits. However Mal’s ‘hammer’ backhand was decisive and it’s now 2-3. Double’s next and the heat was certainly turned up a notch, especially on the home side who suffered consecutive losses, super entertainment throughout the two encounters, but Argyle now trail 2-5. Could Derek keep his side in it, well, Brian had other ideas, and another intriguing tussle, level after a two games, 6-11,11-8, was finally won by Brian, 2-11,8-11, and Holy Trinity have the win, it’s 2-6. With the match decided could the number ones still conjure up something, enter Chris and Barry. Superb start from Barry, his controlled topspin attack sending Chris walkabout to every corner of the court, eventually taking the first 6-11. Same again in the second, but hang on, is Chris finding his range, much closer this one and the rallies much longer, but still Barry hung on to win the second 9-11. Into the third, and the tide begins to turn, fabulous defence from Chris, he is still being sent far and wide by his opponent’s pinpoint topspin attack, but he is finding the table with virtually every retrieve, great reply 11-2 Chris. Back comes Barry with attack after attack, astonishing performances from both players, the contest of the evening is building up to be the contest of the season, it really is a battle of epic proportions. Chris continued to find enough of the table to edge the fourth 11-9, and we are into the fifth, and somehow the players again found yet another gear to push each other even further, on and on until leading 10-8, Chris finds the edge from a rare routine return and it’s all over…unbelievable contest! With everyone on their feet keenly congratulating the players and the occasion, there is still another point to play for ? Thats Monica to play Colin, to round off the evening, and maybe reduce the arrears. Monica quickly got into her rhythm, winning the first two games 11-6,11-7, but Colin steadied, taking the next two, both 7-11, and continued the good work in the fifth, to complete another great comeback winning it 4-11, giving us a Final score of 3-7 Holy Trinity. Fantastic evening’s entertainment, and referring to that Parkes v Davis epic, the last word should go to Chris Coogan, who said ‘ that is the best contest he’d seen at Argyle ever’, and he’s seen a lot of matches, as he won the last of his six Town Singles Championship back in 1967, well said Chris…..
Argyle D (97pts) returned to the top of Division 2, after a great result at Holy Trinity D, this coming after a big favour from their C team, who inflicted only the second defeat on the then leaders Holy Trinity C. They remain in second place on 93pts, with Argyle C just about back in contention for a top 2 spot on 87pts. With Waddington D in fourth place, 26pts adrift of the top three, a straight three way battle looks a certainty, with it all being decided possibly in the last match of the season when Argyle D visit Holy Trinity C. At the bottom, after their loss against the leaders , Holy Trinity D (52pts) are now just above the bottom three, Crosby E on 49pts, Southport B with 46pts and North Meols 44pts.
Without a match this week leaders of the Division 3, Argyle G just watched as their closest rivals played and took points off each other. Para’s were involved in a tense see-saw tussle with Crosby G, made even more tense, as with the score at 1-1, the Sports Hall was plunged into darkness due to a powercut. After 15 minutes the lights were back on, and so was the match, 5-5 it finished, and with five contests going to a deciding fifth game, it could not have been closer. Argyle E got the better of their F team, a full quota of wins for Emily Clare and John Hepple, being the difference. Southport C came up against a resourceful Argyle H, who held firm at 3-3 before Southport took control. Argyle G lead with 111pts, followed by the Para’s on 93pts, Argyle E 80pts and Crosby G 76pts. Finally, two well deserved first wins were achieved this week, Jackie Schober Thomson(Crosby F) and young Matt Bishop (Southport D).
First division Waddington A completed the Anon Cup Semi Final line overcoming 2nd division Argyle D . All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 17 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A’s convincing win at Holy Trinity A moved them a step nearer to securing the title, they seemed destined to win. Now on a 100pts, only a complete reversal of fortunes will scupper the outcome, where the two matches still to play against rival’s Crosby B (81pts) being pivotable. Crosby C (96pts) stay second after a commanding win over Waddington B, whilst Crosby B had another free week stay third on 81pts with matches in hand. Waddington A closed the gap on fourth placed Holy Trinity A, after a good home win over Argyle B, both have 68pts but the Waddington outfit stay fifth having won less matches. Argyle A played catch up throughout their match verse’s Southport A, indeed when they did get their noses in front at 5-4, Southport captain Alan Nolan had the final say levelling the contest. So at the bottom Waddington C remain rooted on 38pts, behind Waddington B and Argyle B on 47 and 49 points respectively, but with three matches in hand on Argyle, Waddington B look firm favourites to avoid the drop.
At the top of Division 2, Argyle D (103pts) stretched their lead over 2nd placed Holy Trinity C who had a free week, to 10pts. A very close win over their C team earned them their position, although in the end they had to rely on a great double from Adrian Hyland playing up from their G team, this after number one Nick Miller suffered his first loss of the season against the ever improving Nick Wilson, outstanding win! Argyle C remain in third place on 91pts. All the bottom teams gained at least 4pts, resulting in very little change, North Meols prop the rest up on 48pts, below Southport B on 50pts, Crosby E have 55pts and Holy Trinity D 58pts, so it remains a tough call for who will occupy those two bottom places come the end of the season.
We head to The Amelan Hall, to see how Southport C get on with Argyle F in a 3rd Division clash which looks like it could be close. Even before a ball is served, Southport suffer a setback in that number one Bill Bradley is out due to illness, Alex Karalius deputises. Doubles called on first and home pairing Alex and Jordan Shandley give the home side a good start with a close three straight win against Pat Devlin and Gary Hible, 12-10,13-11,11-9. It was soon 2-0 as the other doubles went the same way, Paul Harrison and Stuart Gibson overcoming Lewis Hible and Lee Hones in four entertaining games, 11-7,12-10,8-11,11-4. Great response from Argyle, Pat getting off to a flyer against Jordan taking the first 2-11, and following it up with another convincing show, 6-11. Much tighter in the third though, with Jordan matching Pat’s good defensive play, but not quite in the end, 11-13, and its 2-1 Southport. Lewis then squared things up with a three straight win over Alex, before Paul restored the home side’s lead winning 11-7,12-10,11-4 over Gary. Three two was quickly made 4-2, when Stuart gradually got the better of Lee in three games, 11-9,11-2,11-4. Lee stayed put to face Jordan, and like his previous contest put up a great fight in the first game, just losing out 11-8. Jordan increased the pressure on Lee finding more of the table with his topspin attack,winning the second 11-4 and the third 11-6, making the match at least safe at 5-2. Could Argyle get back into this, well Lewis is the player with the task, as he faces a tricky encounter against Paul. Very tricky indeed, nothing in the first game, with Lewis just edging it 11-13, better in the second from the visitors number one, as more of those hits were finding the target, 7-11. Same again in the third, 6-11 and it’s 5-3 Southport. Alex to face Pat up next, and a super advert for the 3rd Division this one was. Intriguing tussle throughout, ‘cat and mouse’ in the first, good defensive work from both players, waiting for that attacking moment. Very close, 14-12 Alex, into the second and Pat began to take control, tempting Alex into too many errors, 6-11 to him and we are level. Back came Alex, with more control than attack, but the advantage is still with Pat, close again 11-13. Last word to Pat, and his unflappable play wins it 4-11 in the fourth, Argyle keep their hopes alive ,it’s 5-4. No pressure then, Stuart and Gary, as this will decide matters. Terrific start from Gary, taking the first 2-11, but hold on, what a reply from Stuart, turning that on it’s head , an 11-2 win in the second. Much closer in the third, 11-8 to Stuart, and again in the fourth 11-7, securing a 6-4 win, Southport’s tenth of the season. Great entertainment …. Elsewhere in the Third, Argyle G virtually guaranteed number one spot, after an outstanding 1-9 win over second placed Para’s (94pts). Now on 120pts and taking into account other results from this week, they need just 6pts from their remaining four matches to clinch the title. Second place is definitely up for grabs, Para’s will be certainly looking over their shoulders at Argyle E who are third on 86pts, Southport C fourth, on 77pts and Crosby G with 76pts. With both Argyle and Southport also having a match in hand, along with Crosby who have two to make up, then an interesting tussle lies ahead. All news at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 18 Southport & District TTL
Leaders Crosby A (106pts) were pushed all the way by Waddington A in a match that wasn’t decided till the ninth contest where home captain Sylvia Graham clinched the decisive point in a four game win over Gordon Wood. Even with the match lost the visiting home pairing of Matt Wilson and Dave Mullan had the last say, inflicting a first loss of the season on Jack Dempsey and Matty Laird in five pulsating games. Crosby C (96pts) remain in 2nd place as Crosby B (86pts) were held at Southport A. Great week for Waddington B, a creditable 5-5 draw against Holy Trinity A was followed up by a convincing win over their C team in a rearranged match. Those thirteen points have certainly lifted them to comparative safety on 60pts, whilst ensuring their C team now on 40pts a likely drop to the 2nd Division. No favours either in the Argyle ‘derby’, a 7-3 win for the A team over their B team, consolidated a mid-table position for them, but surely condemned the B team (52pts) who only have two matches to play, to the 2nd tier.
Interesting times at the top of Division 2, Argyle D without a match this week are still out in front with 103pts. Rivals Argyle C gave out a good reminder of them still being in with a shout of promotion with a convincing win over North Meols, moving them into second place on 100pts, above Holy Trinity C (99pts), who had a narrow 4-6 win away at a Crosby D. With the top drawing to an exciting conclusion, we take a trip to The Waddington Club to see how Southport B, one of the teams embroiled in the survival fight at the bottom get on with Waddington D… First to the table, Waddington’s Chris Foley to face Phil O’Mullane, and a good start from Chris taking a tricky one in three straight,11-7,11-8,11-9. Joe Brolly then made it 2-0, overcoming Dai Davies (playing up from the D team) in three games. Chris back to the table to play Graham Chellew, and this one was certainly beginning to look bleak for the visitors as Chris took hold quickly winning the first 11-1. At the beginning of the second Graham again did not seem to be at the races with error after error, but then slowly began to find his range and back into contention. Chris however was on her game and edged it 11-9. Tremendous third saw Chris ahead, but with Graham’s confidence improving with every hit and block, the game stood at 10-10, and with already a match point against him, Graham finally took it 12-14. From that point the contest was turned on it’s head, Graham going on to clinch it 7-11,6-11, it’s 2-1 Waddington. Ian Lunt verse’s Southport’s Nigel Pilkington next, and Nigel continued the good work taking the first 8-11, but Ian’s accurate topspin attack took over in the second, 11-4 to him, squaring things up. Same again in the third 11-8, and the fourth was convincing 11-1, making it 3-1. Could the doubles be Southport’s saving grace, simple answer here is no! Two very efficient performances from the home pairings and Southport were now in serious trouble trailing 5-1. Joe to win it then, Phil to save it? Super encounter this one, having virtually everything, summed up by the scoreline, 16-14,13-11,9-11,11-5, a Waddington win secured, it’s 6-1. To aid their survival, Southport now need a point or two more, and they got one back after Dai won an exciting five gamer against home captain Frank Proffitt, clinching it 7-11 in the fifth. More resolve needed, and more provided by Graham, against Ian, his opposite number. You get your monies worth, that’s for sure from Graham, trailing 11-7,6-11,14-12, he conjured up another memorable fightback, taking the next two 9-11,2-11, making the score 6-3. With the match lost sometime ago, credit must go to Southport here, so acting captain Nigel to round off the evening off ? No question about that, a great performance against Frank, who to be fair played his part in a rousing finish, 10-12, 6-11,9-11 to Nigel, making the final score 6-4 Waddington C. Super night’s entertainment, a good win for the home side and some valuable points earned for the visitors… That results means Waddington D stay in fourth on 71pts, and Southport remain in second bottom a point behind Crosby E (55pts) but ahead of North Meols who have 49pts. All to play for then, especially next week when Crosby E host Southport B...
Only second place to play for in the 3rd Division, now that Argyle G assured themselves top spot with a maximum win over Southport D. They can’t be caught on 130pts, meaning it looks like a straight fight between Para’s, Argyle E, Southport C and Crosby G for that second promotion place, with the Para’s at present in pole position on 94pts. Argyle E are third on 89pts, four points ahead of Southport C(85pts) and six ahead of Crosby G (83pts) , who after a good win against their Argyle rivals, do seem to be very well placed, with a match in hand and seemingly a kinder run-in.
All news can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 19 Southport & District TTL
No change at the top of Division 1, and it’s unlikely to alter now at this late stage. Crosby A lead the way on 115pts, this after a convincing win at Argyle A. Crosby C remain in second place with 100pts, even after a narrow home loss to Holy Trinity A, where being all square after the singles, the outcome was decided by the visitors taking both the double encounters. With the C team slipping up , Crosby B (93pts) moved a little closer to securing that second berth, after overcoming a stubborn Argyle B, and with matches in hand then the possibility of a 1,2,3 for the A,B,C teams of Crosby is looking more like a probability. Holy Trinity A head the chasing pack, back on 79pts. With top almost decided, we virtually have the bottom sorted as well, although Waddington C (46pts) are putting up a fight with a second victory of the season. A great start from the bottom team had them in control, leading 4-1, clinching the win in the eighth game at 6-2. Southport came back to make the score respectable, but not before contributions from each home player, including a full quota from Dave Noden, had made the match safe. Argyle B’s survival looks to be at an end, now on 55pts they trail Waddington B by 9pts, but have only one match to make up the deficit, that being against bottom team Waddington C.
In Division 2, the battle for promotion continues, firstly Argyle C kept their hopes alive with a commanding 1-9 win at Waddington E, where again Nick Wilson took the plaudits after a fabulous win over Dave Mullan, clinching it 18-20 in the fourth. Holy Trinity C then followed suit winning in fine style against Waddington D, ensuring their eyes were firmly set on that top spot. So with Argyle C in temporary charge on 109pts, and Holy Trinity second with 107pts, then how will Argyle D react when they face a tricky match against Crosby D... Let’s find out, as we head to Argyle. Tricky it was, even more so now for the home side, with the absence of number one Nick Miller. First up, Adam Zaiber to face Crosby’s Josiah Nix. Great start for the visitors, Josiah taking control from the off with his unorthodox topspin attack, taking the first two games 3-11,7-11. Adam steadied in the third, but it was still Josiah’s day, 10-12 and Crosby lead. Callum Richardson then levelled things up, winning in four games against Marcus Doyle. Number ones to the table please, Les Dodd verses Sarang Sapre. Fascinating tussle this one, with contrasting styles, Sarang’s elegant topspin attack against Les’s close to the table counter block. First game to Sarang 7-11, second edged by Les 15-13, the pendulum continued to swing, 11-4, Les, and again back it went to Sarang 8-11. Into the fifth and Crosby have their lead back 7-11 Sarang, it’s 1-2. Parity restored, home captain Les Lord getting the better of his counterpart John Aitchison in four games, before Les Dodd returned to the table with a stifling display against Josiah, three straight for him putting Argyle in front for the first time, 3-2. Adam then increased his side’s lead, winning in four games, 12-10,11-3,11-13,11-7, over John. Could Crosby get back into this, well Sarang certainly thought so, as he took on Callum. All out attack from both players produced a superb contest, only three games all to Sarang, 5-11,7-11,5-11, but it looked much closer than that, 4-3 Argyle. Les Lord up to face Marcus next, and from the onset Marcus curbed his ferocious hitting, which did the trick, with him winning the first two games 7-11,8-11. Very close third, but Marcus hung on 12-14 and we are all square, 4-4. All on the ‘doubles’ then, up first Les and Les verses Sarang and Josiah, the tension had just risen a notch or two. Fabulous start from the visitors, 3-11, no mercy given. What a reply in the second from the Argyle pair, 11-5, So close in the third, but the Crosby pair get their noses in front 10-12, just! Back came Argyle, their cautious approach paying off to take the fourth, 11-7. Same again in the fifth from them, and coupled with too many errant hits from Crosby, 11-9 to the home pairing, making it 5-4 Argyle. Last word to Crosby, unfortunately not this time, Callum and Adam winning the final contest against Marcus and John in three straight, leaving us with a final score of 6-4 Argyle. Terrific evening’s entertainment, credit goes to both sides, and a result which puts Argyle G back on top with 109pts ahead of their C team on games won. Crosby E (61pts) won the bottom of the table clash with Southport B (58pts), the 6-4 scoreline could well have been better, if not for the Southport outfit winning both doubles encounters along with a super double from Phil O’Mullane. North Meols are rooted on 49pts, whilst Holy Trinity D having played a match more, are not completely safe on 64pts.
In Division 3, as winners Argyle G (130pts) were without a match, the battle for that second promotion place got well under way. Para’s set their stall out with a hard earned victory over third placed Argyle E. Some match this, as five contests went to a fifth game, Para’s taking four of them. Argyle then a little unlucky to be on the end of an 2-8 loss, but the win does make the Para’s favourites with 102pts. Argyle E remain in third on 91pts, but must feel now that’s the best they can hope for. Southport C’s (90pts) hopes were also dashed, but they may have taken Crosby G’s hopes away as well in a dramatic tussle which finished 5-5. A superb double from Southport’s Andy Bush and wins in both double’s contest’s were decisive in the outcome. Crosby G now on 88pts have a match more to play, but have little room to drop further points.
No regular league programme next week as it’s Semi Final week, an important one for all concerned, but could the Waddington Club and Argyle have a team in each of the four finals?
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
CUP & PLATE SEMI FINALS
Southport and District TTL.
Crosby A look favourites for the ‘Double’ now they have secured their Final spot, after winning away at Argyle A. After levelling things up at 1-1, Argyle were never really given another glimpse of success, with Crosby winning the next five contests, sending them through 1-6.
Holy Trinity A will play Crosby A, after winning their Semi away at Waddington A. A great battle between Darren Taylor and Mal Kent was the highlight, after losing the first 10-12 game, Darren hit back to take three of the next four, all of which ended 11-7. This made the score 2-3, but Waddingtons night was done, after wins from Colin Mitchell, Brian Crolley and a doubles success. Final score 3-6 Holy Trinity.
An all 2nd Division line up in the Plate was got underway by Waddington E in their first of two Semi’s, Crosby E their opponents. A good start was made by the home side with wins from Derek Aitken and Dave Williams, however this was quickly cancelled out by Rashad Al Dahiri and Max Davies, 2-2. Again Waddington forged ahead with both Derek and Dave gaining their second wins of the evening, before Crosby’s double pairing of Rashad and Max pulled it back to make it 4-3. That two point cushion was restored by home pairing Derek and Dave,completing a very successful night for the two, leaving it to Joe Brolly to clinch the tie, overcoming Max in four games, 11-8,9-11,16-14,11-5, final score 6-3 Waddington E.
In the other tie, Argyle C got past a stubborn North Meols, where four contests went to a fifth game, three of which were taken by the Argyle side. Two wins from Mike Parker and victory’s in both double’s swayed the tie considerably, whilst North Meol’s Les Rimmer must have been pleased with his win in five over the ‘in form’ Nick Wilson. It finished 2-6, Argyle, an interesting Final awaits...
A Waddington ‘derby’ kicks off the Gunson Cup semi’s, with the D team from the 2nd Division taking on their First Division C team. With the handicap in a sealed envelope, along with the added speculation of how many his side could be awarded, D team captain Frank Proffitt was up first to commence battle with Nick Foss. Decent start here from Nick winning 31-55. Ray Hibbs followed that up with a 37-50 success over Chris Foley, to make the score 68-105, C team. Dave Noden kept the pressure on, winning 35-54 against Karen Gibson, before Ian Lunt pulled out all the stops against Ray, a narrow 45-54 loss, meant the score at halfway was 148-213, the C team lead by 65. Brian Haslam then recorded what would be only the second maximum of the match a 23-55 win over Frank. Nick then increased the C teams hold on proceedings with a fine display to get the better of Chris, 36-52, and that lead now is looking a little ominous at 207-320. Ian started very well against Dave,but having edged the first 11-10, control was regained, Dave going on to win it 33-54. Last up, Karen verse’s Brian, and even a great finish here may not be enough, Karen’s 39pts may help, but with Brian’s 52pts giving us a pre handicap score of 279-426, that could be just too much. A 120pts awarded to the D team, leaving them 27pts short, Waddington C go through to the final, 399-426.
Argyle B hosted Crosby C in our second Semi, and with both teams from the 1st Division, then first thoughts would have to be how much of an advantage Argyle ,the lower placed of the two, would be awarded at the end. As the match progressed the guessing game would have been thrown into confusion, mainly due to some outstanding performances from both sides. For Crosby, Rhys came up trumps again gaining a maximum 110pts, and only conceding 26pts in his two contests. Francois Rafferty had a mixed night, in the very first encounter he restricted Derek Mahen to just 13pts whilst securing a maximum, but then in the last of the evening he had to fight tooth and nail to keep Monica Coogan down to 42pts. Indeed Monica gained 85pts in all, the most for the home side by some margin. Angus Taylor too did his bit, producing the only outright win for his team, a 52-43 win over Josh Parker, just after the halfway point, which kept you guessing. At the end, the score stood at 235-425, which way would the reveal take the result, 155pts to Argyle, meaning it’s Crosby C who progress to the Final to meet Waddington C. Final score 390-425.
In this all 2nd Division tie, leaders Argyle D were again without number one Nick Miller, so Callum Richardson again deputised against a buoyant Southport B. Two standout performances took the eye in this intriguing match, one from either side. Argyle’s Les Dodd did extremely well, taking maximum points whilst conceding just 53pts. To counter that Southport’s Phil O’Mullane stood firm, winning his two contests outright, taking 103pts in the process and conceding 91pts. So with the highs and lows out of the way, the remaining four battles probably went as expected, with wins for Argyle, but were they by enough. With a pre handicap score of 303-418 Argyle, both sides would have thought they could have pinched this, but on the reveal, 200pts to Southport, and they progress with more ease than they had anticipated, 503-418.
With venue difficulties, 2nd Division Waddington E switched their tie verses 3rd Division Southport C to The Amelan Hall, so would relinquishing home advantage have an effect on Waddington’s second Semi in as many days. Southport’s elder statesman Bill Bradley has the honour against Andy Armstrong to start the ball rolling. Every point is crucial, and to emphasise that, both players served up a wonderful starter. Andy seemed to have the edge throughout but Bill’s resolve earned his side 35 valuable points against 54. Waddingtons own Mr Indefatigable Derek Aitkin, up next to face Paul Harrison, and proved the point nicely with a 24-55 win, making the score 59-109 Waddington. Andy Bush verse’s Gordon Imrie next, and what a cagey encounter this turned out to be, both players cancelling each other out with dogged determination. Very close indeed, finishing 45-55 in Gordons favour, and the visitors lead is now 60pts. Southport’s Stuart Gibson against Dave Williams next, and Dave’s experience and rather unusual style certainly made it very difficult for Stuart, and in the end he did well to keep it to a 19-55 loss. At the half way stage Waddington lead 123-219. Derek is called upon to tackle Bill, but his assault is thwarted by cramp early on, so Bill agrees to let him recover and hopefully resume later.. So eyes turn to the two Andy’s to get us back under way, and another very close exciting contest, which see-sawed throughout, was just edged by Waddington, 46-48. Waddington’s lead then went past the hundred mark, with Gordon overcoming Stuart, 32-55, leaving no doubt that this could be close, 201-322 the visitors after six contests. That lead remained the same after Paul and Dave fought out a fascinating stalemate, 49-49 it finished, leaving the contest on a knife edge, so could he return? You bet he could, Bill against Derek will resume. Tremendous finish to a fabulous nights table tennis, true Derek resisted his usual intent on chasing everything down, but Bill’s tactical nouse still had his opponent acknowledging some wonderful shot placements. A 25-55 scoreline seemed a little unfair on the Southport veteran, but would the pre-handicap score of 275-426 be enough. Envelope please… 160pts to Southport, and they pinch the tie by just 9pts, making it an all Southport final, and Waddington, well, they have the Anon Plate to look forward to.
Para’s took a big step nearer to finishing second in the 3rd Division, a maximum win over Crosby F, means that they need 7pts from their last fixture, which will be tricky as a resourceful Southport C stand in their way.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 20 Southport & District TTL
We head off straight to Crosby this week where Crosby A clinched the 1st Division title after not surprisingly beating a very understrength Crosby B side. With illness and unavailability being the reason, Selwyn Goldthorpe and Sunil Sapre , were asked to step up from the 3rd Division into the ‘lion’s den’. To be fair they acquitted themselves very very well, facing the likes of Matty Laird, Sylvia Graham and Liam Shaw would be a daunting task. Although no games were won by the pair, they produced some delightful moments, which even had their opponents applauding, giving much credit to the 3rd Division. In fact the B team got off to a great start, with Sam Pierce winning in three straight over Sylvia, before wins for Matty and Liam, put the champions elect in front 2-1. Matty to do battle with Joe Mullin next, and a battle we got, with the first two games shared at, 11-8,7-11, the next two continued in the same vain, all out attack, ferocious hitting, great serving, 8-11,11-5, and we were into the fifth. Matty with a big 5-1 advantage at the turnaround, looked to be cruising, but a great controlled recovery from Joe, won him the game 9-11, making it 2-2. Jack Dempsey restored his side’s lead in overcoming Sam in three games, 11-5, 13-11,13-11, close call there Jack. First doubles up next Jack and Matty verse’s Joe and Sam. Top draw encounter this, and the B team pair were out of it very quick, taking the first with some ease 3-11, following up well with a 7-11 advantage. More calm from the A team in the third, mixing it up now with controlled attack, taking it 11-6, before edging the fourth 12-10, and the fifth beckons. First one way and then the other, and again the A team snatch it 13-11, great fightback, they lead 4-2. That was the best it got for the B team, although Joe did get a glimpse of success against Jack, but four more straight wins made the final score 8-2 Crosby B and they are uncatchable on 131pts, Congratulations to them…. Crosby B remain in third place on 97pts, three behind Crosby C who have 100pts, and with two matches left apiece that runners up spot is still undecided. Holy Trinity A (88pts) look to have cemented fourth place, whilst at the bottom, Argyle B can’t avoid the drop to the 2nd Division, even after finishing with a 6-4 home win in their last match against bottom team Waddington C (50pts). With two matches left the Waddington outfit too face a 2nd tier future, as they are 17pts adrift of Southport A.
In the 2nd Division, the race for that title has certainly hotted up. Argyle D still lead on 116pts, but only on matches won from Holy Trinity C. Argyle C remain third on 109pts, needing a big slip up from one of their rivals to let them in. Holy Trinity C turned up the heat with a comprehensive 1-9 win over Southport B, leaving Argyle to match that score to maintain their 2pt lead. A stubborn Waddington D though thwarted Argyle’s ambition,restricting them to a 3-7 win, giving us a grandstand finish, which will cumulate when the two sides meet on the 12th April at Holy Trinity, save me a spec! That heavy loss Southport B suffered didn’t help their survival hopes leaving them on 59pts with two matches to play, that’s seven points behind Holy Trinity D who finish their campaign next week against promotion hunters Argyle C. Southport’s match next week is also a tough call away to Argyle D, so they may well be relying on some good fortune when they play bottom team North Meols at home in their final contest.
In the 3rd Division, Para’s finished their league season with a draw against Southport C, tricky it looked and tricky it was, as a full quota of wins by Southport’s Andy Bush was the pick of a very competitive encounter, which also welcomed the return of Southport’s captain Alan Town who chipped in with a single’s success. So Ian Littlewood and his team now have an anxious wait, as Crosby G still have two matches to play, this after they inflicted a maximum on their F team. They were missing the Moustaka twins too, but Jack Taylor and Harry Griffiths from the H team proved worthy replacements. So at the top, Argyle G have 139pts, Para’s have 117pts and Crosby G are on 98pts, with those matches in hand. Argyle F gave themselves a chance of overtaking their E team after a good win over Southport D.
All Results/Tables and News can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 21 Southport & District TTL
Crosby A rounded off their title winning season with a maximum win over bottom side Waddington C, who in fact looked to have deserved a little more on the night, than they actually got. Having said last week Holy Trinity A had looked to have cemented fourth place, well the mix did not cure too well it seems, as Argyle A gained a tremendous home win over the Holy Trinity outfit. True they were without number one Barry Davies, but that 9-1 scoreline was worked very hard for, meaning fourth place is back on the agenda. A big week for Crosby C started off very well with a commanding win away to Southport A in a match brought forward, which meant 2nd place was now within touching distance, so with 6pts the target, Crosby is our destination, to see if that can be achieved against Waddington A. Added interest to the visit comes by way of the Crosby E verses Holy Trinity C, an pivotable match for the latter in the 2nd Division title race. From the outset the likelihood of success for Crosby looked positive, with Waddington being a little under strength with the absence of both Matt Wilson and Darren Taylor. Couple that with Rhys Davies and Francois Rafferty being at the top of their games, ably backed up by Josh Parker and the returning Peter Ashley, then the signs were not good for the visitors. Only Ray Hibbs in fact posed a threat, taking Josh to a fifth game, losing out 11-4. From then on a procession of wins, earned the home side a maximum win, and guaranteed that all important 2nd place. Considering that this Crosby team were in the 3rd Division, just four seasons ago, gaining two promotions in two years, and after their initial season in the first, adding Josh Parker to their squad, then Mark Davies and his team have done a remarkable job, same again or better next time perhaps!
With things settled there, we turn our attentions to the top of the 2nd Division, and that other match, Crosby E up against Holy Trinity C. Crucial contest this, for the Holy Trinity side, especially having heard that both promotion rivals Argyle D and C had recorded convincing 9-1 wins. To make their task even harder, they will have to do it without Ted Cramsie and Bob Carr, Graham Oates and Keith Dudley deputising. Home captain Max Davies gets us underway against Graham, and a cracking encounter to start us off, Graham taking the first 4-11, super reply from Max, 11-7, before Graham restored his advantage pinching the third 10-12. It’s all square after the fourth, Max settling into his game well,11-5. Drawing on his vast experience Graham secured the fifth 8-11, first blood Holy Trinity. A slow start from Tony Bramham losing the first 4-11, to Keith was quickly turned around by the home player, three in a row, 11-7,11-7,11-5, and it’s 1-1. Battle of the number one’s next, Rashad Al Dahiri verses Ned Hassan, top game, top quality, with a blend of fine serving, consistent defence and great attack, this could have gone either way. Rashad wins it in the fourth, and his side lead 2-1. Two wins from the visitors, Keith overcoming Dylan Walsh, and then Norman getting the better of Tony, put Holy Trinity where they want to be, in the driving seat at 2-3. Not there for long though, Crosby’s first double pairing of Rashad and Max winning an entertaining tussle in four games over Ned and Graham. Back in front again, second doubles pair Norman and Keith restoring the lead in a three straight win against Tony and Dylan, could the title chasing team hold on to the lead or even stretch it? Rashad to the table, Norman the opposition. This Crosby side will not lie down, Rashad proving the point by going off a great pace to take the first two games 11-6,11-2, superb attacking play. Hold on now, Norman has steadied, and worked his way cleverly back in this, edging the third 10-12. Close again in the fourth, but the edge this time goes to Rashad,11-9, and it’s all square again at 4-4. Max to dent Holy Trinity’s ambitions further, acting captain Ned to secure the match. Well, Ned’s off to a flyer, taking the first with some ease, 3-11, solid reply from Max pinching the second 11-9. Virtual repeat in the next two, Ned taking the third 4-11, Max the fourth 11-7. Very close and cagey in the fifth, with Ned doing just enough to win it 10-12, his side lead again 4-5. It looked apparent from the start, this match was scripted to finish 5-5, and that’s how it turned out, when Dylan excelled to overcome Graham in four tension filled games, super match throughout, and probably a fair result, from which both sides deserve credit. That result certainly puts a different slant on the top, Argyle D on 125pts, now look favourites to take the title, Holy Trinity C have 121pts in second, and Argyle C’s (118pts) outside chance has now become a possibility. At the bottom, it’s simple, Southport B (60pts) now must find a massive victory in their final match against bottom team North Meols, to leap-frog Holy Trinity D (67pts) who have completed their fixtures.
No real change to report from Division 3, only that whilst winners Argyle G need one more win to record an 100% record for the season, Para’s are still waiting anxiously to see if Crosby G can catch them to take that second promotion place.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 22 Southport & District TTL
As the top three and bottom two positions being already decided in Division 1, Holy Trinity A were presented with fourth place after Crosby B disappointingly conceded their match, and at the same time deprived Argyle A of the chance. Their match away at Waddington A had already been put back a week, being re scheduled for the 21st. Waddington B versus their C team was the only match to ‘put bat to ball’, and both teams seemed to finish off the season with a very entertaining flourish.
A decisive last week at the top of Division 2, was kick started by Argyle C at home against the ever improving Crosby E. Another great double from Rashad Al Dahiri along with a win from Tony Bramham kept the visitors in it, but with a player short, that was the best they could have probably expected, as wins for Nick Wilson, Ula Kuczek and Jules Dutch helped secure a 7-3 victory. That result sets up a vital match at Holy Trinity C where leaders Argyle D are the visitors, having looked for so long that these two teams would take the top two places, could Argyle C gatecrash the party. Argyle D are safely there whatever the score, Holy Trinity need at least a draw and they will have to do it without number one Ted Cramsie, and Argyle C just have to keep everything crossed. Beaufort Hall Formby is the venue, up first Norman Lindsay versus Nick Miller. Great start for the visitor’s a three straight win for their number one and that’s one point earned of the three needed to clinch top spot. Bob Carr to take on Argyle captain Les Lord next, and the tension was certainly being felt by both players as they embarked on a very cagey first game. Great control and patience took the game beyond 10-10, until Bob made the breakthrough edging it 13-11. Exactly the same throughout the second, and even further, 12-14 to Les this time to tie it up. More intent shown by Les in the third, but Bob stuck to his guns to take that and the fourth 11-7,11-6, making it 1-1. Acting captain Ned Hassan to tackle another immoveable force Les Dodd, and he was at his best playing numerous deft angle drop shots along with some well timed hits, Les winning it in four games, 11-9,8-11,10-12, 6-11, and Argyle lead again,1-2. All square again after Dave Bradley, called up from the D team, overcame Callum Richardson in three straight, before the visitor’s first double pairing of Nick and Les Lord put them back in front, winning in three games over Norman and Bob and at the same time assuring that prized top spot . It looked like that lead would be extended to, second double’s pairing Les Dodd and Callum were in control at 9-11,11-7, 3-11 against Ned and Dave, until the home pair mustered up a great fightback taking the next two, 11-6,11-7, surprise surprise it’s 3-3. Still the tension mounted, more so now for the Holy Trinity side, who needed two points from four contests. Argyle though could still do their C team a big favour by winning the match, and assuring them second place. Callum kept up that pressure with a fine four game win against Norman, but yet again Dave produced the goods, in an equally fine display versus Les Lord to make it 4-4 on the night. This could not have been scripted better, one point needed by the home side, and it’s Bob and Les Dodd to the table, a titanic tussle immediately comes to mind. What a contest, with mistakes forbidden after the first two games were shared, 7-11,11-3, it turned into a chess like exhibition, 12-10 Bob, 9-11 Les and finally into the fifth, and of cause it was close, 11-9 Bob, and for the first time Holy Trinity lead 5-4, so let the celebrations begin, second place is theirs. Fabulous evening’s work by the home side in a terrific match throughout, but maybe it could get even better, Ned to tackle his opposite number Nick. Sadly not, three straight to Nick, but it really doesn’t matter one jot, 5-5 the final score, Congratulations to Argyle D who finish top on 130pts, and to Holy Trinity C’s second place on 126pts, Argyle C just miss out in third with 125pts. At the bottom Southport B’s match against North Meols was postponed, meaning that Holy Trinity D have an anxious wait on the outcome.
In Division 3, Argyle G finished with that 100% record intact, 18 straight wins and 155pts, Congratulations to them. However the Para’s still wait on second place, as Crosby G’s match with Southport D was postponed, so now with two results to come from the Crosby outfit, the waiting game continues. With just a handfull of league matches still to play, attentions turn to the seasons finale, four Cup Finals played over the next two weeks... all info can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Plate Cup Finals
We head straight to Argyle for the Anon Plate Final, between Waddington E and Argyle C, where Argyle still reeling from just missing out on a top two place in Division 2 must be keen to finish the season on a high. Waddington however with the same line ups on show tonight will be hoping for a repeat of their 7-3 winning league performance back in November. Waddington captain and number one Dave Mullan gets us underway against his opposite number, the ever improving Nick Wilson. Brilliant start from Nick here, seemingly creating his own openings at will and finishing off with great aplomb, taking the first two games 7-11,5-11. Equally brilliant recovery from Dave steadying well to claw back the next two, 11-9,11-8. Into the fifth and the same pattern continued, Dave led 4-0 and with Nick’s body language summing up his predicament, something clicked, and suddenly he was back on song, winning ten points in succession, and taking it 5-11, it’s 0-1 Argyle. Andy Armstrong to face Argyle’s Ula Kuczek next, and a rather cautious approach from Ula paid off, with her winning in three straight, making it 0-2. Could Joe Brolly kick start Waddington’s night, Argyle captain Jules Dutch his opponent. From the off, Joe’s attacking play was working well and along with some excellent retrieves thrown in, an 11-6,11-7,11-4 score line deservedly got his side on the board, it’s 1-2. Naresh Tagore then restored that two point lead, overcoming a stubborn Dave Williams in four games, before Ula just got the better of Dave Mullan in an epic five game see-saw battle, which brought the best out of each player. It finished 13-11,6-11,12-14,11-7,7-11, but more importantly Argyle now have a 1-4 lead, which was soon increased to 1-5 after Nick out hit Joe in three games, meaning if Waddington want to win this they will have win the remaining four contests whilst relying on countback to the number of games won. Doubles next, Andy and Dave Williams to face Jules and Naresh, and the fightback was on, straight forward as you like in three games, it’s 2-5. First double pairings to the table, Dave Mullan and Joe versus Nick and Ula, and what a fine encounter this was, having absolutely everything including a final twist. First game to Argyle 8-11, the next two were so very close and both to Waddington 13-11,15-13. Then comes the twist, Nick and Ula take the fourth with ease 1-11, game over surely, but no, great response from the Waddington pair, taking the fifth 11-3, how does that work? Nevertheless it’s now 3-5 Argyle, and just in case the countback score is 14-17 in games. Jules has had a frustrating night so could he clinch it against Dave Williams. Edgy play from both players, sharing the the first two 9-11,11-7, some daylight produced in the third, Jules taking it 4-11. Nerves again taking over in the fourth, but Jules just about hangs on pinching it 9-11, and the match is Argyles, 3-6. Congratulations to them and to Waddington for making it a very entertaining evening...
Because the Gunson Plate Final was an all Southport affair, the C team from the 3rd versus the B team from the 2nd, then it was fitting that the match was held at the Amelan Hall. So with every point at stake and that handicap not revealed to the end , Paul Harrison against the B teams Nigel Pilkington gets us under way. Impressive start from the 3rd division player, after losing the first 5-11, wins in the next three followed by a narrow loss in the fifth, assured his side the best of starts, 48-44, C team. Elder statesman Bill Bradley up next with a tough assignment ahead, B teams Graham Chellew. Tough it was too with Graham coming out on top 25-49, but with points dropped again by the B team, would it be something they regret, 73-93 B team. Maximum points earned in the next contest by Phil O’Mullane, a 22-55 win over Stuart Gibson making the score 95-148. Graham back to the table to face a tricky task himself, Andy Bush in opposition. Super play from both players in this one, but Graham’s game plan of high topspin loops, worked very well against Andy’s spin attack, resulting in a fine 28-55 success, and at halfway the B team lead by 80pts, 123-203. Paul then played a true captain’s role with a second outright win against B team captain Jeff Cummins, 49-39 it finished, reducing his side’s deficit to 70pts, before Nigel restored and increased his side’s lead with a very hard fought 35-55 win over a resourceful Stuart, which made the score with two contests to go, 207-297 B team. Great nights table tennis so far with both teams contributing to the entertainment, as well as some good banter from those watching. Andy to face Phil next, and Phil’s experience paid off again, stretching that lead a little further to 112pts, with a 28-50 win. Bill to round off the evening against his opposite number Jeff, could he do enough to secure victory. Well, I don’t think he couldn’t have done any better in a rousing attacking encounter, 35-53 to Jeff, giving us a pre handicap scoreline of 270-400 B team. Some anxious looks greeted the reveal of the handicap, but those by the C team turned to enormous grins as 150pts were awarded to them, it’s theirs 420-400… Thank you Southport for a superb final, congratulation to all !
Any outstanding league fixtures will covered in next week’s report, but as always more information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Butterfly Schools’ Individual Table Tennis Championships
With over 350 players representing 50 counties, two players from Crosby TTC will be there
to represent Merseyside. Yameen Al Dahiri (Range High) in the Boys under 16, and Rhys Davies (Merchant Taylors) in the Boys under 13, will compete on this Saturday 29th April at Aldersley Leisure Centre Wolverhampton. Good luck lads…
CUP FINALS 2017
Argyle is again the venue where Waddington C will take on Crosby C in an all 1st Division Gunson Cup Final. A difficult season for bottom team Waddington, could end on a high, all that’s needed is with the help of the handicap,(revealed at the end), get the better of runners up Crosby C. So with a very tough task ahead and every point to count, Brian Haslam kicks things off against Crosby’s Francois Rafferty, and a super start from the Crosby player, with maximum’s all the way in a 20-55 win, although Brian’s excellent play throughout was deserving of a greater return . That early lead was then increased somewhat by ‘pocket dynamo’ Rhys Davies, who when on this form takes some stopping. Whatever Dave Noden did, Rhys was there to capitalise, eventually winning 16-55, making the score 36-110. Could Nick Foss put the brakes on that runaway lead, Josh Parker his opponent. If the first two games were anything to go on, then no would be the answer, 7-11,3-11, to Josh. Great reply from Nick in the third, taking it 11-7, and again, 11-7 in the fourth, before Josh recovered to take the fifth 7-11, making it 39-47 Josh, and that lead is now 82pts. Brian back to the table to face Crosby captain Mark Davies, and again he produced the goods, but this time earning the points he deserved, in a 39-53 loss. With those brakes firmly applied by Waddington, the score at the halfway stage is 114-210 Crosby. Waddington captain Ray Hibbs next versus Josh, and with the need to return to maximum scoring, Josh duly obliged in taking it 27-55, extending that lead to 124pts. Dave up next to try and re-apply those brakes against Mark, and what a fabulous job he did. This was not on the agenda, it seemed every chance Dave took to attack, paid off, resulting in him gaining the maximum against Marks 35pts. A pivotal performance there maybe, especially with two contests to go, the score is 196-300 Crosby. Ray next to conjure up a miracle, it’s against Rhys. Wonderful display again from the young Crosby player, no matter where Ray played the ball, it more often than not came back with interest, and lot’s of it. A 12-55 outcome possibly looked a little unfair, but the score is now 208-355, Crosby. Nick and Francois to complete proceedings, and from the off Nick seemed to be troubled by an elbow injury, which restricted his hitting, advantage Francois throughout in a 21-55 win, but would the pre-handicap score of 229-410 be enough for either side. Speculation was rife, 180 or less would give it Crosby, the reveal say’s 200 Waddington, and their season does end on a high, congratulations to them and to Crosby for a fabulous evening’s entertainment…
In the Anon Cup Final, firm favourites and league winners Crosby A will do battle with Holy Trinity A, Argyle is the venue, and with news that Crosby will be without captain Sylvia Graham, her replacement Liam Shaw gets us underway against Mal Kent. Superb start from Mal saw him take the first two games by a whisker, 11-13, and then 9-11, before Liam rallied well to take the third 11-6. With his hammer back hand hit in full flow Mal regained the initiative winning the fourth 9-11 to secure the first point of the match. First doubles called next, Jack Dempsey and Matty Laird versus Barry Davis and Colin Mitchell. A close first saw the Crosby pair edge it 12-10, but as the contest went on the gap widened, 11-6,11-3, and it’s all square at 1-1. Yameen Al Dahiri, then put his side in front after overcoming Colin in three straight, before Jack did a near replica success over opposite number Barry to make the score 3-1 Crosby. Liam back to the table to play Holy Trinity’s captain Brian Crolley. As with the previous encounters this one did not disappoint, with some outstanding play from both players. However Liam’s retrieves from some of Brian’s hits were nothing short of miraculous, emphasising his improving game. Three straight for Liam the outcome, making the score an ominous 4-1 Crosby. Probably the best of the night next, Matty against Barry, five games of see-saw action, great serve’s, massive hits and counter strikes, resulting in a 9-11,11-7,6-11,11-6,11-7 win for Matty, leaving Crosby just one point short of retaining the cup and the double. Second double’s to win it? Yameen and Liam against Mal and Brian, and win it they did in four games with Liam for me the pick of the bunch, Final Score 6-1 Crosby A, congratulation’s to them and to their opponents for a super finish to the season….
Back to league affairs to round things off. In Division 1, Waddington A finished with a win over Argyle A , whilst in Division 3 Argyle E and Southport C fought out an entertaining draw. In Division 2, a crucial result there meant Southport B just failed to get out of the bottom two, a 6-4 win over North Meols was not enough. They finish on 66pts just one point behind Holy Trinity D. Finally, Para’s are still playing an anxious waiting game on Crosby G’s two remaining fixtures … all info can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport