Introduction to 2017-18 Season
Table Tennis gets underway again next week, and as always there are a few changes to report. With the addition of three new teams this season, then those changes will be a little more complex than normal, so here we go….
Waterloo return to the fold with two teams in Division 3, whilst Formby Holy Trinity, add a team to Division 2. To accommodate the new teams, then only one team from the 1st and 2nd divisions will be relegated, the teams retaining their places are Argyle B in Div 1, who will now become Argyle C and Southport B in Div 2. Other changes in Div 1, are Argyle A will become the B team as a new lineup of players will take on the mantle of Argyle A. Similarly at Crosby, their C will become the B team, as the A team looks like it will be an amalgamation of last seasons A and B teams. Lastly promoted Holy Trinity C will become Holy Trinity B.
In Division 2, the two promoted sides Argyle G and Crosby G will be known as Argyle E and Crosby F. Holy Trinity C are the new addition to the division, whilst finally relegated Waddington C will swap over titles with their D team.
Changes in Division 3, are purely due to the knock on effect, Crosby F become Crosby G. Argyle E become the F team, whilst last year’s F team become Argyle G. Well, I hope that is clear enough, if it isn’t then I am sure it will become clearer as the season progresses.
As well as the changes causing some confusion, any early predictions can also be be thrown into the same mix. Even with some new faces as well as some returning players ready to put bat to ball, only one question comes immediately to mind, can anyone relinquish Crosby’s stranglehold on the 1st Division assault. All the very best to all the teams for the coming season, and good luck to both new players and those returning to competition, again an interesting season I’m sure lies in wait….
Crosby Masters 2017
Crosby High School – 18th August 2017
This Inaugural mixed qualification event welcomed 24 players from around the UK including athletes from as far afield as London, Wales and a particularly strong contingent from Scotland to tackle some of the strongest players the North-West has to offer.
Players initially played a round robin format in groups of 4 with the top 2 qualifying for the main event and those in positions 3 and 4 moving into the plate competitions. The groups saw an initial shock with 3rd seed Joe Killoran from Cheshire exiting following defeats to Scottish International Rebecca Plaistow and former Liverpool champion Jonathan Taylor. Both Rhys Davies and Yameen Al-Dahiri made it through this stage but unfortunately met at the next stage meaning only one possible league representative in the last 8 – Rhys manage to win 3-0 to set up a ¼ final against the top seed and Scottish Junior No.1 - Callum Morrison. In a high-quality encounter 12-year-old Rhys lost 3-1 to eventual champion Morrison who led a Scottish clean sweep at the ¼ final stage with the Wirral’s Jonathan Taylor also losing at this point. Callum followed this up with 3-1 victories against fellow countrymen Yaser Razouk in the semi-final and Sephir Badari in the final! This qualified the four Scotsmen for evening Master event!
The battle in the plate competition saw Southport’s much improved Nick Wilson make it through to the final against Welsh International Abishek Bathula, the latter winning in 3 close sets. Nick played well throughout and should do well in the league this season as he moves into the 1st division in both the Southport and Liverpool Leagues.
The evening was a straight best of 3 knockout event played in one large arena in a front of good crowd and hosted by Ryan Jenkins – the four qualifiers were joined by 4 established star players hoping to avoid an upset – these were Dwain Shwarzer (Germany), Dean Cundy and Callum Evans (both Wales) and top see Chris Doran. Every match went the distance with Dwain Schwarzer being the 1st big name casualty losing out to Badari quickly followed by Dean Cundy losing to Callum Morrison!
The semi-finals were equally close with Badari squeezing past the current Welsh Champion, Callum Evans before Chris Doran saved a match point before overcoming Morrison – could Badari continue to upset the favourites and take the title? Alas it was not to be as Doran battled to victory with a fantastic battle where his brilliant defence eventually held firm against the attacking Badari.
Mark Davies Crosby TTC.
Southport & District TTL
It seems we have not been away, as Crosby A and B started where they left off, both winning well over Argyle B and Southport A respectively. A new look Argyle A has certainly added some spice to the mix, gaining a creditable home draw against a strong Crosby C, even without captain Nick Miller, first wins for Joe Howard and Kyle Lavender, on their return to league action aided the cause. With both sides below strength Waddington A got the better of Holy Trinity A, in an entertaining encounter at Formby. To round off the First Division, we head to the Waddington Club, to see how their B team fare against promoted Holy Trinity B, who welcome back Julian Quirk at number one, and not surprisingly it’s Julian up first to take on Ged Wilson. Convincing start from the Holy Trinity number one, taking the first two games 4-11,7-11. Ged made things far more interesting in the third, missing out on a couple of game points, finally losing 12-14. Home captain Roger Neal then did the exact same to Ted Cramsie, clinching the win 12-10 in the third, and we are all square. Visiting captain Ned Hassan then restored his side’s lead winning in three straight against Martyn Coleman, only for Dave Britton to level the match once again in an epic turnaround verses Gordon Parmenter. Trailing by two games,9-11,8-11, Dave found his bearings, and somehow Gordon lost his, 11-6,11-6,11-5, it’s 2-2. Doubles next, and how often do these games decide the issue. Well, Waddington were now in pole position with victories in both, they lead 4-2. Dave back to the table to face Ted, and what a start for him, like an express train, he takes the first 11-2. Hold on a minute though, Ted has got other ideas, as he steadies to take the second 5-11. Intriguing third, with both players displaying a mix of good defence and clinical attack, close ,very close, Ted sneaks it 14-16. All tied up in the fourth, Dave pressing hard on that accelerator again, 11-3, and the fifth is his too, just 11-9, and Waddy now lead 5-2. Another epic tussle followed when Ged met Ned, but with a twist in the middle. Fabulous attacking play from both players, gave us an even start 11-7,8-11. More of the same please, but no, it seemed both players had decided not to lose, virtually at the same time, giving us an enthralling defensive battle over three games, which the scores signify, 14-16,12-10,13-15, Ned reducing the arrears to 5-3. Could Gordon claw it back even further, it was not looking likely after losing the first two games to Martyn, 11-3,11-4, but in an evening of change, a fightback was on, next two to Gordon 8-11,7-11. Alas that was the best it got, Martyn recovered his composure to take the fifth 11-6 and the match was won, 6-3 Waddington. Last up the two number one’s, Roger verse’s Julian. A stylish performance from the visitors number one gave the the scoreline a more respectable look, a three straight win making the Final Score 6-4 Waddington B. A very entertaining start to the new campaign, here’s to more of the same….
In Division 2, Holy Trinity D were cursed by a flat tyre, leaving them a player short in their home match against Waddington C. Keith Dudley finally arrived but not before two points were correctly claimed by the visitors. His only contest then resulted in a win for his side, making it 4-5. Number one John Moore then stepped up to secure the draw, quite a finish! Argyle D started with a fine away win at Crosby F, where debutant Steve McGanity chipped in with a full quota of wins. Holy Trinity C’s home match against Waddington E proved to be a long haul, finally won by Bob Carr in a very late finish. Waddington D also were involved in a close affair against Crosby E, trailing 1-4, a run of five wins which included two from home captain Ray Hibbs, clinched a brilliant win. Promoted Crosby D, ran a strong Southport B all the way, Jonny Cummins making a welcome return, being the difference between the sides.
Division 3 turned up an early surprise result, Para’s losing narrowly to Argyle H. They were without number one Ian Littlewood, but a couple of fabulous wins from both Tom Johnston and acting captain Phil Marshall saw the visitors home. Waterloo B celebrated their return to the league with a closely fought win at North Meols, whilst Southport D started well with a good home victory over Argyle G, whilst Argyle F were just too strong for Crosby G. Finally Southport C got off to a good start winning well at a relatively new Crosby H. A very interesting start throughout, with many close matches, and not one maximum win, for all information go to www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Lancashire Table Tennis Association Junior (U/18) & Cadet (U/15) Trials
September 9th – 10th 2017 - 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 9 boys and 1 girl 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 2 Junior & Cadet Teams competing for Lancashire there would up to 7 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 in the boy’s events was undoubtedly 12-year-old Rhys Davies who remained unbeaten in the junior boy’s event (dropping only 1 set). He finished as the top ranked player from the weekend and can expect to hear of his formal selection shortly. He will be joined by training partner and team mate Yameen Al-Dahiri who finished 2nd after a final defeat to Rhys. Josh Parker narrowly missed out finishing in 8th place which would make him 1st reserve.
In the girl’s event 14-year-old Daisy Boulton ended up in 3rd place in the juniors after some notable victories against quality opposition. This gained her selection for the 2nd team as 1 player had gained automatic selection. Daisy returned the next day to win the Cadet (U/15) event. And top the rankings.
This will see Daisy line up in the 1st team alongside Rhys who gained automatic selection due to his high national ranking. Rashad Al-Dahiri was in a close battle to gain selection for the 2nd team but seems to have ended up in the position of 1st reserve also.
Southport & District TTL
Crosby A and Waddington A are the early leaders in the 1st Division both with 16pts. This after convincing wins in their ‘derby’ matches against their C and B teams respectively, and where Waddington debutant Michael Stewart got off to an impressive start with a full quota of wins. Holy Trinity B, also welcomed the return of Stephen Williams, in a good home victory over Southport A. Argyle C’s campaign got off to a bad start, although with four contests going to five games, Holy Trinity A’s maximum looked a tad fortunate. Crosby TTC was our venue this week for our feature match between their B team and Argyle A. Josh Parker missed out for the home side, so captain Mark Davies returned, whilst Andy Clark made his debut for Argyle at number one. Captain Nick Miller again was absent through injury, so Barry Crook came in at three. Mark verse’s Andy were first up, and although Mark edged the first 13-11, once into his stride Andy took complete control with an array of precise topspin hits, 5-11,7-11,5-11, and the visitors were off the mark. Francois Rafferty then made it 1-1, winning in three straight against Nick Wilson, before Barry just did enough to squeeze past Peter in four games, Argyle 1-2. Rhys Davies faced Joe Howard next, top quality from both players in this one, with young Rhys getting the better of things throughout, three straight and we were back level at 2-2. Peter then returned to the table to face Nick, and with no slip ups this time, gave his side a slender advantage at 3-2. Could Rhys extend that lead, in a showpiece encounter against his opposite number one Andy. Another level of play was reached here by both players, 11-7,to Rhys in the first , a much tighter second 15-13 again to Rhys, back came Andy to take the third 10-12, with some fabulous attacking play. A superb repost from the young Crosby ‘dynamo’ 11-5 and indeed, it was now 4-2. Follow that? Well Joe verse’s Francois was up next, and the tenacious battle did not disappoint, the only drawback it only lasted three games, all to Joe, it’s 4-3. An excellent match was nearing a tense finish, which was evident as Mark and Barry slugged it out over five gruelling games, 11-6, 9-11,14-12,10-12 and finally 11-6 to Mark, ensured his side would not lose at 5-3. Doubles to finish, and with that, a point apiece was earned, after both contests were comfortably won in three straight, which gave Crosby B a vital 6-4 win, in a wonderful match throughout, credit to both sides… On the adjoining table Argyle E started off their season in Division 2 against Crosby E, and in the early stages found the going a little tough. Wins for captain Max Davies, Rashad Al Dahiri and two wins for Felix Anderson along with a Max/Rashad doubles success put the home side well on the way. Only a defiant win from Argyle captain Les Lord over Dylan Walsh offered some hope at 5-1 Crosby. That hope was clinged onto when Krzysztof Gorny and Ilona Kuznik clinched second doubles in three straight, before Max eventually won an epic tussle with Les 9-11,11-6, 5-11,11-5, 11-9, to secure the win at 6-2. Ilona though was not quite finished, although it looked that way when she trailed 11-7,11-7 to Dylan, but gradually she turned it around taking the next three games, 7-11,11-13, 9-11, to make the score 6-3. Rashad verse’s his opposite number Callum Richardson completed proceedings, and neither player hung about, in an all out attacking encounter which was won by Rashad in three straight, giving us a final score of 7-3 Crosby E….. Elsewhere in Division 2, Argyle D and Waddington D lead the way on 15pts, after convincing wins over Crosby D and Holy Trinity D respectively. Holy Trinity C head a cluster of four teams on 11pts, including this week’s opponents Southport B, who must be kicking themselves being held to a draw after leading 5-2. Waddington C and Crosby E join the four on 11pts.
In Division 3, Argyle F and H are joint top , both having 16pts, ahead of Para’s on 13pts. Waterloo A got their season going with a ‘derby’ win over their B team, and with the likes of those two teams plus North Meols, as well as the two Southport teams, this league could be anyone’s, so expect plenty of movement in the next few weeks.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Southport & District TTL
With Crosby A (16pts) without a match this week, the opportunity was there to to at least put points on the board, and let the favourites do the chasing. Argyle A back to full strength, did their cause no harm after a convincing home win over Holy Trinity B, which moved them up to fourth on 18pts. Holy Trinity A had number one Barry Davis back, and his full quota of wins looked crucial in a mighty close home victory against Argyle B, the win putting them third on 19pts. Crosby B kept their 100% record and jumped to second place on 21pts, this after a good ‘derby’ win over their C team. Waddington A gained top spot (23pts) and also maintained their 100% start after a good away success at Southport A. Argyle C ran Waddington B very close, but two wins for home captain Roger Neal, was key for Waddington’s recovery from 2-4 down to clinch a 6-4 win.
We called in again this week to the Waddington Club for the 2nd Division clash between their C team and Southport B, who from the start were under pressure, being without captain Jeff Cummins and Nigel Pilkington, Paul Harrison and the evergreen Bill Bradley came in. There was also a Southport debut for Thomas Ray at number 3, and it was Thomas who was up first to face home captain Frank Proffitt. Very good start from him too, taking the first two games, 6-11,8-11, before Frank pulled one back 11-6. Thomas overcame those obvious nerves in the fourth to win it 6-11. Chris Foley then tied things up by getting the better of Bill in three games, before acting captain Jonny Cummins restored his side’s lead in an all out attacking tussle against Ian Lunt, 6-11,9-11,4-11, Southport 1-2. Colin Fyles was then given quite a scare by Paul, although taking the first 11-7, Paul fought back hard to take the second 10-12, and nearly the third, just losing out by the same margin. Normal service though was resumed in the fourth, 11-4 to Colin and it was all square at 2-2. Ian then returned to the table to face a buoyant Tom, and this contest was a case of picking your shots, and it was Ian who had the edge throughout, utilising his accurate counter hits to take it in three straight, 11-6,11-8,11-6, which edged the home side ahead 3-2. In the battle of the number one’s, Jonny Cummins came out on top, winning in three games over Colin, which levelled the scores again at 3-3. Having put in a great shift in his first contest, Southport’s number two Paul found the going a lot tougher when he faced Chris, who comfortably took the first two games. In the third it got better, but a 11-7 loss meant Waddington were in front 4-3. That was soon to be 5-3, after Frank won in three straight ,11-4,12-10,11-5 against Bill. With just the doubles to go the home side kept the momentum going, drawing on a wealth of experience, they rounded off an entertaining night taking both encounters, ensuring a well earned 7-3 victory against a stubborn Southport side. Elsewhere in Division 2, Waddington D won the their ‘derby’ verse’s their E team, maintaining their 100% record and top place with 22pts. Argyle D kept up with the leaders, with a very useful win away at Holy Trinity C, where both Callum Richardson and Patrick Devlin were the thorns in Holy Trinity’s side. Two wins a piece along with one from Naresh Tagore put the visitors in charge, even then Patrick linked up with his Captain Jules Dutch, to snatch the win, overcoming home pair Bob Carr and Gordon Parmenter in five intriguing games. Argyle D are second with 21pts, followed by Waddington C with 18pts. Crosby D came out on top against their F team, with their captain Elliot Cooper being the pick of the bunch winning all his games. Argyle E kick-started their season with a maximum home win over Holy Trinity D.
Argyle H (23pts) continued to impress in the 3rd Division, this time holding onto their 100% record and top spot after a good win at North Meols, who obviously missed number one Les Rimmer, and long term absentee George Bradley. Waterloo B are second on 18pts after winning well at Southport D, whilst Argyle F without a match this week are in third place with 16pts. Para’s match verse’s Crosby H was a late postponement, and will be played as soon as a date is available. Waterloo A just got the better of Southport C in a close affair, with Geoff Metcalf gaining two wins for the home side, whilst for Southport and having played up for their B team earlier in the week, Thomas Ray again caught the eye again, with a full quota of wins. Crosby G also had a debutant on show, Chitra Balakrishna gaining her sides only point in a heavy home loss to Argyle G…. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Southport & District TTL
Crosby B (28pts) are the new leaders in Division 1, after a good away win at Holy Trinity B. Rhys Davies winning both his singles, and victory’s in each of the doubles were key to their success. Waddington A (26pts) slipped back to second after their home defeat to Argyle A, who moved up to third on 25pts. Number one Matt Wilson was a notable absentee for the home side, who also gave Anthony Dixon his debut, but two wins a piece for Andy Clark and captain Nick Miller ensured victory for the visitors. Crosby A gave James Chappel his first start, replacing Jack Dempsey at number one, which from the outside would seem a daunting task, but obviously James took it in his stride to secure a full quota of wins in his side’s convincing win. Crosby A are now in fourth place on 24pts, with a significant match in hand on their rivals. Argyle B got that winning feel for the first time this season overcoming Waddington B , the win coinciding with the return of Chris Parkes.
We headed off to Argyle this week to see their C team take on Southport A. Whilst home captain Angus Taylor watched from the sidelines, son Allister came in for his first start of the season. Southport were also missing their number one Miro Veliky, so in came Thomas Ray who finished off a hectic couple of weeks, which now included appearances in each division. Up first saw Allister take on Bernhard Frank, who isn’t the ideal opponent to blow those cobwebs off, and so it proved. An entertaining contest saw Bernhard take it three straight, 0-1 Southport. Derek Mahen verse’s Tom was next, who proved ‘practice makes perfect’, winning in four intriguing games, 11-9,7-11,5-11,6-11, which gave the visitors an early 0-2 advantage. Back came Argyle though, Mike McCormack overcame Southport captain Alan Nolan in four games to make the score 1-2, before Tom returned to the table where he would be involved in a fabulous encounter with Monica Coogan. A terrific first game, went beyond expectation, with each player in turn looking to have it won, Monica eventually doing just that 14-12. Tom must have learnt something there, as he utilised his topspin attack and resourceful defence with aplomb to take the next two games ,8-11,7-11. In the fourth Monica began to slowly regain control, with calm precision and the occasional unstoppable hit, until the game was won 11-8. It was the same story and scoreline in the deciding fifth, which tied it all up at 2-2. Jim Irving then restored Southport lead overcoming Derek in three straight, before both doubles were also taken by the visitors, with the first double pairing of Bernhard and Tom just about getting the better of Mike and Allister in another epic tussle which went to five games, 7-11,11-9,11-8,10-12,11-13, Southport could not lose it at 2-5. Allister then recovered well after losing the first 5-11 against Jim, to take the next three 11-5,12-10,11-8, to reduce the deficit to 3-5 Southport. Mike then faced his opposite number Bernhard, and after both players had won a game a piece, it was left to Bernard to clinch a valuable win for his side, taking the next two, 5-11,6-11. A fabulous match was then completed by a home success, Monica winning in three over Alan to make the scoreline a little more respectable at 4-6 Southport. That was Southport’s first win of the season, which put them on 14pts and in 9th position, whereas Argyle C are left waiting for their first success at the bottom on 8pts.
It was a great week for the Waddington Club in the 2nd Division, Waddington D(28pts) hung on to top spot, after winning a close match away at Southport B. Thomas Ray who certainly got his eye in before making his first division debut, won two contests, but his side losing both double encounters at the start of the match, proved decisive for the leaders. Waddington C are in second place with 26pts, this after a great win at Argyle D. Holy Trinity C jump up to third place on 25pts after a maximum win at Crosby F, who remain bottom on 5pts. Crosby E are beginning to show some impressive form, a maximum win for them at Holy Trinity D, moved them into fifth place on 21pts, just behind Argyle D(23pts). Waddington E completed that great week by winning well over an understrength Argyle E.
Leaders Argyle H (26pts) suffered their first loss, after coming up against a very strong Waterloo A outfit, but still held on to first place ahead of Waterloo B((25pts), who themselves already look to be up for the fight for promotion, confirmed by a good home win over Argyle F . Para’s (21pts) are now third, after a convincing win over North Meols who were below full strength, beset with a couple of long term injuries. Southport C are in fourth place after coming out on top against their D team, whilst Waterloo A look very well placed in fifth position on 20pts with a match in hand.
ANON CUP WEEK 1st Rd
There were no surprises or upsets in the 1st round of the Anon Cup, in fact it was plain sailing for all the seeded 1st Division teams, so much so that to date they only conceded 7 sets. Joining them in round 2 , are Holy Trinity C, Argyle E and Waddington C from the 2nd Division, along with the two Waterloo sides from the 3rd tier, who all followed suit with convincing wins. Just the one tie between Crosby E and C teams, is still outstanding. However disappointing it was for those eliminated, some consolation will be had with a second chance in the Plate Competition, which will run side by side to the main event, starting week commencing Nov. 13th, and hopefully some closer finishes will be on the agenda…
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Southport & District TTL
Crosby B (35pts) just about held onto top place in the 1st Division, after a very good win over a strong Waddington A. Young Rhys Davies chipped in with two wins, but the inclusion of Matty Laird who also won both his singles, might have edged it for the leaders. Waddington now drop to fourth place on 29pts, behind Argyle A (32pts) whose ‘derby’ win against their C team kept them in contention. Crosby A’s maximum win over Waddington B, not only welcomed Joe Mullin’s return, but sent out a warning to the others of their intent, second place with 34pts with a game in hand, ominous! Both Crosby A and B are the only two teams in the division who are not only unbeaten ,but have 100% records. Argyle B edged a very close match at Southport A, where apart from a very keenly contested match throughout, just one point took the eye between Miro Veliky and Matthew Hyde. A point which seemed to be endless, and with the shot count well lost in the drama of the episode, could it have been the longest rally ever?
Waddington C (36pts) took over top spot from their D team (34pts) in Division 2, after a convincing maximum against bottom team Crosby F (5pts), who along with Holy Trinity D (6ts) seem to be getting left behind. Waddington D who were without captain Ray Hibbs had to rely on two wins apiece from Gordon Wood and Andy Armstrong to clinch a close match and retain their 100% start, against Argyle D, who themselves relied on debutant Brian Sharrock weighing in with an impressive full quota of wins. Holy Trinity C are in third place on 31pts after squeezing past Crosby D, whilst Crosby E again continued to impress moving into fourth place with 27pts. Without number one Rashad Al Dahiri, captain Max Davies took all the plaudits here with two great wins over Dave Mullan and Josh Taylor, and is certainly one of the reasons that makes this side tick.
At the top of the 3rd Division, Argyle H(34pts) are still just out in front, number one Tom Johnson again being key to his sides great start to the season. Waterloo B are in second place on 33pts, with Southport C in third on 28pts, after both sides had good away wins at Argyle G and F respectively.
An intriguing 3rd Division clash between the Para’s and Waterloo A was our feature match this week, and with captain Ian Littlewood firmly back at the helm for the home side, the visitors faced a tricky one for sure. Ian started things off against his opposite number Mark Brooks, who began very well, taking control of the first game, before Ian regained composure to hit back and pinch it 12-10. One way traffic in the second, Ian’s change of tack earning him an 11-1 success, which was then followed by an 11-7 win in the third, 1-0 Para’s. Phil Cashmore then made it 1-1, after overcoming a resolute Kostya Sinitsa, in an exciting four game contest of hit and counter block. Kostya then stayed put to take on Dave Regan, and the standard just did not drop, as both players excelled. Kosta just held the advantage taking the the first two games 14-12,12-10, but back came Dave to take the next two 9-11,7-11. Into the fifth and Dave’s nerve held out taking it 7-11, which put the visitor’s 1-2 ahead. That was soon 1-3 when captain Dave Turner won in three straight against Matt Spofforth, who then turned the tables on Dave, combining with Mark Wilson in a three straight win over the two visiting Dave’s, making the score 2-3 Waterloo. In the other doubles Ian and Mark were then embroiled in an epic encounter against Mark and Phil. What a battle, a cagey see-saw contest seemed to go on for ever, it was finally won in the fifth by the Waterloo pair, 10-12,11-6,7-11,11-7,5-11, stretching their lead again to 2-4. Mark then faced Dave Turner in another encounter which did not disappoint, five pulsating games ended with Mark clinching it 11-5, reducing the deficit to 3-4 Waterloo. Para’s were then dealt some really bad luck, Ian was looking well set to level the match against Phil, when whilst leading in the first game injury struck. After a short break Ian returned, but never looked right, going down 11-13,6-11,3-11. At 3-5, could Matt get his side back in contention for a draw. That prospect looked very doubtful as Dave Regan won the first two games 6-11,5-11, but somehow Matt fought his way back, and with some style, taking the next two, 11-4,11-8. However it was not to be, Dave rallied and clinched the fifth 7-11, and the match was won 3-6 Waterloo. A fabulous match was then rounded off with a Para’s win, Mark winning in four games against Mark Brooks, making the final score 4-6 Waterloo, and begged the question, was that injury to Ian a pivotal moment? Nevertheless, that hard fought win meant Waterloo (26pts) leapfrogged the Para’s (25pts) into fourth place whilst keeping that 100% record intact, and with a game in hand as well, you wouldn’t bet against a Waterloo one two, in the coming weeks…
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
Crosby B (44pts) are still in pole position at the top of Division 1, after a convincing away win at bottom team Argyle C (12pts) , where Max Davies made it a family affair joining brother Rhys and dad Mark, in maintaining that 100% record. Crosby A (41pts) too, are still 100%, as well they hold on to second place, on matches won ahead of Argyle A, who got the better of their B team in fine style. Crosby A though hold all the aces with a crucial match in hand on all their rivals. Waddington A are fourth after a good home win against Holy Trinity B, where both Matt Wilson and captain Darren Taylor chipped in with two wins apiece.
Waddington D (44pts) recaptured top spot in Division 2 after a maximum win over bottom team Crosby F as well as keeping that 100% record in tact, whilst last weeks leaders Waddington C (40pts) slipped up away to Crosby D, although to be fair they were without Colin Fyles and Ian Lunt. Crosby E (33pts) without number one Rashad Al Dahiri, just about got the better of Southport B , Daisy Boulton with a full quota of wins being the difference between the sides. Crosby E stay well in touch in third place with a match in hand of the top two. Argyle D and E teams served up a well balanced treat in their ‘mini derby’ which finished all square, in fact the D team were always playing catch up until Steve McGanity put them 5-4 in front, only for Adrian Hyland to save the match for the E team.
We stayed in Division 2 for Holy Trinity D’s visit to Waddington E, where the visitors were bolstered by the return of Dave Bradley, and captain Ron Makin, whilst the home side were without Dave Mullan but had Brian Haslam back in the fold. Dave Williams started us off against the returning Dave Bradley, and the home player set about his task well taking the first 11-9. All square after two though, with a good reply from Dave 6-11, which was quickly followed by a one sided success in the third 1-11, before he finally clinched it by a whisker, 11-13 in the fourth, and the visitors were on the board. Home captain Andy Armstrong then powered his way past opposite number John Moore in three straight making it 1-1. Gordon Imrie then did likewise to a slightly ‘rusty’ Ron Makin, to put his side 2-1 to the good before Brian was next to face Gordon Parmenter, and having edged the first 12-10, Gordon rallied to take the next two games 6-11,12-14. Great resolve shown by Brian then tied things up with a 5-11 win in the fourth, and as the fifth developed both players excelled until Brian just about deserved his win, taking it 12-10, Waddington 3-1. Andy then had the chance to increase that lead but Dave had different ideas, and having lost the first 11-7, he steadied and slowly took control taking the next three, 7-11,10-12, 8-11, making it 3-2 at the halfway stage. Gordon Parmenter then continued the comeback winning in three straight over Gordon Imrie, making it all square at 3-3. Next up was Dave Williams against Ron, and what an entertaining tussle this one was. With two, let’s say interesting style’s on show both players put more smiles on faces than most. Terrific contest, started so well by Dave, who took the first two games 11-7,11-5. Back came Ron, with some aplomb to take the next three, 9-11,6-11,8-11, to put his side ahead at 3-4. Having lost the last three encounters, could Brian stop the rot against John ? Excellent play from both sides of the net, ensured a captivating battle, which Brian came out on top in four games, 11-7,7-11,15-13, 11-9, and with just the double’s left to play it was 4-4. Doubles then would decide this match, and as home pair Andy and Dave began their battle with Dave Bradley and Ron, the outcome looked hard to call. First game to the visitors winning by 8-11, was followed by a determined response from Andy and Dave by the same score to levelled things up. Same again, as the third and fourth games were shared 7-11,11-4. Into the fifth and the home pair found enough spark to secure the win 11-7, and made the match at least safe. Brian and Gordon Imre verse’s John and Gordon to decide a thoroughly entertaining evening, and Brian made it a great return for himself, as the home pair clinched the match 11-8,7-11,11-8,11-8, giving us a final score 6-4 Waddington E…
With 3rd Division leaders Argyle H’s match being postponed until next week, and 2nd placed Waterloo B on a free week, then the chance was there for the rest to impact on those top positions. Which they did, as Southport C(37pts) now lead the way after a convincing home win over Argyle G, whilst maximum wins for both Waterloo A (36pts) still with an 100% start and Para’s (35pts) pushed them up to 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Just four points now separate the top five positions as Argyle H (34pts) and Waterloo B (33pts) drop into those lower places.
All Fixtures/Results/Tables and Averages can be found at www.tabletennis365.com
SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
Crosby B (52pts) just about remained top of the 1st Division, after a very good home win over Argyle B. They lead their A team by three points who matched their score against Argyle A. Those results nicely set up the clash between the two teams next week, where something has got to give, as both teams have 100% records. Waddington A (46pts) moved up to third place having put a maximum past Crosby C, who now find themselves bottom on 14pts. Argyle A(43pts) drop to fourth position after that Crosby A defeat, whilst Holy Trinity B(35pts) stay in fifth after a good home win against Argyle C (15pts), whose three valuable points moved them off the bottom, Monica Coogan proving again invaluable with two wins.
Waddington D(53pts) opened up an eight point lead over their C team, after a convincing home win over Crosby G, well that’s what the scorecard said, but with the visitor’s narrowly missing out on four contests which all went to five games, even Waddington’s captain Ray Hibbs was surprised at the 9-1 scoreline. Second placed Waddington C (45pts) fought back from 2-4 down against Holy Trinity C, to clinch a draw, Ian Lunt being their saviour. Crosby E again showed what they were made of after an outstanding win over Argyle D, which kept them very well placed in third on 42pts, with a game in hand. Holy Trinity C (36pts) are fourth after that tense draw at Waddington C. At the bottom Crosby F(5pts) look a little cut adrift after suffering their fourth maximum loss on the run, surely a change of fortune is imminent.
Our feature match this week took us to The Amelan Hall to look in on the 3rd Division clash between Southport D and Crosby H. One fact was evident even before the start, Table Tennis is a sport for all ages. On one hand we had a Southport team with an average of near 60 years of age, whilst on the other, Crosby’s young side averaged just 11 years of age. Enough of the statistics, Southport’s Bernie Culshaw verse’s Ben Richardson got us under way. Terrific start from both players in the first game, neither wavered from their top spin attack, eventually Bernie took it 17-15. Same again in the second, 11-9 to the home player, before he clinched the win 11-6 in the third, first blood Southport. Home captain Jordan Shandley then seemed to be in complete control against opposite number Louie Cooper, but the young Crosby player had other idea’s as he fought his way back into contention, 11-7,11-8,6-11,10-12. Into the fifth and Jordan refound his form to take it 11-6 and his side now lead 2-0. Alan Town then made it 3-0 overcoming Crosby captain Jack Savage in three straight, before Ben Calder started a mini revival in getting the better of veteran Bill Bradley in four games, to make it 3-1. Ben stayed put to continue his good work in a three straight win over Bernie, and the young side from Crosby were right back in it at 3-2 Southport. So, so close to squaring things up in the next contest, Louie again found himself two games down, 11-8,11-9, to Bill, but then mustered another fabulous comeback, taking the next two games 7-11,10-12, and even had control of the fifth at 5-8 to the good. Bill’s experience then kicked in, and Louie’s brave effort was snuffed out , 11-9 to Bill and the home side had a two point cushion again at 4-2. Alan then made the match safe at 5-2, overcoming an unlucky Ben Richardson. With the match then seemingly out of reach, enter young Jack Savage. What an impact, firstly he was involved in a fascinating duel with Jordan, which went the full distance, and as Jordan played his part in an extraordinary see-saw battle, Jack clinched it, 8-11,12-10,7-11,11-4,7-11, to make it 5-3. He then with Ben Richardson in the doubles excelled again , having lost the first two games to Bill and Alan , 11-6,11-6, the Crosby pair played with exceptional flare to claw their way back to an outstanding victory, 7-11,10-12,6-11, and now it’s 5-4 Southport. Could they do it? Well, trailing by two games hasn’t been that much of a problem for the Crosby youngsters, and again Louie and Ben Calder had to do just that, against home pair Jordan and Bernie. Back they came again to square it up, at 11-8,12-10, 6-11,6-11. Louie was in his third fifth game of the night, and again it was not to be, as the home pair just stole the show, 11-9 to them and a 6-4 victory was theirs. Wonderful evening of table tennis, pity someone had to lose as a draw would have been the perfect outcome… Elsewhere in Division 3, Argyle H are back on top, 16pts from their two matches (one rearranged from last week) put them on 50pts. Waterloo A(46pts) are now second after hitting North Meols for a maximum, and that Waterloo one two still looks possible with their B team third on 41pts, ahead of Para’s on matches won. Significantly all three chasing teams have a match in hand.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
There was only one place to start this week ,and that was at Crosby TTC, where the top two in Division 1, Crosby A and B, went head to head. With both teams at 100% so far this season, something had to give. Crosby A were out of the blocks very fast, Yameen Al Dahiri overcoming Francois Rafferty in three straight. Liam Shaw then made it 2-0, in similar fashion, although the scoreline of 11-5,11-8,11-9 made it look like Peter Ashley was getting closer as the contest progressed. Both players stayed put to be joined by Yameen and Francois respectively in the second double’s encounter, and what a great battle it proved. Initially it went the way of the B team pair who took the first game 9-11, before the A team drew level with an 11-8 success. Same again as the next two games were also shared, 10-12,11-7. Into the fifth, and with the temperature rising the A team clinched it 11-8, which gave them an early 3-0 cushion. Captain’s to continue the trend or stop it, Sylvia Graham verses Mark Davies was next up. Great start from Mark in this one, as he took the first two games in style,6-11,3-11, before Sylvia drew on all her experience to pull one back 11-4. So much closer in the fourth, as Mark finally put his side on the board winning 9-11, which made it 3-1 A team. Still no sign of either number one, Joe Mullin or Rhys Davies, instead Liam returned to do battle against Francois. Another super contest saw Francois reduce the arrears even further, taking it in three straight, before first double pairings of Joe and Sylvia and Rhys and Mark, entered the fray. A crucial contest in a fascinating match did not disappoint. With all four players performing so well, and both pairs adopting the tactic of ‘attack is the best form of defence’ then it could have gone either way, after the first two games were shared, 8-11,13-11. Rhys and Mark got their noses in front when they edged the third 9-11. Fightback complete for the B team, 10-12 to them in the fourth, and it was 3-3. Could Rhys put his side ahead for the first time, well Yameen stood in his way. Some superb attacking rallies were seemingly being finished with unforced errors, which was causing some concern to both players. Rhys took the first 6-11, which prompted a great 11-8 reply from Yameen, which only spurred Rhys on to take the next two , 9-11,12-14, which after trailing 3-0 the B team now had a 3-4 advantage. Problems for the A team? Well not really, Joe restored parity with a fine victory over Mark in four games 11-6, 6-11,11-4,11-4, and when Sylvia having lost the first game 10-12 to Peter , she took complete control to win the next three 11-5,11-7,11-7, which put them back in front at 5-4, with just one contest to go. Joe against Rhys rounded off a great match, and it was finished in some style by Crosby B’s young number one Rhys Davies, in four exhilarating games, 11-7,10-12,13-15,4-11, he snatched the win from the A team, to secure the draw ,that to be fair looked on from the start. That result leaves Crosby B still in pole position on 57pts, their A team second with 54pts. But having both lost their 100% records, Crosby A still have the advantage of a match in hand. Waddington A (52pts) remain in third place, after a narrow win at Argyle C, number one Matt Wilson’s absence from the visitors line up being a key factor. Holy Trinity A(43pts) moved up to fourth place after a resounding home win over Southport A . Argyle A and Holy Trinity B served up an entertaining draw, with Argyle’s Paul Lunan snatching the last point of the evening.
Waddington D (61pts) seem to be holding all the aces now at the top of Division 2. They faced a tricky contest away at Holy Trinity C, but came through it well, with Joe Brolly’s epic win against Norman Lindsay, 9-11,11-9,12,10,13-15,10-12, being the stand out performance. Crosby E (51pts) as well, continued to impress as did Daisy Boulton with another full quota of wins in the near maximum win over their F team, Selwyn Goldthorpe with his first win, spoilt the party, but not by much, as they do lie second with a match in hand. Waddington C are in third with 45pts, whilst Argyle D (41pts) are up to fourth after a good home win against Holy Trinity D. Argyle E’s captain Les Lord needed to call on three players from their third division teams G and H, for the away clash at Crosby D. Both Lewis Hible and Ilona Kuznik finished with a full quota of wins and Tom Johnston won his doubles with Les to help secure an unexpected 3-7 triumph, where the Crosby team played their part in an exceptional match. Finally in Division 2 ,Southport B fought back from 1-4 down to lead 5-4, only for Dave Williams to clinch the draw for Waddington E.
With 3rd Division leaders Argyle H (50pts) without a match, Waterloo A’s maximum win over Crosby G put them firmly in top spot with 56pts. Waterloo B kept up with their A team, a convincing win at Southport C put them on the same points as Argyle H, whilst the Para’s (49pts) are still in contention in fourth place after a good win over Argyle G.
No league action next week, as it’s the 2nd round of the Anon Cup and the 1st round of the Plate … all information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
ANON CUP 2nd Round PLATE 1st Round
In the Anon Cup, both Southport A and Argyle A had to rely heavily on help from their lower ranked teams to assist them against fellow 1st division opponents Holy Trinity B and Argyle B respectively, both of which comfortably progressed to the quarter finals. First division Argyle C, did not get off to the best of starts against their E team from the second, Ilona Kuznik winning the opening contest, but six wins on the run ensured the C team’s victory. First division leaders Crosby A were just too good for 3rd division Waterloo A, whilst their 3rd division rivals Waterloo B’s home clash against an understrength 2nd division Waddington C, finished the Anon Cup ties off in fine style. An all round team performance from the home side meant that with a win apiece they were all square at 4-4 with only the doubles to play, and to make it even more intriguing they were also level on countback of ‘games won’ at 14-14. Sean Chandler and Gary Coran then gave them the lead for the first time on the night, overcoming Waddington’s Colin Fyles and Dave Williams in four games. A tense final contest saw visiting pair, Andy Armstrong and Frank Pearce take the first two games against John and Aidan Mooney, before the father and son partnership rallied to take the next two games 13-11,12-10, which unbeknown to the players actually clinched the match. Andy and Dave then won the fifth to make the final score 5-5, and the countback rule was then brought in and yes! Waterloo had pinched it 19-18 on games won, incredible match incredible outcome. So, the quarter final line up will consist of six teams from Division 1, with one each from the 2nd and 3rd Divisions.
As the week of Cup Ties got under way, it was a little disappointing to see more matches conceded than actual score lines come in. In all there were four, which when added to the three conceded in Round 1, gave us a total of seven from thirty one ties played. In comparison to the League Programme of a hundred and twenty matches played, with just the one postponed , then maybe the way the Anon Cup and Plate are played out needs some examination. That for now is a future debate, so getting right back to the present….
In the Plate competition, all the first round Cup losers had a second chance to get to a quarter final of their own. In the first of the all 3rd division tie’s , Southport D had their task made a little easier by way of the home side being a player short. Crosby G did manage to pull back a couple wins, but the damage was already evident. In the other all 3rd division contest Para’s verses Southport C, it was a completely different story. Having shared the first two encounters, two wins from Mark Wilson and one each from Ian Littlewood and Kostya Sinitsa put the Para’s in control at 4-2. Then Southport hit back strongly with wins from Alan Town and Bill Bradley, to make it all square with just the doubles to play. First doubles pair Ian and Kostya then overcame Paul Harrison and Andy Bush in a very close five game tussle, which gave them a slender lead of 5-4. No countback needed in this one though, Para’s took the second doubles too, Mark and Matt Spofforth winning again in five games against Bill and Alan, 6-4 Para’s and they progress, but only just!
Second division sides Waddington E and Crosby E both had convincing wins over 3rd division opposition, and it was the same scenario when we paid a visit to Waddington to see how their D team who top the 2nd division dealt with Argyle F from the third. As expected the home side settled into a comfortable start taking an early 2-0 lead, which eventually became 3-0 after a slight stumble in the first doubles contest, where Emily Clare and Andy Stuart ran the home pairing of Ray Hibbs and Nick Foss very very close, the score line of 11-13,12-10,11-8,13-11, telling the story. Waddington’s second doubles, Joe Brolly and Gordon Wood then made it 4-0 overcoming Ray Clarke and young Ryan Martin in three straight, before Emily started to right the headlines going into a 0-2 lead against Ray. It was not to be though, experience telling in the end with Ray taking the next three to make it 5-0 Waddington. It was then game over, Gordon shutting the door on a spirited Ryan in four games, but not before he had showed how much he had improved since last season. Great effort from the 3rd division side, especially from young Emily and Ryan, who are two of the reasons why the game is played, to encourage and nurture new talent. Even with the tie over the remainder of the contests were played out, both youngsters benefiting from some good encouragement along the way. It finished 9-1, but the overall winner here was Table Tennis, after all, it’s good to win but it’s also good to take part. With that thought, the quarter final line up in the Plate will consist of five teams from the 2nd division and three from the third. Back to league action next week.. all information can found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
With leaders Crosby B(57pts) without a match this week the chance was there for Crosby A to recapture top spot, which is exactly what they did after a good away win at Holy Trinity B. They now lead the way with 61pts.
Waddington A also had the opportunity to move up, when they entertained Argyle B in our feature match, and with a new look squad this season, captain Darren Taylor left himself out to give Lee Madin a debut, who was up first to face Chris Parkes. Difficult baptism here for Lee, as Chris’s wonderful retrieving, worked its magic with the Argyle player securing the win in three straight. Michael Stewart, another new addition then faced Argyle captain Mark Jagger. Interesting here from the home player, expressing what seemed such a nonchalant approach, exploded into action with an array of superb topspin winners which settled the contest 11-5,11-9,11-9 and it was all square at 1-1. With Argyle’s regular number one Matt Hyde missing, Barry Crook stepped up to face his opposite number Matt Wilson, who from the start was in control, taking it in three games to put his side 2-1 ahead. Back came Argyle to level it up, Paul Lunan using his heavy topspin loop to good effect against Dave Noden, again it was won in three ,10-12,10-12, 3-11, as were surprisingly the next two encounters Matt winning well verses Chris, and then Lee getting the better of Paul to make the score 4-2 Waddington. Then a very close tussle between Michael and Barry saw the home side make the match at least safe at 5-2, but Barry made Waddingtons ‘Mr Cool’ work for his point as the 11-9,11-9,9-11,12-10 scoreline suggested. Could Mark kick-start a fightback for the visitors, well it didn’t look likely when Dave raced into a 2-0 lead winning them both 11-6. Change of tack for Mark, not exactly, but certainly something changed as the mistakes mounted for Dave, as Mark took the third with ease 4-11, and then followed that up by pinching a hard fought fourth 9-11. Into the fifth which became a battle of wills, for the opening points, before Dave took his chances to snub out any recovery, winning it 11-5, which made it 6-2 Waddington. Both doubles were then comfortably won in three straight by the homeside, giving a final score of 8-2, and another thoroughly entertaining night at The Waddington Club. With that win they also leapfrog Crosby B into 2nd place with 60pts, but have played a match more than their rivals. Argyle A (50pts) are in 4th place ahead of Holy Trinity A on 46pts. Southport A having led 5-1 against Waddington B finally won it 6-4, Alan Nolan with his first win and two from Thomas Ray looked to be the deciding factors. At the bottom Argyle C (27pts) increased the gap between them and bottom club Crosby C to eight points, being so much under strength didn’t help the Crosby cause.
Leaders of the 2nd Division Waddington D (69pts) kept a strong grip on their title ambitions as well as their 100% record, in not letting their C team upset their rhythm. A good start from the C team with wins from Chris Foley and Colin Fyles either side of a Gordon Wood reply, gave them a 1-2 lead, before that D team rhythm kicked in with seven wins on the bounce. Crosby E (60pts), kept in touch with another impressive win against their D team, putting quite a lot of daylight between them and 3rd placed Waddington C who have 47pts, They have a match in hand as well making it look more and more like a two horse race for that title, even now before the Christmas break. Elsewhere in Division 2, it was an all round stalemate with three intriguing draws. Waddington E relied on two wins apiece from Josh Taylor and Brian Haslam, whilst two wins from Steve McGanity and one each from Brian Sharrock and Naresh Tagore kept Argyle D in the contest. Argyle E had some luck on their side when Holy Trinity C arrived with a player short, Mike Parker and Ilona Kuznik with the crucial wins that kept it all square at the end. Talking of luck, bottom team Crosby F’s fortune changed away at Holy Trinity D. Well, it was not exactly luck, but when three players, Alex Baldwin, Marcus Doyle and John Aitchison all record their first wins of the season in one match, then something must have been in the stars. Marcus even went on complete a full quota of wins. Two wins from Holy Trinity’s Gordon Parmenter and Richard Woodley’s first two victories as well, made it a memorable night.
Waterloo A certainly look favourites now in the 3rd Division title race, their fourth maximum win in succession has put them in complete control on 66pts , that’s seven points ahead of the Para’s , who themselves earned a maximum win against a courageous Crosby H team in a rearranged fixture. With four contests going to five games then the three young ‘dudes’ who were bolstered by debutant Wayne Lang were unfortunate not to get something. However in their scheduled match they did, a narrow win at Argyle G looked to be just about deserved with contributions from each player adding to the success. Waterloo B and Argyle H fought out an exciting draw which leaves them tied in 3rd place with identical records (55pts each). Argyle had taken an early 1-3 lead before being pegged back to 4-4 by the home side, and with just the doubles to go, honours were finally shared after both contests went to five games in a tense climax, which saw Argyle pair Mo Mohammadi and Phil Marshall win the last four points to rescue the match from 9-7 down in the fifth. Southport C remain in fifth place a little off the pace with 48pts. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
Crosby A (68pts) and Crosby B (63pts) are back in the first two positions at the top of the 1st Division, and with just the one match to play before the Christmas break, that’s the way it will probably stay. Two wins each for the A teams Sylvia Graham and Yameen Al Dahiri looked to be the key factors in their home victory over Waddington A (63pts), who in completing their first half programme, dropped to third place. Crosby B just about hung on to the A teams apron strings after a narrow away win at Holy Trinity A, where a Mal Kent double along with single wins for Barry Davis and Brian Crolley, made it a difficult night for the title challengers. Argyle A (57pts) are in fourth place, but it could have been better, having won seven of the eight singles, two losses in the doubles made it a frustrating evening. Exactly the same scenario was dealt out to Argyle B in their ‘derby ‘ win against their C team, where again the two doubles contest’s went the unlikely way of the C team, one of which finished with a most unusual sequence of game scores, 3-11,11-4,11-0,2-11, and finally 11-13, explanations on a postcard please! A disappointing walkover for Southport A handed them 10 points against struggling bottom team Crosby C, again player availability being the problem.
With leaders Waddington D (69pts) without a match, Crosby E had the chance to close the 9 point gap. Having won both doubles, further wins from Rashad Al Dahiri and Max Davies put them 1-4 ahead, but Holy Trinity C’s wealth of experience proved decisive, in restricting the young pretenders to a narrow 4-6 win. However their ambitions were only slightly dented as they do have a 12pt lead on Waddington C (54pts) in third place.
Argyle was our destination this week for the mid-table clash between their D team and Southport B. Second doubles was called first to get things underway in a match that could be close! Steve McGanity and Naresh Tagore against the Southport duo of Tom Ray and Andy Bush. An absolute superb start from both pairs, with the emphasis on attack, Steve and Naresh took the first 11-8, followed quickly by a convincing 4-11 reply from Tom and Andy. Even better was to come, with the next two games being shared, 12-14,12-10, where on each occasion the winning pair came back from four points down to snatch it. Into the fifth and Tom’s intense play proved decisive , in an 8-11 win, which put Southport ahead 0-1. Tom stayed at the table to take on Brian Sharrock, different story here, Tom’s exciting game was nullified by Brian’s rock solid counter block play, three straight and it was all square. First double’s was next, Brian this time staying put to be joined by Jules Dutch to face Johnny and Jeff Cummins. Again Brian was in control ably assisted by Jules, anything the father, son partnership through at them was dealt with, resulting in a three straight win, and Argyle now had their noses in front. It looked like that wasn’t going to be for long as Southport’s Andy Bush swept into a 0-2 lead, 3-11,7-11 against Naresh Tagore. Back came Naresh to win the third 11-5 and then the fourth 11-6, and a superb comeback was complete, 11-5 again in the fifth, and the home side now had a 3-1 lead. Johnny then reduced the arrears overcoming Jules in three games , only for Steve to restore Argyle’s lead to 4-2 after a similar win against Andy. Naresh then just about got the better of Jeff in a pulsating attacking encounter which saw the best from both players. Close it was too, Jeff with the first 12-14, Naresh with the next two ,11-9,12-10, and the home player clinched it 11-8 in the fourth, Argyle could not lose now at 5-2, was there a way back for Southport. Battle of the number 1’s next Brian verses Johnny, and indeed there was no holding back in this one. Cracking contest, which see-sawed throughout five wonderful games, eventually Johnny taking it, 6-11,11-7,11-9, 9-11,11-8, and the path to that recovery was beginning to clear. Another high intensity performance from Tom cleared it some more after he overcame Steve in three high tempo games, 5-4 Argyle. Captains Jules and Jeff would decide the outcome. Good start from Jules, who took the first 11-8, and then the second 11-7. Jeff kept it a little tighter in the third, but in the end he couldn’t stop Argyle’s captain nicking it 11-9, and the home side’s 6-4 victory was assured. Excellent match, super entertainment. Argyle D move up to fourth place on 52pts, ahead of their E team who lost ground in the defeat at Waddington C.
Waterloo A (75pts) still lead the way at the top of Division 3 after winning well at home against Argyle F, keeping that 100% record too, makes them big favourites for the title. Rivals Waterloo B (63pts) moved up to 2nd place after a excellent win at Para’s (61pts), leapfrogging Argyle H (61pts) in the process. There was an unfortunate turn of events at Argyle for the H team when they lost a player through illness early on, however the three remaining, did a sterling job in securing a narrow win, keeping them in touch with the two Waterloo outfits. North Meols completed a difficult first half of the season, missing both Les Rimmer (1) and George Bradley (2) through illness for most of it can’t have been easy, but 49pts gained is a decent return in the circumstances. Fingers crossed they will back before long.
Time off from the league next week, as it’s the Gunson Cup 1st round, and it’s with a different handicap system, an explanation of that and those results next week. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
GUNSON CUP WEEK 1st Rd
Back in 1960/61 season, Dave Gunson’s idea of a Handicap Cup took shape with the inaugural competition of the Gunson Cup. Having been a top player and town champion himself his thoughts must have been that there was a need for a competition that gave the lower teams a chance of success. From those early days the handicap awarded to the lower ranked team was worked out by a selected committee, sometimes with as many as eight members, laterly just two educated minds bore the responsibility.. that is until now. This years handicapping will be player based, with individual handicaps awarded to the players. Using the information generated by the Table Tennis 365 website, total ranking points won and lost by players are converted to a handicap score which when the team members are added together , and because each player plays twice, it is then doubled which results in that teams handicap. Take one away from the other and the net handicap is given, which is what you will see in brackets in the results. As with any new system, there will be some errors along the way, only time will tell, and considering that the Ranking System developed by Table Tennis 365 is also in its infancy, then all fingers will be well and truly crossed.
North Meols visit to Argyle G in the all 3rd division tie, looked to be a very close affair even before the handicap was declared, and with just the 4pts awarded to the visitors, an interesting match lay ahead. Great start from Argyle’s number one Lewis Hible gaining a 55-23 win over opposite number Bill Dawson, before North Meols Neil Loader returned the favour in doing a similar job in overcoming Lee Nelson 29-55. In the next four contests which were as closely fought as you could get, Argyle’s captain Lee Hones played a pivotal role with two outright wins, a significant 44-43 success over Colin Avery and a 51-49 win against Denis Swanson , which after 6 contests made the score including the handicap 268-263 Argyle. Neil then gave his side a terrific fillip, with a 25-55 win over Gary Hible , turning that 5pt deficit into a 25pt lead. He started the evening off with a good win , and he finished it with a nail biting 55-29 victory over Colin. Down to the very last point, Argyle clinched it 348-347… said it looked close! Crosby E played out another very close match when they hosted fellow 2nd division side Argyle E. With the handicap set at 14pts to the visitors, Crosby seemed to have the match under some control, until Argyle’s Kris Gorney put his side ahead after the 6th contest of the evening, a 35-53 win over Max Davies, making it 280-286. Alex Baldwin edged his side back in front by a single point ,before Argyle’s Ilona Kuznik’s fine 43-51 win against Tony Bramham clinched the tie 371-378. With the Handicap based on individual players, it was surprising to see the higher placed team being awarded the advantage. Two ties, Holy Trinity C from the 2nd division verses Argyle C from the 1st and Crosby F from the 2nd against 3rd division Southport C fell into this category. Somehow that advantage did not help in either contest, with the lower ranked teams going through, Southport’s Paul Harrison giving a captains performance in his sides win . 2nd division leaders Waddington D just about did enough to overcome Argyle D who started with a 34pt advantage. What was interesting here was that no maximum 55pts was earned by any player, Waddingtons Nick Foss and Gordon Wood came the closest with 54pts and 53 respectively, those wins probably being decisive in Waddingtons narrow 9pt win. Elsewhere, there were two walkovers, Waddington E and Holy Trinity D being the sides going through. Also, Waterloo B from the 3rd division, gave Waddington B from the 1st a good run for their money , an 110pt start looked to be a little short of the mark, but excellent outright wins from Sean Chandler and Chris Jago made up for that possible shortfall. However , convincing maximum wins from Roger Neal and Martyn Coleman saw the 1st division side progress by 380-404. Waterloo A also found the going tough at Argyle B from the 1st division, even the award of 132pts made little impression, against a side finding it’s form. In fact the same could be said for the remaining ties, with the new handicapping system failing to give the lower sides enough of a chance, that the old system may well have done. Hopefully that will be looked at and modified before the next round of matches take place in mid January next year. Finally on a positive note, Southport A were desperately understrength against 1st division leaders Crosby A, so much so they had to bring in three players from the 3rd division. Player handicaps meant they had a 212pt start on their illustrious opponents. Under the old system that handicap would have been nearly halved, giving them very little chance, but fulfill the fixture. So plaudits all round to Pat Boylett, Stuart Gibson, Bernie Culshaw along with regular captain Alan Nolan, for giving it a go, and enjoying the experience in the process. Back to league action next week for final matches before the Christmas break, all information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 11 SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
Crosby A (75pts) as expected lead the way at the top of Division 1, with close rivals Crosby B five points behind, anxiously waiting for that unlikely slip up. Both had good wins against teams from the bottom three, and would have expected more , if it had not been for some stubborn resistance from Argyle C (33pts) and Waddington B (35pts), who still look likely to fight it out to stay up. Bottom team Crosby C’s fate looks already sealed, even after an excellent draw against Argyle B, made even more remarkable, they did it with a player short. Those valuable five points leaving them still adrift by nine points. Argyle A had to rely on some help from their D team to just get past a Southport A team, who gave Mark Barnes his debut. That narrow win lifted the Argyle outfit to 3rd place with 63pts, the same as Waddington A.
At the top of the 2nd division it was the same story, as Waddington D (75pts) and Crosby E (74pts) seem to have taken complete control, the only question here being in what order they will finish. A close fought win by the leaders at Argyle E, assured them top spot, and being without captain Ray Hibbs, it needed a full quota of wins from Joe Brolly, which included a five game win with doubles partner Irene Mullan, to keep hold of that 100% record. Crosby E’s win over third placed Waddington C (56pts) widened the gap between them to 18pts, as another strong team performance will be making the leaders feel a little nervous . With the two sides meeting in the first match after New Year (book my seat now ), maybe that will throw some light on the dog fight that will surely ensue. Holy Trinity C joined Waddington C on 56pts, after a thumping win over their D team, which left them in the danger zone on 22pts, that’s 15 behind 3rd bottom Crosby D, and 10pts above bottom team Crosby F.
In the 3rd Division, Waterloo A (80pts) took a slight stumble away to lowly Argyle G, losing that 100% record. Both Lewis Hible and Ilona Kuznik, who came in for captain Lee Hones, inflicted most of the damage, accounting for four of the five points earned. In fact it could well have been worse for the leaders if Dave Regan had not halted Ilona’s epic comeback, 8-11 in the fifth. They still lead their B team by seven points this after they were handed an early Christmas present with Crosby H conceding due to player availability. Argyle H (71pts) are still hanging in there in third place after a maximum win over Crosby G.
We stayed in Division 3, for Southport C’s visit to the Para’s, where as always a difficult task awaited them, but was slightly eased with the absence of their captain Ian Littlewood. John Thompson came in at number 4,and he was first up to face Bill Bradley, who got off to a great start taking the first two games 5-11,7-11. John did well to come back into it, but Bill’s immense experience saw him through 12-14 in third, and Southport were off the mark. Alan Town then made it 0-2 for the visitors, getting the better of Matt Spofforth in a tricky encounter. All eyes were then on Para’s number one and acting captain Mark Wilson who faced his own tricky adversary Andy Bush. Fascinating contest this, which could have gone either way throughout five entertaining games. With it all square after four games, 9-11,11-5,11-9, 5-11, Andy’s spinny game finally paid off taking the fifth 8-11, which gave the visitors a surprising 0-3 lead. Kostya Sinitsa was next up to face Southport captain Paul Harrison, who also is known as ‘5 game Harrison’. Well, he had a lot to do to keep to that, as Kostya comfortably took the first two games 11-4,11-8. More promising from Paul in the third, 8-11 to him, and again by the same scoreline in the fourth, tied it up. However the comeback was then over, 11-8 Kostya and they now trailed 1-3. Further wins for Alan and Andy against John and Matt, then made the match safe for Southport at 1-5. Some recovery was now needed from the home side, and indeed Kostya delivered with a convincing win over Bill, even losing the first 10-12, did not spoil his systematic counter hit game, taking the next three 11-7,11-9,11-4. That recovery was then made a possibility, when Mark, after losing the first to Paul 5-11, gained the initiative by taking the next two 11-9,11-8. Well, as the fourth progressed, it had to be, 6-11 Paul and he was into another fifth game. Getting his money’s worth is one thing, clinching the win is another, and again it eluded the Southport number one, 11-7 Mark… which made the score 3-5. Second doubles was next and with some aplomb, Southport pair Bill and Alan got that winning feeling , taking it in three straight against Matt and John, securing a very good win, at 3-6. To round off a great night’s entertainment, the best was left till last. Fantastic double’s contest between Mark and Kostya verses Paul and Andy, and it had a twist. Great start from the visitors who took the first 4-11, which was followed by very close second won by the Para’s, just 13-11. Some superb rallies accompanied the next two games which were shared, 6-11,11-7. Not surprisingly another fifth for Paul, and again it wasn’t looking good for him, when they trailed 10-6. Miraculous, four points won on the trot and and they were at 10 all, then 11 all and 12 all… what a finish, comeback complete, 12-14 Paul and Andy, and that win had just got better , 3-7 Southport C. Para’s remain in fourth spot on 64pts, with Southport in fifth with 59pts.
After that great finish to the first half of the season, all that’s left is to Wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year….
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.co/southport
WEEK 12 Southport & District TTL
As the season got back underway, would there be any hangover’s left over from the festivities. Well, leaders Crosby A (81pts) certainly looked in need of some bicarbonate of soda, in what turned out to be surprising struggle at Argyle B, where the home side in fact led 4-3, after great wins by Matthew Hyde, Chris Parkes and Mark Jagger. Captain Sylvia Graham though stepped up with two wins either side of a second Jack Dempsey success to clinch a narrow 4-6 win. Second placed Crosby B closed the gap to just 2pts, after a convincing home win over Southport B, leaving the fight for that title a little closer than expected. Both Waddington A (72pts) and Argyle A (71pts) kept in touch with good wins over Holy Trinity A and Crosby C respectively, leaving the latter now in deep trouble in bottom place with 26pts, seven points adrift of Argyle C who were without a match. Waddington B (37pts) also find themselves near that drop zone, after being on the end of a good whipping by a rejuvenated Holy Trinity B led by Julian Quirk and Matthew Cranny.
Only one place to go this week, and that was to the top of the table clash from the 2nd Division, where 2nd placed Crosby E hosted leaders Waddington D. Just the one point separated the teams before captains Max Davies and Ray Hibbs got things going, and what a start from the young Crosby side. Max took the first 11-5, Ray the second 6-11, advantage Max, as he edged the third 12-10. Back came Ray again to square it up 8-11, before Max pinched it 12-10 in the fifth. Felix Anderson then pulled out all the stops to overcome all Gordon Woods experience to make it 2-0 for the home side. It was soon 3-0 after Marcus Doyle stepping up into the breach from the F team, won an extraordinary five game contest against Joe Brolly, 15-17,12-10,11-7,11-13, 11-5. Could it get better, yes it could! Number one Rashad Al Dahiri with a four game win over Nick Foss made it 4-0 Crosby. Another epic between the two ‘number ones’ Rashad and Ray then took centre stage. Outstanding contest throughout, Rashad with the first 11-9, Ray with the next two, 8-11,10-12. Great reply from the the home player as he stuck at it to edge the fourth 13-11. At last a breakthrough, Ray’s ‘never say die’ approach paid off, 8-11 to him and his team were at last on the board, 4-1 Crosby... Remarkable, that breakthrough was not capitalised on, for this young Crosby side are some team, first Max made it 5-1, with a four game win over Joe, before Felix secured the win with a three straight victory over Nick. Meaning with a 6-1 lead, they were guaranteed to be the new leaders as well as wrecking Waddingtons 100% record in the process. Did the visitors have anything left in the tank? Well, with the doubles still to play, anything could be possible, which proved to be right, as both doubles were captured by the visitors, Ray and Nick beating Rashad and Max in four games, and Joe and Gordon just getting the better of Felix and Marcus in a tense five game thriller. Sandwiched between those two encounters, Gordons stubborn defence proved just to much for Marcus, which with three wins on the bounce for the visitors, left us with a much more respectable final score of 6-4 Crosby. Very impressive performance from the young Crosby side, begging the question could they now win the title. Promotion looks very likely, for both teams, but in what order remains the big question. Crosby E lead the way on 80pts, a point ahead of Waddington D. In the race for third place, Waddington C (65pts) now lead the pack after a convincing home win against Holy Trinity D, who find themselves 23pts adrift of third bottom team Crosby D. Holy Trinity C (62pts) and Southport B (61pts) are the closest rivals for that 3rd position.
At the top of the 3rd Division, Waterloo B(81pts) leapfrogged their A team who were without a match. One point is the difference, but with opponents North Meols, a player short, they can probably count themselves a little lucky to be on top. Nevertheless, with fourth placed Para’s (71pts) in fine form once again in their win over third placed Argyle H (74pts), then it’s looking good for the Waterloo sides. Southport C (64pts) are fifth, after being held by the ever improving youngsters of Crosby H. Again they all caught the eye with a single’s win apiece, so Harry Griffiths, Louie Cooper, Jack Savage and Ben Richardson are certainly one’s to look out for. Next week we return to Gunson Cup and Plate action, all information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
GUNSON CUP/PLATE WEEK
Gunson Cup 2nd Rnd.
Argyle E verses Argyle G provided the closest finish of the round, the match going down to the very last game of the evening. Lewis Hible had given his G team a fighting chance with two exceptional outright wins over Kris Gorney (38-54) and Mike Parker (34-55). With all the other contests going to the 2nd Division outfit, the 3rd Division team including their 116 pt advantage led by 22pts with just the one encounter to go. Playing a captains role Les Lord kept his cool to overturn that deficit into a narrow 7pt victory for the E team, 396-389. Crosby A were the only team to record a maximum 440pts against a spirited performance from 3rd Division Argyle F, who with a 264pt award ran the 1st division leaders very close, falling 26pts short. Holy Trinity C from the 2nd Division just about did enough to ensure their 86pt award was enough to overcome Waddington B from the 1st by 17pts, where only gaining three maximum wins, looked to be the decisive factor. Holy Trinity D put their 2nd Division woes behind them with an excellent win against 1st Division Argyle B, whilst Argyle H from the 3rd cruised past 2nd Division Waddington D, but with only three players, the writing was on the wall. Two all 1st Division ties immediately caught the eye when the draw was made, and Crosby B verses Waddington A did not disappoint. With just a small advantage of 2pts awarded to the visitors, then the signal was given, just win!.. and that’s exactly what they did. Only four maximums (1 for Crosby, 3 for Waddington) were won on the night , and with 5 outright wins going to the visitors, including two apiece from Matt Wilson and Darren Taylor, then it was no surprise that they came out on top 340-377. In the other tie between Holy Trinity B and Argyle A, a near similar scenario you think would appear, but with the visitors having to rely on three players from their 2nd Division sides, then it was them the higher placed team who were awarded a 104pt advantage. Due to the new system of handicapping, these anomalies will occur, and in this case for the good of the competition, as a great match ensued with Holy Trinity winning it by 35pts. If however the same match was played under the old system, Holy Trinity could have probably benefited from a small award, say 40pts, which would have given them an overwhelming win of 461- 282, point to the new system there then. Finally Waddington E’s home success over Southport C seemed to give the old system a thumbs up as the 60pts awarded to the visitors did not look to be enough from the outset. However the home side did rack up eight straight wins including five maximums, so maybe they just had a great evening, which to be fair no handicap system can legislate for.
Gunson Plate 1st Rnd.
All the 1st round losers get a second chance in the Plate Competition, and with a Southport ‘derby’ between their D and A teams, as well as an interesting all 2nd Division tie involving their B team and Crosby F, then The Amelan hall is the place to start. An advantage of 206pts was awarded to 3rd division Southport D, and with their A team turning out a strong lineup, then would it be enough. Well as the match progressed the D team gave it all, and credit must be given to a side that never gave up the chase. Captain Jordan Shandley led his team well with two great performances against Bernhard Frank and Jonny Cummins. Mal Collier too, played above his weight against Bernhard and Mark Barnes, whilst Bernie Culshaw, weighed in with his teams best performance, losing to Jonny and Jim Irving, but accumulating 51pts in all, as well as taking 6pts off Jim. Finally, Young Matt Bishop, showed everyone how much improved he is, winning 38pts off Mark and Jim. It finished with the 1st Division side with a healthy 80pt win, which was partly due to a handicap which fell a little short, but it did not impair on a thoroughly entertaining match. In the other tie, Southport B and Crosby F turned up a cracker, with the visitors having an 112 pt advantage, Southport set about reducing that deficit. This they did with some aplomb, getting the difference down to 39pts at the halfway stage. Maximum wins for Tom Ray and Nigel Pilkington over Sunil Sapre and Daniel Gresty, along with two wins by Captain Jeff Cummins over Sunil and Daniel, looked to be getting the job done.. That is until Crosby’s Marcus Doyle put in the performance of the match with a brilliant 34-55 win over Alan Nolan. With only three contests to go, it looked a tad too much for the home side, and although Alan finished the evening off in style, overcoming John Aitchison 51-29, further damage had already been done by Marcus’s narrow loss to Tom 46-43. Crosby F progress with a 29pt victory, which was probably about right. Argyle D got the better of North Meols, whilst 2nd Division leaders Crosby E suffered a surprise loss to a buoyant Waterloo B from the 3rd, where Sean Chandler was the pick of the bunch. Crosby G also went through to the quarter finals after Argyle C conceded, leaving just one tie still to play. Overall the new player handicap system seems to be improving, and with a further update due before the next rounds, then fingers will be optimistically crossed. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
Southport & District TTL
At the top of the 1st Division Crosby A (91pts) extended their lead to seven points after a emphatic maximum win over their C team, who again had to rely heavily for help from their second division teams. Second placed Crosby B although 2-5 up away to Argyle A, which included two wins apiece from Rhys Davies and Francois Rafferty , found themselves on the receiving end of a great comeback by the home side. Joe Howard kick started the revival, before Nick Wilson continued the escape, which left Kyle Lavender with his second win on the night to clinch a well earned draw. Waddington A (81pts) moved up to third place ahead of Argyle A(76pts) after a convincing show against their B team, which left them in a precarious position of third bottom on 38pts, 2pts ahead of Argyle C. Crosby C (26pts) with their continuing player shortfall problems, look to have little chance of survival, even with 8 matches still to play.
Crosby E (89pts) and Waddington D (88pts) matched each other, both recording convincing wins over Argyle E and Holy Trinity D respectively, which keeps the pair way out in front in the 2nd Division. Formby HT C are the closest to them with 69pts, heading a cluster of five teams separated by just 8pts, and it’s one of those sides, Argyle D we caught up with when they visited Crosby High School to take on their D team. Argyle had Patrick Devlin back in the fold along with Les Dodd, playing up from the E team. Crosby’s Ted Sloan got things underway when he faced Naresh Tagore in a superb opener of attacking play. Five see-saw games saw the visitors strike first with Naresh winning 4-11,11-7,10-12,11-9,5-11. Chris Moustaka and Patrick then served up a wonderful second course, with the only difference Patrick this time came back from 11-7,5-11,12-10 down to take next two 6-11,8-11, to make the score 0-2 Argyle. Too early for the white flag surely, but when first, Les nullified Nick Moustaka’s attacking intentions in three straight, which was then followed by Patricks similar result over Ted, at 0-4 the home side needed a pick me up of some sort. Captain Elliot Cooper may well come up with the right dose, he was next up against his opposing captain Jules Dutch, and with an array of fine serves and uncompromising hits, put his side on the board, three straight and it was 1-4 Argyle. Start of a recovery? Well , it wasn’t, Naresh put in a great shift against Nick to make it 1-5, before Les caused so many problems for Elliot with his dead bat defence, that the match was up for the homeside at 1-6 Argyle. Chris then made it 2-6, with a four game success over Jules, 11-7,11-4,13-15,11-5. Doubles rounded off an entertaining match, and the happier side continued to be the visitors as both were clinched by them. Elliott and Chris just missed out to Les and Naresh in a terrific five game battle where the visiting pair fought back from two games down, 11-4, 12-10, to clinch it 8-11,5-11,6-11. Finally Jules with some help from Patrick made his smile even broader after they overcame Nick and Ted in four games, which gave us a final score of 2-8 Argyle D. With that win Argyle D moved up to fifth with 66pts, whilst Waddington E (61pts) joined that cluster of teams after a good win against their C team who are now fourth on 68pts. At the bottom, a difficult second half of the season awaits Holy Trinity D (26pts) and Crosby F (16pts) who are well adrift of 3rd bottom Crosby D (50pts).
In the 3rd Division, leaders Waterloo B(89pts) surprised their A Team inflicting a first league defeat on the early favourites. Sean Chandler led the charge, and was ably supported by Chris and Nathan Jago and Gary Corran, who all had a super evening. Argyle H (84pts) kept up their pursuit of a top two place after a maximum win away at Crosby H, who made it very difficult for the visitors throughout an entertaining match. Again the young Crosby side performed well welcoming back Joseph Wilson for his first start this season, but on this occasion his younger brother Harrison drew all the attention with a fearless display on his first ever league appearance , and considering he had just turned 10 years old, then yet another success for the Crosby club surely was on the horizon. Also, Argyle too, paraded their own starlet in 11 year old Adam Blagbrough, who did enough on the night to give Argyles coaching programme the thumbs up it deserves. Waterloo A are now third on 82pts, whilst the Para’s (80pts) kept in touch with a convincing win over Crosby G.
In the outstanding Gunson Plate tie, Crosby H edged Waterloo A out of the competition by just 15pts, their reward being away tie verses Argyle D in the quarter finals. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 14 Southport & District TTL
Crosby B(94pts) returned to the top of the 1st Division, after a comfortable maximum win over their C team, who apart from acting captain Stefan Schober Thomson were totally dependable on players from their third division teams, not ideal, but probably essential. Crosby A without a match are now second on 91pts, whilst Waddington A (88pts) and Argyle A (85pts) remain in third and fourth place after good wins over Southport A and Holy Trinity B respectively. Waddington B (45pts) put a little more daylight between themselves and second bottom Argyle C (39pts) with a good away win over them. Crosby C remain rooted on 26pts.
Argyle was the destination for our feature match, to see the mid table clash between their B team and Holy Trinity A. Home captain Mark Jagger was up first to face Barry Davis, which indeed set the the standard for the match ahead. Great start from Mark getting his defence strategy just about perfect in taking the first game 11-8. Good reply from Barry as he took the second 9-11, before again that defence from Mark took control of the third, putting him 10-5 up. Has to be 2-1, doesn’t it? Not sure what exactly then changed, but it did as Barry edged slowly back, winning seven points in succession to take it 10-12. Same scoreline in the fourth, close throughout, 10-12 Barry and Holy Trinity were off and running. Chris Parkes then made it 1-1, after a superb win against Mal Kent in four games, where Chris’s remarkable retrieving just got the better of Mal’s nonchalant wicked backhand. Mike McCormack then put Argyle 2-1 up with a three straight win over Susie Hughes. Another great contest brought Holy Trinity level, the two number ones Chris and Barry, putting on masterful display. Pity it only went to four games, 11-13,5-11,11-7,7-11, to Barry. Paul Lunan verses Mal was next, and again, controlled push and heavy loop verses that immense backhand, made a wonderful watch, Mal took it in three straight, to put his team ahead, but it seemed much much closer. Holy Trinity’s lead was then increased to 2-4 by captain Brian Crolly who rolled back the years in a four game win over Mike, which included an epic 14-16 success in levelling up the contest. Doubles can have a big influence on some matches, and this one proved the point exactly. First Paul and Mike just lost out to Barry and Susie in four cracking games, 9-11,8-11,11-8,7-11, which made it 2-5 for the visitors. Second doubles pairings of Chris and Mark against Mal and Brian then put on a classic which seemed to go on forever. This one was a rollercoaster of emotions. Argyle led after three games,11-4,5-11,11-8, and the need to win this one was so evident. A tense fourth finished 11-13 to Holy Trinity. Anything else to throw into the mix, calf injury for Brian, that wouldn’t help matters. A few short delays during the fifth game, extended the overall match time to nearly three and a half hours, An impaired Brian with the help of Mal just about hung onto that decisive victory, 10-12 in the fifth, which also gave Holy Trinity the win at 2-6. You had a sense that Brian was not going to play his last singles, so could Paul make that scoreline even more respectable, when he faced Susie. Another great contest in which the styles of the players complimented each other. Heavy loop from Paul, counter block and hit from Susie, a wonderful encounter to finish with, and with five games to boot, a 13-15,11-9,11-8,10-12,11-5, win to Paul made it 4-6 Holy Trinity A, and to think if Brian had been able to play, then we would have seen an after midnight finish….
With 2nd Division leaders Crosby E without a match, Waddington D had the chance to recapture top spot. This they did, but were made to fight all the way by their E team. Where E team wins from Josh Taylor, Brian Haslam and Derek Aitken were more than matched by two wins apiece from Ray Hibbs and Gordon Wood along with a single success from Joe Brolly. Sharing the doubles at the end proved decisive in the 4-6 victory, which put them back in pole position on 94pts , five ahead of Crosby E. Argyle D (73pts) moved up to third place, after another fine win, this time over Holy Trinity C (72pts) who now have dropped to fifth. Waddington C also on 73pts are now fourth, after an all square ding dong battle against Southport B. Luck has certainly deserted the two bottom sides Holy Trinity D(27pts) and Crosby F (18pts), for after this week’s defeats 31pts separate them from third bottom Crosby D.
Third division leaders Waterloo B (95pts) stayed in top spot, after a stuttering win over Southport B, where Jordan Shandley and Dai Davies were responsible for those four Southport points, whilst a full quota of wins from Nathan Jago ensured that home victory. Waterloo A’s convincing win at Southport C kept them in 2nd place on 91pts. Argyle H (also on 91pts) could well have hit that 2nd berth, if not for North Meols Les Rimmer, who helped himself to a full quota of wins. Great to see you back Les, although I doubt Argyle would agree. Para’s (87pts) are still fourth after overcoming the ever improving Crosby H.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 15 Southport and district TTL
Crosby A had Jack Dempsey, Joe Mullin and company in top form, during their maximum victory away to Holy Trinity A, putting them back on top of the 1st Division with 101pts. Crosby B stay in touch in second place with the same points total, but have played a match more than their fierce rivals. Third placed Waddington A (92pts) narrowly lost out away to fourth placed Argyle A (91pts), both Andy Clark and Joe Howard with full quota of wins were mainly responsible for the win, although a 19-17 win in the fifth for doubles pairing Kyle Lavender and Nick Wilson over Ray Hibbs and Josh Taylor probably proved even more decisive. At the bottom, it’s not looking good for Argyle C (41pts) after another heavy loss away to Southport A, their position being compounded by Waddington B (50pts), who scraped a draw at home to Argyle B. Crosby C (26pts) without a match this week remain rooted in bottom place.
Waddington D(103pts) and Crosby E (98pts) the top two in the 2nd Division continued to forge ahead, matching each other with convincing wins over Southport B and Holy Trinity D respectively. Holy Trinity C(82pts) are now the closest team to the runaway duo, after a maximum win over bottom team Crosby F. Argyle D (79pts) who extended their run of wins to five unfortunately now drop to fourth. It’s looking more and more likely that both promotion and relegation matters here have already been decided, with just the order of the top two still under scrutiny, whilst the bottom two Holy Trinity D and Crosby F, who are 30pts adrift, must think their chance of survival has nearly disappeared.
At the top of the 3rd Division, a similar scenario is also developing, with both Waterloo teams seeming to be keeping those two promotion places under wraps for themselves. Waterloo A (100pts), although in second place behind their B team (101pts) do have a match in hand and are probably favourites for that top spot. A convincing home win over an understrength Argyle H (92pts) improved that position as well as possibly ending Argyles push for glory. Looking at the Waterloo squads, and to be realistic, they are both very strong indeed, as well as having numbers to call on. When Waterloo B travelled to Argyle F, there was an opportunity to see this potential up close. Two wins from young Nathan Jago and one win apiece from dad Chris, Gary Corran and John Mooney, put them 1-5 ahead, with Argyles only reply coming from Emily Clare. Andy Stuart then led the fightback with a three straight win over Chris, which was then improved on by Ray Clarke’s win over John, before the Ray and John Hepple completed a fine win over the same two Waterloo players. It was then left to the two young guns from Waterloo to snatch the win back at the end in a four game cracker against Emily and Andy. Final score 4-6 Waterloo.
We stayed in the 3rd Division for a visit to the Spinal Unit at the Southport Hospital, to see how North Meols went about playing The Para’s. As it’s always a difficult place to go, a little apprehension was sensed when Denis Swainson was first up to face the Para’s Kostya Sinitsa. A great start from the home player with an 11-2 win in the first which was followed by a much closer 12-10 success in second. Denis then with the ‘bit between his teeth’ snatched the third 10-12, before Kostya regained his composure to win the fourth 11-8, to put his side ahead. Neil Loader then evened things up with a four game win over Matt Spofforth, after losing a tense first 13-11. Captain Ian Littlewood then restored the home sides lead with what seemed a very cagey four game win against a stubborn Colin Avery. It was all square again at 2-2, when North Meols captain Dennis Morley won a wonderful contest against Mark Wilson, where normally he would be the one with that ‘never say die’ attribute, but Dennis on this occasion certainly reversed the roles winning it 8-11,12-14,11-5 14-16. Double’s were up next and with the alternate shot rule not applying to the Para’s team, then this as always to a visiting team was going to be difficult. Both were won in three straight by the home side, proving that point exactly, even the total points scored by each of the visiting pairs were nearly the same. Nevertheless the Para’s now had a 4-2 lead. A really good match so far was about to go up a few notches, when Kostya and Colin put on a classic. After the first two games were shared, Kostya edged the third 13-11, before Colin fought back to take the next two 6-11,10-12 to make it 4-3 Paras. Matt then swept into a 11-5,11-9 lead against Denis Swainson only for the North Meols player to come back with some aplomb to snatch an incredible win, 8-11,10-12,10-12, which tied it all up at 4-4. Another five game treat served up by Mark and Neil, looked to be giving the advantage back to the home side, as Mark led it 12-10,11-9. But this North Meols outfit are made of stern stuff as Neil proved as he hit back in fine style to level, 4-11, 12-14. That resolve though was ended by Mark with an impressive 11-5 win in the fifth, which eventually did give the home side that 5-4 lead. Captains Ian and Dennis would decide the outcome, and with Ian taking the first 11-1, that did not look in any doubt. Great reply from Dennis, 4-11 to him in the second and those doubts were cast aside. Very close throughout the next two games, with Ian just about having the edge in taking them both 11-9,13-11. Which gave us a final score of 6-4 Para’s. Fabulous evening’s entertainment, and with that win Para’s are back up to 3rd place on 93pts. Quarter Finals of Cup and Plate competitions next week , so lets hope there are some close contests. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com
QUARTER FINALS ANON and GUNSON
There were no surprises in the fight for a Semi Final place in the main event, as both Crosby A and Waddington A made light work of their opponents, whilst Crosby B had the good fortune of being handed a walkover. Holy Trinity B completed the semi final line up with a convincing win away to Argyle C, but that 0-8 scoreline seemed a little generous to the victors. With four of the contests going to five games, the Argyle outfit put in a great shift to ensure their visitors knew they were in a match. So the lineup will be an all 1st Division affair including the top three teams, which was the expected outcome from the first round.
Only two ties were played in the Plate competition , as the ties at Waddington D and Para’s were postponed, due to their club match nights being a little clogged up with other cup ties, however they are hoped to be resolved in the coming week. Second division Waddington E spoilt any respite from a miserable league season for Holy Trinity D, where their only success came from Keith Dudley. Crosby E eventually recovered their great league form against Argyle D, this after being held up in the early stages, in particularly by Patrick Devlin, who with a single win and a doubles success with Naresh Tagore had made the score 2-2. Four straight wins then secured their progress, in a competition that they are slight favourites to lift.
As this competition draws to its final stages, the obvious conclusion is the ‘new individual player ranking system’ is still at the stage of ‘work in progress’. Three 1st Division teams qualified for the Semi Finals, which by a strange twist, are the same three teams who qualified for the Anon Cup Semi’s. Crosby A were just too good for 2nd division Argyle E, even an additional 100pts to their 174pt advantage, would not have changed the outcome of the contest. Maybe it would have given them more belief, but then would it have also intensified Crosby’s resolve. Waddington A did a similar job in their convincing win over 2nd Division Holy Trinity C. Again the visitors advantage could have been increased from 110 to 200pts, without affecting the outcome. Holy Trinity B completed the 1st Division ‘hat trick’, with a much closer winning margin over their D team from the 2nd division. Dave Bradley from the D team and Julian Quirk from the B team were the standout performances in an exciting encounter. Waddington E completed the lineup after overcoming 3rd Division Argyle H in an absorbing tie, where the 3rd division outfit although seeming to be playing catch up throughout, did give their opponents some considerable concerns.
Argyle D had Steve McGanity back in the fold against the up and coming young Crosby H team. With two maximum wins whilst only conceding 24pts in all, it was his contribution that helped seal an impressive win. Crosby F conceded their match away to Waddington C, which left it to the handicapping system again to make more of the news than the results. Para’s entertained 1st Division Southport A, who had to call on Sherif Bassiouny from their D team, whose inclusion pushed up the 1st divisions side handicap and lowered the advantage the Para’s received. In the end even with the Para’s getting back some advantage from their fellow 3rd division player, the amount of points awarded fell some way short of the mark to make it a close contest. Finally, Waterloo B’s comprehensive win over Crosby G looked to be on the cards from the off, as just 14 pts start was given to the bottom club against their current division leaders. One reason for this is that Waterloo have quite a few new players, some in their first season, which can serve as a problem, as those players will not have accrued enough ranking points on the national system that is used at local level. Factor in some great coaching and natural ability then the player sometimes improves far quicker than the system. Young Nathan Jago proved this point exactly with his two maximum wins, whilst Crosby’s evergreen Pat Hyde still showed she is hard to beat after a 46-46 stalemate against John Mooney. Some interesting Semi Final draws lie in wait, which are due to be played in w/c 19th March.. Also this years Town Championships get under way at Crosby TTC on Sunday 25th February with an early 9.00 start, Finals Night is at Argyle the following Wednesday 28th February...
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 17 plus Town Championships Southport & District TTL
After a long day of quality table tennis at Championship Sunday, Finals Night was eagerly awaited, with the expectancy of that quality being somewhat surpassed. First up was an all Waterloo 3rd Division Restricted contest between John Taylor and the ever improving youngster Nathan Jago. Still in his first season Nathan set about his task with a fearless performance of topspin attack, showing just how good a prospect he is. A three straight win for him was a popular outcome, with even his opponent leading the plaudits. Waddingtons Matt Wilson was up next to face his doubles partner Holy Trinity’s Julian Quirk in the Over 40’s. It was an even start in this one with the first two games being shared, before an epic third brought out the very best from both players. Stylish attack and defence was never in short supply, as the game seesawed towards a 17-15 win for Matt, and the ‘veterans title’ was his after a disciplined 11-7 in the fourth. Crosby’s Rashad Al Dahiri then faced Janette Hutchings from Holy Trinity in the 2nd Division Restricted Final. Janette’s counter hit and block game began to work wonders against Rashad’s topspin attack, mix that with some heavy chop and it was not a surprise the first game went her way 5-11. Change of tack at the start of the second, maybe a little, or was Rashad’s loop just getting better. Tremendous response from him, in taking the next two, both 11-6, and then with some added caution from the Crosby player, Janette so nearly took it to a fifth game, just missing out 13-11, Rashad. Having hopefully recovered from their earlier battle, Matt and Julian were now up against last years double winners from Crosby, Jack Dempsey and Sylvia Graham. No quarter was given here, as the Crosby pair took the first with ease 11-3. Superb reply from Matt/Julian, 6-11, giving their opponents food for thought. Same again, in the next two games, first an 11-5 success for the Crosby pair , which was then swiftly followed by an another impressive reply 8-11. Into the fifth, and the pattern continued, with the holders regaining their title 11-7, superb contest. In the Junior Open singles Crosby’s Rhys Davies had the chance to retain this title, in his way was his fellow club player Yameen Al Dahiri. Top performance here from Rhys, and although Yameen played his part in a great encounter, there was no stopping him taking the title again in three straight. Julian then returned to the table for his third appearance against Argyles Barry Crook in the Over 55’s. With two losses already, a win here would not go amiss, but with Barry counter hitting everything that Julian threw at him, then it did not look good as Barry edged the first 9-11. Much better in second and third from Julian capturing both by the same score 11-7. Victory in sight? Well not quite, Barry again became the immovable object, countering Julians every attack, squaring things up 10-12 in the fourth. Finally, Julian had his win, not sure how but something must have changed, 11-8 to him and that elusive title was his.
With a great build up throughout the evening would the Open Singles Final between holder Jack Dempsey and Rhys Davies be the ‘icing on the cake’. Simple answer was a massive yes! What a fantastic finale. Attack, attack, attack, was the aim, and the aim of players was pinpoint accuracy as topspin loops and hits flew across the net from all corners of the court. Great serves and defensive play added to the intensity of the occasion. It probably had everything, even more than the eye could see. What was seen though, Jack retained his title in four pulsating games, 7-11,11-9 11-9,11-7 , whilst young Rhys proved over and over what an accomplished player he has become…. It was left to League Chairman Roger Neal to bring the evening to an end with the presentation of the trophies , a great night and congratulations to all.
As well as all that excitement, there was a full league programme, which resulted in no change at the top of Division 1. Crosby A and B teams, both now with 117pts consolidated first and second places with very convincing wins, in fact that winning feeling was also experienced by Argyle A (109pts) and Waddington A (104pts). Luck has obviously abandoned the bottom two, where both Argyle C (42pts) and Crosby C (31pts) each being on the receiving end yet again. Some consolation though for Crosby C’s Sunil Sapre, who gained his first win in the top flight.
Crosby E(112pts) regained top spot in the 2nd Division, their excellent home win against Southport B doing the trick after Waddington D’s (110pts) match verses Crosby F was postponed. No doubt that these two teams will be promoted, but who takes the title will be the question asked, maybe until the final week. There was a first win of the season for Holy Trinity D(34pts) , but with still a 33pt deficit to make up, the drop seems unavoidable.
In the 3rd division, a Waterloo one-two looks even more likely with both teams now on 110pts.
Argyle H (105pts) and the Para’s (100pts) who continue to press, surely will have to fight for that third place.
All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport
WEEK 16 SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL
Both Crosby A and B teams recorded identical wins, meaning they remain locked together at the top of division 1 with 108pts. Crucially the A team do have a match in hand, which sways the advantage their way considerably and with the sides meeting in a few weeks time, then the destination of the title could well be decided then. In their match away against Waddington A (95pts), the B team were a little fortunate, as the home side lost number one Matt Wilson to injury, conceding his two singles. Argyle A (101pts) moved up to third place, after a no mercy maximum win over their C team, who now find themselves in a perilous position ,12pts from safety. Waddington B(53pts) eased those relegation fears after gaining three valuable points against the leaders. Bottom team Crosby C (30pts) who were nearly back at full strength just missed out away to Holy Trinity B. Finally, Argyle B got their first taste of success since the New Year , with an excellent team effort in their win over Southport A.
Leaders Waddington D (110pts) kept their noses in front at the top of division 2 after a good away win at Argyle D, where both captain Ray Hibbs and Nick Foss chipped in with a full quota of wins. With that top place in mind we dropped in on the Waddington Club to see how their E team would cope with the visit of 2nd placed Crosby E, and with Dave Mullan in at number one for the home side, then a close contest looked to be a strong possibility. Josh Taylor verse’s Crosby’s number one Rashad Al Dahiri, got things underway, and it could not have started better for the visitors as Rashad won it in three straight, 11-13,6-11,9-11. All square after two contests though, when Andy Armstrong got the better of Tony Bramham in four entertaining games. Dave to face Crosby captain Max Davies was next, would the home players vast experience tip the balance? Nothing in it early on, in fact nothing in it at all, as the first two games were shared 13-11,11-13. Defence was the name of the game, and the more Max tried to force a winner, the better Dave’s defence became, as he took the next two games 11-6,11-8, and Waddington had the lead at 2-1. Irene (Dave’s other half) then lost out to Felix Anderson in three straight, before both the doubles were shared, to make the score 3-3. Wonderful match so far, but could Dave again deliver against his opposite number Rashad. Absolutely, a vintage performance throughout three superbly controlled games, edged his side in front at 4-3. Back came Crosby, with the ever improving Felix impressing with an array of topspin winners against Josh, to tie it all up at 4-4. As the saying goes, ‘leave the best till last’, Andy and Max delivered part one of an epic conclusion over five seesaw games. Max with the first 9-11, Andy took the next two 11-9,11-6, a very tense fourth was pinched by Max 12-14, and finally Andy took the spoils 11-7 in the fifth, to give Waddington a surprising 5-4 lead. Irene then found herself playing a key role against Tony in part two, as a win would clinch the match. However he wasn’t there just to play a supporting role, proving just that, by taking the first 5-11. Great reply from Irene, taking that initiative away from her opponent in some style, winning the next two 11-6,11-9. All square again after Tony took the fourth 8-11, only for Irene to storm into a 9-3 lead in the fifth. Nerves then took over, and Tony slowly edged his way back to 10-10. Still there were chances but the last chance fell to Tony 14-16 to him and the match was not won but saved, wonderful finish to a great match and a draw after all was probably the right result, final score 5-5. In their post match review, maybe Crosby had that air of disappointment, but although they slip two points further back from top spot, having a match in hand, that 7 point deficit certainly looks retrievable. Elsewhere in division 2, Argyle E had an excellent win away to Southport B, with the return of Adrian Hyland who chipped in with a full quota of wins possibly the key to the success. Holy Trinity C (88pts) maintained 3rd place after edging past Crosby D, whilst Waddington C’s maximum over bottom team Crosby F brought them back in contention for the ‘top of the rest’ position.
With Para’s(93pts) match against Waterloo A (100pts) being called off to accommodate their outstanding cup tie, Waterloo B took their chance to extend their lead at the top of the 3rd division to 10pts, consolidating that probable Waterloo one-two. Argyle H also got to 100pts, which is a superb effort from the Argyle outfit, and like the Para’s 3rd place is surely now their target. Argyle F produced a near perfect team performance in their excellent win at a strong Southport C, whilst Crosby H and North Meols fought out an entertaining draw.
Last weeks Cup Quarter Finals were completed, when Waddington D and the Para’s progressed after wins against Southport D and Argyle G. All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport