BILL LOWE SHIELD (Handicap Division 2)

NFGR VII (receive 130 points) beat NFGR IV

The Bill Lowe Shield Final was played at New Ferry on Monday 17th of April and was contested by two NFGR teams comprising 5 of our most promising Junior boys.

NFGR IV’s Tom Peake, Jake Norton and Johannes Rietbrock trying to make up a deficit of 130 points against NFGR VII’s Jacob Eckl, Joel Ashton and the always enthusiastic Tony Wilson. Captain Steve Cragg sidelined by a persistent physical problem.

The first four matches went according to form. NFGR 4 gained 72 points although Joel took the first game against Johannes.

Enter Jacob who claimed the first win and a gain of 9 points.

The next three games went NFGR IV’s way with wins for Tom, Jake and Johannes; the handicap tumbling to ZERO.

At this point the match of the day took place between Jacob and Jake.

Such was the brilliance of certain shots and the sheer intensity and excitement created by this game that everything else in the hall stopped. And the acquired spectators were treated to some fantastic Table Tennis.

The first game went to Jacob, the next two to Jake. Jacob found another gear to win the fourth game and also the deciding fifth. Great applause from the amazed spectators.

NFGR IV found themselves 5 points behind with only the doubles to go.

This went to 5 games with lots of ups and downs. Jacob and Joel in front 2 games to 1 managed to lose the fourth game scoring only 1 point and then produced the upset by winning the deciding game 11/6!

And the Handicap? ZERO again! It is the second time that this has occurred this year.

So the match was all square after 10 games.

Neither team wanted a result on the toss of a coin (as per rules) so it was agreed by everybody present with the blessing of Bill Lowe who was present, to play an additional set of doubles with different pairs of players as per the precedent set in a previous round, suggested by the Committee.

NFGR VII with Jacob and Tony were given the same h/cap as previous sets (+13 points).

NFGR IV with Tom and Johannes needed to win by 14 points in this second set of doubles. They won the set by three games to 1 but they only gained 11 points.

The W.Lowe Shield was then won by NFGR VII by TWO points.

A fantastic match enjoyed by all present and a good advertisement for Table Tennis.



Upton CC - Adam Birch 1, Nathan Bradshaw 3, Matthew Webster 1

NFGR - Thomas Peake 2, William Burkhill 2, Joel Ashton 0.

This match could have gone either way although all but three of the sets went beyond 3 games. Adam beat Joel 13-11 in the fifth and Thomas beating Matthew 11-9 in the fifth. In the final match Nathan beat Thomas 11-7 in the fourth. Nathan was Player of the Match with three wins.

HEPPLE TROPHY (Veteran Handicap)



                  Roy Dodd (+4), Keith Penny (+10) and Steve Pettit (+12) from Pinewood B faced Richard Smart (-3), Nigel Piper (+10), and Brian Lupton (+12) from Wallasey Manor B at Upton CC in an extremely friendly but competitive contest. Supporters from Wallasey Manor included Richard and Ken Cross, Arthur Lampkin and non-playing captain Paul Chandler (just handicapped) as became apparent while scoring  -7 v +10.  Kay Kelly watched her first ever League table tennis match and was surprised by the speed of the game (but not always the players), even though both teams lie in  middle to lower positions in the second division. The teams were aided by league committee members Frank Sorrentino of great flip-chart skill, Dave Morris who headed refreshments and supported Frank on the chart and umpiring. Richard Cross and Paul also undertook umpiring. Paul preferred this to the flip-chart, although he has now just passed the stage where he finds it just a little less mesmorizing than Alex Railton’s service. Martin Sellars presided over the artistic aspects of the final,  providing a photographic record of the match, but was not responsible for some of the poses, sorry, positions that players sometimes found themselves in. Steve Cragg was a very welcome observer from NFGR club.

A necessary prelim to the match was the universal discussion of how best to design a scoring system to overcome the complications of  how minus three plays plus twelve. All feasible and non-feasible approaches were discussed, with Keith winning the day on pure logic.  Having the flip-chart monitor, in addition to an umpire, was a great help for handicap matches.

Richard put up a very solid performance against Keith in the first event, but could not quite get the handicap back sufficiently in either game. Keith resorted to some big hits in the second to clinch the game – probably frustrated by Richard’s consistency. Brian and Roy provided a tense first game spectacle, with Brian just sneaking it with a 20-21 win. He took the second,  surprising not only Roy but also himself with a very high standard of table tennis. Nigel  fell to Steve’s superb and consistent hitting that bordered on the vicious at times – rather reminiscent of Nigel’s own approach to a rally. Brian levelled the game at 2-2  by beating Keith with quality rhythm-breaking strategies coupled with  very well-placed backhand hits. Richard’s consistency was thwarted by the power of Steve’s attack. The second game was very exciting when Richard, from a very slow start took almost ten points on the trot in what appeared to be a superb come-back, but he was just pipped at the end. Nigel and Roy had quite a tussle in the  first game, then Nigel turned positively into Nigel in the second with the ball feeling rather more battered than the players.

The most vital and dramatic game of the evening was between the two number threes who put on a great display of table-tennis, both Steve and Brian playing to the top of their standard with Brian just coming home with a 21 -19 victory in the third. Both players were on the same handicap and Wallasey Manor went into the lead for the first time at 4-3.  Keith failed to break Nigel’s aggression, but there was good table-tennis with very exciting rallies. After a 5 -3 scoreline, the two number ones did not need to play. Nevertheless it was a great match to watch, as agreed by all spectators.

Both sides and all spectators appreciated not only the support but also the hard work of Frank, Dave and Martin in making this most enjoyable match possible. This game showed in particular the camaraderie that can arise from being opponents, played in a great spirit.

After the match one of the Wallasey Manor team members praised Paul’s considerable strategic contribution to  the team – by dropping himself !  Perhaps that member should remain nameless.



NFGR completed a League and Cup double following a 6-1 win over NBCC.

The Lonsdale cup final played at Upton CC featured Phil Luxon, Martin Krause and Robin Barker for NBCC v Steve Green, Gavin Lloyd and Gemma Grant for NFGR.

Phil was on first against Steve who gained the upper hand winning in three games. Next up was Martin against Gemma with Gemma victorious, again in 3. Robin then played Gavin and almost managed take a game but eventually succumbed in 3. Phil was on next and was unable to bring his superb recent form to the table against Gemma. Their games are normally much closer than the score on this occasion and Gemma was victorious. Steve then defeated Robin comfortably. Just when it looked like it could be a whitewash Martin won a noisy 5 set affair against Gavin. Could it be a comeback was on the cards? Alas no, the doubles concluded the final with NFGR running out deserved winners with Steve and Gemma winning against Martin and Phil. Congratulations to NFGR who were just too strong for their opponents.



NBCC III were the recently crowned Division 2 Champions and went into the final as favourites having beaten NFGR IV in both league fixtures.

New Brighton's third player, Mike Moss, had to pull out just before the match leaving them with a bigger challenge as they started 3-0 down.

NFGR IV won the toss and the first call was Jeff Sharples against Jake Norton. Jake won this in four sets extending their lead to 4-0.

NBCC III began their comeback to keep hopes alive as Andrew Moulton beat Tom Peake and Johannes Rietbrock and Jeff beat Johannes to bring the score back to 4-3. Jake beat Andy in four sets to take the score to 5-3 leaving Jeff vs Tom as the last singles match. This was a tightly contested game which went into the deciding set with Tom narrowly winning 11-9 to win the cup for NFGR IV.

The match was entertaining and played in high spirits for the spectators and the players even agreed to play the doubles after which was another thrilling five sets going in favour of NBCC III. After a successful year for both teams, will hopefully see all of these players competing in the First division next season.


NBCC beat Wallasey Manor

Wallasey Manor. Richie Cross, Steve Franz and Peter Lee

NBCC.   Dave Harse, Martin Krause and Phil Luxon.

Match one Steve vs Martin after this entertaining game the result was all square no points lost or gained. Match two Peter v Dave, Peter over whelming an under par Dave by 16 points. Match three Phil vs Richie. Although Richie has improved greatly over the last season he was no match for the experienced Phil losing 9 points but still Wall Manor had a lead of 7pts.

Match four. Dave vs Steve  Dave redeemed himself by gaining 11pts and NBCC taking the lead for the first time.

Match five. Martin vs Richie  the intensity of Martins game overpowered  his opponent by 14 points. At this stage New Brighton had the upper hand but realised  Peter, Wallasey’s strongest player, still had two to play. Although the game was tense the mood was broken when a Manor player shouted “ throw him a fish” to a NBCC supporter who was a bit over enthusiastic with his clapping.

The remaining matches all went New Brighton’s way with stunning performances from Phil and Marti. Richie also had a great game against Dave gaining his side 6 points. The game ended by New Brighton winning by 496 to 441, a lead of 55 points

Both sides were well supported and the match was played in a pleasant sporting manner. Photographs were taken of both teams but the biggest smile had to be on the face of Martin Krause on winning his first medal while in playing Table Tennis in England.



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