It was a family affair when three Maghull TTC members' represented the League's Ladies team at Manchester in the semi final of the Mabel Neary Trophy on Sunday January 8th.  It was a memorable occasion for Sue Hughes who, on her first representative outing for the League, emerged unbeaten in her three matches which proved to be the back bone of what turned out to be a tremendous performance. 

Manchester took the opening two encounters before Sue pulled one back beating Anna Debrzanska 12/21, 21/10, 21/18, the hosts though, increasing their lead via an Andrea Kennedy victory over Sue's sister Janette Hutchings 21/17, 21/4.  The Cup holders couldn't have expected what lay ahead of  them in the second half of the tie, Liverpool mopping up the next three contests to lead 4-3.  Sue started the revival beating Helen Rutherford 21/9 21/9 and Kennedy 21/14, 20/22, 21/14 either side of a 17/21, 21/16, 21/16 defeat of Debrzanska by Amy Hutchings.

With Liverpool, tantalisingly, within a set of overall victory, Manchester maintained their interest in the competition, Debrzanska overcoming Janette 22/20, 21/11.   Amy was next up to the table for the crucial ninth set, the 18 year old, though, keeping her mind focused on the task ahead, recorded a straight games victory over England ranked 85 senior Rutherford, 16 and 19 to earn her team a first appearance in the final.

The competition, was inaugurated following the untimely death of former Wavertree Labour and Lancashire county player Mabel Neary, who in 1987 won the Liverpool Closed Ladies singles title for the only time.  

Liverpool now meet Oldham in the final - date to be advised.   

Don Davies
Match Secretary
Author: via Liverpool Table Tennis League
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