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.

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WEEK 1

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.

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WEEK 2

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

 

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WEEK 3

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    

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WEEK 4

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.

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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

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