Bill Bradley Handicap Plate, Two Milestones in One Night

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This week saw two major milestones at the Southport Table Tennis Club: veteran member Bill Bradley celebrated his 90th birthday and also notched up 65 years playing for the club.
In those days, new members had to be introduced and elected at a Committee Meeting, so on 27 August 1953 Bill was proposed by another long-serving member, the late Dave Ashby, and seconded by a Miss Harley. Bill played his way up through the teams and soon became a regular in the first division, and by 1957 he was leading the B team to 2nd place, just behind the C team. In 1960, 1962 and 1963 he was part of the A team which won both Division 1 and the Anon Cup.
Although the Southport club's glory days of the 50's and 60's are long gone, Bill has continued to play a big part in the running of the club and was secretary for many years before becoming chairman. Indeed, his wisdom and service were recognised by his becoming an Honorary Life Member of the Southport League.

To help Bill celebrate these milestones, Southport Club members competed for the newly named Bill Bradley Handicap Plate. The final between two new members of the club, Mark Barnes and Ogi Kostov, resulted in 16-year old Ogi narrowly taking the trophy after a cracking finale to complete a wonderful evening for the man of the moment. Congratulations Bill.....     by Alan Nolan

Photos from the night can be found in the Gallery...

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PRINCES CROWN IRENE

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Princes Street has long been home to Southport sporting royalty - snooker legend Les Dodd has been based their for many years.
Now it has another sporting champion - Irene Mullan.
On 22nd August the newly established Princes St. Table Tennis Club , which has adopted the Southport Reform Synagogue as it's new home , held their annual club championships.
Each match was played over 2 games of up to 21 points , the old scoring system used to accommodate handicaps allocated to give every player an equal chance of winning.
Division 3 player Irene Mullan advanced to the final after beating club legend and division 1 player Darren Taylor in a closely fought semi final.
In the other half of the draw Ian Lunt , a stalwart of one of the club's division 2 teams, won through claiming the scalp of fellow division 2 regular Derek Aitken in his semi final.
In the final Irene received a 14 point advantage, which kick started  an epic tussle . Ian deployed his spin serves and topspin drives to take an early advantage. Irene clung on and gradually clawed back some of Ian's lead, with some tremendous blocks and controlled topspin winners. First game to Ian 21-13, putting him firmly in the driving seat.
In the 2nd game Irene came out with renewed vigour , attacking more , and taking the match to Ian. Mixing her usual counter hitting with a little more aggression the 2nd game was much closer, and at 20-15 up Ian went for a topspin kill and missed by a fraction. The game ended 21-16 to Ian, which after adding the handicap, Irene had won by just 1 point - incredible finish.
In the doubles competition the division 2 pairing of Colin Fyles and Derek Aitken took on Darren Taylor ( D1) and Andy Armstrong ( D2) in the final. With a 6 point advantage Colin and Derek were never really in trouble and ran out worthy winners.
So ended Princes St. TTC's first championship in their new home and now they eagerly look forward to the start of the new season next week.                                   

                                                                                                                           Nick Foss

More photos in the Gallery

Introduction to 2018-19

Table Tennis resumes on the Monday 10th September, and to bring you up to speed with several changes, I will endeavour to explain...

With the loss of two teams (Argyle A and Holy Trinity A) from Division 1, no teams were relegated to Division 2. Argyle B now take on the mantle of Argyle A, whilst the once doomed Argyle C stay put as Argyle B.  Crosby C also got a reprieve and are joined by their promoted E team who become the D team making it a quartet of teams in the top tier for the Crosby club. Promoted Princes St. D take their place in Division 1 as the newly named clubs C team. Finally last years Holy Trinity B take over as their A team

In the 2nd Division, again there are some changes, which mainly are caused by the knock on effect from those 1st Division alterations. Holy Trinity C becoming their B team, and continuing the stepping up at Argyle, their F (3rd Div) team from last year have been asked to play up a Division as Argyle E. Crosby F are not relegated due to additions in the 3rd division. Promoted Waterloo A and B complete the line up.

Interesting developments indeed in the bottom tier. Because of the loss of their A team, it meant a lot of upward movement of players at Argyle. This however was solved with the introduction of a complete new team under the guise of Argyle H, even leaving enough players so as to enter a further J team. Relegated Holy Trinity D were also another casualty, fortunately Princes St came to the rescue entering an F team, making it 11 teams in each division.  This all sounds a little confusing and hopefully I have got it right in the main, but as the squads get announced and the season gets under way, it will all fall into place. Just the one question still begs to be answered, can anyone arrest Crosby A’s stranglehold on that number one position. A new look Southport A will have first bite of that particular cherry when the champions visit The Amelan Hall next week. Princes St A, Holy Trinity A and last years runners up Crosby B will also be hoping to push the champions all the way. In the 2nd Division, Holy Trinity B look like the ones to catch, whilst Argyle C and D will again be up for the fight for promotion. Of course there will be the small matter of the two promoted Waterloo teams, who could both become surprise packages. Argyle F (last seasons H team), Princes St F, North Meols and The Para’s head the list of favourites in the 3rd Division, although the new Argyle H team seem to have something up their sleeves, let’s just say at this early stage their lineup could be a talking point. That, and all the ups and downs will I am sure make it another captivating season, so good luck to all……

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WEEK 1 Southport and District TTL

With the postponement of Champions Crosby A’a visit to Southport A, due to the unavailability of the premises, then the 1st Division double header at Crosby High School was the place to go. Last years runners up Crosby B entertained Princes St A, whilst Crosby C hosted Holy Trinity A. Superb start from Princes St saw them strike first with a Matty Wilson’s three straight win over B team captain Mark Davies, before his son Rhys did a similar job on Michael Stewart to make it 1-1. Princes St then regained the lead, captain Darren Taylor getting the better of Peter Ashley, again in three straight, only for Francois Rafferty to repay the compliment in beating Dave Noden to again square things up. Tremendous play so far from both sides  was to be cranked up a notch or three! Rhys verses Matty, the two number ones were up next, and what a tussle it was. Rhys pinched the first 12-10, and then took the second 11-5, before Matty got back into it taking the third by a whisker 13-15. Having thought you had seen everything, young Rhys produced some incredible winners to clinch the fourth 11-5, leaving Matty wondering ‘how do you beat this kid?’ Nevertheless Crosby led for the first time on the night. Francois then made it 4-2, by just about overcoming Michael in a titanic five game battle, a 12-10,5-11,11-6,6-11,11-9 scoreline telling only half the story. Mark then won the the captains contest to make it 5-2, before Peter clinched the match with a four game win against Dave. Both doubles also went the way of the home side making the the final score 8-2 Crosby B, leaving Princes St a little shell shocked.

Crosby C’s baptism in the 1st Division was made considerably harder with the absence of  Rashad Al Dahiri. Nick Wilson moved up to number one , with Elliott Cooper coming in at four. Holy Trinity A with new captain Ned Hassen must have been buoyed by the return of Paul Gittins. Great start too for the visitors, Matt Cranny delivering  a final 3-11 blow in the fifth to defeat young Nick. Further wins for Ted Cramsie, Matt and doubles pairing Paul and Matt, made it a resounding start at 0-4 Holy Trinity. Captain Max then gave his team some hope, winning in three straight over Ned. However that hope slowly disappeared as first Ted won an epic five gamer against Felix Anderson, whilst then Paul chipped in with two wins, either side of a second double success, which made it 1-8 for the visitors. Young Elliott however had the last say, a three straight win over Ned made the final score 2-8 Holy Trinity A…a superb evenings table tennis.

Argyle A and B teams started the season well, with wins over Crosby D and Princes ST C  respectfully.

In the 2nd Division Julian Dutch’s Argyle C got off to a flyer with an convincing away win at Crosby F, whilst Holy Trinity B’s credentials were all there to be seen after an impressive home win over Southport B.  Both promoted teams Waterloo A and B suffered at the hands of the new Princes St club where firstly the B team went down to a good looking Princes St D team, Derek Aitken being the pick of the bunch with a full quota of wins. Waterloo A fared a little better just missing out to another strong Princes St E team.  Argyle D’s home clash with Crosby E provided another close affair, where winning both doubles was decisive for the home side. How many times I wonder that same scenario will be played out this season.

Two fabulous contests got the 3rd Division underway in fine style. A new look Crosby G fought out an exciting home draw against Southport D, before Princes St’s new F team, did exactly the same thing against a spirited Crosby H. A great turn out at The Reform Synagogue witnessed a fabulous encounter here , which was filled with outstanding performances from both sides, no more than that of home player Sam Davies  and Crosby’s Daniel Gresty who took all the accolades. Argyle H came out on top of their ‘mini derby’ verses their J team, although the 8-2 scoreline was a little hard on the clubs new arrivals. Without their captain Ian Littlewood, the Para’s came a little unstuck against an Argyle F team who carried on where they left off last season, proving a third place or even better is a distinct possibility. Finally Argyle G had a very good but narrow victory over North Meols, number one Lewis Hible with a full quota of wins being the hero of the hour.

All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport

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Apologies to Princes St, Waddington !! really, 'old habits die hard' ?

WEEK 2   Southport & District TTL

In the 1st Division both Champions Crosby A and Southport A got their season up and running with very good wins over Argyle A and Waddington B respectively. Crosby had to do it without number one Jack Dempsey, but the usual lineup along with new signing Gavin Lloyd, saw the ‘champs’ home 8-2. A strong Southport team even without Bernard Frank, came well out on top by the same scoreline. Crosby C again found the going tough against their D team, in a 3-7 loss, whilst it was business as usual for Crosby B, who completed an emphatic 9-1 win at Holy Trinity A . Rhys Davies headlined again, in only conceding 16pts in his two singles, one better in fact than in his doubles win with his dad Mark. Impressive form. Another Father and Son (Darren and Josh Taylor) combination took the eye in the Princes St. A verses C ‘derby’ but this time they were on opposite sides and being captains to boot, gave the match a wonderful opener. Seniority won the day this time with dad Darren clinching it 13-11 in the fifth for the A team. Josh then put that behind him to help his team to a hard fought draw.

Argyle was the venue for our feature match from Division 2, where their C team entertained Holy Trinity B. A much changed visiting side got off to a great start with acting captain Brian Crolley getting the better of home captain Jules Dutch in four games, 9-11,11-9, 5-11, 5-11. Callum Richardson then tied things up winning a captivating encounter against Jannette Hutchings. Callum’s top spin attack doing the trick in the first,11-4, Janette’s solid defence reversing the trend in the second 6-11. Again the third and fourth games panned out much the same but very much closer, 11-9,11-13, taking us into a fifth, which Callum took 11-6. Naresh Tagore then restored Argyle’s advantage winning a superb contest in four games against Gordon Parmenter, where the second game itself was an epic edged 17-15 by the home player. Argyle’s young Patrick Devlin held all the aces, in a three straight win over Ron Makin, before Callum justified his number one position completing a very good win over his opposite number Brian, which made the score 4-1 Argyle. Jules with a three straight win over Gordon then made the match at least safe at 5-1, leaving it to Patrick and Janette to either secure or delay victory. A close first saw Patrick just pinch it 11-9, however back came Janette to take the next two both 7-11. Some superb defensive play from both players, particularly from Patrick who kept to his game plan throughout, which gave him a notable win 12-10,11-9, and of course an important win for his side. Naresh verses Ron was up next to complete the singles, and it was Ron who looked the more determined taking the first two 7-11,10-12. But as the third progressed Naresh began to take control, and was back in it with a comfortable 5-11 win. It then looked like a fog had descended on Ron’s game at the start of the fourth, as Naresh swept into a 7-0 lead. Ron mustered up a few points and then with a few more, he couldn’t, could he? At 8-8 Ron appeared to be back at his best, and made sure of a deserved win,9-11, just fabulous play.  An entertaining night was brought to a close with the doubles being shared, giving a final score of 7-3 Argyle C…. Argyle D matched their C team’s result away to Waterloo B, who continuing the family theme, had two father and son pairs making up their team, but messrs Jago and Mooney found the visitors just too strong. Waterloo A’s match at Southport B was postponed, as was the Princes St’s ‘mini derby’ between their E and D teams, both due to unavailable premises. Finally Crosby E lost out to Argyle E .

In the 3rd Division, Argyle F also with a father and son duo Mo and Kasra Mohammadi, continued their promising start with a maximum win over Crosby G. Para’s on the other hand, suffered another disappointing result against a buoyant Crosby H, but wasn’t that surprising, considering they were without Mark Wilson from the start, and lost his replacement John Thompson in the early stages of the match. Argyle H’s visit to North Meols turned out to be a cracker, going down to the last match, Liam Ward giving the visitors an ever so close 4-6 win. Southport D and Argyle G fought out an entertaining draw, Southport’s young Matt Bishop and Argyle’s Lewis Hible being the standout performers. Southport C’s 4-6 win at Argyle J, gave them a good start to the season, although it was Argyle’s Connor Peake who caught the eye with a terrific double, leaving the match to be decided by the visitors winning both doubles.   All information can be found at www.tabletennis365.com/southport

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WEEK 3  SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL

In Division 1, the Crosby B and C ‘derby’ not only produced a wonderful spectacle, but a big surprise in the final resulting draw. With both teams at full strength, the return of C team number one Rashad Al Dahiri  looked to have proved decisive. A single success along with a doubles win with captain Max Davies gave the C team a slender 2-3 advantage at halfway, before Rhys chipped in, completing a full quota of wins, either side of a Felix Anderson win for the C team, which squared it up at 4-4. Not to be outdone Max then completed his own full quota, at the expense of his Dad Mark, only for Francois Rafferty to save the match with his second victory on the night. Great match, and in hindsight a deserved draw for the C team, who on this showing look to be well fitted to ‘life in the fast lane’.  Argyle A got their season up and running with a maximum win over Princes St. B. Crosby A also came out well on top in their ‘derby’ against their D team, whilst Holy Trinity A’s 3-7 win at Princes St. C, was mainly down to two wins apiece from Paul Gittins and Matt Cranny, accompanied by success in both doubles.

After just three weeks , Argyle C and D are the only two teams to have remained unbeaten, both with 100% records, after narrow wins over Waterloo A and Princes St. E respectively. Thomas Ray returned for Southport B’s away trip to Princes St D, producing a full quota of wins, which gave the visitors a close 4-6 win. Even closer at the Holy Trinity B verses Crosby F match, where neither side were never more than one point ahead, finishing 5-5. Brian Crolley for Holy Trinity and Ciaran Lynch  from Crosby were the standout performers. Waterloo B finally got a win on the board for the Merchant Taylors based club. A 2-8 success at Argyle E certainly got their mojo’s (or should that be their Jago’s ) running. Ironically, only Chris Jago suffered, but son Nathan, Aidan Mooney and Euan Mason made it a very difficult night for the Argyle outfit.

Argyle F continued their great start in the 3rd Division, a 3-7 win in their ‘mini derby’ against their G team maintained that 100% feeling, with Phil Marshall and Kasra Mohammadi both with full quota’s catching the eye.  Argyle H are also enjoying a similar feeling, so the Argyle club was the destination for our feature match when they entertained Southport D. Would the home side find that ‘X’ factor, or would they be happy to settle for the ‘H’ factor they already have! With a squad containing three generations of the Hesketh family , Jeff (Grandad), Paul and Lee (sons) along with grandson Ryan, then my first question is, is this a record for the Southport League? I have been reliably informed that in and around 2004, Tony Wilson (Grandad) ,Ged Wilson (son ,and still playing for Princes St) and granddaughter Hannah formed most of a St. Teresas team, with John Daniels and Jack Ashby. Prior to that, a team called ‘The W Club’ way back in the late 1940’s, who actually won the 2nd Division, boasted four members of the same family, that being the Wilsons again, Tony, Ernie, Dave and Ted. Answers on a postcard please along with any further information…. Back to match, and with Jeff this time overseeing the team, Argyle H got off to a flying start . Both doubles were first up, it being a useful insight of what lies ahead. Both though were  won by the home side with just Southport’s Mal Collier and Dai Davies taking Liam Ward and Ryan to four games. Further wins from Lee and Paul against Jordan Shandley and Pat Boylett, respectively put the ‘H ‘ team 4-0 ahead. Mal then caused number one Liam some problems in the first game just losing out 13-11, before Liam finished well to make it 5-0 Argyle. Lee and then Liam put the match beyond the visitors, with straight victories over first Dai and then Jordan. Ryan against Dai then gave the visitors some respite, where Dai’s experience was just too much for Argyle’s youngest Hesketh, three straight, made the score 7-1. Nearly another back, and it was that man Mal again, who pushed Paul all the way, but lost out 13-11 in the third. Last word to Ryan though, who stuck to his task well in overcoming a stubborn evergreen Pat , three straight it was, but easy it certainly wasn’t. Final score 9-1 Argyle H. Para’s got their first win of the season with a convincing win over Crosby G, where Marina Sinitsa made her debut alongside her brother Kostya. Argyle J pulled off a very good win away to Princes St. F. Having swept into an early 0-3 lead, they were made to wait until the last contest of the evening when double pairing Lawrence Phillips and Robert Yeung clinched a close 4-6 win.

Finally, just to return to our family theme for a moment. As well as those already mentioned, we have in all at least 15 parents and offspring playing in the Southport league,  plus 6 pairs of siblings and 4 married couples. Throw in the fact that the age range of all players varies from 10 - 90 years old, then that I believe covers all bases, for more information please go to www.tabletennis365.com/southport

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WEEK 3  SOUTHPORT & DISTRICT TTL

In Division 1, the Crosby B and C ‘derby’ not only produced a wonderful spectacle, but a big surprise in the final resulting draw. With both teams at full strength, the return of C team number one Rashad Al Dahiri  looked to have proved decisive. A single success along with a doubles win with captain Max Davies gave the C team a slender 2-3 advantage at halfway, before Rhys chipped in, completing a full quota of wins, either side of a Felix Anderson win for the C team, which squared it up at 4-4. Not to be outdone Max then completed his own full quota, at the expense of his Dad Mark, only for Francois Rafferty to save the match with his second victory on the night. Great match, and in hindsight a deserved draw for the C team, who on this showing look to be well fitted to ‘life in the fast lane’.  Argyle A got their season up and running with a maximum win over Princes St. B. Crosby A also came out well on top in their ‘derby’ against their D team, whilst Holy Trinity A’s 3-7 win at Princes St. C, was mainly down to two wins apiece from Paul Gittins and Matt Cranny, accompanied by success in both doubles.

After just three weeks , Argyle C and D are the only two teams to have remained unbeaten, both with 100% records, after narrow wins over Waterloo A and Princes St. E respectively. Thomas Ray returned for Southport B’s away trip to Princes St D, producing a full quota of wins, which gave the visitors a close 4-6 win. Even closer at the Holy Trinity B verses Crosby F match, where neither side were never more than one point ahead, finishing 5-5. Brian Crolley for Holy Trinity and Ciaran Lynch  from Crosby were the standout performers. Waterloo B finally got a win on the board for the Merchant Taylors based club. A 2-8 success at Argyle E certainly got their mojo’s (or should that be their Jago’s ) running. Ironically, only Chris Jago suffered, but son Nathan, Aidan Mooney and Euan Mason made it a very difficult night for the Argyle outfit.

Argyle F continued their great start in the 3rd Division, a 3-7 win in their ‘mini derby’ against their G team maintained that 100% feeling, with Phil Marshall and Kasra Mohammadi both with full quota’s catching the eye.  Argyle H are also enjoying a similar feeling, so the Argyle club was the destination for our feature match when they entertained Southport D. Would the home side find that ‘X’ factor, or would they be happy to settle for the ‘H’ factor they already have! With a squad containing three generations of the Hesketh family , Jeff (Grandad), Paul and Lee (sons) along with grandson Ryan, then my first question is, is this a record for the Southport League? I have been reliably informed that in and around 2004, Tony Wilson (Grandad) ,Ged Wilson (son ,and still playing for Princes St) and granddaughter Hannah formed most of a St. Teresas team, with John Daniels and Jack Ashby. Prior to that, a team called ‘The W Club’ way back in the late 1940’s, who actually won the 2nd Division, boasted four members of the same family, that being the Wilsons again, Tony, Ernie, Dave and Ted. Answers on a postcard please along with any further information…. Back to match, and with Jeff this time overseeing the team, Argyle H got off to a flying start . Both doubles were first up, it being a useful insight of what lies ahead. Both though were  won by the home side with just Southport’s Mal Collier and Dai Davies taking Liam Ward and Ryan to four games. Further wins from Lee and Paul against Jordan Shandley and Pat Boylett, respectively put the ‘H ‘ team 4-0 ahead. Mal then caused number one Liam some problems in the first game just losing out 13-11, before Liam finished well to make it 5-0 Argyle. Lee and then Liam put the match beyond the visitors, with straight victories over first Dai and then Jordan. Ryan against Dai then gave the visitors some respite, where Dai’s experience was just too much for Argyle’s youngest Hesketh, three straight, made the score 7-1. Nearly another back, and it was that man Mal again, who pushed Paul all the way, but lost out 13-11 in the third. Last word to Ryan though, who stuck to his task well in overcoming a stubborn evergreen Pat , three straight it was, but easy it certainly wasn’t. Final score 9-1 Argyle H. Para’s got their first win of the season with a convincing win over Crosby G, where Marina Sinitsa made her debut alongside her brother Kostya. Argyle J pulled off a very good win away to Princes St. F. Having swept into an early 0-3 lead, they were made to wait until the last contest of the evening when double pairing Lawrence Phillips and Robert Yeung clinched a close 4-6 win.

Finally, just to return to our family theme for a moment. As well as those already mentioned, we have in all at least 15 parents and offspring playing in the Southport league,  plus 6 pairs of siblings and 4 married couples. Throw in the fact that the age range of all players varies from 10 - 90 years old, then that I believe covers all bases, for more information please go to www.tabletennis365.com/southport

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