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FRANK MURPHY MEMORIAL

HANDICAP TROPHY

 

first contested 1988

 

this seasons finalists

Maghull   v   Aigburth 1

played at the CADWA Club Thursday 11th May 2006

match official  -:  Ray Lavin

presentations by  Marjorie Murphy & Myra Lovelady

 

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the players competing tonight were -: 

Maghull         -:  Fred Pheysey (18), Peter Holmes (26),  Rod Bulmer (44)

Aigburth 1    -:  Derek Traynor (70), Graham Rollinson (61), Eric Wood (68).

(handicaps in brackets).

The format for the handicap cup is each set is made up of only 2 games, 21 up, first to 21, game ends, 9 sets played.

Aigburth 1 started the match with a 111 point advantage.

The two captains, Fred, for Maghull and Graham for Aigburth, tossed for the psychological advantage of being the away team, as the order of play is preset on the match card, the first game on is the away team No.1 v the home team No.2.

The two teams competing in this seasonís final were Maghull, (basically the ĎAí team, who had just secured promotion from the 3rd. division) made up of Fred Pheysey , Peter Holmes , and Rod Bulmer , ( Rod standing in for regular team member Alan Jones who was on holiday), v Aigburth, who had finished the season in 4th place in division 4, Aigburthís team was made up with Derek Traynor , Graham Rollinson , (who had travelled up from Rugby for the match), and Eric Wood  (who had just returned from Australia for the Final, is that dedication!), and 4th member of the squad, John Mitchell, who played in the semi-final.

After the problem that arose from a semi final match where the two teams disagreed on the final score after the last set was played, it was decided that the match official would tally up the scores, and announce the running totals after each set was played, this made sure everyone was in agreement, and in fact added to the tension of the night. So, with Maghull, who had beaten CADWA 1 by 16 points in the Semi, starting with a total handicap of 88, the home team, and Aigburth, who had beaten Bootle YMCA 1 in the other semi final, (via the first doubles decider in this competition), starting with a handicap of 199, 111 points for Maghull to pull back, giving them a target of winning each game by just over 6 points!

Set 1 saw hard hitting Peter v Derek, first game went to Peter 21-13 due mainly to his left hand power shots down Derekís b/hand, but Derek started playing more to Peters b/hand, making him miss more hits, and Derek relaxing more to hit more winners, 21-19 to Peter.

Set 2 brought Rod, ( who hadnít played in the handicap before) v Graham, Rod settled down the quickest, deciding to play out the points and wait for the moment, Graham going for his clinical direct block shots, but just having a bit of bad luck, Rod winning first game 21-13, second game started in similar fashion, but Graham starting to make those stab shots count and not letting Rod get away, Rod then tried to up the pace but his shots missing and a bit of frustration appearing, Graham taking his lead to 19-16, Rod pulling back to make it deuce, Graham winning that vital 21íst point

Set 3 brings Fred, with his anti loop v Eric with his Barna, not much in the first game, both players surprising the other with some lightning hits, both not exactly confident against the other, the score level most of the way, Fred winning 21-18, Eric pulling a few extra points in near the end. Fred took command of the second game, putting a few more heavy spin serves in, punishing the loose returns, Eric hitting more, but Fred floating them back short, winning 21-10,

Three sets over, the scores now 213 for Maghull, 293 for Aigburth, Maghull 5 points behind target.

Set 4  Rod v Derek, Rod still playing his relaxed game, pushing and rolling against Derekís pimples, with both players picking a few smashes out, Derek just not settling to Rodís changing game, Rod winning 21-13. Did Derek get advice from his corner, second game saw him playing more confidently, changing his returns, making Rod make mistakes, Rod knowing he has to win, makes more unforced errors, score neck and neck to the end, but this one to Derek 21-19.

Set 5  Peter v Eric, our first single point game, Eric unable to cope with Peters hard left hand drives across the table going down 7-21, the second game produced a more determined fight  back from Eric, pulling in 15 points, and this fighting spirit highlights the basis of the Handicap Cup, even getting battered means those few points gained could help to win overall.

Set 6  Fred v Graham, another single point win for Maghull, Fred polishing off Graham 21-9, Graham having trouble coping with Fredís use of the bat and returning to many serves into the net, but what a turnaround in the second game, Fred takes an early lead, playing as relaxed as the first game, but Grahams flat backhands started hitting the mark and giving Fred a little more to think about and having to change his game, Graham gaining more confidence as the game went on, to finally clinch it 21-20.

6 sets played, Aigburth still 43 points in front and Maghull 4 points behind target.

Set 7  Rod v Eric, a more competent game from Eric, giving Rod a bit of bother with his Barna and getting more attacking shots on the mark, Rod got the 21 in both games, but Eric 33 points on the way.

Set 8.  Peter v Graham, Peterís attacking game from the start caught out Graham whoís game was reduced to trying to get the ball back, just not being able to get his attack going, a case of letting Peter make the mistakes, but at least Graham pulling in 12 points, but the second game really went Peterís way, Grahamís defence returning too many shots to Peterís forehand smash, and Peter wasnít missing many of them, winning 21-6.

Set 9  last set, Aigburth still 10 points ahead, but Maghull 2 points ahead of target, Fred v Derek, what a pressure set this turned out to be, Fred with his anti loop rubber, Derek with his pimples, both trying to draw the other to make the mistakes, 5 net points in this game to increase the tension, Derek winning this one 21-20. So into the final game, Derek only needs to get 11 points to give Aigburth the match, but Fred must have decided that attack was the only policy, and set about it, hitting hard when the chance came, rolling the return back to prevent Derek getting in his smashes, as Fred started to pull away, the tension in the hall could be felt, even Rod, who was scoring, was towelling the sweat off his forehead, and Derek did get in a few of his smashes in, but was settling into that rut where no matter what you do, it goes against, as Fred got closer to that 21, it could be felt that Derek just wasnít going to get that all important point to make the draw, or even better, 2 points for the win, Fred pulling it off with a 21-9 win, a fantastic night, Maghull winning the match 461 points to Aigburthís 460, a credit to all players. 

Well played by first attempt Maghull, and commiserations to Aigburth for never giving in.

Result  -:  Maghull  won by 461 points  to 460 points

 My thanks to the Handicap Committee, who again have done an excellent job, resulting in a lot of very close matches this season.

 

Roly Wright

Cup Secretary

 

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