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The Frank Murphy Memorial Trophy Final

 Merseyside Police – Tommy Lynch (52), Alan Cameron (71), & Geoff  Pye (95) v Merseyside Police 2 – Brenda Buoey (21), Tom Purcell (24), & Paul Gittens (-2)

 The match got under way with the Police 1 team choosing to be the home team, not that it made much difference as the sets are played in the set order of the card, top down, and each game is tossed for service or choice of ends, but off we started with Police 1 175 points in front of Police 2.

Game1, saw Alan. v Brenda,  Brenda’s more powerful hitting was making Alan move about a lot to retrieve, and he couldn’t get into the right position to get his high loop going, but even when he did, Brenda was flat hitting it off the bounce,  winning both games, but Alan gaining 19 points.

Game 2, saw Geoff v Tom P., again it was the Police 1 team trying to force the pace, Tom prepared to wait for the sure shot to come along, usually when the ball came in range of his flashing backhand, Geoff kept going for the possible shots, just missing by a ‘bit’, Tom won both, Geoff gained 18.

Game 3, the remaining two players take the stage Tommy & Paul, Tommy a regular Div. 4 player v Paul, a regular Div.1 player, Paul took control from the off, playing a waiting game, matching Tommy’s pushing with his own, but being able to pick off the loose returns from Tommy, who couldn’t hit the ball hard enough to get past Paul, both games to Paul, Tommy picking up 8 points.

So after 4 disastrous games Police 2 have reduced the gap to 94.

Game 4. Geoff v Brenda, Geoff giving Brenda too much freedom on the table in the 1st game, just managing to get 9 points, but made her work a bit harder in the 2nd to gain another13.

Game 5. Alan v Paul, no matter how hard Alan tried, Paul was there to return, and then dictate the play, nothing was going Alan’s way, just getting 10 points from the two games,

Game 6, had Tommy v Tom for what was the closest match of the night, Tommy’s pushing and angle returns were making Tom make a few mistakes, but Tommy just couldn’t take advantage with his hitting, where as when the same opportunities were coming to Tom’s backhand, he was putting them away, Tom won both games but Tommy added 33 points.

So after 6 sets played the gap is down to 33

Game 7, Geoff v Paul, and again no sentiment from Paul, not wasting any shots, Geoff trying all ways to get the points by attacking with some great smashes to get the point, but more were missing than landing, Paul getting the two games, Geoff getting 11 points.

Game 8, Alan v Tom, the gap is now only 2, and Police 1 now need to win games rather than hold the points, whenever Alan seemed to get a bit of control over the game with some good pushing, Tom’s flashing backhand would appear, Alan just couldn’t get his loop to land or get to grips with Tom’s spinney service which was flying off his bat, so both games to Tom and 24 points to Alan.

Last set, Tommy v Brenda, the proverbial hill to for Police 1 to climb, the lead has changed to Police 2 16 in front, an even match developed with Brenda going into an earl lead with Tommy trying to push Brenda into making mistakes, but Brenda’s more powerful hitting being the difference, Brenda won 21-14 putting the match out of reach for Police 1, the last game was a 21-17 win for Brenda, so Final result was a win for Police 2, 421 points to 394, Police 1 just not being able to bring out the form which has brought them through to the Final.

A disappointing spectator turn out for the first time we’ve had a club derby Final in the F.M. Cup, but thanks again go to Marjorie Murphy, Sue and Dave Berry for their attendance, they always attend these Finals, the other ever present supporter with Marjorie’s party is normally Myra Lovelady, who sent her apologies for not attending as she had had an accident at home the day before which required hospital treatment for her hands, only time will tell what kind of a recovery takes place, we wish her well.

Once again Marjorie & party provided the after match refreshments, many thanks.

Thanks to Tom Purcell and Merseyside Police for venue

match official Roly Wright

match Umpire Graham Rollinson

report by Roly Wright

Photo's from Roly Wright



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