Changes ahead as league swings back into ac­tion

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY JIM BOOTH

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, those changes will be a lit­tle more com­plex than nor­mal.

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 first and sec­ond 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 sea­son’s 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

THE in­au­gu­ral Crosby Mas­ters, a 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 in groups of four with qual­i­fy­ing for the and those in posi- mov­ing into the tions.

T h e ini­tial shock Kil­lo­ran from G. for­mat the top two main event tions 3 and 4 plate com­peti- groups saw an with 3rd seed Joe 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 Morri

son. In a high-qual­ity en­counter 12-year-old Rhys lost 3-1 to even­tual cham­pion Mor­ri­son who led a Scot­tish clean sweep at the quar­ter-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 the 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 three close sets.

Nick played well through­out and should do well in the league this sea­son as he moves into the first divi­sion in both the South­port and Liver­pool Leagues.

The evening was a straight best of three knock­out event played in one large arena in a front of good crowd and hosted by Ryan Jenk­ins – the four qual­i­fiers were joined by four es­tab­lished star play­ers hop­ing to avoid an up­set – these were Dwain Sh­warzer (Ger­many), Dean Cundy and Cal­lum Evans (both Wales) and top seed 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.

Joe Brolly (main im­age) and (inset) Ashad Al Dahiri and Harry Grif­fiths and (be­low) Nick Wil­son

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