Table Tennis: Southport and District League

Colin Turner

Written by Jim Booth

Our end-of-season finale, the Gunson Cup Final, was ultimately contested between the same teams that contested the Premier Division Cup, aka The Anon Cup.

Yes, Crosby B’s ‘Young Guns’ had a chance for revenge against league champions Princes St A, but this time they would get a 90 point advantage over their illustrious rivals, who themselves could clinch a remarkable hat-trick .

There was only one roster change in that 1-6 loss, Josh Tomlinson replacing Toby McLaughlin at number four. So, could this change anything for young Crosby?

Their captain Ciaran Lynch was the first to test the water against Colin Turner, who went down on a flyer, taking the lead 4-11. 40-52 to Colin.

Charlie Williams then set about challenging Princes St number one Matty Wilson and was actually making great strides behind just five pts, until Matty’s experience began to show in the final two games. which he took with some ease, giving him a precious 35-54 win.

Well, that was a third of the lost advantage in just two contests, and things got decidedly worse for the “Young Guns” in the next two games, as Jack Savage and then Josh Tomlinson felt the brunt of Sam Piece and Captain Michael Stewart. masterful game, gathering only 51 pts between them against the Champions 109 pts.

An ominous feeling now seemed to have descended on Crosby’s camp, with that advantage reduced to a single point at 216-215 at the halfway point. Ciaran then tried to recover the nearly lost cause with a valiant 35-55 display against Matty, before Charlie proved again how much he had improved this season with an outright 48-47 win over Michael. .

Not to mention he is the reigning singles champion in the league where he picked up several impressive scalps on the way to that famous win. Back to the present though, and with an 18 pt deficit to overthrow the ‘Young Guns’, threw ‘caution to the wind’, with the former Josh taking a significant part of an out of form Sam, in a 32 loss. 50.

After which Jack ended the night with an impressive 39 points against Colin, which gave us a final score of 370-420 Princes St A, and the “Treble” was theirs. Congratulations to them and commiserations to a wonderful young and entertaining team at Crosby, who are indeed a credit to their club and to the Southport League.

A great evening of table tennis with probably the right result at the end concluded with the presentation of the trophies and the all important Gunson Cup. A very surprised Irene Mullan was snatched from the audience to do the honours. Much appreciated Irene, a very good job!

Well, that’s it for this season, and fittingly, it ended with the crowning of an exceptional side Princes St A, who are the first team to achieve the Treble feat since 1975 when St. Teresa’s A completed it 47 years ago. Of course there is a distinctive connection here, St Teresa’s TTC first became Waddington TTC, before another forced move meant they became Princes St TTC and that is where this current team has its roots, just history repeating itself I guess.

All in all, it’s not been a bad season at all (a great one actually) although there were some doubts at first, the new four Division structure has finally paid off. With the cup competitions being deliberately delayed after the league schedule ended, it caused some headaches, but the return to play after Covid and the following season we experienced can be seen as a triumph.

Just a small downside, as there always is, Gunson’s handicaps could have been better, but without a crystal ball then the task will remain difficult. Thoughts and ideas on a postcard please.

Prospective changes will certainly be on the agenda for next season, but we’ll have to wait and see what develops there, but in the meantime all information can be found on our site here.

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