Table Tennis: Southport & District League

Colin Turner

Written by Jim Booth

Our end-of-season finale, the Gunson Cup Final was finally played between the same teams that contested the Premier Division Cup, otherwise known as The Anon Cup.

Yes, Crosby B’s ‘Young Guns’ had a chance to exact revenge on the league champions Princes St A, but this time they would have a 90-point lead over their illustrious rivals, who could claim a remarkable treble.

There was only one line-up change in that 1-6 loss, Josh Tomlinson joining Toby McLaughlin at number four. So can this change anything for Crosby’s youthful side?

Captain Ciaran Lynch was the first to test the water against Colin Turner, who nailed it, winning the first 4-11. 40-52 for Colin.

Charlie Williams then proceeded to challenge Princes St number one Matty Wilson and was in fact making great progress losing just five points, until Matty’s experience began to say in the last two games that he took it with some ease, giving him a valuable 35- 54 wins.

Well, that was a third of the lead lost in just two games, and things got decidedly worse for the ‘Young Guns’ over the next two games, when first 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 field, with that lead to a lone spot at 216-215 halfway through. Ciaran then tried to regain the nearly lost cause with a valiant 35-55 display against Matty, before Charlie proved again just how much he had improved this season with a 48-47 win over Michael.

Not forgetting that he is the current Singles Champion of the league, where he took some impressive scalps on his way to that famous victory. Back in the present though, and with an 18 pt deficit to take down the ‘Young Guns’, he played ‘careful in the wind’, with first Josh taking a sizable chunk of an out-of-order Sam in a 32 50 loss.

After Jack ended the night with an impressive 39 points against Colin, that gave us a final score of 370-420 Princes St A, and the ‘Treble’ was theirs. Congratulations to them and condolences to a wonderful and fun team from Crosby, who is truly a credit to their club and the Southport League.

A great night of Table Tennis with probably the right result in the end concluded with the delivery of trophies and the all-important Gunson Cup. A surprise Irene Mullan was pulled from the audience to pay tribute. Much appreciated Irene, very good work!

Well, that’s it for this season, and it aptly ended with the crowning of an exceptional Princes St A team, which is the first team to do the Treble feat since 1975, when St. Teresa’s A turned 47 years ago. Of course, there’s a distinct connection here, St Teresa’s TTC first became Waddington TTC, before another forced move meant they became Princes St TTC and that’s where this current team has its root embedded, just history repeating itself, I suppose.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad season (a great one in fact), although there were some doubts at the beginning, the new four-division structure really paid off in the end. With the Cup competitions being purposely postponed after the league program ended, this caused some headaches, but the return to play after Covid and the subsequent season we experienced could be considered a triumph.

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

Looking ahead, 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 the information can be found on our website here.


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