The following night Team 4 made the long journey to Haddington to take on Haddington 5 in Division 3. The first half of the season had seen the Midlothian side lose out 6-4. Rachel Petrie, Bob Porteous and Jim Jack were looking to improve on that result. Bob had a terrific 5 set win in the first match of the night and when Jim won match 2, things looked bright for the visitors. Rachel lost match 3 but the two game lead was restored when Bob won match 4. Losses followed however for Jim and Rachel and it was 3-3 going into the crucial doubles. Bob & Rachel secured the doubles victory in 4 ends to give the visitors the advantage again. Rachel will be disappointed not to have contributed and her loss in match 8 brought the scores level again at 4-4. Bob’s win in match 9, however, secured a point but Jim was unable to secure the win as Haddington hung on for a 5-5 draw.
At home on Thursday, Team 1 faced Haddington 1 in the Premier Division. With Greig absent, this was going to be tough for Team 1. David Melrose played his first game of 2023 as he joined Colin Green – Colin won two and the pair were close in the doubles but an 8-2 defeat followed for the home side.
Finally on Thursday night, Team 2 visited Haddington in Division 1. This was one of those matches which could have gone either way – Gary McDougal, Abby Wighton & Krzysztof Lazkiewicz haven’t had much luck this season – at 2-0 down Krys then won games 3 and 5 and Abby won match 4 to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Gary has had a poor season so far by his standards and a winless night for him put pressure on the other two. Abby played well for two wins and a point was there for the taking if Krys could convert his final match and remain unbeaten on the night – He was 2-1 up but lost the last two ends as Team 2 fell to another 6-4 defeat – their sixth such defeat of the season.
Week 16’s player of the week award goes to our only undefeated player this week – well done for not only his three singles wins but also for his win in the doubles which helped secure a 5-5 draw for his team – a terrific week for Bob.
Controversy time – a short one this week and one which we did in the first half of the season as well – Haddington 2 have now secured two 6-4 victories against our Team 2 in Division 1. The difference in both matches has been Haddington’s new recruit this season, Craig Stenton – 5 singles matches won out of 6 and two doubles victories – effectively of the 12 games won by Haddington he’s contributed 7 of them! What’s controversial about that? Rachel encouraging the said Mr Stenton to try out Haddington after he turned up at Penicuik for a practice before the season started is what remains controversial – oh Haddington are also a nice club says Rachel – they’ll be close to you – give them a try!! Never to be forgotten or forgiven Rachel!!
As for the table tennis, there was a huge palaver at the beginning of the season over North Merchiston's Graham Booth - his rating at the beginning of the season was 952 - he wasn't allowed to play in Division 4, objections were then taken to him playing in Division 3 and ultimately he had to play in Division 2. On Monday 16th January our 5th team came up against a player who at the date of the match had a rating of 1002 - what division is he playing in? Yeah, you guessed it - Division 4 - there must be something wrong there surely? That puts the player above everyone in Merchiston's Teams 3, 4 and 5 and as at the 16th of January he was also ahead of two of the players who play in Division 1 for NM 2! Weird! No doubt there's some explanation for this and it will sort itself out when the player eventually loses a game - if he loses a game!
On we go to Week 17 - we seem to have caught up with our reports!!