With Colin Green injured, for the second week in a row Team 1 faced a match in the premier Division with only two players. Greig McDonell and Stuart Gow faced the daunting task against one of only two sides with an unbeaten record in the Premier Division, North Merchiston 1. Unlike their hosts, NM were able to call up a third player as Eddie Scott filled in to join with Scotland's Number 1 female player, Gillian Edwards and Kristina Petrauskaite. Just like the previous week, Team 1's chances were ended early on as Greig lost to Gillian before putting up a bit of a fight against Kristina, losing deuce in the fifth - 5-0 down and a miracle required! Stuart defeated Eddie in the only win for the home side as Team 1 fell to a heavy 9-1 defeat. Four matches played for NM 1 and only 3 individual games lost - that's impressive.
Team 2 of James Wighton, Gary McDougal and Abby Wighton have found the going very tough in Division 1 so far this season following their step up from Division 2. It didn't look as if things would get any easier as they faced a strong West Lothian 3 side comprising Barrie and Lewis Hills and Calum Stephen. Despite some good matches, the home side were always under the cosh and before they knew it they were 5-0 down. A win for Gary against Calum in match 6 kept the game alive, but not for long as Calum and Lewis defeated James and Abby in the doubles to give the visitors an unassailable 6-1 lead. The only other victory of the night for Team 2 came in match 9 for Gary against Barrie to give a final score of 8-2 in favour of the visitors. This has been a worrying start to the season for Team 2 who look short on confidence after only picking up a solitary point from their first four matches. A win in their rearranged fixture with Edinburgh International 3 in Week 7 would do the Team a world of good and would lift them out of the bottom 2 in the Division.
Also in Division 1, Team 3 faced an away tie against Corstorphine 1. Having only managed a draw with Corstorphine 2 in Week 4 the visitors knew they were in for a difficult night and their task was made much more difficult with the late withdrawal of Clive Liddiard as a result of illness. Chris Markey stepped up from Team 4 to join regulars Iain Johnstone and Brian Bailey. When Iain got the visitors off to a good start things looked positive but neither Chris nor Brian could find wins in the first six matches of the night and going into the doubles the visitors trailed 4-2. Iain and Brian lost that crucial match and only Chris managed a win in the final three singles of the night as Corstorphine ran out 7-3 winners. Iain won two and Chris won 1 for the visitors. Two wins, two draws and two defeats for Team 3 in the first six weeks of the season is perhaps not the start they would have hoped for but if Clive and Brian can start to find some consistency Team 3 look to be able to rely on the good play of Iain to keep them in the hunt in most of their matches, Iain having won 15 out of 18 games played so far.
Team 4 were looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season as they travelled to take on Murrayfield 6 in Division 2. Tony Brentnall, Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and Gavin Hunter started the night as clear favourites against a team who propped up the Division 2 table. It looked like being a straightforward night for the Penicuik trio as they raced into a 3-0 lead. On closer examination of the scorecard however it is worth noting that all three of those matches were won in the deciding fifth end and two of them were won deuce in the fifth. It perhaps wasn't such a big surprise then when the Murrayfield trio then won 4 of the next five matches to bring the scores level at 4-4 going into the final two singles matches. Tony gave the advantage back to Penicuik with a straight sets win but the night was to end in disappointing fashion as Gavin lost match 10 to Graham Muir for a 5-5 draw. Gavin and Tony both won 2 whilst Kris (100% and lauded for his unbeaten run in last week's report) had his worst night of the season as he won 1. In fairness to Kris, the Team suggest that he was under the weather (man flu) and that had an impact on his performances. Hopefully Team 4 will not, later in the season, rue this slip up. Despite the disappointment, they remain undefeated and the point keeps them in joint 2nd place in the Division, only two points adrift of league leaders Edinburgh Sports Club who they face in a crucial match in Week 8.
With not one win from Teams 1 to 4, Team 5 provided a much needed positive for the Club as they were victorious against Corstorphine 6. John Bald, Gregory Leplatre and Phil Daly all won 2 singles whilst Gregory and John combined for a win in the doubles as the 5th Team ran out 7-3 winners against their Edinburgh based opponents. Gregory was unlucky not to win three, losing out to Corstorphoine's John Morton 13-11 in the fifth. The win puts Team 5 into 4th place in the Division although there is already a big gap (6 points) to leaders North Merchiston 3.
In Division 4 Teams 6, 7 & 8 were all in action with the youngsters of Team 6 producing the best performance of the three as they faced a home tie against Fife 4, a team who started the match 5 places above them in the Division. Luke Hennessey and Louis McLeod both won 2 whilst Louis Myatt won 1 singles resulting in the doubles match being crucial. Luke and Louis McLeod combined for an excellent 4 end win against their far more experienced opponents to give the home side a terrific 6-4 win.
Team 7 had the best start to the season of the 3 division 4 sides but the last couple of weeks have seen a dip in form and Stuart Bennett, Craig Johnson and Millie Bennett found the going difficult again in Week 6 as they fell to an 8-2 defeat at the hands of West Lothian 9. Stuart and Millie both won 1.
Finally, Team 8 faced a difficult home tie against table toppers Edinburgh University 4. Whilst 3 of the 10 matches on the night went to a fifth and deciding end, the home side of Sean Lennon, Kathryn McKenzie and Lewis Baldock never really troubled their opponents as they fell to their second whitewash defeat of the season which leaves them sitting 2nd bottom of the League.
And so to Controversy of the week - none for the Club this week - well none that I'm aware of so looking outside the Club a mention, because Team 1 played against her, of Table Tennis Scotland's decision not to select Gillian Edwards to compete in the Senior 6 nations next month. Number 1 player in Scotland, just won the Perth Grand Prix, National Champion and instead in their wisdom TTS select Rebecca Plaistow and Alisa Khalid. Whilst there is no doubting the young girls talents and TTS want to give youth a chance, it does sound crazy that for a senior event you wouldn't take your top senior player! Makes the Club's team selections look "Einstein like"!
And finally, player of the week this week was a difficult one - not because there were so many great performances unfortunately - with only two teams avoiding defeat, their was a small pool of players to pick from! For another solid performance the award this week goes to Team 5's Gregory Leplatre for his two wins and a doubles win in the Team's 7-3 victory. Well done Gregory.