In Division 1, Team 2 of Clive Liddiard, James Wighton and Charlie Brindley faced an away match against Edinburgh University 2. The visitors victory chances were given a huge boost by the fact that the students could only field a two-man team – What could students be doing on a Friday night that could be better than playing TT?? In fairness, it must be difficult to field a full side – only 30 players registered below University 2! When Charlie lost the first match followed by a loss for James, the 3-0 starting advantage seemed like it might not be enough. A loss for Clive and a win for Charlie kept the Penicuik trio in front before Clive’s win secured at least a point. When James fell to his second defeat of the night and with only the doubles left to play the match score was 5-4. A close 4 set win for Clive and Charlie secured a narrow 6-4 victory.
In a week where full sides were at a premium, Team 3 were without regular Chris Markey. Gary McDougal joined Krzysztof Laszkiewicz as they hosted Murrayfield in Division 1. This would have been a tough match to win with 3 players and it was no surprise therefore when the home side fell to a disappointing 9-1 defeat, Gary picking up the only win on the night.
In Division 3, Team 4 of Brian Bailey, John Bald and Louis McLeod also faced an understrength University side (although the Uni boys did try to field 3 players – see later!) Another 3-0 advantage and surely an easy night for the Penicuik trio? Remarkably, this match also came down to the final game of the night as Brian secured victory to give the home side an edgy 6-4 win. He beat both University opponents, John had 1 win and 1 loss whilst Louis lost both of his matches.
In their Division 3 campaign, Team 5 faced an away match against Corstorphine 4. Sean Lennon, Craig Johnson and Millie Bennett were in positive mood – the last time this trio played together resulted in a 10-0 win. Against an experienced Corstorphine side, however, things weren’t quite so straightforward. At 4-2 down the visitors knew that a win was vital in the doubles. Millie combined with Sean but just came up short in a tight and decisive match. Millie proved again that she is not out of her depth in Division 3 as she won 2 singles on the night. Sean added 1 singles win and Craig had one of those nights (in his words) as the home side ran out 7-3 winners.
In Division 4, Team 6 of Julian Taylor, Rachel Petrie & Sonny Taylor faced the long trek to Fife on Wednesday night. Try telling Rachel that! 6.30pm and she was warming up at Penicuik. In the middle of her warm up with Kristian from Team 7 it suddenly seemed to dawn on her that her teammates were running awfully late – and where were the opposition team?? Oops! Credit to Rachel, however, not letting the team down a frantic phone call followed by a rather speedy trip from Ladywood to Fife got her to the match – she probably wishes she hadn’t bothered as 2 wins for Julian and 1 for Sonny were the only victories for the visitors as they fell to a 7-3 defeat. Great team spirit however and some close matches against some awkward opponents. Haddington next week Rachel AT HADDINGTON.
With Phil still sidelined Team 7’s Division 4 match against University 6 saw George Wilson, Kristian Skotzen and Hannah McDonell searching for the teams’ second win of the season. After Kristian lost the first match of the night, George levelled the scores at 1-1 before the home side somehow then lost 8 matches in a row as they fell to a 9-1 defeat. Match of the night involved George, who after winning the first end, lost the second 9-11 before a mammoth third end was lost 17-19 (handicap Cup was last week wasn’t it!!). As if that wasn’t bad enough he lost the next 13-15! 84 points in three ends of table tennis – that must be some sort of record for the season so far!!
And so to our Player of the Week Award for Week 6. As we have pointed out, this award is not just about who wins the most matches and this week Rachel staked her claim by showing her dedication to the game we all love – after a long day working in Glasgow, a quick return home to sort out domestic duties, a 25 minute journey to Penicuik and a sudden revelation that you’re in the wrong place, rather than throwing in the towel she made the 50 minute journey to Fife to help out her team – great determination and commitment – but actually all caused by that fatal error of not checking the fixtures – we see a new award coming – this week’s winner of the “Biggest Mistake of the Week” prize goes to Rachel - well done!
Only one player was undefeated this week, well done Mr Bailey for seeing Team 4 over the line against a two-man University side. Hang on – only two wins and a loss in the doubles – there must be someone else in the running?? Eh…… Actually no!! Well done Brian after all!
And finally, our controversy of the week section. Where do we start this week – we need to save some of these up for future quiet weeks. We’ll just do a couple…
On Wednesday at Ladywood, University turned up with 5 players for two matches in Divisions 3 and 4. Does anyone at the Club actually know the ELTTL Rules?? Fortunately, El Presidente was there to deliver his daughter to the Division 4 match just as one of the Division 4 players was getting ready to play his own match and play up for the Division 3 team. It’s OK though two senior players in Brian and John (160 years between them) wouldn’t let that happen……. Or maybe they would! On it being pointed out to our Club Secretary that one player is not allowed to play for more than one team on the same night, a further discussion took place and lo and behold modern technology allowed the rule to be found online to satisfy the University that this really was a rule!!!
That leads us on to item number 2 – the above rule was fairly easy to find. What about the rules about ineligible players turning out in a match? Should be easy – a fairly fundamental rule really isn’t it? The rule is there (sort of) but what’s the penalty if it happens? Who knows – the League rules seem to be silent on it! Edinburgh International fielded an ineligible player against our Team 5 a couple of weeks ago (it only came to light this week). The player in question was on the “no play up list”. Of course, the man in charge of this rule appears to be none other than Edinburgh International’s Ken Benjamin – he made it clear enough to all other clubs what the ruling was but not clear enough to his own members it appears. The only assistance in terms of the rules seems to be the following: In the event of a match being postponed …... if a player who was ineligible at that time subsequently plays in the rearranged fixture then the whole match will be forfeited by the team who plays that ineligible player (or words to that effect). By extension therefore, where there is silence on the penalty for just playing an ineligible player, it would seem to make sense that the match is forfeited? The offer from Mr Benjamin and from the team in question? The one game which the ineligible player won is overturned. A 7-3 victory for Edinburgh International becomes a 6-4 victory.
Is that fair? Possibly? He only won 1 match so the outcome would have been the same – well hold on a minute, that’s ignoring the fact of the impact that win had on the score at the time, what effect the win had on the opposing player's confidence, the differing shift in pressure etc. etc. etc. Can anyone say with any degree of certainty that it would have changed the outcome? Of course not. Just like it can’t be said that it didn’t affect the outcome! Who knows what would have happened? Isn’t it too harsh to overturn the whole match result just because of a mistake? Maybe, maybe not? What is for sure is that it is absolutely ridiculous that the rules are silent on this!
Premier League decider. Murrayfield turn up with an ineligible ringer who wins his 3 in a 9-1 victory against North Merchiston 1 - are we seriously going to say that the League would be happy just to overturn those 3 wins and record the match as a 6-4 result?? We think not – the fact that the player on this occasion only won 1 match is irrelevant – he was ineligible to play and there needs to be a clear rule about that. Otherwise, (and everyone who has ever read these reports knows what’s coming) what’s the point in having rules at all – let’s just make them up as we go along.
Over to you League Committee……….