In Division 1, Greig McDonell returned in place of Colin Green and he joined forces with David Melrose & Iain Johnstone as they took on West Lothian 3 at home. Only two matches on the night went beyond straight sets, both involving David - he lost out in five to Stuart Gibson and won in 4 against Keith MacKay. A fairly straightforward night saw the home side run out 9-1 winners.
In Division 2, James & Abby Wighton were again joined by Julian Taylor playing up from Div 3 as they faced West Lothian 5. Having lost their opening fixture to Murrayfield, the Penicuik side needed to bounce back and bounce back they did recording an excellent 10-0 win. Julian commented at the end that this was the first match he'd played in his short league career where he was on the right side of a 10-0 win - if only he could have been bothered playing for his own team two nights later....
So 2 nights after Julian's terrific performance in playing up, Team 4 had the enjoyment of a Friday night visit to Edinburgh University in Division 3 - Julian wouldn't be seen dead playing TT on a Friday night so he was replaced by Phil Daly who joined Sonny Taylor and Tony Brentnall. This was one of those matches where the scoreline flattered - Three 5th end deciders and another three which went to four ends. The visitors won the lot, however, as Team 4 also recorded an excellent 10-0 win.
In Division 4, Team 5 have enjoyed a good start to the season in the absence of their secret weapon, John Bald. According to Ratings Central, John is Team 5's best player - he was back on Wednesday night but having not picked up a bat since the summer, a good decision probably to leave him on the sidelines! Haddington 4 were the visitors, and they were looking to continue their good start to the season. This was a tight match - after Craig won match 1, Millie came from 2-1 down to win in five tight sets, 11-8 in the 5th before Stuart then lost 11-8 in the fifth. Match 4 saw Millie go to yet another 5th set and she held her nerve to squeeze home 12-10 before Craig and Stuart both then lost, you guessed it, in five ends, both falling to 11-8 defeats in those deciding ends. When Craig and Millie then lost the doubles the home side were down for the first time on the night at 4-3. Millie rounded off an excellent night to bring the scores level before the crucial win of the night went to Stuart with an 11-9 fifth end win against his opposite number. It was then left to Craig to deliver the winning match which he did in some style, the only match of the night that was decided in 3 straight sets. A terrific 6-4 win keeps Team 5 at the top of the Division 4 table - will Mr Bald ever get a game??
And finally in Week 3, Team 7 (Phil Daly, Kristian Skotzen & Hannah McDonell) faced Haddington 5 at Ladywood. The first three matches of the night saw a win for Phil, followed by a win for Hannah before a loss for Kristian. The next 3 matches were identical - a win for Phil, another for Hannah and a loss for Kristian. When the doubles went the way of Haddington, they trailed 4-3 going into the last 3 matches of the night. Young Liam Govan then took out Kristian to spoil his night completely before the attention in the hall turned to a classic between Hannah and Martin Hayman. Hannah raced into a 2-1 lead and was 10-6 up in the fourth - it was all over - that seemed to be what Martin thought as well as he suddenly decided just to go for all out attack - back to 10-8 and the most outrageous running forehand of the night (in any of the 4 matches played) somehow found the corner of the table as groans of disbelief were heard from the Penicuik contingent in the hall - he went on to win 14-12 and at the change of ends in the final end was 5-1 up. But back came Hannah to 9-9 before Martin's 65 years of experience resulted in two heavy pushes high into Hannah's backhand side - how on earth did he win that the crowd were heard to sigh! Unfortunately, or fortunately for Penicuik, son David couldn't quite get the win for the visitors as Phil won the last match of the night for a hard fought 5-5 draw. (Martin was still speaking about that forehand at the Junior Assessment tournament yesterday!!)
So a terrific week for the Club - 4 wins and 1 draw. Undefeated in singles play this week were Greig, Iain, Abby, James, Millie, Phil, Julian, Sonny & Tony. Jings, this is going to be a difficult one. Greig and Iain were the only two players not to drop an end and Greig also won the doubles so clearly this week's Player of the Week has to be...... Oh ok only joking. A text from Phil demanded that he get this week's award - and he's got a point - 6 wins out of 6 in singles - three for his own team and 3 whilst playing up in Div 3. But according to Hannah it was his fault they lost the doubles and didn't therefore win the match - sorry Phil! There could only really be one winner this week, 3 terrific wins without which the team would not have won and showing some great mental strength to win close 5 end tussles when the team needed it most - well done to Millie.
And finally to our controversy of the Week - let's have a go at ourselves for a change - see it's not just other Clubs that are in the firing line!
Wednesday saw 4 matches on at Ladywood, as will happen regularly this season. It's OK though the Dogs have been sent away with their tails between their legs (their obedience problems were clear for everyone who played at Ladywood last season to hear) and we have the whole hall available on Match nights. Well, when we say we have the whole hall, we have that from about 6.50pm after the Badminton is finished. Add on at least 10 minutes to get the tables out of the cupboard and we can maybe get set up by just after 7pm. But hey not everyone cares - if you can get there early enough you can get set up for your own match and then others can watch as the prima donnas of Team 1 wander in and claim one of the tables set up in the available half of the hall!! The result is chaos at the beginning of the night according to James "Mr Nice" Wighton. Now if James is annoyed there really is a problem!
24 players in the hall on Wednesday, make that 25 as Gary came along for a practice (that's a Thursday night Gary!) and three tables set up by the match start time of 6.30pm. Away teams quite rightly probably thinking what is going on as they hang about unable to get a knock up until after 7pm - anyone who arrives early to be ready to play by 6.30 really will be a bit cheesed off 40 minutes or so later! So why do we have a 6.30 start time?? It would please our friends from West Lothian (not to mention a few of our own members) if we pushed this back to 7pm. Whilst we will still be thrown out at 10pm surely there is enough room at Ladywood with the whole hall available to get matches onto two tables if necessary - so what if we don't have enough barriers to have more than about 5 tables up! Who needs barriers? (If anyone want's to donate any to us we'd be most appreciative!) Lack of organisation seems to be the biggest problem. Did no one think about this before the season started? If only Brian's Shower curtain technology had worked we could have divided the hall up in to four lovely compartments. The lack of organisation is one thing but it also leaves a feeling that there is a lack of consideration for everyone within the Club, never mind the lack of consideration for our opponents. And for that we apologise to anyone who was left feeling unwanted on Wednesday night!
Not to worry though, Mr Nice has come up with a solution - seemingly he's going to get to Ladywood by 6pm each week, claim the half hall available and let the other teams wait for a change!! How rude!!