In Division 1, Team 2 faced a trip to Edinburgh International 2 and were up against it from the start as Gary McDougal, Charlie Brindley and Krzysztof Laszkiewicz faced one of the teams who must be fancied for promotion - without wanting to be too negative, given their start to the season, Team 2 look like they’ll be concentrating on trying to avoid relegation. In a match which was, according to Krzysztof, a pleasure to play in, the result was anything but pleasurable. Whilst only 4 matches were won in straight set, the visitors only victory came in the doubles as Gary and Charlie combined for a 5-set victory. A 9-1 defeat for Team 2 leaves them in the drop zone but with a couple of matches in hand against the teams directly above them.
Team 3 were looking to build on their Week 7 win as they played one of their postponed matches in Division 2 against Granton. On paper, James Wighton, Ian Hislop and Abby Wighton looked far too strong for their opponents, but hold on a minute, in Halloween Week things got a bit scary for Team 2 with news that having given Granton a postponement they somehow rearranged the match for a date when Abby couldn’t play – that’s got to be joke right? Nope! Phil Daly stepped up from Division 4 to try and help out. Maybe it was supreme confidence from Captain James, belief that even understrength Granton would be no match for Team 2? With El Presidente’s words ringing in the teams’ ears that they would take over from Team 6 as the most shambolic team in the club if they lost, James and Ian secured 6 wins between them and as an added bonus, Phil also got on the scorecard as Team 3 recorded a 7-3 win – an undefeated night for Ian who combined with James for the doubles victory. We commented last week that Team 3s credentials would be tested over the next fortnight with 4 matches in 14 days and they've got off to a good start on that run.
Team 4 had been due to play against Corstorphine opposition at Ladywood on Wednesday but the Edinburgh based outfit couldn’t muster a team and therefore conceded the match – a 10-0 win boosts Team 4’s game difference and for a short moment on Wednesday night they topped the Division 3 table. Wins for Haddington and Murrayfield on Thursday night, however, returned them to third place!
In Division 4 both Teams 6 and 7 were in action at Ladywood on Wednesday night. Team 6 were still reeling from being called “shambolic” in last Week’s Report and were determined to show that they could actually have three players start and finish a match for only the second time this season! Craig Linton was joined by youngsters Louis McLeod and Adam Woodhouse as they faced North Merchiston 6. With young Aidan Davis showing his promise (undefeated in singles play for the visitors) it was crucial that all three home players contributed on the night. A terrific first win of the season for Adam boosted the home side’s chances of success and after a good doubles victory for Louis and Craig, the home side led 5-4 going into the final match of the night between Craig and Kai Hely. It didn’t look good when Craig lost the first end, but he steadied himself and came through in 4 ends to give Team 6 their first victory of the season. Two wins each for Craig and Louis, 1 for Adam and a doubles win resulted in a 6-4 win. What a difference it makes when you can actually field a full side!
Meanwhile, for the second week in a row Team 7 lined up with George Wilson, Phil Daly and Kristian Skotzen as they hosted Edinburgh University 6. Kristian seems to have benefited from his week in a darkened room after losing last week to 107 year old John Bald – in fairness, as we said in last week’s report, although he lost that match, it was some of the best TT he’s played in the League and there was no stopping him on Wednesday night as for the first time in his short League career he was undefeated on the night. He even managed to combine with George for a scarce doubles win! The highlight of University 6’s season so far was our Team 6 conceding to them last week and they were no match for the home trio as they went down to a 10-0 defeat.
Division 4 looks like it could see one of the most interesting battles for promotion this year. Previously undefeated WL 8 lost to Fife this week – Fife lost to our Team 5, our Team 5 lost to WL 7 who then lost to our Team 7. Add into the equation WL 9 who could only manage a draw this week with Haddington 5 and before you know it we have about half a dozen teams who are all capable of beating each other! As it stands our Team 5, who had a free week in Week 8, are right in the promotion fight, a point behind the league leaders but with a game in hand. Interesting times ahead.
And so to our Player of the Week Award for Week 8. All of Team 7 were undefeated in singles play this week – can we look any further than Kristian for this week’s award? His first ever undefeated night in the league? The award was his until an email from Phil reminded the selection committee of his excellent week – undefeated for his own team and an important victory (allegedly) for Team 3 whilst playing up v Granton – a victory which saw Team 3 over the winning line! He’s a shoo-in for this week’s award, isn’t he? Eh, no he’s not! According to our nicest team captain Phil was a nightmare whilst playing up for Team 3 - anywhere he goes controversy seems to follow said James! In a week which saw Team 6 record their first victory of the season, Wednesday night also saw the first singles win of the season for this week’s winner – his victory made the difference between a draw and a victory for Team 6 – well done to Adam. (Sorry Kristian and Phil)!
And finally, our controversy of the week section.
Last week we touched on Team 6’s concession and how our esteemed Club Secretary had been led to believe there was no fine for such a concession. Mr Bailey stands corrected and now accepts that any concession does attract a fine (£5 for the first offence) – tight for cash however, Brian argued the case at the League Committee meeting during the week and lo and behold our appeal was successful and the fine waived. Just shows how much effort Mr B can put in after he was told he would be the one stumping up the cash if we had to pay the fine!
Postponements and the shambles that was Team 3s postponed match against Granton were going to form a big part of this week’s piece – fortunately, however, the risky strategy of James didn’t come back to haunt him in Halloween week and he can come along to the Club next week without being ridiculed – lucky him!! Seemingly that match did involve a bit of controversy (Phil as usual) but he’s sworn us to secrecy about it – another reason for him missing out on our Player of the Week Award!
A third of the season over already – jings the weeks are flying by.