In the Premier Division, Team 1 of Colin Green, Carsten Giebeler and David Melrose visited last season’s Premier Division Runners-Up, Edinburgh Sports Club. The first round of matches saw wins for Colin and David, Colin picking up a straight sets victory against ESC’s number 1, Graeme Sutherland. After the next three matches, however, the visitors were left trailing 4-2 as all three went the way of the hosts – Colin who has been on terrific form, surprisingly lost out to Scott McKenzie in five ends. The doubles was crucial if Penicuik were to have any chance of securing a win. Colin and Carsten battled past Martin McKay and Graeme in 4 ends to reduce the overall deficit. Match 8 saw Graeme record his second win of the night to secure at least a point for the hosts as he won in 4 sets v David. That left Carsten v Scott and Colin v Martin. Carsten made light work of Scott before Colin, still annoyed from his earlier loss, dispatched Martin in 3 straightforward ends. 2 wins for Colin, one each for David and Carsten and that all important doubles win saw the visitors come back to record a 5-5 draw.
In Division 2, Team 3 travelled to Bathgate looking to keep their undefeated season going. Iain Johnstone was replaced by Abby Wighton as she joined forces with Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and James Wighton. James has had a habit so far this season of losing close fifth end deciders – with the overall match score at 2-0 to the visitors, match 3 was crucial and on this occasion, he came out on the right side of an 11-9 in the fifth victory. 3-0 and Penicuik were cruising, slightly derailed by a loss in match 4, but other than that, only one other end was dropped all night on the way to a good 9-1 victory for the Midlothian side, a victory which keeps them close on Fife’s tails at the top of the division with a game in hand. The match between Fife and Penicuik 2 scheduled for Week 15 looks like determining who will be top at Xmas.
After Team 5’s unexpected point in their Week 10 fixture, the same trio took to the table against North Merchiston 5 in Division 3. Kristian Skotzen, George Wilson and Craig Linton knew this was going to be a tough match but were buoyed by the fact that Merchiston had to call on the services of a Division 4 player to play up for one of their regulars – when all 3 of the visiting team picked up a victory against him, it was advantage Penicuik. The home team’s number 1, Anders Lundberg just got over the line against Kristian in 5 ends whilst George cancelled out that result with a terrific five set victory (13-11 in the fifth) over the fast-improving Aidan Davis. The key to securing at least a point was the doubles – George and Craig were coasting at 2-0 up when suddenly a change of tactics from the hosts saw a turnaround resulting in an 11-4 fifth end win. As the last two matches were played the score was 4-4 – Aidan defeated Craig whilst George lost out to Anders and a disappointing 6-4 defeat resulted. Division 3 is tough said Captain Kristian.
Our Player of the Week Award is a straight fight between Krzysztof and James. Despite being dropped for the doubles, for the importance of his narrow 5 set win in Match 3 to keep the momentum going for Team 3, well done to James. Contrary to some scurrilous rumours, the award was not given because James made it a condition of him agreeing to take the coaching sessions on Saturday past!
And finally, to our Controversy of the Week section. Surely not Team 5 again?? Yip, they can’t seem to avoid it. Ever since the Club made Kristian captain this team have lost their tag of our most liked team! Maybe it’s the fact that young Hannah hasn’t played yet this season – she may bring some light-hearted relief to the team! This week they were embroiled in one of our favourite issues – overexuberant shouting! Or screaming as Kristian called it! Now with George in the team we need to preface these comments with an explanation that his shouts generally only arise as he wins ends/matches or plays terrific points – loud they are – indeed there have been many occasions at Ladywood where the room would shake as a result of a George yelp! The difference seemingly last week was that a certain opponent was shouting encouragement to himself after every point, good or bad. A push into the net – a yelp of delight. A forehand off the table, a big shout, a great shot by him just the same! That can’t be right. Team 5 thought it was not only disruptive and off-putting but embarrassing. When George played against this opponent, he tried to ignore it but ended up trying to shout louder after every point he won – did that help? No – he probably put himself off even more. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with geeing yourself up on the table, constant shouting after every point is just not on! Did anyone complain about it at the time?? No. We can think of a few of our players who may not have been able to keep quiet about such behaviour – obviously that nasty James Wighton would have been one – everyone finds him hard to get along with these days – Mr Nice a few seasons ago but even after winning his three this week, and our player of the Week award, he still couldn’t win the vote for player of the night – that went to Abby who lost a match!
What fun! Cho Cho Cho.