In Division 1, Team 2 can’t wait for the Christmas break to try and regroup in advance of what is going to be a tough second half of the season. Their match v Haddington was bizarre! Not one regular player available, Penicuik put out two players from Team 3 (James and Abby Wighton) and one from Team 4 as they went down to a 9-1 defeat. Sonny Taylor playing up from Division 2 produced the solitary win for the Midlothian side.
In Division 2, Team 3 had a busy week as they faced two away matches, firstly at Haddington on Monday followed by University at the end of the week. Iain Johnstone, Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and Abby Wighton made the trip to East Lothian and came away comfortable 7-3 winners. Dad, James replaced Abby for Friday night’s trip to Edinburgh University and this match was in the balance throughout. 4 of the 10 games went to deciding fifth ends with the visitors only managing to win one of those, that coming courtesy of a Match 1 win for Krzysztof. James was unlucky losing two tight five set matches but after the doubles Penicuik held a 5-2 lead and it looked like they would secure victory comfortably. However, when James and Krzysztof both lost, suddenly the pressure was on Iain to secure a win for the visitors in the last match of the night. Iain never really shows that he is nervous, but he commented that for the first time this season he felt ill at ease with his game. Despite that he came through in four ends to give Penicuik a vitally important 6-4 win.
Team 5 started their division 3 campaign really well – unfortunately the wheels seem to have come off a little over the last few weeks. They travelled to Fife on Wednesday night and when George Wilson lost the first match 11-8 in the fifth his Teammates, Kristian Skotzen and Craig Linton knew they were going to be in for a tough night. At 3-0 down George picked up a four-end win but this match was effectively over as a contest by the time of the doubles. Although two close five end matches rounded off the evening, George was the only winner as Team 5 fell to a heavy 9-1 defeat.
Our Player of the Week Award this week sees three players in the running after undefeated performances – Colin and Carsten played some excellent TT in their 8-2 win v close rivals Edinburgh International, whilst Iain had a great week for Team 3 – he played 6 singles and two doubles and won the lot. All three players have won this Award once already this season – although Iain is playing at a lower level, given the importance of his wins to Team 3 who continue to push for the Division 2 title, he picks up the Award for a second time after his 8 match wins in the space of 5 days.
And finally, to our Controversy of the Week. Let’s start with our own shortcomings – Team 2 are in danger of relegation from Division 1 – a full strength team may still have fallen to a defeat against a strong Haddington side but to not have one regular player in the side was a bad show. Having said that, maybe the controversy is more to do with the fact that Haddington refused Team 2’s request for a postponement. They seemingly couldn’t fit in a rearranged fixture – really? Doesn’t seem very sporting! Hang on we think we have been here before…. Perhaps rather than feeling ill-will towards Haddington, however, we should look at the fact that our trio of players were always going to have to rely on people stepping up from lower divisions given that we knew at the start of the season that one of our trio spends a considerable period of time abroad. One of the others was on holiday whilst one was ill. Bad organisation on our part and maybe we should have looked to postpone the match much earlier!
Turn the clock forward a week and here we go again - Team 3’s table topping match v Fife in Division 2 is scheduled for Wednesday December 11th. Two of our four registered players are unavailable – the obvious replacements from Team 4 have a match on the same night – Team 3 suggested to their opponents that the match is moved one day from Wed 11th to Thursday 12th December. Alternatively we could postpone to another date to fit in with them. Fife’s response?? Take a hike! Now for those avid readers who follow this piece, cast your minds back a few weeks to our Team 1’s decision to initially refuse Fife 1 a postponement. We ultimately relented and offered a postponement which wasn’t taken up and in one of the most bizarre twists of the season, Fife who couldn’t field a team at all, hence their request for a postponement, ended up playing with two regular first team players whilst our Team 1 played with just one! Has that whole episode had an impact on Fife’s decision to refuse our request?? Absolutely would be our view! In the team 1 scenario, it was alleged by Fife, who involved the League Committee, that Penicuik picking up a win was more important than being sporting which reflected very badly upon the Club. Surprisingly, they don’t seem to have that concern now for a top of the table match which sees both sides level on points and separated by only one individual game! Maybe they’ve just forgotten about the concept of fair play and sporting behaviour to which they referred, and which ultimately led to us agreeing to a postponement……
Ah well, you reap what you sow as the saying goes – but hold on – we didn’t actually refuse the postponement – obviously you reap what you started to sow then stopped sowing! Ah the Christmas spirit - Good tidings and all that……