First up were Team 1 of Colin Green, Carsten Giebeler and David Melrose who travelled to Bathgate to take on West Lothian 1, a team who they had fallen to 6-4 in the reverse fixture at Ladywood. If WL had had a regular third player this year might they be top of the Division? They have effectively relied on their top two, Brian Wright and Dariusz Szymczak throughout the season and they did so again last Monday with an even better result than in the first half – both were undefeated, and a doubles victory gave them a 7-3 victory. Carsten came close losing 9-11 in the fifth to Brian but in the end, the only other close match was Colin’s five set win v Steve Collins. A deserved win for the hosts.
On Wednesday evening, Team 2 hosted Murrayfield 4 separated by a massive 14 points in the Division 1 table. Murrayfield 4 look on course to secure a place in the Premier next season (along with Murrayfield 3 who are top) – what a nightmare that will be for the rest of the Premier division next season – each team will have 8 matches v Murrayfield opposition – maybe they should start their own league given their strength in depth! Charlie Brindley, Gary McDougal and Ian Hislop never looked like causing an upset to the form book despite starting brightly as Charlie won the first match of the night – the next 9 matches all went the way of the visitors although in fairness to Team 2, 3 of those matches were close five-enders. Team 2 have two massive matches this week as they play University twice in the space of three days.
Team 4 hosted Haddington 3 in Division 2 expecting a close match given the reverse fixture in East Lothian had been won by the Penicuik side by the narrowest of margins (6-4). Team Captain Julian sat out as Sonny Taylor, Chris Markey and Tony Brentnall sought to get 2020 off to a good start. The first two matches of the night were to prove crucial. Sonny recovered from an 11-3 fourth end loss to squeeze home 12-10 in the fifth in match 1 before Chris then recovered from 2 ends to 1 down to win 11-6 in the fifth in match 2. Although Tony lost match 3, from there the hosts powered home losing only 3 more ends on the way to an excellent 9-1 victory.
Finally, in Week 16, Team 5 made their first outing of the New Year as they travelled to Murrayfield 9 on Thursday evening. This was going to be tricky – George and Kristian were both unavailable whilst Rachel was struggling with flu like symptoms – that left Hannah McDonell and Craig Linton to make the trip to Royal High. At the last minute though they brought in some new young lad to make his Division 3 debut. Hannah, playing only her second league match of the season, got the side off to a perfect start with a 3-0 win in Match 1, but that was cancelled out as Craig fell in straight sets to Robert Inder. Match 4 was to prove pivotal as Hannah held her nerve in a tight encounter with Robert to win it 11-9 in the fifth. With the new lad somehow managing to win his three a draw was secured and when Craig and Hannah combined for a victory in the doubles the match win was secured. Craig won his last singles match to make the final score 7-3.
Our Player of the Week this week sees a fight between three undefeated players, Chris and Sonny for Team 4 and the new guy for Team 5? He didn’t play the doubles though so he’s probably out of the running. Sonny and Chris played together in the doubles so we can’t split them on that basis. The visitors awarded POTM to Chris, so surely, he must pick up the award? Hang on – a last minute contender has popped up – for her two crucial wins and a victory in the doubles which resulted in the overall win for Team 5 well done to Hannah!
And finally, to our Controversy of the Week.
The Heriot Watt promotion fiasco still drags on. As we reported before the Xmas break, it looked like they wouldn’t be able to fulfil their 3 outstanding fixtures in Division 3 before their Division 1 campaign got underway. They had a free week last week after their first Division 1 fixture had to be postponed so no doubt, they would have got something played then to catch up. Eh no! Never mind they’ve got a tough week this week with two matches – oh hold on they’re both on the same night!! Which one are they going to play? Who knows? Who cares?? What we do care about, however, is that given the ridiculous double points on offer to them, one solitary win for HW will see them leap out of the relegation zone and if they can add even a draw to that they will jump up 5 places! That cannot be right.
Away from that ongoing saga, the only other mildly controversial matter as the New Year got off to a mixed start for the Club related to the new lad who turned out for Team 5. There were a few raised eyebrows from other Murrayfield Club members who were training at Royal High as our Club President made his Division 3 debut. Fortunately, it seems his reputation isn’t that well known in the lower divisions after Murrayfield 9 awarded him the Player of the Match Award for winning his 3! Was he really heard to be saying “how dare they – do they not know who I am!!” Now that’s controversial!
Happy New Year to all.