After a run of fairly difficult matches, it got no easier for Team 1 as they took on Edinburgh Sports Club 1 in the Premier Division. Team 1 were back to full strength as Carsten Giebeler returned to join Colin Green and David Melrose. Carsten has missed the last few matches and maybe that lack of match play had an effect on him as he failed to secure a win on the night. Pressure then on David and Colin and they responded well. After Colin won Match 1, David enjoyed a terrific 5 end win v Martin McKay, ending with an 11-0 win in the deciding end! When Colin came back from 2-0 down to defeat Graeme Sutherland, the hosts fancied their chances, 3-3 going into the doubles. A straight sets win for Colin and Carsten gave them a narrow advantage. Match 8 was terrific between David and Graeme. 1-0 down, David recovered well to take a 2-1 advantage before Graeme forced a decider. It was fitting that this match went all the way – in the end, David was unlucky to finish on the wrong side of an 11-9 fifth end. 4-4 and when Carsten lost his last match of the night, it was left to Colin to round off an excellent night for him as he beat former teammate, Martin to secure the draw.
Team 4 of Julian Taylor, Tony Brentnall and Sonny Taylor travelled to take on Edinburgh University in Division 2. The students can be a real handful (just ask Team 3) and so it proved last Friday. Not many of us enjoy playing at St Leonards Land – dodgy lighting, some dodgy tables, balls appearing from everywhere when there is another match on, heavy conditions and add to that the horrible mirrors that surround you when playing – seemingly Tony nearly did us all a favour as his bat slipped rather ferociously from his hand and nearly took out the mirrors of doom! Despite being 2-0 up courtesy of wins for Julian and Sonny, the visitors didn’t trouble the scorers again until match 10 when Sonny recorded his second win of the night – a 7-3 defeat for Team 4 who have now slipped from third to seventh in a matter of a few weeks!
Finally, Team 5 hosted North Merchiston 5 in Division 3. North Merchiston are still in with a shout of promotion and they proved too good for George Wilson, Kristian Skotzen and Craig Linton. George probably deserved to pick up more than he did – he lost his opening match 15-13 in the decider before losing his second match by an 11-9 in the fifth scoreline. He picked up a good win in the final round of singles matches but that was the only win for the hosts as they went down to a 9-1 defeat for the fourth time this season.
There can really only be one candidate for our Player of the Week award this week – Colin had an excellent night against one of the top teams in the Premier League and his undefeated night secured a point for Team 1 – Well done to him.
And so to our Controversy of the Week – player behaviour!
Three separate examples this week – in Team 1’s match v ESC there was some fairly foul language used by a couple of our opponents (one in particular). In the Hall at the time was certainly one young lad (playing in a different match) and whilst he may well have heard bad language at school and on tv etc, he really should not have to be subjected to that at an ELTTL Match. Worse, however, was the complaint we received after the match from the Centre Manager who had to try and appease a family (a couple of young girls and their father) who had been playing Badminton in the other half of the hall. The father was quite rightly disgusted by some of the vulgar shouts coming from the TT match. He had come for a nice evening with his daughters and clearly had not anticipated having to put up with obscenities being shouted from the other half of the hall. Does the umpire have any powers in this type of scenario? When it is your own team member umpiring, the chances are that nothing will be said. The League of course have the power in terms of the Rules to do something:
“Disciplinary action will be taken by the ELTTL Committee against any club and / or individual found guilty of unsporting conduct, including playing under a false name or using foul language to, or in the hearing of, opponents, umpires, or others present at the fixture.”
That, of course, doesn’t result in making any difference to the conduct of the fixture in question or to the upset caused – strong umpiring needed but how many of us are actually strong enough to cause an issue at the time rather than moaning about it afterwards??
Second issue is one of our own unfortunately. In our match at Edinburgh University, one of our players has four 11-0 scores recorded against him – the player left the venue before completing his final match and that’s not good for either the opponents or his own team. We apologise to our opponents for the fact that the match was not fulfilled. Frustration can get to all of us it appears!
And finally regarding conduct, what started as a fairly jovial league wide email regarding “elbow bumping” rather than hand shaking due to the Corona Virus situation, got very out of hand after an ESC Member hit “reply all” with a comment that appears to have been intended as a joke. Not many people took it as a joke, most considering that at the very least the comment was in very bad taste. Is this a matter for ELTTL Committee to take up as some would suggest? Can an Amateur Sporting Association get involved in such matters? In fairness, the individual to whom the comment was directed does not appear to have taken too much offence at what was said and there has been an apology given by the “culprit”. Just goes to show, however, that one needs to be very careful with the written word – if the foul mouthed ESC player from our Team 1 match had put the words he used in writing, the League Membership would likely all be very offended!
And finally, as a follow up to last week’s controversy, or as we called it the “non-event” of a controversy regarding Murrayfield 5 v 6, we received via our Website the following comment (which is somewhat redacted):
“Team VI were the better team on the night and that is why they won. On the issue of a player’s rating increasing throughout the season, and the proposal to sanction a club for a player becoming ‘better’ - well, that is just ridiculous. You want to penalise a club for supporting and facilitating the improvement of a player who in this case aims to be the best he can be, and has trained and worked really hard throughout the season to do that?”
We would like to point out that, as we stated in our Report last week, we fully accept that Murrayfield 6 won because they were the better team on the night – we highlighted that the first half had seen a 5-5 draw and as we alluded to young Charlie McGowan is so rapidly improving that it’s unfair to all us older players!! We even commented that the only “controversial” thing about the match was Murrayfield themselves referring to their Team 5 as being understrength. Additionally, we agreed with the position that trying to monitor someone’s rating as it improved over a season and “punish” them / the Club as a consequence would be going too far – in summary we agreed with all of the points made in response to our Report – the good news for us is that we now have proof that someone other than Rachel & Kristian from our Team 5 actually reads our Weekly reports – good to know!
Until next week…