Going into the fixture, James Wighton, Gary Mcdougall and Abby Wighton were level on points with League Leaders Penicuik 2 but had played a game less. Having managed only a 5-5 draw in the first half of the season against the Edinburgh side, the Penicuik trio knew they were in for a tough match. Team Captain James, who has hit a rich vein of form over the last few weeks, gave the hosts the perfect start as he came back from 2 ends to 1 down to win Match 1 of the night. He was ably supported by Gary and Abby who both won their opening singles to give the home team a terrific start. By the time the second round of singles matches were played the home side had done enough to at least secure a point as further wins for James and Gary gave Penicuik an unassailable 5-1 lead. Having guaranteed a point there was no surprise when the home side marched on to win 3 of the final four matches for an excellent 8-2 victory. James once again won all his three singles whilst Gary and Abby both won 2. James also combined with Gary for a win in the doubles fixture.
The result puts the trio two points clear of Clive, Brian and Tony at the top of the Division with the crunch match between the two teams set to take place on Wednesday 25th March. The 2nd Team remain in contention for the title, however, as with a better game difference (only by two games), they know that any win in the final fixture will give them the title. The 3rd Team, although underdogs at the start of the season, must go into the match as slight favourites in the knowledge that they can win the title with a draw. The scene is set for what promises to be a fantastic finale to the season…....
The only other match of the week saw the 1st Team of Greig McDonell, Colin Green and Iain Johnstone face a home tie against Murrayfield 2. Both teams had little to play for as they sat in mid table safety. The key match turned out to be game 3 of the night when Greig fought back from 2 ends down against Grant Williams to take the game into a deciding end only to lose that end 12-10. Although the 1st Team rallied from 5-1 down, they couldn't quite do enough as they lost 6-4.
With the season near to a conclusion some other issues were put to bed last week. In Division 3, Penicuik's 4th Team had a bye week but mathematically still had the chance off a 2nd place finish although they were no longer in control of their own destiny. Without hitting a ball in anger their hopes of promotion were ended as West Lothian 7 ran out comfortable winners in their penultimate match of the season and secured 2nd place. As the man with too many "Zs" in his name (thats you Kris) said "there's always next year"! Congratulations to Fife who secured the title last week and to West Lothian who will contest the play off spot.
Elsewhere in the League, the Premier Division Title has long since been decided with Murrayfield 1 undefeated throughout the season. The Team of the year however must be our friends from West Lothian 1 who have forced their way not only into the top four but look virtually guaranteed to finish 2nd in the Division - well done to them. The real drama is at the foot of the division where 3 teams are still in the running for automatic relegation. A defeat for West Lothian 2 against our 1st Team tomorrow (23rd March) would result in them dropping out of the Premier League.
In Division 1, a point last week was enough to secure the title for Murrayfield 4 whilst Edinburgh Sports Club 2 will contest the play off. At the foot of the table Murrayfield 5 have been relegated but second bottom is still not decided.
Finally, in Division 4 all still to play for at the top although Graham Booth's North Merchiston 4 (is he really playing in Division 4!!) look favourites for the title.