Captain Julian wasn’t too impressed when that statistic was forwarded to him but perhaps that made Team 4 more determined when they had a quick chance to bounce back with their second match of the week as they travelled to take on Haddington 2 – a much tougher looking match on paper, especially given the East Lothian side’s performance against league Leaders Fife earlier in the week when they had pushed them to the wire, falling only to a 6-4 defeat. Table Tennis is a funny old game! 7 of the 10 matches on the night went the distance but a brilliant performance from all of Team 4 saw them win 6 of those tight encounters and with two of the other 3 matches also going the way of the visitors, Team 4 recorded an excellent 8-2 win. An undefeated night for Julian was added to by two wins each for Sonny and Tony and a win in the doubles. Captain Julian commented that this was the best the team had EVER played since they were thrown together last season – high praise indeed.
Team 1 were hoping to build on a good couple of weeks in the Premier Division as they hosted Fife. This was a bit of a bizarre fixture – more on that in our Controversy of the Week section. In the end, Colin was the only regular player for Team 1 and he was joined by Charlie Brindley and Gary McDougal from Team 2. Fife had one player playing up and Team 1 felt that for them to have a chance they all needed to win their match against that player. Match 4 saw the battle of the number 1’s and Colin came out on top of Krzysztof Opila 11-8 in the 5th. A 3 for him was on the cards and all that was needed was for Charlie to then beat Steve Saunders, playing up from Division 3, and a draw was probably going to be guaranteed. Oh dear! After coming back from 2-0 down, Charlie lost out 11-9 in the fifth and it was advantage Fife. Hold on a minute though, up stepped Gary in Match 6 to defeat Grant Williams and suddenly a draw was back on the cards. The other matches all went with form giving Penicuik a 5-4 lead playing match 10 – Charlie v Grant. You know what’s coming…. Charlie unable to beat the Division 3 player suddenly tore up the form guide to defeat the Premier player in 3 straight ends and secure a 6-4 win for the hosts. Another terrific night for Colin with 3 wins, 2 excellent victories for Gary and that vital last match win for Charlie leaves David and Carsten worrying about their places in the team!
In Division 2, Team 3 welcomed back their number 1, Iain Johnstone, as he joined forces with Abby Wighton and Krzysztof Laszkiewicz against Corstorphine 2. Gary Woodhouse was clearly the player of the match for the visitors as he went to 5 ends against both Iain and Krzysztof and took Abby out in 4. Iain was heard to complain about the fact that Gary had been practicing with us every Saturday morning over the last year which had clearly got him used to the Penicuik players styles! Yeah – that might stack up if Iain had ever managed to get out of his bed in time for a Saturday morning training session! As it was, Gary’s win v Abby was the only positive for Corstorphine as Team 3 maintained their 100% record with a good 9-1 victory.
Team 5 also faced Corstorphine opposition in their Division 3 encounter. Team Captain Kristian, after a poor last outing, dropped himself in place of Rachel Petrie who came in to join George Wilson and Craig Linton. At 3-3 going into the doubles it looked like at least a draw was a certainty and a win a possibility as Craig and George came back from 2-1 down to give the home side a 4-3 lead. Suddenly, however, it was 5-4 to Corstorphine, 2-2 in ends in the final match of the night and George was 8-4 down in the decider!! George is a fighter though (in more ways than one!) and with the pressure on he played in a composed manner to come back for an 11-9 victory, thus securing a point for the Team. 2 wins each for Craig and George and a doubles win and Rachel, given Team Captain Kristian’s ruthless streak, can probably get herself ready for sitting on the bench this coming week!
3 players were undefeated this week - Colin, Krzysztof and Iain. Colin has been playing some great stuff in the Premier and his 3 was vitally important for an overall 6-4 victory. He must be ahead of Iain and Krzysztof in this week’s voting. But hold on a minute… Our selection Committee this week have been reminded that it’s not just about having undefeated nights. The award this week ended up being a two horse race between Gary and Charlie who played up for Team 1. Charlie could easily have won it for his 10thmatch win to secure the 6-4 victory but for his two wins, without which Colin’s undefeated night would have been worthless, this week’s winner is Gary. Well done to him.
And finally, to our Controversy of the Week section.
Postponements have already been under the microscope this season and the issue reared its head again last week. Fife had sought a postponement against Team 1 claiming that despite having 5 registered players in their side, they could not field a team. The initial email from Fife indicated that 5 players were unable to play – three were away and two had a Dundee League match on the date of our fixture. Team 1 came to a majority view to refuse the postponement and it appears that much of the reasoning behind that was that two players choosing to play in a different League and prioritising that match over the ELTTL fixture was not a good enough reason to agree to a postponement. Things then became ridiculous as Fife involved the League and in particular the Match Secretary. Suddenly Penicuik were being invited to agree to a postponement and the League would extend the normal 4-week rule. Further discussion took place and the request continued to be refused, a query being raised as to whether in fact anyone had tried to postpone the Dundee fixture which resulted in their inability to field a side? Even more ridiculous it was then claimed by Fife that as Penicuik were not offering an alternative date, we should forfeit the points in terms of Rule 6b! What on earth were they talking about? The Rule states:
“A team may not postpone a fixture except with the prior written confirmed consent of the other team…… Agreedpostponements must be notified to the Match Secretary to be reflected in theELTTL System. The home team will be responsible for offering alternative date(s)to the away team, irrespective of who requests the postponement. In the event ofthe away team requesting a postponement, the home team must offer at leastone date as an alternative to the original date. In the event of the home teamrequesting a postponement, the home team should offer as many dates as isnecessary to the away team. Failure to do so will result in the home team forfeiting the fixture”
Talk about interesting interpretation of the rules! It was suggested that the last sentence about forfeiting was not clear because it didn’t qualify if it was in relation to the previous sentence or the whole rule!! What a load of nonsense!! It is abundantly clear what the rule SAYS and what it MEANS - the postponement must be consented to before the “offering an alternative date” comes into play.
Anyway, in an effort not to cause the whole issue to sour our relationship with Fife too much, we relented on the Friday of the previous week to agree that if they still wanted a postponement, we would accommodate same and play in December as suggested by the Match Secretary. But no, by that point a team had been organised and the match was on. They say you reap what you sow and so we can imagine the reaction of Fife when they turned up to play us (suddenly with two regular first team players) to find that we only had one!! We obviously felt sorry for putting Fife in that position so called up Gary and Charlie to play to give Fife a chance – Yeah right! A weekend call-off from Carsten and an injury to David on the Monday ruled them both out – maybe we should have asked for a postponement!! As it was the 6-4 victory was all the sweeter as a result. According to Fife we were seizing an opportunity for some easy points which reflected badly on us! Only one club comes out of this looking bad – and it’s not Penicuik. No players able to play = two premier players turning up for the match! As to the reason for the League trying to get involved……. we’ll say no more.
Nearly a third of the way through the season already – Roll on week 8!