Team 4 made the journey to Inverkeithing to take on Fife. Club President Greig had indicated at training last weekend that this was a very winnable match for the team and so it proved to be. Match 1 saw Rachel Petrie come back from 2-0 down to force a fifth – unfortunately she couldn’t complete the comeback as the hosts recorded the first win of the night. Craig Linton quickly levelled the scores with a 3-0 win and when Rachel won the next match played things looked good for the visitors. Oh hang on – although Rachel did indeed play match 3 on the night unfortunately Team 4 could only field two players! A 3-0 deficit before a ball was hit and when Craig lost his second match played the contest was effectively over. Extremely unfortunate circumstances led to only Rachel and Craig playing and even more unfortunate given it was their best result of the season – Craig won his last match as the Penicuik duo fell to a 7-3 defeat. Could one of the team’s other 3 registered players have won 2? Very possibly. An unfortunate loss but much to build on for next week.
Meanwhile Team 2 visited new league premises as they took on Murrayfield 5 at Ocean Terminal. And by all accounts the premises were great according to the Penicuik trio. Whilst we managed to get three players to Ocean Terminal, this 5-player squad needed to call on help from James Wighton from Team 3 as he joined forces with Gary McDougal and Sonny Taylor. James was first up and was unlucky to lose from a 2-1 advantage as he went down in a deciding end. When Gary then lost to young Haydn Jackson it looked bad for the visitors. Game 3 was to prove crucial as Sonny turned round a 2-1 deficit to win the decider 14-12. James continued to get his money’s worth as he then lost in five to Haydn before wins for Sonny and Gary then levelled the score at 3-3 going into the doubles. Gary and Sonny were never really at the races as they lost 3-0. Sonny was then involved in another fantastic comeback. 2-0 down to Haydn he won the next three ends 11-8, 11-8, 11-7 – according to Gary this was a brilliant high-quality match with Sonny showing what he’s capable of. James lost match 9 which gave Murrayfield a 5-4 lead before the last match of the night saw Gary take on Daniel Najdrowski. Gary will be the first to admit that he has struggled so far this season to find his best form and there wasn’t much confidence on the sidelines when Gary lost the 3rd end 11-4 to fall 2-1 behind. He forced a decider with an 11-8 win in the fourth before a crazy finish saw five deuces in the deciding end before the deadlock could be broken – a 16-14 win for Gary rescued a point for Team 2 – what a finish!
And so, to our player of the week award. Gary secured a point with that amazing last gasp win but there can really be only one winner this week. A fantastic undefeated night in singles against higher rated players was the reason Team 2 secured a point – his rating increased by a staggering 147 points in one night – well done to Sonny.
And finally, our controversy of the week section. Which part of Edinburgh and Lothians is Inverkeithing in? No, sorry, that’s not our controversy – we love our trips to Fife! We take a look at our own failures again this week – Teams 2 and 4 have between them 10 players registered. At the beginning of the season there was a little bit of a grumble from Team 2 members that five was too many in the team. Week 8 and we manage to field 4 out of 10 regular players! Now the circumstances surrounding team 4 were nothing to do with lack of organisation, but for team 2, in a vital match for them given their predicament towards the foot of the table, it does seem bizarre that we were not able to field a full side. With no disrespect to James, who was a handy replacement, you have to think that if one of the regulars had played a win would have been within the side’s grasp. With only two players should a postponement be sought? There are plenty of “free weeks” in the schedule this season given the contraction of the divisions. Not that many games have been played so far for the club but already three of our four teams (Teams 1, 2 and 4) have played understrength or with only two players. We have always been clear in our view that postponements cause more trouble than they’re worth and that’s one of the reasons why this season each of our four teams have more than 3 players registered. In those circumstances, if a team still can’t field three players, surely the first option should be to seek a postponement, just as our nicest team captain, James, did in relation to Team 3s match last week. Now of course we’re not saying that a postponement would necessarily be agreed to by our opponents – but at least ask the question – and if a request is refused then it will give us something else to write about in this section!
On we go to Week 9 which started with Team 1 acceding to a last-minute request from Murrayfield for a postponement – so if any of our teams can’t field a full side against our Murrayfield friends in future, bear in mind they’re due us a favour!