In the Premier Division, Team 1 of Colin Green, Carsten Giebeler and David Melrose hosted Merchiston 2 at Ladywood and they secured a fairly comfortable 8-2 win. Colin continued his excellent start to the season with another undefeated night in singles play and he also combined with Carsten for a good win in the doubles. Carsten was heard to comment that he had played his best TT of the season so far as he also had a loss free night. David was a little disappointed to lose to Geoff Hunter and Neil Innes but he made sure Eddie Scott had a miserable and winless visit to Midlothian with a good victory against him. A tough couple of weeks coming up for Penicuik starting tonight against ESC 1 – that’s the type of match which will show whether Team 1 can actually maintain a challenge for a top four finish.
Team 2 have unfortunately experienced, what can only be described as, a disastrous 7-day period – four matches in the space of that time and having picked up only one point from their two matches in Week 8, they knew that they needed something from Week 9. Charlie Brindley, Gary McDougal and Ian Hislop travelled to Roseburn Church last Monday and no one was expecting them to pick up anything against League Leaders Murrayfield 3. They didn’t disappoint as they went down to a 9-1 defeat, Gary picking up the solitary win for the visitors. Interestingly that wasn’t enough for Gary to pick up the player of the match award from Murrayfield – what did you do Gary to upset the Murrayfield trio?? That award went to Ian Hislop who only picked up one end all night – even Charlie managed more than that with 2 ends!
Expectations were considerably higher two nights later as the same trio visited Edinburgh International 3 who sat bottom of the pile in Division 1 with no wins and six losses on their record. A must win match for Penicuik? Probably. There was never more than a game in this – and as the doubles was reached the scores were tied at 3-3. Charlie and Gary comfortably won Match 7 and it was advantage Penicuik. When Gary lost to the host’s number 1 in Match 8, however, the game was back in the balance – but fear not Charlie then squeezed home 11-8 in the fifth in match 9 putting the visitors on the brink of victory. Match 10 pitted two winless players together – Alastair Hill v Ian. Gary left to get his bus home before this match got underway – he had assumed Ian would have been too strong for his opponent – oh if only it was that simple – this went the distance and an 11-9 in the fifth win was secured, you guessed it, by Alastair as the match was drawn 5-5. That very wise man, Kenneth Benjamin, suggested in his predictions that Ed Int 3 and Penicuik 2 were favourites for relegation from Division 1 this season! Does he actually know what he’s talking about? Let’s hope he’s got at least one of those predictions wrong!
Meanwhile in Division 2, Team 3 hosted Murrayfield 8 last Wednesday. Following their near slip-up last week, the hosts welcomed back Iain Johnstone to the team as he combined with Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and James Wighton. Iain again showed his importance to the side with an unblemished night (12 ends played and 12 won). James and Krzysztof both lost out to another of Murrayfield’s up and coming youngsters, Ben Jamieson as the home side secured an 8-2 win to keep pace with League Leaders Fife.
Team 4 just lost out to Division 2 leaders, Fife 2 last week and they were looking to bounce back as they faced an away match against Murrayfield 7. Julian Taylor, Tony Brentnall and Sonny Taylor have played some terrific stuff in this, their first season in Division 2. And perhaps this match was a warning to Fife and Penicuik 3 that they are not going to have things their own way at the top of the table. At 2-0 down the Murrayfield outfit were able to convert crucially important five end tussles in matches 3 and 4 on the night. From there they went on a run and turned that 2-0 deficit to a 7-2 lead, Sonny winning match 10 on the night as Team 4 fell to their heaviest defeat of the season, 2 wins for Sonny and 1 for Julian in a 7-3 loss. There seems to have been no love lost in this match which Team Captain Julian described as “ill-tempered”. A certain Murrayfield player, according to Team 4, has the ability to bring out the worst in everyone! Oh please tell us more…..
After Team 5’s narrow defeat in Week 8, Team Captain Kristian, despite pleas from Rachel that he should drop himself, kept the same team as he joined forces with George Wilson and Craig Linton in their home match v the undefeated Edinburgh University 4. This was literally men against boys (well one girl actually). Unlike the famous saying, however, there was only one team in this match – Kristian had a night to forget including an 11-0 result in his first end of the night – it did get better – there’s the positive Kristian! A win in match 1 for Craig and a win for George in Match 6 was the total of what Team 5 could muster as they went down to an 8-2 defeat. What? The League scoring site shows the match as a 5-5 draw? More on that below!
Our Player of the Week Award sees 3 undefeated players go head to head this week. Colin and Carsten from Team 1 and Iain from Team 3. Colin looked in control throughout his matches not dropping an end in singles play – but he somehow managed to lose the scorecard so he’s out for being dumb! Carsten may have been favourtie for this week’s award but Colin can’t give any details about how he played other than saying he was a nightmare in the doubles – seemingly even less movement than his long term doubles partner, Greig! Surely that’s defamatory! Although playing at a lower level than he should, Ian’s been knocking on the door for a few weeks and with 12 ends played and 12 ends won, in a match where his teammates didn’t manage undefeated nights, this week Iain wins it! Well done to him.
And finally, to our Controversy of the Week section.
Even when Team 5 get on with their opponents (a rare occurrence this season) and they avoid controversy, it seems to follow them! An 8-2 defeat this week and they were outplayed. Kristian was on the verge of throwing his bat in the bin, George was going to start growing his beard again in the hope that their luck was going to change, Craig was never going to go back to Easter Road until Team 5 and Hibs won in the same week (now that is ridiculous) and then suddenly, an email from the League to point out that University had played an ineligible player, and that player had won his 3! The real controversy, however, was the email from the Match Secretary which stated that he was going to have to give some thought as to what to do as a result of the breach of the Rules. Eh, no thinking required! The Rule is absolutely clear, and indeed amended this season to make it clearer! Unlike previously, only the ineligible player’s games are treated as void. Eventually that’s what happened. Pity the ineligible player hadn’t played in the doubles suggests Craig – typical Hibby – they’d do anything to try and get a win! A 5-5 draw and suddenly Kristian retrieved his bat just before the bin lorry drew up outside his mansion.
On to Week 10 we go – double figures already – astonishing!