Thank you very much to everyone who participated in Penicuik Table Tennis Club’s 2023 summer tournament. I hope you all had a great day full of lots of fun games! This year, the tournament was split into 3 events: a handicap tournament, a ballot doubles tournament, and a 3 point tournament! It really did take into account every aspect of the game and gave everybody a chance to win something! It was great to see everyone coming together, having a fun day and supporting each other. We are a club that is united and friendly, and that definitely was true at the Tournament! Well done everyone for an excellent day!
The doubles was always going to be “unusual” if that’s how to word it - it was completely randomly drawn, meaning anyone could play with anyone. The pairings could be deemed as unfair in some people’s eyes (Colin & Damien – really!), but of course that is what it is all about! We had 3 groups (2 with 3 teams and 1 with 4 teams), playing 1 end to 15. Although the games were close and everyone seemed to have fun, there was a team in each group that came out on top: Scrabble man and Kristian, Rachel and Greig, and Colin and Damien. Joining them in the semis was Craig and Sian, who came second in the group of 4! For the semi-finals, we decided to make the match best of 3 up to 11, and although Craig and Sian, and Greig and Rachel came close, it was the other pairs that won against them in straight sets.
The final was Damien and Colin vs Krzysztof and Kristian. From the beginning, any gamblers would have had their money on Damien and Colin as favourites to win. But of course, the bookies aren’t always right - but on this occasion they were! Krzysztof and Kristian played well, but it was Damien and Colin that stormed through in straight sets to win the doubles. Well done to them for their win!!
THE 3 POINT COMPETITION
With people wanting a bit more of a different fun event, a one end first to 3 point tournament was organised and held on the spot! The most annoying thing about this format is that if you blink its over!! But of course, it helps with pressure and realising the importance of every point. And people obviously felt the pressure as Murray (who has only played for a month) beat people he was never expected to beat, making it all the way to the final where he lost out to Colin!! For his first ever tournament, Murray played very well! Well done to him. This was a first for the club, suggested by our Club Secretary Mr Bailey, and it certainly will be one we do again.
THE MAIN EVENT – INITIAL GROUPS
All matches were played best of three ends to 21. Many of the top seeds found the handicaps too hard to overcome as they failed to make it through to the quarter finals – Top Seed, Colin, came back from 0-16 down to Rachel and 0-19 to Murray to win through. Greig was worried about giving Craig and his funny rubber a 15 point start and Cara a 17 point start, but he squeaked over the line in three sets v Craig and had to bring out his trickiest serves to get past Cara (who wants more coaching at the weekend from him on how to return service!). The first seed to fall was Iain Johnstone – he found Aidan in top form, a 13 point deficit being too much to pull back. Gary McDougall also fell at the first hurdle, not able to cope with Sian’s attacking play. Damien thought he had enough to progress from his group but although he recovered from an 11 point deficit against John Bald (great to see him back), he fell to the bottom seed in the pot, Roscoe who played some excellent stuff to defeat Damien in three ends and progress to the quarters. Perhaps the best quality matches came from Group 3 – all the matches between James, Jim and Chamika went to three sets with James managing to battle back and squeeze over the line as group winner. The Quarter final line up was completed by Kristian and Phil. The players who missed out on progressing from the groups then competed in the Consolation Event.
THE CONSOLATION EVENT
The consolation singles was split into two phases and was always going to be tough. The first phase got us down to a last 8 and with handicaps fairly close, this in turn lead to some exciting games. The final 8 was then made up of Damien, Jim, Michael, Chamika, Rachel, Gary, Krzysztof and Craig. We saw many good games and talent on show, with Rachel, Chamika, Jim and Damien making the semis. Chamika was too strong for Rachel and Jim overcame the attacking Damien as the initial group players Chamika and Jim met again in the final! But unlike the group stage where Jim took the win in the decider, the tables were turned and it was Chamika who this time picked up the win, in a closely contested match. It’s amazing to see how much Chamika has improved over this season! Practice pays off they say, and Chamika is a prime example of that! Well done Chamika on your consolation win!! We should of course not forget to mention Jim, who despite saying he had an unfair handicap, by the end of the day had reached the conclusion that the handicaps were good after all! He played some amazing stuff and always had a smile on his face! Well done on your consolation runner up award Jim.
THE MAIN EVENT - QUARTER FINALS ONWARDS
There were a number of surprises at the quarter final stage – Colin got off to a bad start against Phil but still had a chance at 20-16 down to pull out a comeback in the second end – Phil brought out one of his fast illegal serves and that was it – all over for our top seed. Greig looked in control pulling back a 13 point deficit against James in the first end quite easily. He then thought he was Colin and started attacking and that was his mistake as James progressed in three sets. Aidan v Kristian was going to be totally one sided. Aidan gave Kristian a 1 point start and absolutely ran away with the first end. No one saw anything other than an Aidan win, apart from Kristian – a comeback from nowhere to progress to the semis. Two Division 4 teammates completed the quarter final line up as Sian took on Roscoe. Some terrific stuff from Sian saw her recover from a 5 point deficit to reach the semi-final. There she met James – a 13 point start for Sian and had it not been for her being unable to cope with her opponents serves she would no doubt have made the final. In the final, James would meet Kristian who defeated Phil in straight sets in his semi.
Kristian, who didn’t even enter the tournament until Wednesday (I totally don’t hold a grudge!!), did not disappoint. Having been out of competitive play since March 2020, he definitely came back in style - and when I say style I mean a complete change of style – returning to the Club with the dodgiest rubber ever!! But, this change obviously works well for him, as he won every single game he played! Despite being down or in trouble at points, he stuck in and always had a smile on his face. His long pimples combined with an ability to hit on his forehand caused problems all day and his energy and enthusiasm was just as good as his play! He was nearly caught in the first end but when he won that the writing was on the wall for James. A straight sets win and a great first tournament back Kristian!! Well done. And what about our Runner- Up. Penicuik Table Tennis club’s most controversial player caused even more controversy - not only did he try not to pay the entry fee, but he also disputed the 16 year old girl umpire when she called a justifiable let and edge in the final! Just to add to the list that could go on for years, he was heard to use some dodgy language in front of the massive audience watching the final, sending some people into shock!! Naughty, naughty!! In all seriousness, though, James played extremely well to reach the final and his commitment to the club is immense. Although I love to wind him up (I get that from my dad), he really is a great teammate and coach. And despite his lack of practice due to coaching for the club, his performance was very good, taking out a tough group and then beating defending champion Greig in the quarters! His final was well fought, just missing out on the win!! So, well done to our handicap singles runner up, James.
I really enjoyed running the tournament and hope everyone had a good day. Here are some pictures to finish.