After three defeats on the bounce for Team 1 Greig McDonell, Colin Green & Stuart Gow knew that their match against Murrayfield 4 was a must win. The first three matches set the tone for the night. Greig defeated Stuart Wilson in 4 ends followed by a win in 3 for Colin against Gary McIntyre before Stuart took 4 ends of fast and furious TT to defeat Richard Tallaron. There were three five enders on the night all of which went the way of the visitors as they recorded a 10-0 win against their Murrayfield opponents. One of those matches where no doubt the losers would have gone away thinking how on earth did we not win a single match!!
In Division 1, both Teams 2 and 3 were in action. Team 2 travelled to Edinburgh University sitting at the foot of the table after a horrid run of 6 defeats in their last 7 matches. Their opponents were just above them in the table on game difference but with 3 matches in hand. When James Wighton lost the first match of the night 11-7 in the deciding end it looked like being another night of close run things for Team 2. Match 2 was crucial and decided by the smallest of margins as Gary came back from 2-1 down to win ends 4 and 5 by an 11-9 scoreline. Another win for Gary and a win for James put the teams level at 3-3 as they entered the doubles fixture. Abby and Gary played well together as they defeated their opposite numbers in 4 ends to give the visitors a 4-3 advantage going into the final round of singles, Abby (who couldn't find her form on the night) lost her final match before James and Gary took centre stage with wins in their final games to secure a 6-4 victory which lifted the Team two places above their opponents in the Division.
Whilst that match was going on, Team 3 (Brian Bailey, Clive Liddiard and Iain Johnstone) reversed their fixture against West Lothian 4. The season thus far has been a bit of a struggle following the step up to Division 1. Brian, who has been short on form in recent weeks, again failed to contribute on the night but fortunately, Clive and Iain were on good form as they were both undefeated and combined for a win in the doubles as the visitors recorded a well deserved 7-3 win.
Into Division 2 where Team 4 went into Week 10 leading the Division. They faced a home tie (without any more Zumba to distract them - hurray!!) against Edinburgh International 5. Tony Brentnall, Chris Markey and Krzysztof Laszkiewicz knew they couldn't afford any slip ups with Murrayfield 5 having gone temporarily into the lead with a 10-0 win earlier in the week. Things were made easier for the home side as EI fielded a two man team but the home trio made no mistakes in matching their closest opponents result as they recorded a 10-0 win to maintain the lead in the division by a single point.
In Division 3, Team 5 of John Bald, Phil Daly and Gregory Leplatre travelled to face Edinburgh International 6. In a one sided contest, the surprise of the night was that the only match lost by the visitors was lost by Gregory in 3 straight ends as Team 5 recorded an excellent 9-1 away victory. Whilst individually Gregory still leads the way for the season having won 66% of his matches played, John and Phil are now both comfortably above the 50% mark.
In Division 4 the second Derby of the season took place as the young guns of Team 6, Luke Hennessy, Louis Myatt and Louis McLeod faced Team 7 of Stuart Bennett, Craig Johnson and Millie Bennet (returning after breaking her finger). Team 6 went into the match as favourites having won four of their last five matches and they sat 5 points ahead of their Club-mates. Luke got the young guns off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win against Stuart. Match 2 saw Craig take on Louis Myatt in a see-saw battle that went the distance with Craig surprisingly coming out on top 11-7 in the deciding fifth end. That was then followed by an equally tight match between Millie and Louis Mc with Millie victorious 11-8 in the deciding end. Luke then brought the scores level again before yet another 5 end tussle as Stuart came out on top against Louis Mc. When Millie then defeated Louis Myatt, Team 7 held a surprising 4-2 lead going into the doubles. Luke and Louis have played well together in recent doubles matches and they combined again to keep Team 6 in with a chance of victory but when Craig defeated Louis Mc in match 8 Team 7 held an unassailable 5-3 lead. The last two matches saw Luke continue his excellent run of form with a 4 end victory against Millie before Louis Myatt salvaged a draw with a straight sets victory against Stuart. A tight match and honours even in the end. Team 6 will rue the fact that all 3 five end matches went the way of Team 7.
The only blip on an otherwise excellent week for the Club was provided by Team 8. Kathryn McKenzie, Sean Lennon and Lewis Baldock were outplayed by a strong North Merchiston 6 (equal top of the Division) as they fell to a third whitewash defeat of the season. Important matches coming up for Team 8 with their intra Club fixtures against Teams 6 and 7.
And so to player of the Week for Week 10. Luke again impressed for Team 6 as his run of good form continued and there were strong performances from Clive and Iain for Team 3 but winning the award this week, because of the importance of the match for the Team, is Gary Mcdougal of Team 2 - his 3 singles wins and a doubles victory made the difference on the night as Team 2 hauled themselves off the foot of the table - Well done Gary.
Finally, for our controversy of the Week this week we look at one of the Rules brought in for this year in relation to the late arrival of teams/players. Team 2 this week travelled to Edinburgh University for a 7pm start and were playing the sixth and final singles match (or so they thought) when the University's third player turned up to start playing just before 9pm!! Under the old rules, that player's matches would have been conceded and whilst there was no particular controversy on the night, probably by reason of the fact that Team 2s captain, James, is one of the nicest blokes you're likely to ever meet, it does seem crazy that this rule change results in a player being able to turn up at whatever time they want (so long as the match is still ongoing) and play their 3 singles straight off. As the University player played his final match of the night having been nicely warmed up by playing two other matches in a row, one can see the argument which could have been made had he won that last match against an opponent who had by that time been sitting out "cold" for a period. As it was he lost his final match and a 6-4 win for Team 2 ensued but.............
We're sure this wasn't the intention behind the rule change but as with many things that are tinkered with there can often be unforeseen and unfair consequences.