Let’s start with the good performances. Team 2 of Clive Liddiard, James Wighton and Charlie Brindley faced a home match against Corstorphine 2. The home trio started the match a point clear of their opponents in the Division 1 table and were looking to extend that advantage. When the first two matches of the night went the way of the home side, a positive outcome looked on the cards but the next three matches were all won by the visitors. Clive won a crucial 5-ender in Match 6 to level the scores before he combined with Charlie for an important doubles win. In a match which had swung one way then another Charlie secured at least a point with a tough 5 end win in match 8 before another twist as Clive fell to a 5-end loss in match 9. It was left to James to secure the win with an excellent 4 end win in Match 10 as the home side squeezed home 6-4. James and Charlie both won 2 whilst Clive won 1 and combined for the doubles win with Charlie.
In Division 4, Team 6 of Julian Taylor, Rachel Petrie and Sonny Taylor got back to winning ways in Week 9 with a thumping 9-1 win against Haddington 5. Week 10 saw them also face Corstorphine opposition at Ladywood as they took on Corstorphine 5. As with Team 2, the Penicuik side started the night just a point clear of their Edinburgh opposition and in the knowledge that a win would put them in to the top half of the table. When all 3 players won their first matches of the night another comfortable victory looked on the cards, however, back came the away side with victories in matches 4 and 5. The difference on the night proved to be Team Captain Julian who strode through his remaining two matches without losing an end and combined with Sonny for a crucial doubles win. With neither Rachel nor Sonny picking up another singles win, Julian’s contributions were crucial in the resultant 6-4 victory.
Unfortunately, the good news ends there! Team 1 of Greig McDonell, David Melrose and Abby Wighton faced former Champions Murrayfield 1 and the talk of the week was whether “Rocky’s” hand would have recovered from the previous week’s knockout right hook. Fears were allayed as Greig and Abby arrived to find David’s car parked at Murrayfield – hang on though – why’s he driving away – in an effort to win the award of “numpty of the week” for the second consecutive time, David had turned up to this match having left both his boxing gloves and trainers at home! A quick dash to a supermarket found him some £4.99 specials and according to Abby she’s never seen David move so well. After that excitement, we can probably gloss over the 10-0 result which followed. Not the closest of matches on paper – or in reality!
Meanwhile in Division 1, Team 3 were still without regular Chris Markey as Gary McDougal and Krzysztof Laszkiewicz called up Louis McLeod from Division 3 to face one of the top teams in the Division, Haddington 1. A worrying run of results for the visitors continued as they fell to a 9-1 defeat, with Krzysztof picking up the only victory for the Penicuik side. 7 defeats out of their last 8 matches has seen Team 3 fall in to the relegation zone. Chris is back next week for what is surely their biggest match of the season so far against Murrayfield 5 who sit just a point above them in the table.
A couple of weeks ago we took a screenshot of the Division 3 table to show Team 4 of Brian Bailey, John Bald and Louis McLeod sitting at the summit. Thank goodness we did. After a thumping 9-1 defeat in Week 9 at the hands of West Lothian, this week saw Team 4 fall to a heavy 8-2 reverse against top of the table Edinburgh International. We would like to say that this match was closer in reality than it was on the scorecard but that wouldn’t be fair to the Edinburgh side who had a player from Division 4 playing up for them (an eligible one this time!) John and Brian both won 1 for the visitors.
Finally in Week 10, Team 7 faced an away match in Division 4 against top of the table Haddington 3 without their number 1, Phil Daly. Even with Phil, this would have been a mountain to climb for Team 7 given Haddington’s record in the Division thus far. Only 5 individual games lost for the East Lothian side in 7 matches and one of those was a 6-4 victory against 2nd placed KLOS! Credit then to George Wilson, Kristian Skotzen and Hannah McDonell for putting up a creditable performance and to George for picking up 1 win in the resultant 9-1 defeat.
And so to our Player of the Week Award for Week 10. Special mention this week to George who in truth should probably have won 2 against Haddington and to James for holding his nerve to secure the win for Team 2. But only one player was undefeated in singles play this week, Julian from Team 6, and his undefeated night in singles and crucial doubles win resulted in a terrific 6-4 win for his team. Surely, we can’t look any further than him for our player of the Week. Hang on, can we find a reason to have a Team 1 player win for the fourth week in a row?? David played in unfamiliar shoes and still won two ends? Abby has to put up with Greig’s attempts at humour every week? No? OK – Well done to Julian.
After Week 9’s controversial involvement of the League in respect of the Merchiston v University match, wasn’t it good to see that the students did not actually need a postponement after all – 3 of their registered 4 players were in fact available and indeed good enough to record a victory over the defending Premier League Champions. Good to see the Premier title being so open for a change.
There’s been a great exchange of emails going on this week about the Rules – some of the emails passing between members of the League clearly having more sarcasm than the 10 weeks of these Weekly Reports put together. The issue which gave rise to this plethora of “discussion” appears to be the rule about not changing bats during a match. It seems that this rule is contained in the ITTF Rules and is covered under a section relating to International Competitions – the argument appears to be that nowhere in our rules do we suggest what parts of the Rules apply to us and what parts don’t – the ITTF Handbook seemingly runs to 178 pages! Come on if the League can’t even enforce straightforward specific rules which we have on our own website relating to the ELTTL what chance of enforcing ITTF International Rules! Having said that we’ve always thought the “no bat change rule” did apply but it just shows you how an argument can be made when the rules are not specifically adopted or written into our League Rules! We just love a bit of controversy, particularly when it doesn’t involve us directly!
We were also told by the League this week that, in the ELTTL, timeouts are not allowed. Don’t think this has arisen this season as far as our Club is concerned but perhaps someone could point us in the direction of the Rule confirming that to be the case??
It is argued by one Club’s representative that: “Rules are important but fairness should always be the overarching consideration for the ELTTL committee in settling disputes”
We disagree – if Rules are not to be followed what’s the point in having them – the key is having Rules which are fair and unambiguous and that are applied to all fairly. If not why not just have a Rule that says anything goes and the Committee will decide whether it’s fair or not!
And finally, Phil from Team 7 raised an interesting point last week (there’s a first time for everything). In a recent match of his, he commented that his opponent was moving around like a jack in the box – side to side, backwards and forwards, up and down, while waiting to receive serve. Phil found this to be extremely off-putting. His question to us was whether this was permissible? Our answer? Who knows? Is this covered by the ruling about the conditions of play being disturbed in a way which could affect the outcome of the rally? We don’t know! Can anyone find it in the 178 page ITTF Handbook - Answers on a postcard please.