Starting with the positives, Team 4 continue to impress in Division 2 as they maintained their undefeated record with a tight 6-4 win against LBPTT at Ladywood. Tony Brentnall, Chris Markey and Krzysztof Lazkiewicz looked like they were coasting to another comfortable win as they raced into a 3-0 lead but two of those three wins (Tony & Kris) were won by the tightest of margins in the fifth ends. With 3 of the next four matches going the way of the visitors, the match was suddenly evenly poised at 4-3 for the league leaders going in to the final set of singles matches. Chris ensured a point with a victory in Game 8 but back came LBPTT with a win in game 9 to leave Tony to try and win the match in the final game of the night. At 2-0 up it looked like plain sailing for Tony but Lester Knibb for the visitors had other ideas winning the next two - Tony however held his nerve in the deciding end to win the match and with it retain the team's status as Division 2 Leaders. On the night, Tony won 3, Chris 2 and Kris 1.
In the Premier Division, after a 10-0 win in Week 10, Team 1 were looking to win consecutive league matches for only the second time this season. The Team were again without Colin Green but Iain Johnstone proved to be an able deputy as he joined forces with Greig McDonell and Stuart Gow to face a home match against an understrength Edinburgh International 2. The first match of the night was to prove crucial as Iain played some great stuff in defeating Struan Henderson, his win easing the pressure on Greig and Stuart. On the night all 3 players won 2 and Greig & Stuart combined for a comeback doubles win as the 1st Team ran out 7-3 winners.
Unfortunately, the good news in Week 11 ends there. In Division 1, Team 2 of James Wighton, Gary McDougal and Abby Wighton faced a tough match against a very strong Fife side who included former Scottish Number 1 Sarah Kenhard. The Penicuik trio were never really in the match as they fell to a 10-0 defeat. Meanwhile Team 3 were looking to build on their win from the previous week as they faced an away trip to Bathgate to play West Lothian 3. Iain Johnstone was lost to the Team through illness and so in stepped Chris Markey to join Brian Bailey and Clive Liddiard. The first 3 matches of the night all went the way of the Bathgate side but the next 3 were all won by the visitors. When Clive and Brian won the doubles in five ends it looked positive for Team 3 but all three of the last singles matches were lost resulting in a 6-4 defeat - one that got away from the Team it would appear especially the you consider that all 3 players won triumphed against different opponents.
In Division 3, Team 5 of John Bald, Phil Daly and Martyn Levy faced a difficult match away to Murrayfield 7. Phil, despite only winning one end on the night, reports that he in particular was extremely unlucky with numerous nets and edges going against him - and maybe he's right because despite John being the only winner on the night for Team 5 in their 9-1 defeat, Phil somehow won the Player of the Match Award!!
Perhaps the most disappointing result of the week came in Division 4 as Team 6 played against a two man University 4 side. When Luke Hennessy won the first match of the night the home side effectively held a 4-0 lead but with neither Louis Myatt nor Louis McLeod able to get on the scoresheet the University side stormed back to take a 5-4 lead with only the doubles remaining. Luke and Louis McLeod saw the match disappear from them in 3 straight ends - a remarkable recovery from the University duo and a disastrous turnaround for our young guns.
Also in Division 4, Team 7 visited University 5. On a bit of a high after a good performance against Team 6 the previous week, only Millie Bennett was able to continue from where she'd left off with two good wins. Dad Stuart and Craig Johnson were winless on the night as the team succumbed to an 8-2 defeat.
Player of the week this week was a fairly straightforward choice - only 1 Penicuik player was undefeated in singles play and his 3 included the match winning game which helped Team 4 stay at the top of the Division 2 table - no competition really as Tony Brentnall runs away with the award - Well done Tony.
And finally to this week's Controversy of the week. With schedules tight for many clubs and availability of premises at a premium, under the spotlight is the ELTTL Rule on Concessions. It looks as if our Team 8 are going to have to concede one of their outstanding fixtures. Despite the good grace of our friends from West Lothian in consenting to a last minute postponement a few weeks ago, Team 8 are struggling to get two players to play the rearranged fixture. In the days before the rule change, a Team could turn up with a one player team and play a meaningless match - we understand why it was thought that such should be akin to a concession. The real issue with the new rule is that in addition to having a 10-0 defeat recorded against you, any team who isn't able to field at least two players is also punished by a point deduction from their total. Isn't a 10-0 defeat punishment enough? What is the rationale behind this "double punishment". There will genuinely be times when a Team simply isn't able to fulfil a fixture. In the face of this Rule all that we as a club strive to do is pull players up from the lower divisions to at least form a two man team - is that really any better for the opposition - a Division 4 player turning out in a Premier or Division 1 match to save a point being deducted? Of course in this instance Team 8 (our final team in the league) have no one to call up from below so it seems that they will simply have to suffer the 10-0 defeat and a deduction from their League total. Maybe we should just do away with postponements altogether - that's maybe a discussion for another time....