In the Premier Division, Team 1 were again without Colin Green and called upon the services of Iain Johnstone to combine with Greig McDonell and Stuart Gow in their away match against North Merchiston 2. Putting aside David Melrose losing his head / the plot in his match with Greig (surely not) Team 1 just fell short as both Greig and Stuart won two singles (Greig losing to Eddie Scott and Stuart losing to Geoff Hunter). Iain was really unlucky in the last match of the night against David which went the distance but he couldn't convert some excellent play into a win as the home side recorded a narrow 6-4 victory.
In Division 1, Team 2 of James Wighton, Gary McDougal and Abby Wighton faced an away match against West Lothian 4. With only Gary getting on the scoresheet in the first 6 singles and after a narrow defeat in the doubles the Penicuik trio trailed 5-2 going into the final round of singles matches and another defeat looked on the cards. In match 8 James came back from 2 ends to nil down to win and then that feat was repeated by Abby, leaving Gary to play for a draw in the final Mach of the night. Gary, who was undefeated on the night, took the last match to stun the Bathgate based trio and secure an unexpected point for the visitors.
Team 3 also faced Bathgate based opposition with a home match against favourites for the Division, West Lothian 2. A chance on the night as only two regulars available for West Lothian but with Stan Stoodley undefeated, only Iain Johnstone could take out the opposition number 2 as he picked up 2 wins whilst Clive Liddiard and Brian Bailey both won 1. The doubles proved crucial as Clive and Iain lost out by the narrowest of margins in the deciding end resulting in a 6-4 defeat for the home side.
The Club's most consistent team in the first 12 weeks of the season has been Team 4 who went into their last fixture before the Christmas break still undefeated and a point clear at the top of Division 2. Chris Markey, Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and Gavin Hunter travelled to face West Lothian 5. Chris, who arguably has been the team's most consistent player had a bit of an off night by his standard with only one win but the sign of a good side is that when one player unexpectedly falls short of their normal standard, the others can step up and that's what happened as Gavin won 2 and Krzysztof won 3 which combined with a win with Chris in the doubles resulted in an excellent 7-3 win ensuring that Team 4 end the first half of the season sitting proudly at the top of the division. Well done guys.
The performance of the week came in an intra-club fixture in Division 4 where the young guns of Louis Myatt, Luke Hennessey and Louis McLeod took on Team 8 of Rachel Petrie, Sean Lennon and Kathryn McKenzie. Whilst the youngsters of Team 6 started as favourites, no one expected the one sided contest which resulted. With only a single end won by Team 8 in the first 6 matches of the night, the match was over as a contest before the doubles fixture. Team 6 showed no mercy as they also won the last four matches of the night to inflict a heavy 10-0 defeat on their Clubmates.
Finally in Week 12, Penicuik 7 hosted Fife 4 in Division 4. On a disappointing night for regulars Craig Johnson and Millie Bennett only Lewis Baldock who stepped up to deputise from Team 8 managed a win as the home side fell to a 9-1 defeat.
Did I say this was going to be a short report??!
A quick report of the performances in the Edinburgh Championships for Club players - not as many of our members participating as previous years - well the League did move the Tournament away from Ladywood - we're not bitter! In fairness the lack of Penicuik players probably had more to do with the Xmas night out on Saturday night and a few sore heads this morning (not mentioning any names but did Iain J actually make it home in one piece?) Anyway there was some success for those who did attend. Greig couldn't make it for the morning session (it was the curry not the alcohol!) but turned up in the afternoon to defend his Vets Title - and he made it to the Final where he lost out to Darius from West Lothian. In the Band 3 singles, James who had been sensible and went home by 11 pm last night just missed out as he also finished with a runners-up medal. In the ladies singles, Abby (who only went home at 11pm because Dad forced her to) was the Club's 3rd runner-up of the day. And our fourth runners up medal came for Luke Hennessey in the Band 5 event. Surely we could find a winners medal somewhere - attention turned to the minors event where Louis Myatt took out teammate Luke Hennessey before winning the final deuce in the fifth against North Merchiston's Amelia Norbury. Eight Penicuik players participated and 5 medals - that's a good ratio after all!! (Some photos on our FB page and the Website)
And so to our Player of the Week Award - a number of contenders this week. Gary thought he was a certainty for the award on Monday night as he was undefeated in singles play in Team 2's 5-5 comeback draw. But then up popped Krzysztof with 3 wins and a doubles win for Team 4 to keep them top of the division. And then just when he thought he was a shoo-in along came Sean from Team 8, who despite not winning a match this week, gave El Presidente a lift home following the night out on the condition that he won the award - bribery doesn't work, Sean - unless money is involved! But the winner this week has to be a young lad who in the League won his 3 singles (including an easy win against his mum), combined to win the doubles and then became Penicuik's only Edinburgh Champion this season - Well done Louis Myatt.
Controversy of the week?? I'm in a festive good mood and said this would be short so I'll save that up for next week although I still can't believe they think quality tables, good lighting and a bigger venue merits moving the Tournament away from Penicuik - what about our great friendly welcome, snow (normally) and the food and drink we provide?? So what if this year's tournament resulted in the biggest ever entry - Shocking decision.....