And so what we ended up doing was what we were told by the League that we shouldn’t have been doing - catching up on postponed League fixtures and prioritising them over the Handicap Cup – Oops!
Team 1 of Greig McDonell, David Melrose and Abby Wighton have found it tough going in the first half of the season unlike their opponents, new boys to the Premier Division, Fife 1 who started the night in a comfortable mid-table position. Can someone remind us again in which part of the Edinburgh & Lothians we find Inverkeithing?? The Fife side showed up to Ladywood with the hugely awkward pairing of Peter Aird and Lance Stockdale and they were joined by the hugely talented Jason Fleming. The home trio lost the first match of the night as Abby couldn’t get to grips with Peter’s pimples before Greig squeezed home by the skin of his teeth against Lance in 5. Matches 3 & 4 on the night were to prove crucial. David lost in five ends to Jason before Greig, who looked in control at 2 ends to 1 and then 5-1 up in the fifth, somehow managed to let that advantage slip as he lost 11-9 in the fifth to Peter. That resulted in a 3-1 deficit for the home side. When Abby and David both lost their second matches of the night the home side were 5-1 down going into the doubles. For a period, the momentum turned as first Greig & David won the doubles before Greig won his second singles of the night against Jason. 5-3 down with two matches to play. A draw was still on the cards…. Unfortunately, David then lost in 5 ends to Peter and Abby succumbed in the final match of the night to Lance as the Penicuik trio fell to a 7-3 defeat. Greig won 2 and added the doubles victory with David.
In Division 3, Team 4 called up Craig Johnson from Team 5 to replace the injured Brian Bailey and he joined John Bald and Louis McLeod as they made the long trip to take on Fife. Craig certainly played his part winning two singles out of three and that was added to by two wins for John. When Louis added 1 singles win the visitors were assured of a point. The doubles match, played out of order on the night as the last match was therefore to prove crucial – 5-4 up as John and Louis combined to take on their Fife opponents. Unfortunately for the visitors the home side comfortably won in 3 straight ends as the match ended in a 5-5 draw.
Finally, in Week 13 Team 6 of Julian Taylor, Rachel Petrie and Sonny Taylor took on Team 7 of Phil Daly, Kristian Skotzen and Hannah McDonell at Ladywood. Team 7’s Captain, George, having agreed to a postponement the previous week then found himself unable to play in the rearranged fixture! Team 6 went into the match as firm favourites and when Phil only just squeezed through 13-11 in the fifth and deciding end against young Sonny, the writing was on the wall for Team 7. Julian had an excellent night and was undefeated in singles play, including a terrific straight sets victory against Phil. Rachel and Sonny both won 2 singles whilst the father and son duo combined to win the doubles in a comfortable 8-2 victory for Team 6. George was left wishing he had refused the postponement after all!!
And so, to our Player of the Week Award for Week 13. Only Julian was undefeated in singles play whilst various players picked up two wins. For the importance of one of those “2 out of 3” nights, this week’s award goes to a player who was called in at the last minute and had it not been for his performance Team 4 would have fallen to another disappointing defeat – who would believe it, last year’s most improved player, Craig gets this week’s award - well done to him!!
Controversies last week? Apart from Brian’s rant about the fact that the same people do all the work at the Club in setting up and putting away tables (we all know who he’s getting at – well actually we don’t because he refuses to name names!!) we have decided to have a break from having a go at the rules, the Committee, other Clubs – It’s the season of goodwill after all!
We will, however, end with our moment of the week. Picture the scene at Ladywood as El Presidente is winning against Fife’s Jason Fleming, who is becoming more and more frustrated at the lump on the other side of the table who in his words “is doing nothing”. As Jason berates himself as he loses the match, he approaches to shake hands and is heard to say how “poorly” he has played (although the word actually used was a little bit more colourful)! Never to miss an opportunity and slightly miffed by the suggestion that he doesn’t actually do anything (oh how true that is!), El Presidente shakes his opponent’s hand and says “Don’t be too down on yourself Jason, I’ve beaten much better players than you in the past”. Ah it’s what makes our sport such fun!
And so the first half of the season is over – hasn’t it flown by? An amazing stat for the season so far – not one fallout or cross word with West Lothian TTC – who would have believed it – that pre-season friendly really did do the trick! Mind you there’s still half a season left!
We hope all our TT friends enjoy the festive period and before we know it we’ll be back playing in 2018!