Team 1 faced ESC 1. David Melrose and Abby Wighton were joined by newbie to the Club, Ian Hislop as his first taste of action for the Club saw him step up from Team 3 (Greig suffering from Aussie/Man Flu). He did remarkably well to win one singles and David added a second in the resultant 8-2 defeat. ESC are themselves back in with a chance of glory this year after a surprise defeat for table topping Edinburgh University brought a few teams back into contention for the title.
In Division 1, Team 2 were also understrength as Clive Liddiard was unavailable. James Wighton and Charlie Brindley had the daunting task of hosting Edinburgh International 2 who are challenging for top spot in the Division. Charlie recorded the only win for the home side as the Edinburgh outfit comfortably recorded a 9-1 victory.
Meanwhile in Division 1, Team 3 who are struggling near the foot of the table faced fellow relegation threatened strugglers Edinburgh International 3. This was a must win match for the visiting Penicuik trio of Chris Markey, Gary McDougal and Ian Hislop. The visitors kept their survival hopes alive as they recorded an emphatic 9-1 victory – only Ian lost out on the night.
After a terrific start to their Division 3 campaign, Team 4 have struggled to find any consistency of late. Brian Bailey, John Bald and Louis McLeod faced an away match against North Merchiston 5 and looked rusty after the festive break. Only Brian troubled the scorers in a disappointing 9-1 defeat. In fairness to Team 4, having gone 1-0 up in the match the next two matches went to deciding fifth sets and had they been decided in the visitors’ favour the night may have turned out entirely differently.
Team 5 started their Division 3 campaign with a 10-0 away victory against ESC 4. In the reverse fixture at Ladywood things were much tighter. Whilst in Week 1 the Edinburgh side’s Euan Rae didn’t win a match, on this occasion he turned that round completely winning all three of his singles. An important doubles win helped the home side to a 5-4 advantage going into the final match of the night which saw Stuart Bennett try to win two vital points for the Penicuik trio. Having been winless to that point in the night, Stuart looked in trouble as he lost the first end 11-4 to his opposite number. He held his nerve, however, as he won the next three ends 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 to give the home side an important 6-4 victory. Craig Johnson and Sean Lennon both won two singles and combined for the victory in the doubles.
In Division 4, Team 6 of Julian Taylor, Rachel Petrie and Sonny Taylor hosted North Merchiston 6 hoping to repeat their 6-4 victory from the first half of the season. At 3-1 down, the home side looked to be in trouble but three wins in a row gave the Penicuik trio a 4-3 advantage going into the final 3 singles matches of the night. In a match which swung one way then another, losses for Sonny and Rachel left Julian with the task of trying to salvage a draw for the Penicuik trio – he managed that with a four-set win as the match was tied 5-5. Julian and Sonny both won 2 and combined for a win in the important doubles.
Finally, in Week 14, Team 7 of Phil Daly, Kristian Skotzen and George Wilson travelled to East Lothian to take on Haddington 4. Phil who had been the player of the night in the reverse fixture having won all his singles found the going much tougher as he lost two important fifth end deciders. When he lost his final singles match of the night, Team 7’s chances of winning had already gone. Kristian recorded the only victory for the visitors as Team 7 fell to a 9-1 defeat.
And so, to our Player of the Week Award for Week 14. In a very disappointing start to the second half of the season, only two players were undefeated for the Club and they both play for the same team – a straight fight between Chris and Gary from Team 3. Both undefeated in singles play but Chris combined with Ian and recorded a victory in the doubles! But hang on, who did Edinburgh International give the Player of the Night Award to?? Gary! We can’t split them – hold on what about our newest Club member – not only did Ian record 2 wins and a doubles victory for Team 3 but he won a match whilst playing up in the Premier Division! Does that put him in the running? A good week for all three Team 3 players but on the basis of the additional doubles victory, this week’s award goes to Chris – well done him!
A New Year begins and one of our new year resolutions is to spend less time on controversies each week! But hey, how many people actually stick to their new year resolutions??!!
This year kicked off with a super match at Ladywood on Wednesday between Team 5 and ESC 4. When Craig won an end against a certain opponent with the assistance of at least 5 nets and an edge the air was seemingly turned “blue” – probably not helped by Craig’s teammates smugly congratulating him for his excellent play!!
Craig was also involved in our first real controversy of the New Year after Ian Hislop joined the Club. Ian had been registered at the beginning of the season by Edinburgh International although he has not hit a ball in anger for them since that registration. For a change, we had nothing to do with the discussion about the massive amount of fees paid by EI for Ian’s registration - £29!! The League got into an email exchange with EI and suggested they would refund them £11 and charge PTTC that £11 being half of the TTS Registration fee. So, when Ex-President and EI Committee member Mr Benjamin suggested that we should pay £14.50 representing 50% of the fee paid by EI, Club Treasurer, Craig got the relevant money together having noticed that the EI Club Secretary was playing at Ladywood on Wednesday night – he went across and tried to hand over the funds – these were refused – Wow that’s very kind of our Edinburgh friends – oh hang on he wants us to pay the whole £29! What a faff as Craig was heard to say! What a ridiculous state of affairs as others were heard to say. What a waste of everyone’s time the writer says!! Are clubs really that hard up in these difficult financial times?? Our suggestion now is we pay the £11 at instalments of £1 per week – should be fully paid up by the end of the season!
Ah it’s great to be back – Happy New Year Everybody - 2018 looks like it could be great fun!