In the Premier division Colin Green, David Melrose and David Simpson knew they were in for a tough game – their opponents look as if they will comfortably finish in the top 3 or 4. The two Davids took to the table simultaneously but whilst David S won his match in straight sets, David M lost by the same scoreline and then worse news followed as David M had to withdraw due to a bout of vertigo. (One of my favourite films). Apparently Team Captain Colin has also experienced vertigo in the past – how bizarre – two people that can hardly see over the table struggling from vertigo! We do of course know that it’s actually got nothing to do with heights! In any event, that departure left Team 1 up against it. Match 3 between Colin and Mae Ng, an absolutely terrific player with those pesky pimples, took on even more importance. In the first two ends the University player, at times, looked unplayable. But Colin is a fighter and when he won the next two ends he looked to have the momentum with him in the decider. A shocking start, however, put paid to his hopes and despite a mini comeback he fell to an 11-8 defeat. 2-1 down was effectively 4-1 with David M gone. David S kept the home side in it with his second 3-0 win of the night before Colin took on Lei Zhu. Colin was miles ahead in the first but somehow lost it 12-10 and when he repeated the feat from a winning position in the second (9-11) the writing was on the wall. It looked like he got back into the match with an 11-4 win in the third but a 5-11 loss followed – 5-2 and a draw was the best that could be hoped for. That possibility quickly evaporated with a loss in the doubles. The last two matches saw a loss for David S and a win for Colin as Team 1 fell to a 7-3 defeat.
Meanwhile Team 3 took on University 3 in Division 2. With Abby still struggling with a foot injury, regulars James Wighton and Hannah McDonell were joined by El Presidente, Greig McDonell, for his second match of the season. Team 3 had lost the away fixture 6-4 in the first half of the season and when they watched the University trio warming up they were rather nervous about their prospects this time round! Greig was first up and was confident he would stroll to victory – hmmmmm – 11-9 in the first wasn’t exactly comfortable but it would get easier – oh hang on – an 11-7 defeat in the second and James and Hannah were looking very worried (although Greig thinks he definitely saw some laughter between the two of them)! He pulled through in 4 ends much to his teammates relief. Matches 2 and 3 were played simultaneously and in fairness they were tighter than the 4 end victories for Hannah and James appeared on the scorecard. 3-0 up and the home side couldn’t believe it. The next three matches saw a 5 end defeat for Hannah, a 4 end win for James and a 3 end victory for Greig. 5-1 became 6-1 when James & Hannah won their first doubles match of the season – a topsy turvy five ender that went the distance – the home pair held their nerve winning the decider 11-9. And with that the match was won. The last 3 matches also went the way of the home side - Hannah’s match testing dad Greig’s nerves more than hers as she recovered from a 2-1 deficit to squeeze home 14-12 in the fifth. 9-1 doesn’t do justice to the university in what was a good competitive match.
And so, to our player of the week award. Hmm – a tough one this week with only two matches played. Only Greig and James were undefeated in Week 14 – Greig’s never going to win this award unless he does something very special and James is getting a bit big headed - since winning the award in Week 10, he’s become really difficult to deal with. He moaned and moaned and moaned after he won his 3 in week 13 and was overlooked for the award. And after last week he couldn’t wait to point out he’s on an undefeated run of 6 wins out of 6 – jeez some folk! This weeks winner didn’t win any games – no it’s not you and your vertigo David! He didn’t even play in the league – it was great to see Kristian back at the Club last Saturday – he was injured for most of 2021, hadn’t played any TT for a long, long time but as always gave it 100% at Saturdays training session and showed he still has that great lefty skill set! Well done Kristian - another first for this season - a non-league player winning the player of the week award!
And finally, our controversy of the week section. At the League committee meeting just before the league started up again a couple of interesting matters were discussed. Eventually our appeal against Team 1s match v University from early in the season was dealt with. It was accepted by the League and by the match Secretary that he should have applied the rules when asked if an ineligible player could play for Uni in a rescheduled match. He didn’t do so and effectively told Uni that the player could play but he forgot to tell them to keep quiet about it! In the circumstances it was accepted that Uni shouldn’t be punished (we saw that one coming) for simply following what the match secretary said and their 6-4 win would stand even though strictly speaking the playing of an ineligible player should result in forfeiture of the match. A point however would be added to Team 1’s league total to, in some way, recognise that they had been hard done by. A fair outcome all round? Not if you were the North Merchiston representative – looking after their own premier team’s interests they were very much opposed to any such outcome. And in fairness if the shoe was on the other foot we would have done likewise! Let’s hope Team 1 pulls away from the teams around them and relegation doesn’t get decided by just one point! Or let’s hope it does – that would be a mammoth controversy of the week section!
Finally, Edinburgh International’s circumstances were discussed - they’re not allowed to play doubles at their venue! How bizarre! So it was agreed that in any fixture at their place matches will be best of 9! Whilst there would be the benefit of an earlier finish for all concerned, one can imagine teams being none too happy if they suffer a 5-4 defeat - Hang on a minute - we’ve got an excellent doubles pairing - that’s not fair etc.etc. etc.. Hopefully with the recent relaxation of Covid rules this prohibition might be done away with in any event. If it carries on, maybe the league should take the opportunity of doing away with the doubles completely – get back to the good old days of 9 matches only – now there’s a thought!