In the Premier Division Penicuik 1 faced an away fixture against Edinburgh International 2. Greig McDonell, Colin Green and Stuart Gow recorded their 3rd consecutive win of 2017 with an excellent 8-2 victory as Stuart won 3 whilst Greig and Colin both won 2. Greig and Colin also combined for a win in the doubles.
In Division 1 Penicuik 2 of Iain Johnstone, Clive Liddiard and Brian Bailey travelled to Bathgate to take on West Lothian 3. On a disappointing night for the Penicuik trio, Iain made the only contributions for the visitors as he was undefeated in singles play in the resultant 7-3 defeat.
James Wighton, Gary Mcdougal and Abby Wighton went into their Week 17 match against Edinburgh Sports Club in confident mood having defeated their opponents in the first half of the season by a 7-3 scoreline. When all three players won their opening matches at Ladywood it looked like being a comfortable night for the home side. Defeats in Matches 4 and 5 for James and Abby, however, brought the Edinburgh based side back into the match. Penicuik then pulled away again with victories in Matches 6 and 7 giving them an unassailable 5-2 lead but the match was far from over as first James then Gary lost their final singles games in fifth end deciders. It was left to Abby to eventually get the home side over the winning line with victory in the last match of the night to secure a 6-4 win. Team 3 remain undefeated and continue to put pressure on Haddington at the top of the Division 2 table.
Having had a super start to their Division 2 campaign, Penicuik 4 have struggled to match Team 3’s success, primarily as a result of an inability to field a full side consistently. They recorded a much needed win against West Lothian 6 at Bathgate in Week 17 as Chris Markey won all 3 of his singles matches and combined with Krzysztof Laszkiewicz for a win in the doubles whilst Krzysztof won 2 singles and Tony Brentnall won 1 in their 7-3 victory.
After a terrific victory in Week 16 for Penicuik 5, John Bald, Phil Daly and Vikas Singla knew they were in for a tough match at Ladywood as they took on second placed Murrayfield 7 in Division 3. The Edinburgh based side started the night a massive 17 points ahead of the Penicuik trio and other than Vikas the gulf between the two sides showed on the night as the visitors ran out 7-3 winners. Vikas continued his good form since joining the Club winning two singles and contributing with John for a victory in the doubles.
Following a break in Week 16, Penicuik 6 of Sean Lennon, Stuart Bennett and Craig Johnson were looking to record their first win of 2017 as they travelled to take on Murrayfield 8 in Division 4. The match swung one way and then the other and going into the crucial doubles fixture the scores were tied at 3-3. Sean and Craig played well together to give the visitors a 4-3 advantage. In the final round of singles matches, Stuart and Sean both won to secure a narrow 6-4 victory for the Midlothian side. Sean and Craig both won 2 and Stuart won 1 on the night.
Player of the week award for Week 17?? Three players were undefeated in singles play this week. Stuart was again undefeated for Team 1; Iain won his 3 singles for Team 2 whilst Chris had a terrific night for Team 4. The Christmas break seems to have had a positive impact on one of our players - undefeated since the New Year - and for the fact that he had the confidence to wear what can only be described as a ghastly luminous yellow T-Shirt whilst starring on Sky Sports at the weekend, this week’s award goes to Stuart - not many people could have pulled that look off…………….
And so to our controversy of the week section. In Team 1’s match against Edinburgh International last week 2 of our players arrived slightly after the 6.30 start time to find only one player from the home side in attendance. The two remaining EI players then turned up about 15 and 20 minutes after the official start time and still no sign of our 3rd player who turned up some 40 minutes late. Now thankfully the match managed to finish before “closing time” but what if it hadn’t??
Our former League President, Mr Ken Ben, seemed to suggest in the run up to 7pm that if a player hadn’t arrived within 30 minutes of the start time his games are forfeited - not the case of course - it appears that rule was replaced with the somewhat bizarre rule (in our view) that if a player from a team is more than 30 minutes late and the match is curtailed as a result from finishing the team who that player belongs to forfeits any unplayed matches. Is that really fair in a situation where the rule also says that teams should be in attendance prior to the start time and ready to play by the aforementioned start time. In a situation such as last week no one was ready to play by 6.30pm. Who’s fault would it actually have been had the matches not been capable of being finished. The fact is that having arrived 40 minutes late, the player in question was still in time to play his first match (match 3 of the night) as match 1 wasn’t even finished by that time!! Whilst we’re sure an amicable resolution would have been reached if necessary, the rule does leave a huge amount of scope for argument - maybe something to revisit for next season.
And finally, away from the League it would be remiss of us not to comment on an excellent Tournament at the weekend run by our friends from Haddington Table Tennis Club. The highlight of the day, according to Colin, was not his win in the Band 1 Singles nor his win in the Open Singles - It was the enjoyment he took from being able to relive the final two points of his match against Greig in the Band 1 Final - a certain Murrayfield player seems to have videoed the horrendous and un-returnable net which Colin got at deuce in the fifth, caught Greig’s reaction to it and posted it for posterity on the ELTTTL Twitter page - being the sportsmanlike fellow that he is Colin tells us he’s only watched it about a dozen times and remarkably each time he finds it funnier - typical Aussie!!! Well done to all our members who took part and our thanks to the organisers for an excellently run event.