Match 4 on the night saw Jim back to the table against Phillipe – when Jim lost the first set to deuce the Penicuik side were in trouble. Unlike his first match, however, Jim managed to play the big points better than his opponent as he won the next three sets to bring the match score level again at 2-2. Artur v Aidan then followed the same pattern – Aidan lost the first set to deuce (16-14) but dug in deep to win the next three to give the visitors their first lead of the night. Amit and Colin were then involved in probably the match of the night – Colin gave away a 10 point start in a race to 21 – he won the first two ends 22-20, 21-18 and looked in control. Amit had other ideas winning the next two 21-19, 21-17. The crucial deciding end saw Colin get off to a fantastic start and when he caught Amit early, the match was effectively over – a 21-14 win put the visitors one match away from the win. Game 7 saw Aidan take on Phillipe – only a two point start for Aidan despite these players playing two divisions apart – Aidan lost the first end 13-9 but then played his best TT of the night winning the next three 13-4, 13-4, 13-9 and with that Penicuik had secured an excellent 5-2 win. On to the semi finals they go.
Away from the League a quick mention of two of our Handicap Cup Team – Greig and Colin spent the weekend of 10th to 12th February in Derby representing Border Reivers in the British Veterans League. Having gained promotion last year from Division 5, the same team picked up another promotion this year from Division 4, and unlike last year when they lost out on game difference for the title, this season they won their Division, pushed all the way by a strong side from Blackpool TTC. Ten matches played over two weekends in Derby and the Reivers won the Division with 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat. Greig and Colin both featured high in the individual averages – Greig with 70% and Colin with 68.75%. A terrific achievement.
And so, to our player of the week award. All three players played well for the victory in the Handicap Cup – Colin had to battle back twice from big deficits and Jim was unlucky not to win two on the night. Although Aidan dropped his first match of the night, his progress this season is there for all to see – playing against players who are far more experienced than him and who are playing at a much higher level in the League, he secured two excellent victories to see the team over the line – well done to him.
And finally, our controversy of the week section. With only one match taking place we’re struggling this week for anything controversial! The Handicaps seemed to generally be fair – lots of close scores would suggest that. Colin managed not to fall out with anyone – maybe that’s actually controversial! The only thing we can comment on is the utter domination of Edinburgh Table Tennis at the moment by Murrayfield – clearly the biggest club in the area – and clearly the best Club in terms of strength of depth – In the last 8 of the Handicap Cup they had five teams. Only our side managed to defeat a Murrayfield side meaning that 3 of the four semi-finalists are Murrayfield. If we look at the Premier League, Murrayfield 1 are well clear and on their way to yet another title, Murrayfield 2 are in second place and their third team are in fifth place and still in with a chance to finish in either third or fourth place – they are four points behind third but with a game in hand – third would probably have been theirs had it not been for turning up in two of their last three matches with 1 regular player and two youngsters playing up from Division 2 – two 6-4 defeats which would otherwise surely have been wins. Taking that into account we would probably have been looking at a 1,2,3 finish for Murrayfield this year – how utterly remarkable would that have been – remarkable but also thoroughly depressing for the rest of us. The controversy? Back to the point we aired earlier in the season about not allowing any Club to have more than a certain number of teams in any division of the League – realistically though that’s never going to happen – another suggestion made by another club was that from their wealth of players, they farm some out to other clubs who are struggling with numbers – like an “on loan” spell in football – interesting but again unlikely to ever happen!!
Jings a long report for just one match! We’ve got all five teams to fit in next week!!