In the Premier Division, Team 1 faced the daunting task of taking on North Merchiston 1, a task which was made nigh on impossible as the Gow man got his dates mixed up and was sat at home as Greig McDonell and Colin Green travelled into Edinburgh - never mind though, it was Merchiston 1 so probably it wouldn't have made any difference if we had three players!! When Greig won the first match of the night against Colin Weir and Colin then flew into a 1-0 lead against Kristina, it looked as if it wasn't going to be quite so plain sailing for the home side after all - Kristina came back though to win in 4. At 2-0 down to Gillian Edwards, Greig looked dead and buried but somehow clawed back to 2-2 and 7-7 in the fifth end - this Report then seems to have entered his mind, headlines of a remarkable come back, what an achievement taking out a Scotland number 1 etc. etc. - oops 4 points in a row lost and game over. The match was kept alive by Colin 's win against his namesake and a good doubles win. Then Colin built on all of Greig's hard work (clearly his performance must have put doubt in Gillian's mind) as he defeated Gillian in 4 - a draw was still on the cards. It was Kristina who turned out to be the difference on the night however and her 2 wins resulted in a 6-4 win for the home side - a great effort and a great win for Colin.
In Division 1, Team 2 faced an away trip to Bathgate to take on West Lothian 3. James Wighton, Gary Mcdougal and Abby Wighton got off to the worst possible start as the opening round of singles matches all went the way of the Bathgate based side. Gary provided some hope by winning match 4 but that was followed by three further losses before Abby picked up the visitors only other win on the night in a disappointing 8-2 defeat. Team 2's season will probably be determined by two matches in the next three weeks as they play Edinburgh International, 3rd from bottom before playing University who remain at the foot of the table - anything other than wins in those matches and the writing may be on the wall for last year's Division 2 Champions.
Team 3 of Clive Liddiard, Iain Johnstone and Brian Bailey were also in action in Division 1 as they hosted one of the title contenders, Corstorphine 1. Iain continued his good form to give his team a chance of victory with two singles wins and he combined with Clive for a win in the doubles fixture. This is one of those matches where the final score doesn't reflect how tight the games were on the night - 3 matches went the distance and all went the way of Corstorphine - Iain lost 11-9 in the fifth to Thomas Grant whilst Clive lost by exactly the same scoreline to Dave Grant as well as an 11-7 fifth end defeat to Dave Hall - a couple of points here or there was the difference between a possible victory (or at least a draw) and the actual resultant 7-3 defeat.
Team 4’s chances of automatic promotion from Division 2 were dealt a bitter blow by their loss to Murrayfield 5 a couple of weeks ago and they now seem to be all but over after they could only manage a draw against Murrayfield 6. Tony Brentnall won 2 whilst Chris Markey and Gavin Hunter both won 1. A vital win in the doubles secured a point for the Ladywood side. Although the Team still have an excellent record - they have only lost one match all season - it's the number of draws which have no doubt been the cause of their fall out of 1st place. Four draws throughout the year now means they are, albeit with a game in hand, 4 points behind the League leaders. Murrayfield don't look like losing and so attention now turns to the battle for second place and Team 4 find themselves only two points clear of Fife with a game against their rivals still to play next month - a tight finish is on the cards.
In Division 3 Team 5, just as Team 1 had done, fielded a two man tame as John Bald and Phil Daly faced Corstorphine 6. Bizarrely the Edinburgh side also only had two players (why could we not field a third player from a pool of 3 teams below??). Maybe a 3-0 start would have put Corstorphine under pressure but in the end, John and Phil were never really in the match as they fell to a 7-2 defeat.
The only bright point of an otherwise poor week for the Club came in Division 4. Team 6 called on the services of Craig Johnson from Team 7 to join the two youngsters, Luke Hennessey and Louis Myatt as they travelled to take on Fife 4. Like Millie in the previous match, called up from Team 7, Craig was unable to get on the scorecard leaving it to the two boys to try and achieve a win - Luke continued his excellent form winning all three of his singles whilst Louis won two of his three matches. The doubles was to prove crucial and the youngsters held their nerve to come back from 2 ends to 1 down to win 12-10 in the deciding fifth end and with it record an impressive 6-4 victory.
Finally in a very disappointing week for the Club Team 8 took on top of the table University 4. On paper it looked as if Sean Lennon, Martyn Levy and Lewis Baldock were going to struggle against a side who are favourites to win the Division 4 title and so it proved. The University trio were just too strong and recorded a dominant 10-0 win.
And so to player of the Week - The only undefeated player this week was Luke - 3 wins and a doubles contribution for a 6-4 win - that's difficult to beat. But OK also in the running has to be Colin - he's not played regularly this season, had time off because of injury, still in some pain when he plays and he took out Scotland's number 1 female player (even if El Presidente takes some credit for tiring her out!!). Let's face it, if he doesn't win the award this week he's never going to win it - Well done Colin!!
Controversy of the Week - after none last week (and the uproar from our readers that that caused) we have two matters for discussion this week:-
Firstly, a subject we've covered before - Umpiring! A couple of our players who attended the recent Edinburgh Open event commented on the difficulties encountered particularly with youngsters in their umpiring of matches - we've probably all seen it first hand - umpires completely disengaged from the game they are meant to be refereeing - looking around at whatever else is going on, worse still perhaps looking at their mobile, mind thinking about goodness knows what, munching away at their 3 course meal - the list goes on but one thing's for sure, they're paying little attention to what they're meant to be doing. My personal bugbear is those who just use the scoreboard - they even turn the numbers in that "I can't be bothered" way and when I ask (as I always do) for them to say the score out loud they look at you as if you're from a different planet - it's not just youngsters - it happened this week in Team 1's match - there's nothing worse than having not only to concentrate on your own play but also to constantly look at the scoreboard to see if the umpire is getting it right. If a disputed point comes into play?? That's a whole different story!! What can be done about it?? It has to start with the Clubs themselves and for League purposes the Team Captains to ensure that whoever is umpiring is doing so in an appropriate manner - as we have raised previously perhaps Clubs should be required to have a set number of qualified umpires?? That may improve the general standard. It was good to see that at the aforementioned Tournament, as well as a Player of the Day award a "young umpire of the Day award" was presented - even better to see that our very own Luke Hennessey won that award for his "excellent focus whilst umpiring". Well done Luke (Can I change my player of the Week award after all!!)
Secondly, the League seem to have sent us all a reminder about the £5 fine for late recording of scores on the online system. 96 hours to get the result updated or the fines will start mounting up - that's not really that controversial - we must have voted for that rule change - controversial proposal is that perhaps for next season we should introduce an offsetting fine for a delay by the League in approving the scores on the online system - 96 hours for them as well!! - whilst it's not too bad at the moment some matches seem to sit for what seems weeks before being approved!!
Roll on Week 22!!