The bad week started on Monday night in the Premier Division where Team 1 of Greig McDonell, Colin Green and Stuart Gow faced an away tie against second placed Edinburgh Sports Club. The trio were in confident mood following an excellent win against fourth placed West Lothian in Week 22 and on the journey to the match there was talk of winning three or 4 of the first 6 matches to mount the pressure on the home side. The best laid plans.......... six matches in and 6 nil down!! Colin and Greig won the doubles and Colin then defeated Graeme Sutherland in an extremely disappointing 8-2 defeat. We're not even going to mention the player for ESC who did all the damage - that will forever remain just between Team 1.
Team 2 also faced Edinburgh Sports Club opposition in Division 1. The teams couldn’t be any further apart in the division with our trio of James Wighton, Gary Mcdougal and Abby Wighton rooted to the bottom of the League some 11 places and 24 points behind ESC at the start of the night. By the end of the night the difference was 26 points as in a fairly one sided contest only Gary produced a win for Team 2 in their 9-1 loss - that win coming against the excellent Faye Leggett - must be all about styles. It looks very gloomy for Team 2 at the foot of the Division, 3 points adrift of University who they play this coming week - anything but a victory there and the Team are surely destined for a quick return to Division 2.
Meanwhile in Division 1, Team 3 of Clive Liddiard, Iain Johnstone and Brian Bailey faced a home match against Edinburgh International 3 who were disadvantaged from the outset by only being able to field a two man team. Without wanting to sound like a broken record it seems that all the luck in Division 1 has been used up by Team 3 with Team 2 having none of it! Iain and Clive were both undefeated in their 7-3 victory, a result which leaves the Team in 5th place in the Division, their highest position of the season.
Team 4 continue to push for promotion via the playoffs and they maintained their second place in Division 2 following an excellent 8-2 victory against Corstorphine 3. After a somewhat indifferent couple of weeks, Chris Markey returned to form as he was undefeated in singles play and combined with Tony Brentnall for a win in the doubles. Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and Tony both added two singles wins in a solid team performance. The Team face a crucial match next week against their closest rivals for 2nd spot in the Division, Fife 2 - not quite as do or die as Team 2's match as they start the week two points ahead and with a better game difference - even a loss will probably keep Team 4 in second place but a win would surely secure a play-off spot.
In Division 3, in the continued absence of their number 1, Gregory Leplatre (seriously this new dad business is getting in the way of important stuff Gregory!) Team 5 called on the services of Craig Johnson from Division 4 to join regulars John Bald and Phil Daly in their away match against North Merchiston 4. Only John troubled the scorers as the visitors went down to a 9-1 defeat.
In Division 4, Team 6’s great run of form stalled against North Merchiston 5. Still missing Louis McLeod through injury, our two youngsters, Luke Hennessy and Louis Myatt have been in excellent form in recent weeks but their luck ran out in Week 23 as Louis suffered a dip only winning one singles match. Luke was undefeated on the night but the duo fell short of at least point as they lost the crucial doubles resulting in an unfortunate 6-4 defeat.
Finally in a busy week for the Club Team 8 took on West Lothian 9 at Ladywood. Martyn Levy, Sean Lennon and Kathryn McKenzie were never in the match and their 10-0 defeat, coupled with three wins in a row for bottom placed Haddington results in Team 8 suddenly finding themselves at the foot of the table with three matches remaining.
And so to player of the Week for Week 23. Given that results are now available to all on the ELTTL Scoring site we probably need to come clean about how inadequate Team 1 felt last week. Earlier in the season Iain Johnstone lost to 12 year old Faye Leggett and he came in for a little bit of stick at the Club - she's had a birthday since then and turned out for ESC in the Premier - Greig was 2-0 up and coasting, young Faye in tears at how she could be losing to such a lump who was basically just standing at the other end of the table and then somehow it was deuce in the fifth - and with her trademark backhand she won the match - never mind, Colin (who had given that ridiculous Aussie laugh of disgust as Greig had lost) would put her in her place - 3-0 to Faye! She wouldn't be able to return Stuart's amazing serves - 3-0 to Faye!! For only the second time this season the award goes outwith the Club to young Faye for her terrific night - Iain we take it all back!! Best line of the night came form the Aussie however, who still managed to blame someone else for his loss - had El Presidente not blown it against her she wouldn't have got the confidence to go on and beat him and Stuart!!!!
And finally this week's controversy is entitled - "What's the point in having Rules??".
The Handicap Cup was the subject of much email communication this week after our Cup Secretary sent out an email to the four teams remaining effectively telling them the date and venues for the semis and final of the Competition - the rules say these should be played at a neutral venue - but hey it's only a rule and if the League don't like that then we'll just ignore it - semis to be played at North Merchiston and final at Murrayfield - both of those teams face each other in the first semi final. The other semi is between our good friends from West Lothian and our Team 3 - no suggestion that either of us would want to have a say in the matter - no suggestion that if Murrayfield make it to the final perhaps another venue should be looked at - in fact no suggestion that the rules should have any bearing on the decision! (In fairness, it does appear that the HC Secretary had in fact sent out his email without taking on board the view expressed by the Committee meeting the night before - that, however, only came to light after the damage was done!)
Then we read from the ELTTL Committee meeting Minutes that Edinburgh University had been playing players in their Division 1 team without them actually being properly registered - and in relation to one of those players she had been "added" after the deadline date for registration of players. Never mind though - there had been "no malicious aforethought intended" - interesting expression and one which I think Penicuik shall be using when it comes to the League fining us for the late submission of cards to the online system - I'm pretty sure none of those who have failed to register the scores within 96 hours did so with malicious intent!!
Oh well another week over - what will we have to moan about come April!!