In the Premier Division, Team 1 were again understrength as they faced Championship chasing Murrayfield 1 at Ladywood. For the second consecutive week Greig and Colin (this time assisted by Abby) fell to a disappointing 8-2 defeat.
There was worse news for Team 2 in Division 1 as they too succumbed to Murrayfield opposition. Iain Johnstone provided the only win in their 9-1 loss.
Team 4's struggles at the bottom of Division 2 continued as Chris Markey, Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and Rudolph Andrade (playing up from Team 5) just missed out on a point as they fell to a narrow 6-4 defeat against North Merchiston 3. Two final end defeats for Krzysztof in match 1 and Chris in match 3 were crucial on the night.
In similar trouble in Division 3 are Team 5 who were looking for only their 3rd victory of the season as they faced Edinburgh International 4. Vikas Singla continued his excellent recent form with 3 singles wins. Unfortunately, only Rudolph Andrade was able to add to the total in singles play with one win but he combined with Vikas for an important doubles win as Team 5 kept their survival hopes alive with a 5-5 draw.
Finally in Week 23, Team 7 hosted Murrayfield 8 in Division 4. Louis McLeod was in good form winning two of his 3 singles matches in the Ladywood side's 8-2 defeat.
Away from the League, the Club were represented by 4 of our youngsters in the 2016/17 Junior League Tournament run over two weekends at Haddington. Hannah McDonell and Joe Spray formed Penicuik B in Division 2 and the experience of playing against older and more experienced players will stand them in good stead for the future. In Division 1, Penicuik A went into the second weekend of matches joint top of the League with St George's School. Louis McLeod was joined by Sonny Taylor and after two more wins they faced the league decider against St George's, both teams having won 5 out of 5 matches up to that point. With St George's top player (North Merchiston's Amelia Norbury) undefeated, both boys recorded good wins against Charlotte Burridge resulting in the tie being poised at 2-2 going into the deciding doubles match. Louis and Sonny started as underdogs but in a terrifically tight and tense match, they held their nerve to win 11-8 in the deciding fifth end to give Penicuik an excellent 3-2 win and with that victory the Division 1 Junior League title was won.
And so to our player of the week award for Week 22. Only Vikas was undefeated in singles play this week but looking further afield we think we have to recognise the youngsters achievements this week after an excellent day in the junior league. There were some really strong teams taking part and we can't forget the contribution made by Louis Myatt in the first round of matches when he combined with Louis McLeod. With Louis Myatt absent, Sonny was a revelation stepping up from Team B and showing he wasn't out of his depth. He certainly impressed with some great play alongside Louis. The event was effectively won as a result of two brilliant doubles victories - there's no splitting the boys this week and so for the first time this season the award is shared - well done Louis and Sonny.
And finally our controversy of the week. Etiquette of players and Teams!
In a recent Team 3 match there were a number of talking points brought back to Ladywood. If anyone else was involved in telling the stories, we would take them with a pinch of salt but these stories come from Mr Nice, James Wighton (he's reclaimed his crown as our nicest team Captain, held briefly by Mr Bailey). James' opponent in his first match challenged the umpire on a couple of occasions and was so adamant that even though James knew his opponent was wrong, such was the determination of his opponent that James agreed for the sake of the match continuing to let his opponent have his own way. James lost the match deuce in the fifth, the confrontation playing a huge part in that loss.
Worse was to come however when the same player continually then had a go at young Abby for what he perceived as her getting the scores wrong whilst umpiring his match against Gary. Everyone else at the match were satisfied that Abby was not in fact wrong but after a number of "unpleasant exchanges" he demanded that the umpire was changed before he would continue playing!! Again, because he's too nice, and out of concern for his daughter no doubt, James stepped in and took over umpiring whilst Abby left the playing arena upset at the treatment she had received. Now in fairness to our opponents, their team captain, both on the night, and subsequently by email apologised to James for his teammate's conduct and pointed out that the individual concerned was also extremely sorry. The point however is back to one we've commented on previously - umpires need to be strong and they need to be respected - as with every umpire, referee, linesman or official, mistakes will be made but in the end of the day their decision has to be final. If players start making the decisions rather than the umpires we'll be on a very slippery slope.
And finally, speaking of etiquette, at the Junior League today two teams just didn't turn up - no notice, no explanation, no phone call - that's just rude!!!
23 weeks over already - would you believe it??!!