West Lothian 8 of Ralph Taylor, Tommy Hamill and Roz Beck were the opponents. Greig started off -11, Iain -8 and Abby -1. Tommy was +5, Roz +6 and Ralph +7. Watching Ralph and Tommy warm up alarm bells were already ringing and that question that's often asked at Cup matches was thrown out there - "+7 - You're having a laugh - who decided that??"
First up was Greig against Tommy - 0-16 to 22 - When Greig lost the first end 22-16 having served two faults and missed 3 forehands he changed ends confident that he could turn the match around - eh well that confidence quickly disappeared as he lost the next two without much of a fight. +7 man was next up against Iain - 0-15 to 19 - when Ralph hit two backhand winners and Iain made two errors the first end was over in rapid fashion - 19-1 to Ralph! You're having a laugh was said by Iain again - whilst slightly better in ends 2 & 3, Iain also went down without much of a whimper! Never mind though our ace card Abby would get us out of trouble against Roz - 0-7 to 12. Greig and Iain watched in some disbelief as Roz just couldn't be passed by Abby resulting in another straightforward 3 end win for West Lothian - 3-0 down and it had hardly reached 7.30pm - an early night and some extra drinking time for Iain was at least on the cards.
Match 4 pitted Greig against Ralph - 0-18 to 22. When Greig won the first end it was looking good but in end 2 Ralph won 3 of the first 7 points to go 21-4 up - Greig's infamous positivity (sort of) then saw him decide to try and gee himself on by reminding Ralph after each point won how many more he needed to catch him - 17, 16 ,15 .......... all the way down to 4 when even the onlooking Penicuik contingent believed he was going to do it - oops 17-22 loss! The next two ends were shared and in the deciding fifth Greig reverted to type by doggedly pushing and just not making mistakes - at last Penicuik were on the board and there was still belief that the match could be turned around.
Abby up next against Tommy 0-6 to 12 and the match turned in the first end when Abby caught her opponent at 10-10. As often happens in these types of games the player who has come back then seems to relax thinking the work is done and lo and behold before she knew it she had lost 14-12 - Confidence dented Abby lost the next two ends as well.
Iain then showed Abby how it should have been done as he came back from a 0-14 deficit to win in three straight ends against Roz - 4-2 and still thoughts of a great comeback.
Match 7 saw Abby take on Ralph - 0-8 to 12 - a topsy turvy match and it looked all over when Ralph had match points in end 4 only to be clawed back by Abby to take it in to a deciding 5th end - Alas, Ralph played positively and Abby was never in it. So no glory this year for Penicuik - but we'll be back fighting next season.
In the league, it was a good job Team 4 had already secured a play off-spot from Division 2 as they fell to their second loss in a fortnight as they went down 7-3 to LBPTT. A play-off against Corstorphine awaits with one thing being sure - they'll need to play better than the last couple of weeks to stand any chance of gaining promotion to Division 1.
And so to player of the Week - not many to choose from at all this week - we were going to give it to Greig just for the entertainment he provided but this week the award goes to someone who didn't actually play but came along to support the Club at Murrayfield in their semi-final. He even gave some good advice, not good enough obviously, but still good!! He's also due an award for being our most improved player this year - not in terms of table tennis but in terms of his attitude to others!! Without lifting a bat our winner this week is Mr Bailey (aka Mr "I'm nicer than James Wighton").
Finally our controversy of the week section - Let's face it there's probably enough going on with talk of SGMs, teams forfeiting matches, rule infractions etc. that we have little to add - other than who gave Ralph a +7 handicap!!