The 1st Team were looking to bounce back following their defeat in Week 2 as they faced an away fixture against Edinburgh University who once again had former Penicuik Team 1 member Ian Johnston in their ranks. The first 3 matches of the night turned out to be crucial as first Colin won in 5 tight ends against Ian (and his infamous hard bat), then Stuart came back from 2-1 down to beat the much improved Bach Tran before Greig saw off Tom Bell in 4 tight ends. Those three wins took the pressure of the visitors who marched on to finish the night 9-1 winners - Colin and Stuart both won 3 whilst Greig won 2, losing out to Bach in four ends. Ian is left still looking for his first win against his former teammates since making that ridiculous decision to join a team with people his own age in the Premier!!
In Division 1, the 2nd Team faced an away tie against Corstorphine 2. On paper James Wighton, Gary Mcdougal and Abby Wighton looked firm favourites to take the victory but when James lost the first match in 5 tight ends, the visitors knew they were in for a tough night. A win for Gary followed by a loss from Abby meant the home side had the advantage going into the 2nd round of singles matches. James had a bad night as he lost match 4 but Abby then pulled one back before Gary lost out deuce in the fifth to Jeff Clark and suddenly Team 2 were in trouble at 4-2 down, but a win in the doubles followed by a win for Abby brought the match level at 4-4. Neither James nor Gary however were able to win their final singles match, Gary again missing out deuce in the fifth in the final match of the night which handed Corstorphine a surprise 6-4 victory. Abby was player of the night for the visitors with 2 singles wins and a doubles victory with Gary but her only support on a disappointing night was 1 singles win for Gary.
Penicuik 3 caught up on their postponed match against Edinburgh International 4 in a match which was sportingly played 2 v 2 with Jack Oughton missing out for the home side (recovering from injury) and Brian Bailey missing for Penicuik (he preferred to socialise elsewhere it appears!) Neither Clive Liddiard nor Iain Johnstone were troubled as they recorded a 6-3 victory. Two nights later the 3rd Team welcomed Brian back into the fold as they faced a home tie against Edinburgh Sports Club 2. With two players with Premier League experience (Alan Nisbet and Chris Shaw) and the ever improving Faye Leggett, ESC must be regarded as one of the favourites for the Division 1 title and they proved far too strong for the Penicuik trio as they ran out 8-2 winners. Iain and Brian both defeated Chris. On a further positive note for Brian, however, he was awarded player of the match for the home side - the first time that's happened in his last 3 seasons of table tennis!!
In Division 2, Penicuik 4 of Chris Markey, Tony Brentnall and Gavin Hunter were looking to extend their undefeated start to the season as they took on Murrayfield 5 at Ladywood. The star of the night was Murrayfield’s young Jake Somerville who, despite giving away many many many years of experience, was undefeated against all three of home team's players. The home trio rallied, however, and 2 five end wins in matches 8 and 9 of the night for Chris then Tony secured their second consecutive 5-5 draw. Chris and Tony both won 2 and Gavin won 1.
In Division 3 Team 5 faced an away match against North Merchiston 3 and the match marked the debut for Penicuik’s Martyn Levy who joined Gregory Leplatre and John Bald for the visitors. It wasn’t, however, the debut that Martyn had hoped for as neither he nor John troubled the scorers. Gregory won two and combined with John in the doubles for a victory in the resulting 7-3 defeat. Two defeats in three weeks for Team 5 and they will be looking to bounce back in Week 4 when they face West Lothian 8 who sit a point below them in the table.
In Division 4 Team 7 started the season with a defeat, followed that up with a draw in Week 2 and went one better in Week 3 as they recorded their first win of the season against Haddington 2. Craig Johnson, Stuart Bennett and Millie Bennett were all on fine form for the Penicuik side as they all won their 3 singles matches and Craig and Millie added the doubles in their emphatic 10-0 win. Bragging rights so far in the battle of our three Division 4 teams certainly belong to Team 7.
After the low of a 10-0 defeat in their only match of the season so far, Team 8 win the award for controversy of the week as they received a concession from Murrayfield 8 who were unable to field a team to fulfil the fixture. In fairness to Team 8, Murrayfield do indicate on their Club page that they are unlikely to be able to accommodate requests for postponements - it seems they are able to request them however! Anyway the resulting 10-0 concession was certainly not the way the Team would have wanted to get their first points of the season but it's a welcome victory nonetheless! The question that is now being asked is will Team 8 accede to Team7's request for a postponement of their match in Week 5?? Who knows??!!
Finally, the player of the week award this week is a difficult one - Brian was in the running just because of the momentous occasion of receiving a player of the night nomination from his opponents - he was ruled out though when it came to light that money may have changed hands! Stuart's undefeated night for the first Team put him in contention but in the end the award goes to Abby - even though playing in a losing side, two singles wins and a doubles victory in a 6-4 defeat showed she's certainly not out of her depth in Division 1.