In Division 1, Team 2 of Clive Liddiard, Iain Johnstone and Brian Bailey were hoping to secure their first win of the season as they faced West Lothian 3 at Ladywood. Although the Team had lost their first two matches of the season Iain has been in good form and that continued as he won all three of his singles matches and combined with Clive for a win in the doubles fixture. Clive and Brian have struggled so far this season and the pressure was on them knowing that a singles victory for either of them would have earned the side their first point of the season. Alas neither of them could achieve that win as the Bathgate side ran out 6-4 winners. A worrying loss for Team 2 and a disappointing start to the season. On a positive note, however, Iain is proving again his value to Team 2 and after an excellent season last year which assisted the Team in finishing mid-table, it's surely only a matter of time before the old-timers get their act together and the team start winning!
In Division 2, after a confidence boosting win in Week 2 Team 3 of James Wighton, Gary McDougal and Abby Wighton faced an away trip to Edinburgh Sports Club 3. All three players contributed on the night, each winning two of their 3 singles matches. Abby joined with dad James to also win the doubles fixture as the visitors recorded a good 7-3 win. After a dreadful 2015/16 campaign which resulted in relegation, at this early stage in the season Penicuik 3 sit in 2nd place in Division 2.
Hot on their heels in Division 2, however, are Penicuik 4 who required to call on the services of John Bald from Division 3 to join regulars Krzysztof Laszkiewicz and Tony Brentnall in their home tie against West Lothian 6. John acquitted himself well as the home trio comfortably saw off their opponents in a 9-1 victory. Both Krzysztof and Tony were undefeated in singles and combined for a win in the doubles whilst John added two singles victories. Two wins from two matches played and whilst we are sure that there will be far tougher tests to come, Team 4, like last season, look like contenders again.
Penicuik's 5th Team of John Bald, Phil Daly and Louis Myatt faced an away tie against Murrayfield 7 in Division 3 hoping to improve on their poor start to the season. Unfortunately, whilst all three players won one singles match, Murrayfield's top two players were undefeated as the visitors fell to a 7-3 defeat. Played 3 lost 3 is not the start which had been hoped for but Captain John can be consoled somewhat by the fact that he managed to pick up another player of the night award. At least he won a match this week which can perhaps provide some justification for that accolade!
Finally in Week 3 Team 6 put out their 3rd different combination of players in as many weeks as Stuart Bennett, Craig Johnson and Millie Bennett faced a home fixture against Murrayfield 8. Craig was undefeated on the night whilst Stuart and Millie both won 2 singles matches in the Team's 7-3 victory. The terrific news for Team 6 at this early stage of the season (we'll celebrate any good news we can) is that the win sees Team 6 leap to the top of the Division 4 Table - we will ignore the fact that every other Team in the Division has at least one game in hand!!
And so to our Player of the Week Award for Week 3 - Four players undefeated this week - Iain, Krzysztof, Tony and Craig - We'll knock out Craig because he contributed to a loss in the doubles for Team 6 - Krys and Tony won their doubles but that means it's too difficult to differentiate between them so by default this week's award goes to Iain - he couldn't have done any more in Team 2's effort to win their first point of the season - well done Iain.
Our stat of the week also involves Iain this week - it's a good one for him but not for his Team! 3 matches played - a total of 30 games - 9 games for and 21 against is the team record and of those 9 wins Iain has won 8 of them - the ninth win was half his as well with this week's doubles victory! What does that stat prove? A one man team isn't enough to win matches!!
And finally to our controversy of the week slot! Believe it or not everything was quiet on the Ladywood front in Week 3 - no postponements refused, no arguments on or off the table with opponents, no intra club difficulties to report - indeed to show how sporting the League should be we have to mention the fact that both Edinburgh International 1 & 2, despite severe restrictions in terms of "availability of premises" for both them and us, agreed without hesitation to Team 1's request for postponements of their matches against them in Weeks 3 and 4. Well done EI for showing how easy it is to be sporting and accommodating.
But we couldn't end without some controversy so looking further afield we see that one of our other favourite topics of "start and finishing times" reared it's ugly head again this week in Corstorphine's match against LBPTT in Division 2. The match result is still pending approval on the online system but we can picture the scene as the last match of the night is getting played just as the caretaker calls time. The scores at the time - 5-4 in favour of the visitors - who knows how the final match would have ended (LBPTT 2-1 up when it was called off) but this again proves how unsatisfactory a system we have - we can't think of another sport where matches can be lost because Clubs just don't have enough time available to fulfill a fixture. We know only too well from our own experience how tight it can be to get matches finished - if only we all had our own premises!!