With both the 1st and 2nd Teams not playing, attention turned to Division 2 which saw both Teams 3 and 4 looking to maintain their undefeated starts to the season. Both Teams struggled to field their regular trios with Team 3 calling on the services of Krzysztof Laszkiewicz to join regulars James Wighton and Gary McDougal as they faced Murrayfield 6 at Ladywood. There was a bit of added spice to the match with the return of young Luke Hennessey to the Club after his move to Murrayfield in the off season. We are reliably informed that it is simply a malicious rumour that Abby wasn't available for the match to avoid playing Luke!
Match 1 saw Krzysztof take on Luke in an entertaining game which went the distance to a deciding 5th end. Krys just about held his nerve as he triumphed 13-11 in the fifth. Another 5 end match followed as Gary defeated Richard Lo before James surprisingly lost out 3-0 to Hong Shan Wang. An even bigger surprise followed when Luke then won yet another mammoth five end encounter defeating Gary 11-8 in the fifth to level the match score at 2-2. There was a sense around Ladywood that an upset was on the cards but two straight 3-0 wins for Krys and then James seemed to steady the ship for the home side. When Gary and James won the doubles in five ends Murrayfield's hopes of a win were gone and with confidence growing all three players then won their final singles matches to run out comfortable (on paper at least) 8-2 winners. Krzysztof was undefeated on the night whilst Gary and James both won two of their three singles.
The previous night also saw Krzysztof in action as his Team 4 side faced an away match against West Lothian 5. The visitors required to call on the services of Phil Daly from Division 3 to join Krzysztof and Tony Brentnall. Team 4 certainly missed their regular third player, Chris Markey as unfortunately Phil was unable to contribute on the night. With both Krzysztof and Tony losing to Sam Stanton they knew that a doubles victory would at least secure a draw - it wasn't to be, however, as they lost out in 4 ends and with that went their undefeated start to the season.
In Division 4, Team 6 seem to have picked up from Premier League football clubs the use of the rotation system - they have now played four matches and have had a different combination of players in each of those matches! This week saw Stuart Bennett, Craig Johnson and Sean Lennon face an away fixture against Edinburgh University 5. The match was tied at 4-4 going into the last two games of the night. Game 9 saw Stuart lose out in five ends which put the pressure on Sean playing the last match of the night. Craig by that point had won 2 singles whilst Sean and Stuart had won 1. What followed was a mammoth five end encounter and at 10-10 in the deciding end the match could have gone either way. Both players then saved numerous match points before eventually after a 38 point game, Sean triumphed 20 points to 18 to secure a point for the Penicuik trio.
Finally in Week 4, Penicuik 7 faced only their second match of the season with three new players to the league representing the Club - Mark McKay (Snr), Marcin Mroz and Mark McKay (Jnr) found it tough going against an experienced Edinburgh International side. Marcin was the only winner on the night for the home side in their 9-1 defeat, however, all three players seemed to enjoy the experience and it was recognised that nerves probably played a big part in their first league outing. We're sure that as the season progresses and with more match experience under their belt performances will improve.
And so to our player of the week award for Week 4 - Sean was clearly in the running for that mammoth 20-18 final end victory to save a point for Team 6 but for his performances in Division 2 and in particular for winning all his singles in his appearance playing up for Team 3, this week's winner is Mr Scrabble Man himself - Well done Krys.
Stat of the Week? - in our Week 2 Report we pointed out that the Club had only won 2 out of 13 five enders, a stat which clearly needed improving - well in Week 4 the Club had ten five end matches and won seven of them - our success rate has therefore improved from 15% to 70% - now that's a stat worth celebrating!!
And finally to our controversy of the week - this is one which is more of an issue rather than a controversy and was raised by our Team 4 members who found themselves in the position of having to draft in a player from a lower division to fill in for the absent Chris Markey. With two teams in Division 2, any Team 4 player would have been able to play up for Team 3 - Indeed this week, Krzysztof did just that and acquitted himself very well. The League seem to be placing a great deal of weight on the ratings central system and all clubs have had communications about which players are not able to play up for other teams based on these ratings - Krzysztof's point, which is a fairly valid one if we are placing weight solely on these stats is that all three players registered for Team 3 should have actually been able to play for Team 4's Chris on the basis that he has a higher rating than all of them! A player playing down for the team below?? Radical proposition but if the teams are in the same division and if the player missing has a higher rating then why not?? Of course one of the problems is the rating system itself and how accurate a representation it is of a player's standard - we just have to look at the top of the list for Penicuik to find that Colin Green is supposedly our number 1 rated player - we all know that can't be right!!!