Penicuik’s 1st Team were at full strength for the first time in four weeks as they faced an away trip to play last years Premier Division Runners-up West Lothian 1. Greig McDonell, Colin Green and Stuart Gow got off to the worst possible start losing the first three singles matches of the night. After a win each from Greig and Colin in the next three singles they were 4-2 down going into the crucial doubles. Greig and Colin have an excellent doubles record but were outplayed by Darius and Brian (not for the first time) and with that loss the chances of turning the night around ebbed away. Colin kept the tie alive with a victory agains Russell Swan but in the last two matches, Greig struggled to contain the attacking play of Darius whilst Brian's style proved too difficult for Stuart to overcome as Team 1 slid to a disappointing 7-3 defeat.
In Division 1, Team 2 of James Wighton, Gary McDougal and Abby Wighton got the week off to a good start with a much needed point as they drew 5-5 in their away tie at Edinburgh International 4. Abby was the player of the night for the visitors with two wins whilst James and Gary both won 1. The point was secured as Abby and Gary combined for a crucial win in the doubles. Things weren't so good later in the week though as the same trio visited a Team who are surely favourites for the Division 1 Title, West Lothian 2. As Greig, Colin and Stuart were struggling at one end of the hall, Team 2 found the going even tougher against Stan Stoodley, Amjad Mohammed and Dave Fletcher. Only 4 ends won on the night for the visitors as they were swept aside 10-0.
In Division 2, Team 4 were undefeated going into week 8 but with 3 draws in their opening 6 matches they sat in third place and two points behind league leaders Edinburgh Sports Club 3, whom they faced in a crucial match at Ladywood. When Gavin Hunter lost the first match of the night in five tight ends the pressure was on the home side but two wins from Chris Markey and one each from Krysztof Laszkiewicz and Gavin gave the home side a 4-2 advantage going into the doubles fixture. In what turned out to be a crucial match Chris and Krysztof came back from 2 ends down to win the doubles 11-9 in the fifth and deciding end. Chris, who was undefeated on the night, secured both points in match 8 of the night with his 3rd singles win as Team 4 ran out 6-4 winners. A fantastic result for the Team which sees them leapfrog (albeit only on game difference) ESC to the top of the Division 2 table.
In Division 3 Team 5 fell to their 4th defeat of the season as they lost out 6-4 to Corstorphine 5. With Martyn Levy failing to record a win, John Bald and Phil Daly knew they would need to be on top form. What was probably most disappointing for John and Phil is that they both lost to different players on the night, Phil in 4 ends to Jim Lee (who John defeated 3-0 including an 11-1 win!) whilst John lost to Dougie Smith in 3 straight ends who fell to Phil in 4 ends. It's all about styles! A point was still a possibility but that went as John and Phil lost the doubles 11-9 in each end.
All three of the Club's Division 4 teams were in action in Week 8. After a dreadful start to the season, Team 6 have won two of their last 3 matches and the young trio of Luke Hennessey, Louis Myatt and Louis McLeod were in confident mood as they faced an away match against Murrayfield 8. With Louis McLeod having an off night it was left to Luke with 3 wins and Louis Myatt with 2 to secure 5 wins on the night. That was converted to a third win in four weeks as the same duo combined to win an excellent doubles match resulting in a terrific 6-4 victory for the Club's youngest side (a combined age of 36)!!
Elsewhere in Division 4 Team 7 called on the services of Team 8's Sean Lennon to combine with regulars Craig Johnson and Stuart Bennett as they faced North Merchiston 6. Sean was the only winner on the night with two wins as they lost out 8-2.
Sean was then in action again for his own team as Team 8 faced an away tie against Haddington 2. He again won 2 and that was added to by two wins for Lewis Baldock and 1 win for Kathryn McKenzie as Team 8 gained a much needed boost with a 5-5 draw against their East Lothian opponents.
Two players were in the running for the player of the week award this week - just losing out was young Luke Hennessey, but because of the importance and pressure of the match, for the second time this season, the award goes to Chris Markey, his 3 wins and a doubles victory helping Team 4 reach the summit of the Division 2 table. Well done Chris and the rest of the team.
And finally it's pleasing to note that there were no real controversies this week, unless we include Team 3's decision to be sporting in allowing a postponement to their Fife opponents who were only able to field 1 player!! Surely that's not controversial is it??? Probably not a controversy but definitely a surprise when you realise that it was Brian agreeing to the postponement!!! He's obviously mellowing in his old age...