In the Premier Division, Greig McDonell and Colin Green were without regular third player Stuart Gow as they faced two matches in two days. (yeah thanks for that Stuart!!) Against Defending Premier League Champions, Murrayfield 1 Greig and Colin continued their excellent doubles form by defeating the Murrayfield pairing of Gordon Muir and Charlie Ellis but that was the only win on the night as they fell to a heavy 9-1 defeat. The next night saw them travel to Edinburgh International 1 and they called on the services of Iain Johnstone from Division 1. Iain played extremely well as all three players won 2 of their 3 singles matches whilst Greig and Colin added another doubles victory in an excellent 7-3 win.
In Division 1, Team 2 faced a difficult home match against a strong Murrayfield 3 side. Iain Johnstone and Clive Liddiard both won their first 2 singles matches and combined for a doubles victory to give the home side a 5-2 lead going into the last round of singles fixtures. At 2-0 up in his final match of the night, Clive looked as if he would secure the win for the Penicuik trio but Derek Croll had other ideas as he came back to win the final 3 ends. Brian Bailey then lost match 9 leaving Iain to try and secure victory in the last match of the night against Colin Clark. Like Clive, he won the first 2 ends but back from the dead came Colin to win the final 3 ends 13-11, 11-9 , 11-9. In the end of the day a 5-5 draw was probably a good point for the home side, however, they left Ladywood disappointed having come so close to securing an excellent victory.
Penicuik 3 of James Wighton, Gary McDougal and Abby Wighton had no difficulty as they travelled to Bathgate to face West Lothian6 in Division 2. All 3 players were never troubled and only lost two ends in the whole match as they recorded a 10-0 whitewash win. The victory maintains the team’s good run of form and they sit a comfortable second in the Division 2 points behind League Leaders Haddington.
Team 4 have come unstuck in recent weeks in the absence through injury of Tony Brentnall. Chris Markey and Krzysztof Laszkiewicz called up Louis McLeod from Division 4 as they took on North Merchiston 3 in Division 2. The doubles is always an important fixture and so it proved again in this match as with the scores evenly poised at 3-3 the Penicuik pairing of Krzysztof and Chris let slip a 2-0 advantage to lose out in a tight deciding end. Krzysztof then had a chance to salvage a draw in the last match of the night but from 2-1 up lost 11-8 in the final end as the visitors recorded a 6-4 win. Chris won 3 wile Krzysztof won 1.
In Division 3 Team 5 remain winless after a narrow 6-4 defeat at the hands of Edinburgh International 4. John Bald was joined by youngsters Louis McLeod and Louis Myatt and they will rue the chances they had to secure at least a point as John won 2 while the youngsters won 1 each on a disappointing night.
Finally in Division 4, Team 7 faced an away match against Murrayfield 8 and were only able to field two players in Marcin Mroz and Louis McLeod. Seven players registered for Team 7 but we still had to play understrength - wow! Louis won 2 and Marcin 1 in the resultant 7-3 defeat.
Player of the Week award for Week 9 is a difficult one. All 3 of Team 3 were in good form and undefeated; Iain had yet another good week and contributed hugely to Team 1’s victory in the Premier Division whilst Clive also played some terrific stuff to come so close to securing a victory for Team 2. Chris is also in the running for his undefeated singles play in Team 4’s defeat. But the award this week goes to a youngster who although on the end of some defeats in Week 9 showed how much he loves TT with his unbelievable commitment to the Club - Louis McLeod played against Murrayfield away from home for his own team on Wednesday, played for Team 4 on Thursday against North Merchiston, for Team 5 away to Edinburgh International on Friday, was at coaching on Saturday morning at Ladywood and combined with Louis Myatt on Sunday at Haddington in the newly created Junior League, helping Penicuik A finish the day of 3 fixtures equal top of the Division - that’s the type of commitment we should all strive for - Well done Louis!
And finally our controversy of the week section - it’s been a while since we had a look at some of the good old fashioned rules of the League but we don’t have to cast our mind back too long to one of the biggest controversies the League has had to deal with as last year Edinburgh University had been merrily playing virtually a whole season of Table Tennis without having paid any fees - SGMs were threatened, play-offs were in jeopardy, there was much discussion going on between clubs effected by the fact that the League were simply refusing to enforce very clear rules. In the end of the day the Minutes from the League AGM indicate that an unreserved apology was given by Edinburgh Uni and systems were being put in place for forthcoming seasons (we assume to avoid this happening again). Rule changes were made - proposed by Penicuik - so that fees had to be paid by the middle of November - lets make that specific - 15th November was what was recorded and indeed the minutes from the ELTTL Committee meeting of 18th October state:
“Everyone seemed pleased that there were so few late fee payments this year, especially when EU still have until 15th November to pay!”
So surely there won’t be any problem this year - guess what - 15th November has come and gone - did Edinburgh Uni pay their fees by Friday?? No seems to be the answer - nor no doubt their £134 fines from last season. But hey we’re sure it will be sorted - It’s only a rule that the League seem to be able to apply or not as they see fit. And there seems to be no “punishment” if that rule is breached anyway?? What will the League do about it?? Answers on a postcard please…..
Roll on Week 10.