Attention turned to the second round of the Handicap Cup in the Edinburgh & Lothians Table Tennis League.
Two of Penicuik’s four entered teams had been victorious in round one and the 2014 Cup winners of Greig McDonell, Iain Johnstone and Abby Wighton once again took the table as they hosted Edinburgh University.
When Abby lost the first match of the night in three straight ends, the home side looked like they were in for a difficult match. A win for Iain followed by a win for Greig, however, gave the home side a 2-1 advantage. Match four on the night was the turning point as Iain took on University’s John Kwok giving away a 13 point advantage in a race to 18 points. Iain lost the first two ends of the match but somehow managed to turn the match around winning the next three ends by an 18-16 scoreline. Abby then comfortably won match five before it was left to Greig to finish the match off with a straight sets win to give the home side a 5-1 victory and see them progress. Penicuik’s other team left in the competition play their second Round fixture next week.
There was also time in Week 13 for the club to catch up with league fixtures. In Division 1, Penicuik 3 of Clive Liddiard, Brian Bailey and Iain Johnstone were looking for a win as they took on the team who sat just a point below them in the league, West Lothian 4. The Penicuik trio recorded their fourth win of the season as they ran out 9-1 winners on the night with both Clive and Iain winning three and Brian two. Clive and Iain also combined for a win in the doubles. The victory sees team three go into the festive break secure in a mid table position and importantly seven points clear of the relegation zone.
In Division 3, Penicuik 5 finished the first half of their season in dominant form as they faced Haddington at Ladywood Leisure Centre. Gregory Leplatre, John Bald and Phil Daly were all on top form as they whitewashed their East Lothian based opponents 10-0, a result which sees team five go into the New Year in sixth place in the Division 3 table but only two points out of third place.
Finally, there was another intra-club fixture in Division 4 as Penicuik’s seventh and eighth teams met. Team seven of Stuart Bennett, Craig Johnson and Millie Bennett started the night two points clear of their Clubmates, Rachel Petrie, Lewis Baldock and Kathryn McKenzie. After the first five matches the match was evenly poised with team seven holding a slender 3-2 advantage but four of the next five matches went the way of team seven as they ran out 7-3 winners. The difference on the night was 14 year old Millie Bennett of team seven who was undefeated in singles play and combined with dad Stuart for a win in the doubles. The victory sees team seven move four points clear of their opponents in the Division 4 table. Both teams are well behind Penicuik 6 who have bragging rights at Christmas as they sit joint third in the division.