With the first half of the Edinburgh & Lothians Table Tennis League concluded, attention turned to the annual Edinburgh & Lothians Championships, a tournament which had seen considerable success for Penicuik Table Tennis Club in 2014.
With the event proving more and more popular and with the increased size of the League, this year’s championships moved away from Ladywood Leisure Centre to a larger venue at Royal High School, Edinburgh.
The date of the event and the move away from Penicuik had an impact on the number of representatives as the club sent a contingent of eight players to compete across various age and divisional categories.
One of the defending champions from 2104 was Greig McDonell, who was looking to defend his veterans title. After comfortably progressing without losing an end to the final group of three, both he and Dariusz Szymczak from West Lothian, defeated Stan Stoodley to set up a straight fight for the title.
In a match which could have gone either way, Greig just fell short and ended the day with the runners-up medal.
James Wighton represented the club in the Band 3 singles event and he too progressed to the final of his event where he took on Jake Somerville from the Murrayfield Club for the winners medal. At two ends up in the final, it looked as though James would become Penicuik’s first winner of the day but back came young Jake to win a five set marathon resulting in James also picking up a runners-up medal.
Turning to the women’s singles, there was another chance for the Wighton family to win an event as Abby Wighton took on Hannah Robb from the Fife Club in a tense final. Like dad James, Abby found herself in a titanic battle which went the distance to a fifth and deciding end. Abby was the unluckiest loser of all as she lost the deciding end by the narrowest of margins, 13-11.
Penicuik’s fourth medal of the day came in the Band 5 singles event as young Luke Hennessey reached the final. Could he become the Club’s first winner of the day?
At 2-1 up in his final, it looked positive for Luke but as with his clubmates, he couldn’t quite get over the finishing line as he too lost in five tight ends to Raul Campos Folgado from North Merchiston Table Tennis Club.
The last chance for success came in the Under 13 singles where two of the club’s youngsters, who play in the same team in Division 4 of the League, Luke Hennessey and Louis Myatt competed.
When they both won their opening groups, they joined Amelia Norbury from the North Merchiston Club in the final group of 3.
Luke, having already won a runners-up medal, started the group as favourite but he was upset in the first match of the group by teammate Louis in three straight sets.
A win for Luke was then vital if he wished to keep his hopes alive against Amelia, a Division 3 player.
When Luke lost in five ends, his medal chances were gone, leaving Louis and Amelia to play the final match knowing that a win would take the title. W
hen Louis fell behind by 2 ends to 1, it appeared he would become the club’s fifth runner-up of the day, but he played some excellent table tennis to win the final two ends both by 11-9 scorelines to give Penicuik their first winner’s medal of the day - an excellent achievement for Louis, who as an 11 year old, still has a couple of seasons left in the U-13 category.
At the end of the day, five medals from only eight competitors made the event an extremely successful one for the club who finished in second place behind Murrayfield in terms of the number of medals won.