Penicuik table tennis reports

Stuart Gow (far side) helping Penicuik 1 record an excellent 6-4 victory against West Lothian 1.
Stuart Gow (far side) helping Penicuik 1 record an excellent 6-4 victory against West Lothian 1.

Week 22 of the Edinburgh & Lothians League saw all of Penicuik Table Tennis Club’s teams in action.

In the Premier Division, sixth placed Penicuik 1 - Greig McDonell, Colin Green and Stuart Gow (pictured) - faced a home tie against fourth placed West Lothian 1. The first round of matches saw wins for Greig and Stuart as the home side took a 2-1 lead.

That pattern continued with wins for Stuart and Colin in the next three matches leaving the home side with a 4-2 advantage going into the crucial doubles fixture. Greig and Colin have struggled in previous encounters against the top two Bathgate players but on this occasion the home duo dominated to give Penicuik an unassailable 5-2 lead. Colin then finished the night strongly in the last round of matches ensuring an excellent 6-4 win for the Ladywood side.

Penicuik 2 have suddenly found themselves in a relegation dogfight at the foot of Division 1. James Wighton, Gary Mcdougal and Abby Wighton knew that they needed to take something from their home tie against Edinburgh International 4, a team two points ahead of them in the Division. The night started well as James won a tense opening match 11-9 in the fifth and deciding end, but any hopes of victory for the home side were short lived as the visitors won the next six matches. An utterly deflated looking team gave some respectability to the score by winning two of the last three matches but the resultant 7-3 defeat leaves Penicuik 2 in deep trouble at the foot of the Division. With only four matches remaining, the Penicuik trio need to find their form before it’s too late.

Penicuik’s third team of Clive Liddiard, Iain Johnstone and Brian Bailey were also in action in Division 1 as they visited Fife 1. Iain’s excellent form continued and he was again the key player winning all three of his singles matches and combining with Clive for a win in the doubles. With Brian winless on the night, Clive added an important singles win as the visitors recorded a 5-5 draw.

Penicuik 4 know that they can afford no slip ups in their Division 2 run-in with Fife 2 only two points behind the Midlothian side. Tony Brentnall, Chris Markey and Krzysztof Laszkiewicz at stages looked uncomfortable in their away tie against Edinburgh Sports Club 3. Tony played some solid table tennis and after a crucial “deuce in the fifth win” in match three he seemed to relax and was undefeated on the night. Chris added two singles wins whilst Krzysztof won one. Tony and Chris combined for a victory in the doubles as the Midlothian trio completed a 7-3 win to keep them in second place in the Division.

In Division 3 Penicuik 5, called on the services of Louis Myatt from Division 4 to join regulars John Bald and Phil Daly in their home match against Corstorphine 5. In a topsy turvy match the home side were never ahead and went into the final two matches of the night 5-3 behind. Both John and Phil won their final matches in four ends to salvage a draw for the Ladywood side. They both won two matches on the night whilst Louis won one. With four matches of the season left, the team sit comfortably in a mid-table position.

All three of Penicuik’s Division 4 teams were in action in Week 22. Penicuik’s sixth team called on the services of Sean Lennon from team eight to join the two youngsters, Luke Hennessy and Louis Myatt as they hosted Murrayfield 8. The youngsters will be ruing their slow start to the season where they lost three of their first four matches. Since then and despite losing their regular third player through injury, the Club’s youngest team have surged up the Division 4 table and started the night in fourth place. On the night, Sean proved to be an excellent replacement as he won all three of his singles matches whilst Luke and Louis both won two and combined for an excellent doubles victory. The resultant 8-2 win sees team six jump to equal third in the Division, only four points behind league leaders, North Merchiston.

Penicuik 7 meanwhile have struggled to find consistency and they were not able to do their Clubmates any favours as they fell to a heavy 10-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders North Merchiston 6. The scoreline is perhaps somewhat unfair on the Midlothian trio of Stuart Bennett, Craig Johnson and Millie Bennett as three of the ten matches on the night went the distance to a deciding fifth end. Finally in a busy week for the Club Penicuik 8 took on Haddington 2 at Ladywood. Martyn Levy, Rachel Petrie and Kathryn McKenzie looked like they may turn the match around as they came back from a 4-1 deficit to 4-3 going into the last round of singles matches, but it wasn’t to be, only Martyn winning his final match, as the East Lothian side triumphed 6-4. All three of Penicuik’s players won a singles match and Rachel and Kathryn combined for a win in the doubles.