The 2015/16 Edinburgh & Lothians Table Tennis League got underway last week with five of Penicuik Table Tennis Club’s eight teams in action.
After a positive 2014/15 season, the Club, Midlothian’s only League representatives, were looking to get the new season off to a good start.
Penicuik’s first team opened their campaign in the Premier Division with a home tie against Edinburgh International 1. The match saw the first outing for Stuart Gow who had joined the Club over the summer as he joined regulars Greig McDonell and Colin Green who returned to top flight action again this year after their sixth place finish last season. When Colin lost his first match of the night, it looked like Penicuik may have been in for a tricky night but five wins out of the next six matches gave the home side a comfortable 5-2 lead going into the final three singles matches. Greig and Colin both won their final matches to give the Penicuik side a comfortable 7-3 victory. Debutant Stuart played some terrific table tennis but will be looking to improve on his single victory, Colin won 2 out of 3 whilst Greig won 3 and combined with Colin for a win in the doubles match.
With neither of Penicuik’s sides in Division 1 in action, the attention then turned to Penicuik 4 who took on Corstorphine in Division 2. A new look side of Tony Brentnall, Kris Laszkiewicz and Gavin Hunter were never troubled by the visiting Edinburgh side and by the time they lost the doubles match the home side were already 6-0 up. Both Tony and Kris won their 3 singles matches whilst Gavin won 2 in an excellent 8-2 victory.
Meanwhile, in Division 3 Penicuik 5 faced their first match of the season away to Edinburgh Sports Club without a regular third player. The team called up young Luke Hennessey from Division 4 and he did not disappoint as he won his 3 singles matches. With Gregory Leplatre also winning 3 and Phil Daly contributing 2 and a doubles victory the visitors recorded the Club’s biggest win of the week as they triumphed 9-1, a scoreline which sent them to the top of the Division 3 table on game difference.
Having grown in size since last year, the Club have three sides competing in Division 4 of the League this season and two of those teams were in action in Week 1. Team 6 faced a home tie against West Lothian to begin their campaign. The Club’s sixth Team is made up of three of the Club’s promising youngsters, the oldest of whom is only 13. Up against far older opponents, however, the trio struggled in their first match of the season with only Luke Hennessey getting on the scorecard with two singles wins as the home side went down to an 8-2 defeat.
Finally in Week 1, Team 7 travelled to take on Murrayfield in what was the first ever league match for all three of Penicuik’s players. Although the Midlothian side lost 7-3, there were promising signs for the Team and in particular for young Millie Bennett making her debut in the League as she won two singles and only lost out in her third match to Murrayfield’s number one player by 16 points to 14 in the deciding fifth end. Millie also teamed up with dad, Stuart, in the doubles and just lost that game deuce in the fifth. Had those results gone the other way a draw would have been achieved. Sean Lennon, deputising for the absent Craig Johnson won the other match for the visitors.