Week seven of the Edinburgh and Lothians Table Tennis League saw a break from League action as Penicuik entered four teams in the annual Handicap Cup Competition.
The last two seasons have seen success for the club with Greig McDonell, Iain Johnstone and Abby Wighton combining to win the League Cup for the first time in the Club’s history in Season 2013/14 and reaching the semi-finals last season.
It was no surprise therefore that the trio were again selected to play together this season as Penicuik 3. The draw had not been particularly favourable for the Club, however, as they were drawn against their own club-mates in round one, Penicuik 4, made up of John Bald (Division 3), Martyn Levy (Division 3) and Luke Hennessey (Division 4).
The match saw all three of the third team’s players giving their opponents healthy advantages but in the first seven matches of the night only young Luke Hennessey was able to get on the scorecard for Penicuik 4 winning all three of his games to keep his team in contention at 4-3 down going into the final two matches of the night. Due to time constraints both matches were played simultaneously with Iain taking on John whilst Abby faced Martyn.
Iain looked in control as he won the first two ends but back came John to win the next two and the match was on a knife edge. Meanwhile, Abby and Martyn had shared the first four ends of their match resulting in one end shootouts to decide who would progress to round two. In a nervy finish, both Abby and Iain just got over the line in their deciding fifth ends to secure victory for the 2013/14 Champions by a 6-3 scoreline.
Penicuik 1 saw Brian Bailey and Clive Liddiard (both Division 1) join forces with Sean Lennon (Division 4) as they took on Corstorphine at Ladywood. The star of the night was Sean, making his debut in the Cup competition, as he never looked in trouble winning all three of his singles matches. Clive won two as the home side progressed with a 5-3 win.
The final Penicuik team in action saw Phil Daly (Division 3) combine with two players from Division 4, Craig Johnson and Stuart Bennett as they faced a trip to Haddington. At 2-1 down, Craig took on his opposite number in what turned out to be the closest and most crucial match of the night. Craig did well to level the game with a terrific 11-3 win in end four but was unable to secure a win as he lost out by the narrowest of margins, 11-9, in the fifth and deciding end. That gave the home side a two match advantage which they would never lose.
On the night Phil was by far the best player for Penicuik, winning all three of his singles matches but neither Craig nor Stuart were able to support him as the visitors went down to a 5-3 defeat.