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clubFife_logo_providerSt Andrews Table Tennis Club provides playing opportunity for all ages and levels. Monday coaching sessions for youngsters take place at 5.15pm-6.30pm in the Victory Memorial Hall, Market Street, St Andrews (between September and March). Coaches are UKCC qualified and hold the disclosures required for working with children. Youngsters or parents should contact Howard Lee on 01334 828694 for more information, or to express an interest in coming along.

Informal adult beginner/returner sessions led by Elaine Forbes are held on Thursdays in the gym at Madras College, Kilrymont Road (not the South Street building), from 6pm to 8pm during school term. Anyone is welcome to join and we invite you to click the contact page with an enquiry. The price is currently £4 for each session to be paid in the gym hall (and not at the school front desk).

The club has five teams competing in the Dundee and District League between September and March.  For season 2017/18, these are (in rank order):

Division 1: Prefects (Michael, Justin, Bonifac)
Division 2: Truants (Graham, Knut, Alain, Sascha)
Division 2:  New Kids (Ken, Kong, Ian S, Howard)
Division 2: Swots (Emma, Collin, Dave B, Peter)
Division 3: Prospects (Emily, Dave G, Neil, Sandy, Fabio, Jonathan, Ian B)

Some action from our competitive matches can be viewed on the club’s YouTube channel

Recent results
New Kids 4 Rollercoasters 6, New Kids finish third from bottom in Division 2, just avoiding relegation
Thumpers 10 Swots 0, Swots finish bottom of Division 2
Kingsway 3 Truants 7, Truants finish in third place in Division 2
Comets 7 Prospects 3, Prospects finish second from bottom in Division 3
Prefects 10 Earls 0 (Earls conceded), Prefects finish second from bottom in Division 1
Prefects 7 Sputniks 10 (Handicap Cup Final)

A.G.M. stands for Alain Got the Most-improved

Alain Gains the Magnificent honour of wining the Neilson Trophy for most improved player. He was also elected as the new chair person of the club.

Following almost two hours of play last Monday, table tennis tables were swapped for meeting tables and the club AGM was held. Neil Lea stepped down from the committee and was replaced by newly elected Chairperson Alain Leger. Similarly, Bill Sutherland stepped down after many years of service to the club and Dave Beveridge was elected into the position of treasurer. Howard Lee will continue his role on the committee as Head Coach, whilst Elaine Forbes and Michael Hahn take up the positions of Secretary and Publicity Officer, respectively. Howard, Graham, Kong, Emma and Jonathan were appointed team secretaries. Players had previously voted for the most improved player of the season and the award went to incoming Chairperson Alain.

Team secretaries also summarised their team’s seasons. Prefects finished eighth in Division One with 63 individual wins, although with the teams finishing directly above them ending up on 67, 68, and 76 wins, they were not too far off finishing mid-table. They also reached the final of the handicap cup — being the only Division One team to get beyond the round of 16 — and lost 4-3 in the semi-finals of the Chairman’s Challenge. After a tricky start, requiring a few play ups, Truants got into their stride and, after signing Sascha, went from strength to strength, finishing third in Division Two. After being involved in a very tight battle at the bottom of Division, Swots had a heart-breaking end to the season after failing to earn the single point in their last fixture that would have seen them avoid a relegation placing. Also involved in this struggle, New Kids finished third bottom in Division 2 after an especially strong performance from Ian Smith in their last fixture. Prospects finished second bottom of Division Three, although there were some strong performances from Sandy, Neil, and Emily.

Michael Hahn (Prefects) and Sascha Roschy (Truants) had particular success individually, with Michael finishing fourth in the Division One averages with 31 wins from 36 singles matches, and Sascha winning the Division Two averages with 44 wins from 45 singles matches. Michael represented the Dundee League on the Men’s 1st team at the Scottish Interleague tournament, whilst Sascha played for the Veteran’s 1st team and Howard Lee and Dave Beveridge competing for the Veteran’s 2nd team.

Off the table, things continue to look healthy for the club, with the Victory Memorial Hall being used on Mondays throughout the whole year, and the ‘Rascals’ adult beginners’ group using the Kilrymont hall to play on Thursdays. Howard has continued to lead the coaching of junior players on Monday nights, and Michael is coaching some of the team players over the summer before the start of the new season in September.

This week, it was called ping pong

St Andrews Table Tennis Club’s competitive season has drawn to a close with two contrasting events.

In the first, local team Prefects reached the heady heights of Dundee & District’s Handicap Cup Final – no mean achievement for a Division One outfit as the handicappers usually lean towards favouring clubs from the lower divisions. Clyde Johnson, Howard Lee and Michael Hahn took to the table against Division Three’s Sputniks from Forthill, knowing that in each match they would have a mountain to climb against very competent players in Sandy Bertie, Dave Hunter and Daniel Russell. At the halfway stage of the tie, honours were even with Michael having scored three points and Clyde two. The following battle between Howard and Dave became too painful for the St Andrews contingent to watch, with Howard agonisingly losing out 30-31 in both games. With this cushion, Sputniks gained in confidence and although Howard and Michael added another point, Clyde took to the table at 7-9 down knowing that he had to win all three remaining games if the trophy was to come back over the Tay. Clyde started strongly and was catching Dave when the man from Broughty abandoned his usual careful tactics. Speeding up the play proved the nail in the coffin for Prefects’ hopes and Sputniks took the honours with a 10-7 victory.

Graham Wood is flanked by the 12 hardy souls he defeated to win the club hard bat championship

On the last Monday of the season, thirteen players gathered in the Victory Memorial Hall to contest the annual hard bat (ping pong) challenge. With play a little tentative at the start while everyone got accustomed to playing without spin, the rallies eventually became more adventurous over the evening. From the first round of play, Ian Brumwell, Graham Wood, Ian Smith and Howard Lee emerged as winners to contest a four-player group final format and by this stage some of the hitting and retrieving had become awesome. Scores were very tight, with no clear winner emerging – Howard beat Ian S but lost to Graham, who in turn lost to Ian B and then Ian S beat Ian B. As the last match of the evening was poised to start, the possible permutations of outcomes were putting the previous night’s Masters play-off in Augusta in the shade – and Graham and Ian S did not disappoint with some spectacularly long rallies. In the end, Graham’s steady play just edged Ian out of the running but left himself and Howard tied on two wins from three outings. As Graham had overcome Howard in their head to head, it’s the former’s name which will be engraved on the Celebrate Legacy Shield, but it really could not have been more closely contested.

And so to a spring and summer of practice for all the table tennis enthusiasts. The Rascals gang of beginners and returners will continue to play at Madras College, Kilrymont on Thursdays between 6.00pm and 8.00pm while the league players will meet on Mondays at the Victory Memorial Hall where Michael Hahn will pass on his skills to his club-mates in a series of coaching sessions.

Sandy competes on the High Seas

Captain Cook (yes, that’s his real name) carried out an inspection of the P&O All Stars prior
to another sizzling table tennis tournament somewhere between Dubai and Southampton. The club has greatly missed Sandy during his annual world cruise.

Sandy (second from the right) with the captain and fellow cruising table tennis enthusiasts

New Kids pull off great escape

The last week of fixtures in the Dundee & District League brought mixed feelings to the five teams representing St Andrews Table Tennis Club.

In Division One, Prefects’ season rather fizzled out when opponents Earls conceded the match, but Howard Lee, Michael Hahn and Clyde Johnson will line up one more time in the season when they face Sputniks in the Handicap Cup final.

Prospects travelled to Broughty Ferry for their final fixture against Comets and achieved a respectable 3-7 score-line against the second placed team. Pleasingly, Jon Fraser, Dave Goddard and Neil Lea all shared in the three wins.

And so to the nail-biting conclusion to Division Two. Sitting in the top half of the table, Truants faced Kingsway with the dual task of achieving enough points to secure a third place finish, and of inflicting a telling defeat on their opponents, to help clubmates New Kids and Swots in their relegation battle. Sascha Roschy, Graham Wood and Knut Radmer rolled their sleeves up to battle to a 7-3 victory – just enough to give them the third spot in the division by a one game margin over Chieftains, but would it be enough for Swots and New Kids?

Ian Smith (left) led the charge as New Kids did just enough to avoid relegation

The previous evening, Ian Smith had found his best form of the season in winning his three singles against Rollercoasters and the doubles with Ken Falconer to bag four valuable points for the Kids. Kingsway’s three points against Truants meant that, at the end of twenty fixtures, the two teams were both locked on 58 points. In this situation, league rules put the team with the better head-to-head results into the higher position, giving New Kids the nod to be placed above Kingsway in the final table.

Finally, Swots took to the table against second placed Thumpers at Forthill on Thursday evening sitting on 57 points, knowing that a single victory would take them above both New Kids and Kingsway on the count-back ruling. Agonisingly, that win could not be manufactured despite the blood, sweat and tears of Dave Beveridge, Emma Bissett and Collin Bleak and the 10-0 thrashing meant that Swots finished the season propping up the rest of the teams. The sombre car chat on the journey home was of how different it would all have been if any one them had converted just one more match point out of the many contested earlier in the season.

Campbell pips brother Michael to Grove Trophy

There are two highlights to report from St Andrews Table Tennis Club activities this week.

Campbell and Michael Snodgrass fought out the final of the Grove Trophy

The Victory Memorial Hall was the venue on Monday for the annual junior tournament which rounds off the season’s coaching activities. Competition amongst the eight boys was fierce (but in the best sporting spirit) as organiser, Howard Lee, set out two groups of four, with the leading two players in each to progress to the semi finals. The event became a tale of two families as brothers Michael and Campbell Snodgrass emerged to face Murray and Keir Paterson respectively. In two exciting semis, it was Michael and Campbell who came through to face each other in the final. Campbell’s attacking forehand was probably the telling factor in an excellent final as he took home not only the coveted Grove Trophy for a year, but also family bragging rights for an evening at least!

The juniors were followed on the tables by the much awaited semi final of the Handicap Cup with home side, Prefects, taking on Brechin. A great team performance saw Howard and Clyde Johnson again backing up a faultless display from back-marker Michael Hahn to give Prefects a berth in the final with a 10-6 victory. Credit to the handicappers for getting the starting scores spot on – although Brechin’s Bill Balfour might not agree as he narrowly lost three of his four sets 29-31.

Prefects moved on to Ward road Gym on Tuesday evening to play Star with Sascha Roschy deputising for Michael. Highlight of the 3-7 defeat was Clyde’s four set victory over Iain Martin.

In Division Three, Prospects went down 2-8 at home to Duffers. Emily Howat and Dave Goddard each scored a win, but the fixture could have taken a very different complexion had Neil Lea and big Dave not both been pipped in close five-setters in two of the first three matches.

The saga at the bottom of Division Two goes on. Viscounts inflicted a 9-1 defeat on New Kids, with Ken Falconer the only St Andrean to win. Kingsway’s unexpected six points against Chieftains means that they have leap-frogged New Kids. Swots’ three valuable points against Truants in a club derby just keeps the former above the bottom two. With only three points separating the three bottom teams, and ten points up for grabs in each fixture, there won’t be many fingernails left as the teams swing into the last week of the league season.

Truants climb to third place in Division 2

Graham Wood – has led Truants to third place in Division 2

The best news for St Andrews Table Tennis Club this week was the 7-3 home victory by Truants against Rollercoasters which takes the team to the heady heights of third place in Division Two – especially pleasing after the tricky start made to the season by Truants, until they achieved a settled squad of four players. On Tuesday evening, it was trebles from Graham Wood and Sascha Roschy plus a doubles victory which saw off the Hecklers’ team, with Alain Leger unlucky not to get his name on the scoreboard too after a five set loss to Paul Jackson.

Sadly, no such good news from the other two teams in the Second Division. However, Swots did manage to pick up six points over two fixtures in their attempt to stave off relegation. Collin Bleak scored good wins against Viscounts and Chieftains and the St Andrews team had a stroke of luck when Viscounts were a player short due to illness, giving them three ‘buckshee’ points.

The gods were not looking so kindly on fellow strugglers New Kids who took only three points in a tough week when they had to play the Division’s top two teams. Ian Smith put a point on the scorecard against Thumpers while he was joined by Ken Falconer in each scoring a win against Telstars at Telephone House.

Both Swots and New Kids are managing to stay above bottom team Kingsway but with only two fixtures remaining, the points situation is too close for a guess at the likely finishing positions.

The standard of play at the Dundee & District Championships at Ward Road last weekend was very high, but the St Andrews contingent fought hard throughout. Sascha Roschy and Emma Bissett were runners-up in the Mixed Doubles, while Howard Lee battled through to the semi of the Men’s Vets and Keir Paterson reached the semi final of the Minor Boys singles.

Best wishes go to the club members who are representing Dundee & District in the coming weekend’s Scottish Inter League Championships at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth. Howard Lee, Sascha Roschy, Michael Hahn and Keir and Murray Paterson have all been selected in a variety of age groups.