St Andrews Table Tennis Club provides both competitive and recreational playing opportunities for all ages and levels.
Informal adult beginner/returner sessions, “The Rascals”, led by Elaine Forbes are currently fully subscribed until 31 March 2020. Anyone who is interested in joining is invited to click on the contact page and submit their details. You will then be contacted as soon as spaces become available.
The club has five teams competing in the Dundee and District League between September and March. For season 2019/20, these are (in rank order):
Division 1: Prefects (Bonifac, Nick, Holly, Elaine)
Division 2: Truants (Graham, Knut, Alain, Sascha)
Division 2: Swots (Dave B, Chris, Howard)
Division 2: New Kids (Kong, Ian S, Ian B, Collin)
Division 3: Prospects (Dave G, Ken, Sandy, Charlie, John, Louis)
Some action from our competitive matches can be viewed on the club’s YouTube channel
Reasons to celebrate have been scarce this season for Prefects and playing the undefeated Division 1 leaders Viscounts was unlikely to be any different. However, Nick Shepherd valiantly won the opening match against Patrick Cao to put Prefects ahead. Viscounts must have been stunned when Holly McGerty subsequently levelled the match at 2-2. Viscounts stormed the last six points for the loss of only one game to win 8-2, but it is still a good achievement for Prefects as Viscounts have so far won over half their matches with a perfect 10-0 score line.
Meanwhile, in Division 2, New Kids were also playing the league leaders, Barons, although their record this year is less daunting. Barons did, however, sweep up the first six singles in four games each time, as well as the doubles in straight sets. Ian Smith scored a late point for New Kids against Tanya Kapelyukh, but Barons won 9-1 without too much resistance.
Swots had an easier run against Tass as the latter could only field two players, automatically handing over three points to the St Andrews’ team. Howard Lee, Dave Beveridge and reserve Louis McLeod all beat Rob Fotheringham but failed to defeat Kyle McPhee, who scored the only three points for his team as Dave and Howard added the doubles match to give Swots a 7-3 victory.
Finally, in Division 3, Prospects were hosting Sputniks at Victory Memorial Hall. Sputniks are also the leaders of their division, but the match was a lot closer than they would have anticipated, including five matches decided in the final fifth and final game, and only two being won in straight sets. It was 3-3 after the first salvo of singles, including two very good wins for Louis McLeod and one for Charlie Ross. The guests then took the doubles, as well as the next two singles. Since Louis was decidedly unstoppable, he secured the last point and a very good hat trick in the process, reducing the deficit to 6-4 for Sputniks overall.
In Division 1, Prefects faced Chieftains who were promoted from Division 2 last year but, under the impulse of young rising star Jacob Munro, have performed better than Prefects so far. Opening with a 2-0 lead thanks to Bonifac Legrady and Sandy Pearson (reserve), Prefects were hoping to put the Chieftains under pressure. Jacob and Jim (Tawse) levelled the match, however, and the teams shared the next two points before going into the doubles encounter from which Chieftains emerged victorious and took the overall lead for the first time on the night. Nick Shepherd scored a good second win against Jim after beating Fiona Kinloch earlier on. Jacob put Chieftains in front again going into the last match, but Sandy who normally plays two divisions below, fought very hard to force a deciding fifth game against Fiona after a marathon 16-14 win in the fourth. Fiona eventually triumphed but Sandy’s excellent performance at a higher level was probably the story of the night.
The following evening, the indefatigable Sandy was at the table again, but this time battling on behalf of his usual Division 3 team, the Prospects. It may well be that he gave too much the previous night as he only managed one win, as did Charlie Ross. Sandy paired up well in the doubles with Ken Falconer, the latter adding two more single wins for an overall 5-5 draw against Astronauts.
The most anticipated match of the week however was New Kids hosting the Division 2 St Andrews’ club derby against Truants. New Kids were hungry for revenge as Truants had claimed victory in the first half of the season. The home side started very strongly, taking the first four singles before Graham Wood was able to score the first point for Truants against Kong Wan. New Kids went from strength to strength picking up the next two points, and more importantly breaking the doubles winning streak Truants had maintained in league matches since the start of the season. With victory now a certainty, New Kids relaxed a little, allowing Graham to overcome Collin Bleak in 5 games (after being 2 games behind), and Ian Smith almost let Alain Leger do the same but eventually overcame the Frenchman’s awkward play 11-8 in the fifth game. Knut reduced the arrears to 7-3 in favour of New Kids with a 3-0 win against Kong.
Last but definitely not least, Howard Lee had a terrific day at the Division 2/3 tournament in Dundee, winning the Trident Challenge Trophy and also runner-up in over 25 singles.
After enjoying a change in the match format last week with the Handicap Cup, normal service resumed with the start of the second half of the league season for St Andrews Table Tennis Club. Truants had a rest, having accepted a postponement requested by their opponents.
Prefects opened the hostilities against Aces at the Victory Memorial Hall. Aces are comfortably sitting in second place in Division 1 whereas Prefects are narrowly avoiding the bottom spot. Despite pushing Grant Williams to a deciding game on two occasions, the Prefects were trumped. Aces had all the best cards and picked up all 10 points.
The following night, Swots (Division 2) were travelling to Lundin Links to play Lasers. Unfortunately, Chris Wroniecki picked up a calf injury in the opening match while marginally ahead in the fifth game. Disappointingly, Chris was unable to continue and had no choice but to concede all his matches on the night. The team never recovered from this unlucky start and were only able to salvage one point, thanks to reserve Ian Smith. Lasers secured a strong 9-1 victory.
On the same night, Prospects were up against the firemen of Kingsway. It was a tense affair with half the matches going all the way to a final game. The firemen took a two-point lead early on, and although Prospects closed in on them a few times, the firemen held on to win by the smallest of margins, 6-4. Sandy Pearson had a good night, winning two singles and losing one match in the fifth game.
Finally, New Kids ventured over the Tay to try and tame the Tigers of Forthill in Broughty Ferry in a relegation battle. Both Ians (Brumwell and Smith) took their opening games, giving New Kids an early lead. Two more contributions from Colin Bleak and Ian Brumwell put their team 4-1 in front at the half way point. But Tigers valiantly clawed two points back including the doubles match before Colin added a fifth point on the score sheet at 5-3 with two games remaining. The fierce tigers wouldn’t let their prey escape so easily and kept a cool head to pounce on the final two points to deprive New Kids of an away win. Final score 5-5.
Before the Christmas festivities, 30 players from throughout the three divisions of the Dundee & District Table Tennis League gathered at Ward Road Gym in Dundee to celebrate the lives of Sandy Elrick and Dave Axton who both sadly passed away in 2019. The format for the evening was a tournament which mixed players from different clubs into ten teams of three, and timed matches were played. Sandy Pearson, Howard Lee, Chris Wroniecki, Dave Beveridge, Neil Lea and Sascha Roschy from the St Andrews club made the journey over the bridge to honour their former table tennis friends with Chris combining so well with Scott Wishart and Paul Monteith that they ran out winners on the night.
The first week in the new year was focussed on shifting a little extra ballast thanks to the first round of the Handicap Cup. This popular competition aims at levelling the playing field by attributing a starting score based on how well they have been performing in the league so far this season. Truants had a free pass to the second round, but the other teams all played their first-round match last week.
Prospects were up against Defenders, who are two divisions above the St Andrews’ team. The handicaps for this match were shrewdly picked as the scores were very close all night. Prospects preserved a two-point lead until game six, but Defenders took six points in a row to seal the victory 10-7.
Prefects also drew a first division team, Viscounts. The latter had a strong night, taking the first eight points, which was a decisive advantage in the first to ten format. Prefects fought back and managed to score three points but Viscount reached their goal with three matches to spare.
New Kids and Swots clashed in a first-round derby at the Victory Memorial Hall, although New Kids had to call on two reserves from Truants. Swots looked the stronger side all night. Chris Wroniecki and Dave Beveridge claimed the opening four points against Knut Radmer and Kong Wan. Alain Leger clawed two points back against Howard Lee thanks to his explosive back hand. Kong and Chris then split their encounter evenly, after the first set had to be played again due to an umpire error with the starting scores. Knut then levelled the match at 5-5. Dave won both sets against Alain very comfortably, leaving Howard and Chris to finish the job to complete the win 10-5 for the Swots.
Thank you to all the readers who peruse this blog. We’ve now crossed the 25,000 views threshold! The site has welcomed visitors from as far a field as Mongolia, Uganda, the Seychelles, Thailand, Turkey, South Korea, Rwanda and Malaysia. It’s great to know that St Andrews Table Tennis Club has fans from all over the globe.
Before breaking off for the solstice celebrations, the Dundee & District Table Tennis Association had prepared a busy cup week across the divisions, culminating in the finals of the Consolation, Secondary Shield and Excelsior Cups on Saturday at Ward Road Gym in Dundee.
Swots and Truants were competing in the Stanley Doubles cup, both hoping to erase the gap with their Division 1 opponents. Swots came close in some games but were significantly outplayed all night by Aces, who are currently second in Division 1. The latter won 5-0 without dropping a game.
Also playing in the Stanley Doubles, Truants had more opportunities against Villa. With some very hard-fought battles, Truants put pressure on their opponents and Sascha Roschy and Graham Wood managed to beat Ian Hunter and Tony O’Shea. Villa won 5-1 in the end but the scoreline wasn’t a fair representation of the evening.
Unfortunately, New Kids had to concede their fixture as they were unable to field a team at the last minute, giving Missiles automatic qualification to the next round. However, the Kids were representing the club on Saturday in the Secondary Shield semi-final against Telstars. Collin Bleak started well with a long battle against Stewart Clark but prevailed in the fifth game. Ian Brumwell had a tough match against David Monteith but couldn’t stop him. Fortunately, Ian Smith put New Kids in the lead again with another five game victory against Jim Houghton. David managed to equalise for Telstars. The next two matches also went to Telstars as both Ians (Brumwell and Smith) narrowly losing in five games. At 4-2 down (first to 5 wins) Ian Smith came back to the table, hoping to keep his team in the match. Despite a good start, he was unable to stop David qualifying his team for the final.
In the Consolation cup, Prospects’ semi-final against Tass got off to a bad start as the Telecoms team claimed the first two matches. Charlie Ross reduced the arrears, but Tass added two more to their tally. Sandy Pearson kept Prospects’ hopes alive with a fine win against Robbie Fotheringham. Unfortunately, young Kyle McPhee secured victory for Tass and a place in the final, which they also won 5-2.
We start in Division 2 this week as Prefects were not playing due to the postponement of their fixture against Up4It who were not up for it.
New Kids had a close contest against Telstars, at least close in terms of how many five game matches took place. But out of the five deciding sets, they were only able to win one. Ian Brumwell saved the day after a great comeback from 0-2 down to clinch the match against Stewart Clark. Unfortunately, Telstars made the score line look a lot harsher than it could have been if New Kids had converted the other tie-breakers into victories. Final score, New Kids 1, Telstars 9.
However, New Kids were also playing Tass in the same week and this time they turned the tables. Tass could only field two players due to a late call-off, and were dominated by the New Kids, who only lost one late match, hence reversing the score of their previous fixture to win 9-1. This was the first, long awaited, victory in the league for the Kids this season.
Truants were receiving the same team (Tass) at home, and had called on Howard Lee as a reserve, which turned out to be an excellent idea as he was undefeated all night, winning all three singles and the doubles with Graham Wood, who also won his matches. Knut was not so successful but he will be pleased to add one point to contribute to an 8-2 victory for the Gauldry side.
Finally, Prospects had a tough time against Buccaneers, who got off to a great start, winning the first five matches 3-0. Louis McLeod eventually put Prospects on the scoreboard, defeating Murray Johnstone in three straight games, however they had to wait until the final match to earn a second point thanks to Sandy Pearson, also against Murray. Buccaneers were pleased to smuggle 8 points back across the Tay.