It was a great week for the four teams from St Andrews table tennis club, recording three tremendous victories and a hard fought draw in week 2 of the new league season.
On Monday, New Kids continued their campaign for the Division 2 title with an impressive second consecutive 8-2 win at home to Kings. Peter Bladen scored his usual hat-trick though not without some resistance from Bulgarian Plamen Kostadinov (see photo below). Elaine Forbes, playing her first competitive table tennis in quite a while, also readily dispatched the Kings from their thrones. The other two points were earned by the sun-tanned Nick Shepherd. The Kids are already emerging as all conquering title favourites.
Also at home on Monday, the Prospects were too strong and experienced for the young Backspin team from Monifieth High School, who nevertheless made the balding and varicosed-veined old stagers run around a bit to earn their points. Dave Beveridge, playing his first match of the season, and Neil Lea both secured hat-tricks and together won the doubles match. Stylish Serbian, Vuksan Mijovic, added the final two points to give Prospects a resounding 9-1 victory that keeps them at the top of Division 4.
Across the Tay on Tuesday in Division 3, Swots battled to an epic 5-5 draw against Bishops, despite having to field two reserves. Emma Bissett (1), Dave Beveridge (1) and Neil Lea (2) all contributed to the singles points. Dave and Emma comfortably won the doubles match in straight sets. Bishops took the prize for good fortune on the night, winning many key points with nets and edges, and a draw was the least the St Andrews’ team deserved.
Top performance of the week, however, goes to Prefects who tamed the Tigers from Dundee College with a 10-0 victory. It’s the first time the line up of Kong Wan, Ken Falconer and Ian Smith have achieved the perfect score. It was a particularly interesting evening for Ken who found himself struggling with a headache, perhaps due to thinking too deeply about infinite dimensional spaces. There was no evidence of ill health, however, as he overwhelmed John Fraser (not be confused with the more famous Jon Fraser) 11-3 11-5 11-3. John was formerly a top player in Dundee but he couldn’t cope with Ken’s steadfast refusal to play an attacking shot. Marion Davidson gave Ken a few problems as their encounter went to a deciding 5th set. Thankfully, Ken noticed just in time that Marion is left-handed and this observation allowed him to adjust his tactics and secure the win. Ken needed to be cool, calm and clinical against Kenny McLaren who surged into an 8-2 lead in the second set. At 10-4, Ken was within a fractal of losing the set but somehow he fought back tenaciously to take it 14-12. After that turnaround, Kenny knew he couldn’t claw his way to a win and it was all over for the Tigers.