The last week of November saw all four of the St Andrews table tennis teams return to league action.
At Memorial Hall on Monday, Prefects faced Rockets in Division 2, with Swots seeking their first win of the season against Viscounts in Division 3.
Prefects’ drama lasted until 10pm after six of their nine games took five sets to decide. Prefects led 4-2 and Kong Wan and Ian Smith were 2 sets to 1 ahead in the doubles against Carol McLean and Jim Hodson when Kong took a nasty tumble, banging his head against the wall. Unsettled, the St Andrews pair failed to recover from the incident and lost the game. After a rest, however, the wounded soldier showed terrific spirit to play on and win a tense final game in five sets against David Fletcher. Final score 5-5 (Ian and Kong two wins each; Ken Falconer one win).
Swots finally picked up their first league victory of the season with a fighting display against Viscounts that saw all but one of their six wins coming in five sets. Emma Bisset was the star of the night with a terrific hat-trick of singles wins. Dave Beveridge, still deputising for big Dave Goddard, and Collin Bleak both chalked up fine wins against Eddie Dougan. Emma and Dave then combined forces effectively for the second time this season to win the doubles. Swots’ crucial sixth win came in game eight. Emma sprinted to a two set lead but Eddie came storming back to force the game into a marathon fifth set. After both players had squandered several match points Emma ultimately prevailed 20-18!
On the same night New Kids travelled to newly promoted Kingsway and recorded yet another comprehensive victory in Division 2. Peter Bladen (3 wins), Elaine Forbes (3) and Nick Shepherd (2) were the triumphant trio. Nick seemed to be heading for a win at 5-1 up in the fifth set against wily Willie Cooper but was caught at 10-10 and lost the last two points. Elaine and Nick won the doubles match to complete a 9-1 rout.
Prospects travelled to Broughty Ferry on Thursday for a showdown with fellow Division 4 challengers Sputniks. Dave Beveridge, Vuksan Mijovic and Maxi Strobl all beat Germain Julien comfortably but experienced campaigners David Hunter and Jim Fleming were a different proposition. Only Maxi secured another win in five sets against Jim. Dave and Maxi started the doubles well but succumbed in four sets. Dave said ‘I feared we were for a thumping when we lost the doubles and went 2-5 down but Maxi’s comeback against Jim was truly heroic and it saved us from a heavier defeat.’