The last week in September saw the four St Andrews table tennis teams return an impressive set of results. Indeed, all four teams remain undefeated in the leagues this season.
At home on Monday, New Kids made their Division 1 debut against Telecoms. It was a great start for the Kids and new boy, Michael Hahn, who helped himself to a singles hat-trick. This fixture saw the score go from 1-1 to 2-2 to 3-3 before Telecoms took the lead for the first time (Ian Farquhar and Ryan Docherty beating Michael and Nick Shepherd in four games). However, Nick, Peter Bladen and Michael each won their final singles match to turn the final result back in favour of the Kids. The team’s overall win may console Peter who last lost a league match in season 2012/13. Ryan Docherty was the man to put Pete in his place with a hard fought win in five games in the sixth match of the night. Final score 6-4 for New Kids.
On the adjacent table, third division Swots effectively started with a 3-0 lead when their opponents, Comets, turned up with only two players. The score quickly became 5-0 after firstly Robert Brown, then Emma Bissett, dispatched Jill Milne and Dougal Ogilivie with the loss of only one game. Comets rallied, winning the next two singles matches, but Robert and Dave Beveridge converted their doubles practice over recent weeks into a fine 3-0 win over Jill and Dougal to put the fixture out of reach. Jill and Dougal limited the damage with hard fought five game wins in the last two matches after being behind to Dave and Robert respectively. Comets are title contenders so this result was a real bonus for Swots. Final score Swots 6, Comets 4.
Meanwhile, Prefects were engaged in a Division 2 battle royal with Telstars up in Dundee. The home side took an early lead but were 3-5 down to Prefects by the end of match eight. Howard Lee and Ian Smith had both won two singles matches and combined to win the doubles in four games. Telstars showed their battling qualities by winning three of the four singles matches that went the full distance. Telstars took match nine, and the last match between Howard and Telstars’ Graeme Elrick was to decide which of the two players would deliver a singles hat-trick, and whether Prefects would win or draw the fixture – but it was Graeme who won in four games. A terrific draw nevertheless for Prefects, against a team that played in Division 1 last year.
In the last fixture of the week on Thursday, new captain Maxi Strobl picked Collin Bleak, big Dave Goddard and Emily Howat to meet Telsports up in Dundee. The St Andrews team ran out comfortable winners after Collin helped himself to a clean sweep of wins (including the doubles, partnering Dave) and Dave and Emily collected a brace of points each. It was a particularly impressive display from Emily who was making her league debut. Her win in four games against Sandy Elrick in the last singles match of the night was a terrific achievement given that Sandy had earlier beaten big Dave in a five game thriller. Final score, Prospects 8 Telsports 2.