Monthly Archives: October 2014

Disappointment for St Andrews against tough opposition

The last week in October saw yet another Monday night Victory Memorial Hall ping pong triple bill. Regrettably, this week’s results were disappointing, but there were some highlights.

On the top table, Prefects (Kong Wan, Ken Falconer and Howard Lee) took on Defibrillators in Division 2. Kong and Ken both scored good wins against the tricky Knut Radmer but none of the Prefects could upset Graham Wood or James Shaw, who both won all their matches. Knut then took his revenge out on Howard in the last match. It’s not often that Howard fails to win at least one match over the course of a night and, while it was not a major shock that Defibrillators won the fixture, Prefects were disappointed with the 8-2 margin of their loss.

By contrast, third division Swots’ 0-5 exit from the Stanley Doubles Cup was much more predictable given that their opponents, Earls, are currently the best team in the District – bar none. However, Swots (Dave Beveridge, Emma Bissett and Robert Brown) did at least make one match against Alasdair Rennet and Patrick Cao into a bit of contest. Dave and Emma squandered a 6-1 lead in the first game of that match, but then eked out a terrific 11-9 win in game two. Earls seemed stung by the cheek of that and were good enough to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Maxi Strobl, captain of the Prospects

Maxi Strobl, captain of the Prospects

Prospects (Maxi Strobl, Collin Bleak, and Sandy Pearson) completed a night of general disappointment when they succumbed 4-6 to Tigers in Division 3, for whom Kenny McLaren was untouchable. It was a fine performance, though, from the St Andrews lads who were 0-4 down before staging a temporary comeback. Collin led the way with a win over former St Andrews club member, Charlie Ross, in match five. Maxi then beat Marion Davidson in match six before he and Collin combined to cut the deficit to 3-4 by winning the doubles match in five games. The Propects pair had a ‘professional disagreement’ over their strategy after losing a healthy two game lead, but regained their composure to win the fifth and decisive game. Tigers regained control of the contest in matches eight and nine before Collin completed his brace of wins in the last match of the night.

With New Kids on a free week in Division 1 and Swots’ Division 3 fixture against Topspin at Monifieth High School postponed, that’s all for this week folks.


Monday Cup Triple Bill

It was cup business for three of the St Andrews Table Tennis Club’s teams this week and, unusually, they were all played at home in Victory Memorial Hall on Monday night.

In the Secondary Shield, second division Prefects dropped a division to take on Sputniks from division three. Kong Wan, Ian Smith and Ken Falconer were in no mood to go easy on their lower ranked opponents, however, and raced to a 5-0 victory, almost before Manchester United had kicked off against West Bromich Albion. David Hunter won a couple of games for Sputniks but other than that there was little resistance from the team from Broughty Ferry. Final score Prefects 5, Sputniks 0.

By comparison, Swots, who have drawn higher ranked opposition in every cup draw this season, had to take on the aptly named Attackers from division two. The final score was the same – but not for the St Andrews’ team. However, Robert Brown, Dave Beveridge and Emma Bissett gave a decent account of themselves. Dave first took Brent Mitchell the full distance and was two games up against Rick before losing narrowly in five. Robert Brown also fought a close five match against Alex Thom. Final score; a slightly flattering 0-5 in favour of Attackers. Swots’ booby prize is an away fixture against second division Kingsway in the Consolation Cup. Great.

The New Kids' Michael Hahn

The New Kids’ Michael Hahn

Finally, on the middle table, Division 1 New Kids had arranged to meet Chieftains from Division 2 in the Stanley Doubles Cup. The Kids had reserve, Howard Lee, in a line-up completed by Peter Bladen and Michael Hahn. In a closer match than the score suggests, New Kids finally prevailed 5-2 to progress to the second round.

Super Swots swat Squires

It was back to league business for St Andrews Table Tennis Club’s teams this week.

Squires (Steve, Tanya and Winnie) before being ‘Swotted’

Squires (Steve, Tanya and Winnie) before being ‘Swotted’

With the New Kids’ match postponed on Monday, the Victory Memorial Hall was left to Swots to take on Squires in the third Division. Our boys, and girl (Robert Brown, Dave Beveridge and Emma Bissett) raced into a 3-0 lead before one of the longest five game matches ever seen in the hall. Dave took the first game 15-13 against Steve Wilson but lost the next two 7-11, 14-16. However, Dave battled back to win the next two 14-12, saving two match points in the last game. The rout continued until match nine when Steve beat Emma, surprisingly in straight sets. Meanwhile, Robert had breezed through his matches all night, but he hadn’t reckoned on ‘Auntie-spin’ Winnie Stein’s trickery. Robert lost in five despite being 9-7 ahead in the last game and, in truth, never looked comfortable with her style or her ‘funny’ rubber. Final score Swots 8, Squires 2.

On Tuesday, Prefects and Prospects were both at Ward Road. In Division 2, Prefects stayed unbeaten and kept themselves at the top of the league with a terrific 7-3 win over Chieftains. Ken Falconer, Howard Lee and Ian Smith all picked up two singles wins each against a strong Chieftains team and Howard and Ken combined well to win the doubles at which point the fixture was put beyond the home team’s reach, as far as winning was concerned. Following on the theme of long games, Howard lost the first game of his singles match against Jim by a mammoth 17-19 but it didn’t stop him going on to win in five games. The Prefects have now played 4, won 3 and drawn 1.

On an adjacent table, Prospects (this week comprising Maxi Strobl, Dave Goddard and Emily Howat) were on the wrong side of an 8-2 result against the current Division 3 leaders, Lairds, and thereby lost their unbeaten league record. Maxi at least spoiled Eddie Dougan’s 100% singles record with an impressively straightforward straight sets win in match two. That one never looked in any doubt. However, it was match nine before Prospects put another point on the board when big Dave beat Gary Aitchison in another of the week’s epic five game matches. This one swung back and forward before Dave finally prevailed 11-9 in a tight fifth game. There were only three 3-0 matches in this fixture and Prospects will feel that, with a bit more luck, they might have done more damage.

Next week, Prefects and Swots are in Secondary Shield action at the Victory Memorial Hall.

And then there were two

With Nick Shepherd hanging up his bat, so far as the Scottish Veterans is concerned, it was left to Dave Beveridge and Howard Lee to carry the St Andrews flag at Bathgate Academy at the first assessment event of the 2014/15 season.

For those unfamiliar with the Vets format, the position you finish in your first round group matches determines which group you play in in the second round. In theory, the second round is more matched to your level of play, or performance on the day, but it doesn’t always follow that you win more matches in round two.

Dave’s day (over 60s group) has become fairly typical at these events. One win in the (usually) more demanding session was followed by a blank afternoon thereafter, although Dave felt he should have won one second match against an opponent he has previously beaten which went the full distance. Squandering healthy leads (including, but not only, a 10-4 and an 8-1) was the order of the day.

Howard, by comparison, impressively won two of his matches in the over 50s for the first time at the Veteran’s. Howard’s morning round didn’t bear fruit but he felt he competed well against most of his opponents and didn’t lose many games by a large margin. In the afternoon, he transformed the tight matches into two wins out of his four second round contests and went close in a third. The over 50s is a tough group and the standard is very high so to finish 15th on the day was a major achievement. Well done H.

They say you learn more from failure than success, and the boys certainly had plenty time to analyse their performances, after roadworks on the Forth Road Bridge turned a 30 minute journey home into a 3½ hour slog.

Murderous Monday

There were only two St Andrews teams in action this week, in cup competitions, and they both managed to spoil this season’s unbeaten record.

Prefects (Kong, Ken, Howard) looking apprehensive before their Thumping

Prefects (Kong, Ken, Howard) looking apprehensive before their Thumping

At home on Monday, Kong Wan, Ken Falconer and Howard Lee lined up against Thumpers, a team they had beaten 8-2 just a couple of weeks ago. This Stanley Doubles round one tie had the shortest possible duration when Thumpers dashed out the starting blocks to snatch the first five matches and the tie before the cleaning fluid had dried on Prefects’ bats. Howard and Ken did try manfully to keep the fixture alive in match five against Jim Paterson and Ian McLagan but, although it went the full distance, they lost the decisive game 7-11. Clearly, no-one felt like prolonging the agony and Thumpers skipped home with their tails wagging without having to play the last four matches.

Up in Dundee, Prospects (this week comprising Captain Maxi Strobl, Collin Bleak and new boy Sandy Pearson) were suffering a similar fate to Telstars in the Secondary Shield. Well, at least Telstars are in a different league, and a win for Prospects might well have been the shock of the season. Our boys mainly fancied their chances against Graeme Elrick, apparently, but the DDTTA Chairman unleashed his fast backhand serve as soon as trouble was brewing and managed to stave off the embarrassment of losing to a third division player. Final score 6-0 for Telstars after the Dundee boys were ‘kind enough’ to play an extra match thereby giving all three of our players a double doing. The prize for Prospects is a place in the Consolation Cup.

Marvellous Monday last week, murderdous Monday this week. At least we’re all still unbeaten in the league.

Marvellous Monday

Three of the St Andrews’ table tennis teams were in action on Monday this week and all delivered terrific performances.

The Swots: Emma, Robert and Dave

In Division 3, Swots travelled to Broughty Ferry to meet Sputniks, who had pipped them twice in the league last season. Without David Hunter, however, Sputniks had no answer to Swots’ controlled attacks. Deepak Gopinath briefly postponed the inevitable with a fine straight games win over Emma Bissett in match six, but that was it. Dave Beveridge, Robert Brown and the combined efforts of Emma and Robert in the doubles helped themselves to all of the other nine matches, with the loss of only one game. Final score, Sputniks 1, Swots 9.

Meanwhile, in St Andrews, Prefects were handing out a similar thrashing to Kingsway from the Blackness fire station in Dundee in a Division 2 league fixture. Most of the matches were four game affairs, including Ken Falconer and Ian Smith’s victory in the doubles. Ian and Howard Lee helped themselves to singles hat-tricks while Ken won two singles matches as Prefects dominated the night. Alan Carrie won a consolation point for Kingsway in match five, impressively coming back from 2-1 down against Ken. The final score however was a sound 9-1 hosing down of the boys from Black(ness) stuff.

On the adjacent table, in Division 3, Prospects had an altogether harder task of tackling the young Princes from the Mylnefield club in Dundee. This fixture took until the ninth match to be decided. Collin Bleak won all three of his singles for Prospects and helped new boy Sandy Pearson to a doubles win over Jack Mitchell and Becky Evans. Sandy and Emily Howat also beat Becky in the singles, but both lost to youngsters Darren and Jack Mitchell. The two Dundee boys enjoyed celebrating each point they won with a loud shout of “cho” even when the opponent made an unforced error. The battling Dr Bleak was pleased to silence this youthful exuberance by outwitting them both on the table. Final score 6-4 for Prospects.

New Kids were playing last year’s Division 1 champions, Earls, at Ward Road on Tuesday but sadly the fixture was abandoned after a medical emergency involving a player from another team.

Finally, the St Andrews club’s Awards for All sponsored sessions for adult beginners and returners will start in Victory Memorial Hall, Market Street, St Andrews on Tuesday 14th October – drop in any time between 6:15pm and 8:30pm. The 21st October session will also be in VM Hall, after which the session will resume on Thursdays in Madras College Gym on October 30th – 6:00pm to 7:30pm. These will be informal sessions led by Elaine Forbes – contact All welcome.