All four of the St Andrews table tennis teams were in league action this week and, overall, they fared very well indeed.
On Monday, New Kids (Peter Bladen, Nick Shepherd and Michael Hahn) continued their Division 1 adventure with a tough home match against Missiles from the Plebeians Club in Broughty Ferry. For the first half of the night New Kids periodically had their noses in front but the doubles match (won in straight games by David Sim and Jim Dyson against Nick and Michael) switched the momentum in favour of Missiles who went into the last match a point in front, with the chance to win overall. New Kids would have none of it though, and Michael secured the 5-5 draw with a fine win in four games against David (12-10 in both of the last two games). Prior to that the star of the night with three wins, Pete Bladen, had also beaten David in four games, 17-15 in both of the last two games in that one! Breathless stuff.
On the adjacent table, Swots took on Telsports knowing that a handsome win would put them at the top of Division 3 all on their own. Telsports had picked up a few good scalps in recent weeks and our guys were aware of the potential banana skin. However, Emma Bissett and Robert Brown, in particular, were magnificent on the night, with neither dropping a single game on the way to collecting singles hat-tricks. Emma also partnered Dave Beveridge to a good doubles win over Sandy Elrick and David Axton in four games. The only blip of the night came in match eight when David Axton played out his [banana] skin to upset our own Dave in five games. David had some good fortune at the end of game four to take the match into the decisive fifth but he was a worthy winner in the end. No complaints over that, or the final score: Swots 9, Telsports 1.
Meanwhile, again in Division 3, Prospects were collecting a shed-load of welcome points against Sputniks up in Broughty Ferry. Prospects line up this week comprised Captain Maxi Strobl, Dr Collin Bleak and Mr Sandy Pearson. Messrs Strobl and Bleak collected a maximum seven points between then as Prospects largely over-ran the opposition – none of the matches needing more than four games to settle. Sandy collected Prospects’ other point with fine straight games win over Ian Lockhart early in the fixture. However, Sandy will collect a lot more when, in his own words, he ‘picks his shots and stops trying to burst the net’. Final score: Sputniks 2, Prospects 8.
The week’s action was concluded on Tuesday when Prefects (this week, Howard Lee, Kong Wan and Ian Smith) travelled to Ward Road Gym in Dundee to face Viscounts from the Mylnefield Club in Division 2. And what a contest it was. This one also swung back and forward all night until Prefects got themselves into a hard earned 5-3 lead. However, both Howard and Kong will be disappointed that one of them couldn’t pick up the point from match nine or ten that would have sent them home as victors. Howard came closest, losing 9-11 in the fifth game against young Filip Jovanovic. Filip had previously also beaten Kong in a four game match that saw the youngster win the third game 20-18. Apparently everyone in the hall stopped to watch this one. Final score: Viscounts 5, Prefects 5 (Howard 2½, Ian 2½, Kong 0).
Two thrilling draws and two comprehensive wins – good stuff.