The curtain was drawn on the 2014/15 table tennis season this week and St Andrews Table Tennis Club again demonstrated the depth of its talent and the substantial progress it has made this year.
On Tuesday, Dave Beveridge, Robert Brown and Collin Bleak dominated the group stage of the Gillis Cup at Ward Road with all three progressing to the semi-finals.
Robert beat Dave 3-0 in the first semi, although he didn’t get it all his own way. The first two games were especially close and Dave will rue squandering four game points in the first of those.
Collin lost his semi 2-3 to the rising star of the district, Darren Mitchell, after being ahead 2-1. Again the tight scoreline says it all. It was almost an all-St Andrews final.
Rob got the final off to a good start, winning the first game 11-7, but his concentration lapsed in the second game, fouling three serves, and that was enough of a sniff for Darren, a talented youngster, to get back into the match and win the next two games to claim victory in the Gillis Cup.
The consolation competition for the players eliminated from the group stage was won by St Andrews’ king of the dance floor, big Dave Goddard, reflecting the strength and depth of the St Andrews’ squad this season.
The previous week saw the final team event of the season with the Chris Halliday Cup taking place at Ward Road. Played in a unique format of one game up to 61 points and with teams allowed to rotate their players after no more than 10 points, St Andrews again showed how far it has come this season when Swots (Dave, Robert and Emma Bissett) and Prospects (Maxi Strobl, Dave Goddard and Sandy Pearson) both qualified out of their groups to reach the semis. That was the end of the joy though. In the semis, Swots lost to league rivals Comets, playing with an unusual lack of composure, and Prospects lost to the eventual winners, Lairds, for whom the aforementioned Master Mitchell was again prominent alongside young Blair Duncan and their mentor, Eddie Dougan.
To recap what has been a memorable 2014/15 season:
New Kids – preserved their first division status in sixth place.
Prefects – Division 2 champions.
Swots – Division 3 Champions, Handicap Cup runners up, Gillis Cup runner up (Robert Brown).
Prospects – fifth in Division 3.
Youths – DDTTA Minor boys champion – Murray Paterson.
The preparation for 2015/16 starts now.