Monthly Archives: January 2016

Double derby delight for Swots

For the derby fixture in Division Two of the Dundee Table Tennis League, Swots and New Kids both favoured the same line-ups as in October, when the lower ranked Swots sprung a surprise 8-2 victory. Could Dave Beveridge, Emma Bissett and Collin Bleak repeat their form for Swots or would Ian Smith, Ken Falconer and Kong Wan wreak a terrible revenge on the upstarts?

First up were Dave and Kong who shared a couple of nervy games until they settled into some good attacking rallies. Twice Kong came back to level the match but Dave started strongly in the fifth, building a lead which Kong could not claw back.

On the second table, Emma and Ken were playing out a huge battle with Emma taking both the first two ends 11-9. Ken dug deep with his trademark defence to take the next two 11-8 and 17-15 but again it was the Swot who won the deciding set.

Collin started the third match against Ian in rip-roaring fashion, but after the loss of the first set, Ian cannily regrouped and took control for a 3-1 win to bring New Kids back into the match.

Emma Bissett – faultless performance for Swots

Emma Bissett – faultless performance for Swots

The revival was not to materialise though, with Swots taking the next five in a row. New Kids only put one more win on the match card when Ian came through against Dave in four sets, while Emma enjoyed a faultless night, winning her three singles and combining well with Collin to take the doubles in three close sets. Collin and Dave each chipped in a second singles win.

And so, not only was the 8-2 overall score repeated, but remarkably the points were taken in exactly the same way as in the first half encounter. The entire club is now hoping that, despite this set-back, New Kids can battle back from the danger of relegation to ensure that there is another Second Division derby next season.

In Division Three, Prospects faced a difficult fixture away to second placed Kingsway and, once again, the lack of a third player made it virtually mission impossible for Dave Goddard and Emily Howat. However, the undaunted St Andrews duo rolled up their sleeves. After Dave got them off to a winning start, Emily was within a whisker of one of the upsets of the season when she only succumbed in five sets to the immensely experienced Willie Cooper. The startled firemen threw no more lifelines and finished the evening with a 9-1 scoreline to enhance their promotion chances.

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Handicapped out the cup

‘Handicap’ has become an 8-letter word better not uttered to the majority of players from St Andrews Table Tennis Club following this week’s cup fixtures! All four of the club’s teams were in action but for three it brought defeat at the first stage of the competition.

Honourable exceptions were the New Kids’ trio of Ken Falconer, Kong Wan and Clyde Johnson. Obviously enjoying the break from their fight to avoid relegation in the league, the threesome romped home 10-1 against Rollercoasters and hopefully this will give their confidence a boost for the next batch of fixtures.

Away to fellow Division 3 side Lairds from Mylnefield, Prospects kept the score tight in the first instance. A particularly impressive two set win for Emily Howat against the experienced Eddie Dougan, backed up by another two sets from Dave Goddard against the luckless Eddie, gave hope at 4-4 but 3 of the next 4 sets went to Lairds and, at 7-5 down, the unlucky Prospects lost each of the next three by a single point to make their cup exit.

Prefects welcomed Telsports to the Victory Memorial Hall – a team two divisions below them with this gap reflected generously in the handicaps. With his team 3-7 down, Peter Bladen gave a glimmer of hope with an amazing 31-30, 31-29 defeat of Dave Axton, followed up by Howard Lee sharing a 30-31, 31-29 thriller with Anthony Keeling. With the tie score at 6-8, Dave Axton’s 12 point start proved too much for Rob Brown to stave off defeat for the home side.

Howard and Rob bravely put themselves up for more punishment the following night when they joined Dave Beveridge’s Swots at Ward Road against Squires. Again the Division 1 twosome were hit with huge handicaps against Division three opponents. Howard and Dave each managed to take a set in the first round of matches to keep in touching distance at 4-2 but thereafter Squires ran away with the match, only Howard managing to put one more point on the card for this unusual Swots’ line-up.

It turned into a busy week for Prospects when they took the opportunity to catch up on a postponed 3rd division match against Villa at the Forthill club in Broughty Ferry.  Dave Goddard and Ian Brumwell were certainly on happier hunting ground in league play as they were both undefeated on the night. Emily was perhaps less happy than her teammates to say goodbye to the handicaps, but she put up a good fight throughout the night and was unlucky to lose out in five sets against Villa’s Daniel Russell. Final score 7-3, and a useful haul of points in Prospects’ effort to finish in the top half of the division.

It’s club derby night next week in Division Two – will the club’s second ranked team, New Kids, suffer again at the hands of third-rate Swots, or will they gain revenge for their unexpectedly heavy defeat in the October fixture? Read all about it next week!

A stunning debut and the case for sobriety

The possibility of confusing the reader is high when reporting on the resumption of matches in  the Dundee & District Table Tennis League after Hogmanay. Three fixtures featuring the St Andrews Club involved 18 players – 6 called Ian and 4 called David!

The Victory Memorial Hall hosted two matches between the local club and Forthill and, unfortunately, honours in both went to the Broughty Ferry teams.

Clyde Johnson’s league debut did not disappoint

Clyde Johnson’s league debut did not disappoint

Main interest in the New Kids v Rockets second division tussle was the debut of Clyde Johnson, and he certainly did not disappoint, with two wins against Carol McLean and Ian Hunter.  Only the vast experience and combination bat of David Sim prevented Clyde from taking a hat-trick in his first home match. Clyde was named after his father’s favourite sheep dog.  Needless to say, Clyde is grateful that the dog was not called Rover or Fido.  Ken Falconer pitched in with a fine five set win against Carol to make the final score New Kids 3 Rockets 7.

On the neighbouring table, Prospects went slightly better in going down 4-6 to Sputniks in a rearranged 3rd division fixture. Emily Howat and David Goddard each won a singles, with Ian Brumwell adding two wins. Unfortunately, all three games which went to a deciding set were won by the visitors – a definite weakness which at times has cursed all the St Andrews sides this season.

On Wednesday night, Swots travelled to play in the icebox at Telephone House, Dundee and were rewarded for their discomfort with a 5-5 draw against Telstars, the current division two table-toppers. Emerging from many layers, Elaine Forbes did just enough to win her three singles. Collin Bleak played out of his skin with Elaine to take the doubles in 3 straight sets but star rating goes to Dave Beveridge who showed what a (so far) dry January can do by fighting back twice from a game down against Stuart Farquharson to take the decider 11-9.