This week’s report on the activities of St Andrews Table Tennis Club focuses on the junior tournament held in the Victory Memorial Hall on Monday. Probably the youngest overall group of players to take part in this event, the boys put on a great show of table tennis, unfazed by the large group of spectators who included club chairman Neil Lea and Tim Grove, founder member of the club fifty years ago.
Split into two sections of four, Murray Paterson emerged as undisputed winner of Group One with victories over Michael Snodgrass, Jake Martin and Liam Baillie. The foursome contesting Group Two gave organisers, Howard Lee and Dave Beveridge, a headache of the best kind when Tom MacKay, Campbell Snodgrass and Keir Paterson all tied on two wins each, with Andy Ruseckas just losing out to the threesome. On a count-back of games won and lost, it was Keir (9) who emerged with the best ratio to go on to challenge big brother Murray (12) in the final.With all the competitors taking to the tables again to play for final positions, the standard of play, concentration and good sportsmanship was a credit to Howard’s and Dave’s coaching over the winter months. As expected, the final itself provided some excellent attacking rallies, with Keir putting up great resistance. But in the end it was Murray who became this year’s winner of the Grove Trophy with an 11-9, 12-10, 11-8 scoreline.
Michael Snodgrass was presented with a personal signed message from former Olympian and Commonwealth champion, Matthew Syed, for being the club’s ‘most improved’ junior over the season.
Only two of the club’s league teams were in action this week. On Monday, in Division One, Prefects’ opponents Rifle Club could only field two players but were still able to run out 7-3 winners, although by all accounts there was much exciting play to admire over the evening. On Tuesday, Swots travelled to Ward Road to take on Division Two leaders, Barons. Credit to Collin Bleak who managed a fine singles victory and who also combined well with Dave Beveridge to win the doubles. Following much debate, and little agreement it must be said, about what was going wrong in the early stages of the match, our lads still mounted a remarkable recovery from a set and 1-7 down to win in five. Adding the two points gained to their season’s total has ensured that Swots will enjoy Division Two status again next season.