The first event of the season on St Andrews Table Tennis Club’s calendar is traditionally Eglinton Trophy night. After a summer of intense practice, the members’ competitive instincts must have been straining to be unleashed as a record entry of nineteen players turned up to compete in the handicap team event held in memory of former club stalwart David Eglinton.
With nineteen not being the easiest number to shape into a team event, it gave a first class excuse for a bamboozling format, ably organised by Elaine Forbes, but the players buckled down with their usual mix of good sportsmanship and desire to win.
In the group of four teams, Michael Hahn, Dave Beveridge and Neil Lea nudged out Ian Smith, Rob Brown and Jon Fraser to take their place in the final against Graham Wood and Sandy Pearson from the group of three.
Clyde Johnson and Fabio Sani made up for their disappointment in being beaten to a final slot by finishing in third place with a win over Ian, Rob and Jon.
The final was closely contested. Graham’s win against Dave was cancelled out by Michael beating Sandy. With the doubles being pivotal, Graham and Sandy caught up from a big handicap deficit against Neil and Dave just in time to reach 20-20 and “sudden death: next point the winner”. Three careful shots in the final rally and then Dave offered up a prayer, went for a big forehand and gained a huge win for his team. Playing as the most heavily handicapped player on the night, Michael once again came from behind, his win against Graham sealing a 3-1 victory for his team.
And so the evening proved a great warm up for the new season of league and cup matches which will get underway from Monday 12th September.
Howard Lee presents the trophy in the video to the victors of the 11th Eglinton Cup tournament: Dave Beveridge, Neil Lea and Michael Hahn. Well done boys!
And here is some video action from the singles and doubles. Club members showcase impressive improvements in their skills and footwork thanks to earnest practice over the summer months: