At 7.30pm the tone of the evening became much more serious with nine of the league players competing furiously but fairly in over two hours of tournament play. With players starting out in three groups of three, there were some unexpected results. Most notably, Sandy Pearson posted a 3-1 victory against Ian Smith. Condolences to John Carlton who drew the two ‘funny bat’ players in his group. As ever, John rolled up his sleeves and will have gained more experience to take back to the table tennis club in Crail which is going from strength to strength under his tender care. In this group, Howard Lee scored his first win ‘evah’ over Graham Wood to take his place in the winner’s group alongside Clyde Johnston and newcomer Sascha Roschy who had both scored two victories in their respective first stage matches.
With ‘participation’ the name of the game, those placed first, second and thirds from the stage one groups formed three new groups to determine the final placings. The matches in the group playing for 7th to 9th position were contested just as fiercely as in the group to decide the overall winner. However, nowhere was competition tighter than in the group to decide 4th to 6th positions where each player posted one win and one loss, with Dave Beveridge just taking 4th spot by virtue of having the best ratio of sets won to lost.
On the top table, Howard started brightly by taking the first set against Clyde. However, last year’s champion fought back to take the next three sets, leaving Howard the daunting task of having to tame Sascha’s powerful attack if he was to stay in the running. Sascha started the better, taking a 2-0 lead, but Howard fought back to take the third; and the fourth was nip and tuck with Sascha running out the winner with a 12-10 scoreline. With both Clyde and Sascha committed to attacking play, a mouthwatering final match was in prospect and it didn’t disappoint. Sascha went into a 1-0 lead which Clyde pegged back, winning at deuce. Sascha took the lead again with some blistering attack but Clyde was not giving up his title lightly and matched Sascha all the way to 10 all in the 4th game. However, the next two points went Sascha’s way and so a new name goes on the roll of honour with club chairman Neil Lea presenting the winner’s medal to Sascha.
And we’re all looking forward to St Andrews Day 2017 already!