Better – but only just

Time this week to broaden our view of St Andrews Table Tennis Club to take in all its strands, which embrace players from teens to seventies, from beginners to top performers, and all that fall between.

On Monday evenings, our Table Tennis Scotland qualified coaches Howard Lee and Dave Beveridge work with a lively group of under 14s at the Victory Memorial Hall. Five of the youngsters have taken on the challenge of playing in the newly formed Dundee Junior League and made their debut at Ward Road Gym on Thursday evening. This exposure to new opponents can only help the development of brothers Campbell and Michael Snodgrass, Edward Coles and Murray and Keir Paterson.

At the other end of the age range, the adult beginners/returners group at Kilrymont Community Use is proving so popular that a moratorium is now in place for any newcomers joining the 6.00pm session. However, there is generally still space at the 7.30pm session on Thursday evenings for anyone with past experience in the game to practise alongside current team players.

Prefects’ Michael Hahn demonstrates his service action in a recent fixture at Ward Road Gym – the ball has still to come down!

Prefects’ Michael Hahn demonstrates his service action in a recent fixture at Ward Road Gym – the ball has still to come down!

And so to this week’s results – and the admission that the foregoing had the purpose of disguising the bad news – that we started the week with four teams in the quarter finals of the Secondary Shield and finished the week with no teams in the semi finals! In fairness, none of the four were favourites to win their ties and honourable mentions go to New Kids and Truants who each took their matches against Rollercoasters and Viscounts respectively to the eighth game before succumbing 3-5. Our regular readership will be pleased to know that following the previous week’s run of defeats by the narrowest of margins, Alain Leger managed to win his inevitable five-setter this week!

Saving best to last, this week’s plucky performance award goes to Prefects. For the second week in a row they faced Kings in a cup match. Having lost their Excelsior Cup tie to the Mylnefield side, things didn’t look promising when they went 0-2 down in their Chairman’s Challenge quarter final. Once again a victory from Michael Hahn got the St Andrews’ show on the road. Astute player placement for the two doubles ties by captain Howard Lee made use of Clyde Johnson’s forehand attacking skills and suddenly Prefects were 3-2 up. Needing one more win to take the tie, Michael duly obliged with an excellent win against Ade Fabola which puts his team into the semi final in December.