The first week of play of 2018 in the Dundee and District Table Tennis League was filled with cup matches.
In the handicap cup, St Andrews teams experienced two wins and two losses. Last year’s runners-up, Prefects faced a tough opening-round match against Viscounts. Howard Lee and Michael Hahn each won three of their six sets—drawing each of their games 1-1—with Michael doing particularly well, starting off scratch and giving his opponents quite high starts. Michael was involved in four 26-25 games, winning three of them. However, this was not enough to win the fixture for Prefects as Viscounts won 10-6, Filip Jovanovic and Andrew Nimmo’s 2-0 wins against Clyde Johnson proving decisive.
Similarly, New Kids found their match against Tigers difficult. Although Howard Lee and Ian Smith won two sets each, and Ken Falconer won three, this was not enough to prevent Tigers winning the fixture 10-7. The first three sets were all won 21-20, with Howard Lee and Marion Davidson sharing the first two sets, and Scott Thomson winning the third set against Ken Falconer. Ken beat Scott in a dominant fourth set but a strong performance from Kenny McLaren against Ian Smith gave Tigers a 4-2 advantage. Howard and Scott shared their two sets, as did Ian and Marion, to give Tigers a 6-4 lead, before Ken levelled the score at 6-6 after two excellent sets against Kenny. Ian and Scott shared their two sets, both 21-16 to keep the fixture even. Unfortunately, Howard lost both sets against Kenny before Marion closed out the fixture with a 21-19 win against Ken.
Collin Bleak who was in impressive form this week and whose wins led Swots to victory
However, Swots were able to win their game against Kings. Collin Bleak was particularly impressive, beating Plamen Kostadinov and Adeola Fabola 2-0 and drawing with Aleksandar Jovanovic. Dave Beveridge also beat Plamen 2-0 and drew with Aleksandar, whilst Emma Bissett drew with Adeola and Aleksandar.
Likewise, Prospects—represented by Jon Fraser, Neil Lea, and Ian Brumwell—had success over Princes. Whilst five of the first seven games were draws, two excellent wins for Neil against Derek Johnston and Eddie Dougan gave Prospects a 9-5 lead. Ian Brumwell won the first set against Derek to close out the fixture, and then won the next ‘dead’ rubber before Jon suffered defeat to Chris Riddoch in a further two ‘dead’ rubbers to give a final score of 11-7.
Earlier in the week, Swots had lost to Division One team Rockets in the Stanley Doubles Cup. Even though the score was 6-0 in favour of Rockets, Swots put up a good fight, taking three of the games to a deciding set. Two of these games, both against the pair of Jim Dyson and Gary Lowson, saw the Swots pairings—first Emma Bissett and Dave Beveridge and then Dave and Collin Bleak— lead 2-1, whilst Emma and Dave recovered against Pete Yearworth and Jim to take the game to a fifth set.
At the weekend, Michael Hahn, Clyde Johnson, and Sascha Roschy benefited from two coaching sessions with Stephen Gertsen, who is coaching the Scottish national teams this year, at Ward Road, which saw many of the leading senior, veteran, and junior players in the district take part.