Derby lives up to expectations

The first round of matches in December opened with a hotly anticipated Division 2 derby between New Kids and Swots at the Victory Memorial Hall. With bragging rights at stake, the players could not resist speculating on the likely outcome. First blood was drawn by Dave Beveridge, who disposed of Ken Falconer in straight sets, and then Nick Shepherd who inflicted the same punishment on Howard Lee, putting Swots 2-0 in front. But Ian Smith turned the tide by beating Colin Bleak in a nail-biting fifth game, before Howard levelled the match against Dave. Ken was defeated again, by Collin this time, which spurred Nick on to beat Ian in three closely contested sets. Having regained their 2-point lead, Swots went into the doubles match full of confidence, rightly so as Dave and Nick opened a comfortable 2-0 lead. However, Howard and Ian regrouped well to force a fifth game, which they then went on to win, inflicting the first defeat of the season in the doubles match on the Swots. Tired from this draining encounter, Collin and Howard engaged in battle. Howard picked up the first two games, Collin caught up but could not take the deciding set, allowing New Kids to level the match again at 4-4. With two singles left in the fixture, Ian kept his cool against Dave and, for the first time of the night, put his team in front. Nick concluded the fixture with a strong straight-sets win over Ken to clinch the draw at 5-5, which (almost) nobody had predicted.

In other news, Prospects had a straightforward 8-2 win over Duffers at home in which Charlie Ross was on top form as he scored a hat trick for the loss of only one set.

Michael Hahn also picked up a hat trick for Prefects against Telstars, but his team mates struggled against the team from BT. However, they secured an honourable draw 5-5 overall.

The final match involving a St Andrews team last week opposed Truants to Villa in Broughty Ferry. Villa are the current leaders in Division 2, but they were aware that on a good night Truants could cause an upset. Villa were merciless and took the first five matches, leaving little doubt about the outcome of the encounter. It was Graham Wood who stepped up to the mark to stop the haemorrhage, winning two singles and the doubles with Sascha Roschy, who had a night to forget after winning only one singles match. Alain Léger had no influence on the outcome despite showing some signs of form. Final score 6-4 to Villa.