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Hat tricks galore!

All five teams were back in action this week for St Andrews.

Prospects were at home facing Astronauts in Division 3. Chris Wroniecki, Charlie Ross and Ian Brumwell all won their opening matches to put the Prospects 3-0 ahead, but Ian Roberts landed one for the Astronauts against Charlie Ross. However, the engines failed for the space explorers who crashed to defeat in the remaining encounters, giving a solid 9-1 win for Prospects. Hat trick count: 2 (Chris and Ian).

New Kids were competing on the other side of the Victory Memorial Hall against Sputniks in Division 2. The hosts took a 3-1 lead, but the match was level before going into the doubles encounter, which swung the fixture in their favour. Howard Lee was on fire and his sparkling form lifted the team to a 6-4 victory. The story could have been very different if New Kids hadn’t won all three five-setters. Although Ken Falconer struggled on the night for the Kids, he declared his defeat against Carol McLean to be his happiest moment of the past two years. Indeed, both players caught the giggles during some of the lengthy defensive rallies. The club is grateful to Carol for bringing some joy to a pure mathematician. Hat trick count: 1 (Howard).

At the same time, Swots were visiting Kingsway at Blackness fire station. At 2-2, the teams seemed evenly matched, but Swots proceeded to extinguish their opponents as they blazed to victory in the six remaining matches. Nick Shepherd and Collin Bleak were on top form, both coming home with a hat trick.

The following day witnessed two St Andrews’ teams heading to the Ward Road Gym in Dundee. Truants were facing Chieftains in Division 2 while Prefects clashed with Knights in Division 1.

Chieftains lined up a strong team against Knut Radmer, Sascha Roschy and Graham Wood. Indeed, they dominated the encounter except when Sascha was at the table both in the singles and also combining well with Graham in the doubles. All the other points went to Chieftains, final score 6-4. Hat trick count: 1 (Sascha).

Finally, Prefect Michael Hahn fought hard to win the opening match against Knight Stuart Halliday in five games. But his team mates Bonifac Legrady and reserve Nick Shepherd struggled in their respective opening matches. Michael beat Peter Aird to secure a second point which was to be the last for the team. Prefects fell 8-2 at the hands of the rampaging Knights equipped with some powerful weapons.

Overall hat-trick count = 6

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Prospects and Telsports teach the lost art of conceding to each other

Three of the five teams were in action this week for St Andrews with mixed results.

Former club member Emma Bissett, who now plays for Telsports in Division 3, was very pleased to welcome Prospects to Telecom House in Dundee, especially as she managed to win all her singles against Chris Wroniecki, Ian Brumwell and Charlie Ross. Although none of the matches required a deciding game, both teams were neck and neck all evening, never being more than one point ahead of each other. The fixture came to a highly unusual conclusion as Chris decided to concede his match against Emma, despite leading 1-0 in the penultimate match of the night. The floor had become too slippery and dangerous by that point. Both teams agreed that a fair outcome under the circumstances would be a 5-5 draw, and so, the final match was conceded by Telsports.

In Division 2, New Kids traveled south to Lundin Links to face Lasers who were set to stun. The home team were on top form as they prevented New Kids from scoring a single point. It was a solid display from Lasers who were only once forced to resort to a decider. Despite the absence of their best player, New Kids had hoped for a better result. Onward and upward.

Playing at home in St Andrews, Prefects were on the attack against Defenders. Michael Hahn and Justin Yang (for Prefects) secured the first two points in the singles, before Jos Berkhout was able to overcome Jean Augustin Touton (Prefects) in straight, but very close, games. The trio from Fife each went on to win their next wave of singles, extending their lead to 5-1. Defenders however, took the doubles match, and Jos concluded his evening with another win, against Justin this time. Prefects secured the last two points for the 7-3 win at the end of the night. Michael bagged another hat trick with a strong performance for the loss of only one game.

Swots and Truants were due to play a second division derby but Swots requested a postponement on account of injuries.

A quartet of losses for St Andrews

Teams from St Andrews were perfectly synchronised last week as they all succumbed to heavy defeats.

Prefects were away at Ward Road in Dundee to face Viscounts in a first division encounter. Viscounts were promoted from the second division last year, and with the addition of Callum Riddoch (a first division title holder), they are a force to be reckoned with. And indeed, they opened the proceedings well by taking the first three matches. Michael Hahn offered some resistance as he put Prefects on the scoresheet after being 2-1 down against David Hay to win 3-2. Jean-Augustin Touton and Michael both secured victory against Andrew Nimmo, but Viscounts took the rest of the available points to secure a well-deserved 7-3 win.

In the second division, New Kids welcomed the roaring Tigers at home. Ken Falconer, Howard Lee and Ian Smith all managed to beat Marion Davidson, but that was the end of the good news as Logie Anderson and Scott Thomson both scored undefeated hat tricks for Tigers. The result could have been very different if New Kids hadn’t lost all four of the matches which went to a deciding fifth game. Final score New Kids 3 Tigers 7.

Also in Division 2, Swots were playing Chieftains in Dundee. The first two points were shared evenly as Chris Wroniecki (reserve) lost to Fiona Kinloch but Nick Shepherd beat Jim Tawse in five games. However, Chieftains took all the remaining singles to win 8-2. Swots continued their 100% run in the doubles but that was meagre consolation on the night.

Receiving Lairds at home, Prospects were looking to stop their losing streak. Charlie Ross has a bad start against Mohammed Alrubayee, but Chris Wroniecki levelled the match, beating Ryan Connor in straight games. Lairds then stamped their authority by taking the next six points. Chris did well to beat Derek Johnston by 3-0. Alas, Ian Brumwell and Charlie were unable to make an impact on the final score 8-2.

Truants, plagued by injuries lately, had to request a postponement, and inadvertently ensured that the club avoided a quintet of defeats.

Best possible outcome in cup proceedings

All second division teams from St Andrews were competing in the secondary shield last week.

Swots and New Kids shared the home venue on Monday, welcoming Tigers and Kingsway respectively. The latter were stunned by a strong start by New Kids, harvesting a 4-0 lead with two wins from Howard Lee and one each for Ian Smith and Kong Wan. Kingsway kept their hopes alive in this first-to-five race when Derek Thomson defeated Kong in four games, but this was short lived as Ian Smith clinched the fifth point for New Kids with an impressive straight-sets win over Alan Carrie.

On the other table, Swots started well when Dave Beveridge and Nick Shepherd took the first two points against Kenny McLaren and Marion Davidson. Scott Thomson responded for Tigers with a fifth game victory against Collin Bleak, but Nick added his second win of the night, against Kenny this time. Scott reduced the arears once again, overcoming Dave Beveridge. Collin was able to place his team within one point of victory against Marion. Tigers needed all three matches left in the fixture and looked like they would force a deciding match when the next two encounters were played simultaneously. Scott went 2-0 up against Nick and Kenny lead 1-0 against Collin. Nick staged a great comeback to level the match at 2-2. Collin also came back and both matches reached their final set. Despite a great performance, Collin lost 11-9, but Nick was able to get the better of Scott 11-8, earning the final point needed for qualification.

Also at home, but in the Gauldry this time, Truants were facing Earls for a place in the semi-final. Earls couldn’t field three players and had a mountain to climb by forfeiting 3 points to Truants before the match even started. Knut Radmer (Truants) had a strong start against Stewart Mason leading 2-0 but Stewart turned the tables (figuratively), levelled the match and went on to win the final set 12-10. For his first match of the season, Alain Léger was fortunate to beat Scott Wishart in 4 games, but Sascha earned the second point needed to qualify Truants for the next round with a victory over Stewart. The fixture was played out with a final score of 7-2 for Truants.

This means that all three teams will be disputing the semi-finals in Dundee on December 15th. Swots and New Kids will be facing each other, and Truants will play the second division leaders Villa.

Mixed results for St Andrews

Back to league fixtures this week with Prefects away at the Forthill venue in Broughty Ferry to play Aces in a Division 1 fixture. Michael Hahn fought hard against Zeesth Naseem but succumbed in the final game. Bonifac Legrady and Howard Lee (reserve) also lost their opening matches. With a 3-0 deficit, Michael returned to the table to give some hope to the team by beating Mark Lundberg. Aces however took the next four matches including the doubles losing only one game in the process. Now playing for pride, as the overall match was already lost, Michael returned to the table to defeat Grant Williams. Final score 8-2 for a dominant Aces team.

In Division 2, New Kids were at home against Chieftains. Normally a strong team, Chieftains were only able to field two players, giving New Kids a 3-0 head start. However, Jacob Munro and Fiona Kinloch from Chieftains were able to win the first four matches. New Kids had to react, and that is precisely what they did. Howard Lee and Ian Smith combined well to win the doubles in straight sets, and the pair struck again in the singles to give the Kids a 6-4 victory.

Still in the second division, Swots played Barons in a fixture where all matches were won or lost in three games, except for the doubles and one other match. Barons opened well with victories in the first two matches, only to be matched by Swots in the following two encounters. Barons went two points ahead again, but Swots responded well and equalized again. At 4-4, Dave Beveridge took the lead for Swots for the first time on the night, but Andy Hughes completed his hat trick to scrape a 5-5 draw.

Finally in Division 2, Truants were away at Forthill to face Sputniks. Knut Radmer, Dave Beveridge and Sascha Roschy took a commanding 3-0 lead, only interrupted when Carol McLean defeated Knut in the deciding game of their match. Sascha very comfortably sent Eric Brown into orbit, but Jill Milne’s riposte against Dave Beveridge kept their hopes off the ground. The feeling didn’t last long though as the Sputniks crashed down to earth in the final four matches, giving a scoreline of Sputniks 2 Truants 8.

In Division 3, Prospects clashed against Squires at Ward Road. Dave Goddard and Charlie Ross did well to win two matches each, but Neil Lea was too modest to win a match. Squires edged Prospects 6-4.

Action from the second round of the Secondary Shield Round

Four teams from the St Andrews club competed in the second round of the Secondary Shield. This tournament is open to all teams in the league except those in Division 1.

New Kids (Division 2) were first up against Missiles (Division 3) at Forthill. Craig Fraser fired off the first point on the score sheet for Missiles, shooting down Kong Wan in three very tight sets before Howard Lee equalized for the Kids against David Hunter. Missiles self-destructed in the next two matches before Craig returned to the table with too much ammunition for Ken Falconer. In this first-to-five race, New Kids were only one point ahead with up to four matches remaining. However, the Kids had too much firepower as they torpedoed the next two matches without conceding a game to qualify for the next round.

Swots were also facing a lower division team: the Lairds, at Ward Road gym in Dundee. This was a much more straightforward affair. Taking no prisoners, Swots triumphed 5-0, and were only once pushed to a five-game match. Dave Beveridge, Collin Bleak and Nick Shepherd confidently qualified for the next round of the competition.

Finally, a St Andrews club derby rounded up this stage of the competition at the Victory Memorial Hall. Prospects (Division 3) the home team welcomed the Truants (Division 2). Sandy Pearson (Prospects) opened the fixture with his first appearance since a knee injury but lost in straight games against Sascha Roschy. Charlie Ross did well to come back from 2-1 down against Knut Radmer to level the match at 1-1, keeping the prospects of the Prospects alive in the contest. Truants, however, had other ideas and snuffed out any hope by taking four consecutive matches to qualify for the next round. Both teams were keen to make the most of the night and decided to play out the rest of the fixture. Truants consolidated their dominance as they picked up the next two points. Despite his dodgy knee, Sandy managed to take the last point against Knut, giving a final score line of 2-7. Sandy reflected in a post-match interview that he had returned to the table a bit too soon after his injury. We wish him a full and prompt recovery.

St Andrews has three teams through to the quarter finals, and all playing opponents from different clubs. Watch out for some more local derbies if they progress further to the semi-finals and final in the Secondary Shield.

The three musketeers

In Division 2, Truants welcomed the Lundin Lasers from Lundin Links to Gauldry last week. It was a real game of cat and mouse all night, both teams taking the lead in turn. At 4-4, Dave Beveridge (reserve) landed a crucial blow for Truants against former team mate Robert Brown to put Lasers on their back foot for the final encounter of the night. Stalwart Graham Wood then secured the victory for Truants and a personal hat-trick with a straight sets win against Roman Nydza. Gritty Knut Radner’s positive attitude at the table finally paid off as he at last scored his first point of the season.

Also in Division 2, the top two teams clashed at Forthill where New Kids were ambushed by a rampant Villa. In a very one-sided encounter, Villa took all the singles matches, only conceding the doubles in the deciding game by the smallest of margins. The hapless New Kids were stunned by superior opponents on the night. Howard Lee and Ian Smith were only able to take a bit of comfort from holding on to their unbeaten run in the doubles so far this season.

In the final match in Division 2, Swots hosted Sputniks. Although the man of the match, Jack Oughton, was on Sputniks’ side, the guests were sent into orbit in a convincing display by Swots. Even then, Jack won 2 of his 3 matches in a deciding set. Nick Shepherd, Collin Bleak and Dave Beveridge for Swots all managed to surpass Carol McLean and Eric Brown, who only won one set between them. Swots’ 7-3 victory means they are now 3rd in the second division, ahead of New Kids after their capitulation to Villa.

Prospects, representing St Andrews in the third division, travelled across the river Tay to play Squires at Ward Road Gym. Charlie Ross for Prospects opened the score against Winnie Stein, but the hosts took the next four matches, establishing a commanding 4-1 lead. Neil Lea reported feeling unwell during match against Winnie, but it took all of Dave Goddard’s powers of persuasion to convince his team mate to forfeit his third match. True team spirit does not mean winning at all costs, in this case Prospects were happy to reduce their chances of victory to protect one of their own. One for all, all for one. Prospects played catch up with Squires from there, but only reduced the deficit to 4-6 in the end.