Author Archives: standrewstt

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.

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Rain disrupts play

In Division 3 last week, Prospects welcomed the Earls from Dundee. It was raining both outside and inside the Victory Memorial Hall due to a leaky roof. Despite the meteorological hazards, the teams did their best to ignore the water ingress in a hard fought affair with 6 of the 10 matches needing a deciding game. The Earls poured down their shots as they raced to an early 3-0 lead. Not to be inundated, Dave Goddard and Charlie Ross reduced the deficit by soaking up the pressure in five game thrillers as they beat respectively Stewart Mason and Jamie Harle. Eddie Dougan, however, kept his cool for the Earls and swamped Neil Lea 3-1. In the doubles, Dave and Charlie combined well to overcome Stewart and Eddie. Earls then secured the next two singles to steam to victory. As the precipitation subsided, Charlie returned home for a well-deserved shower after claiming the last point of the night with a deluge of fine shots to defeat Eddie. Final score 4-6 to Earls.

In Division 2, Swots travelled to Lundin links to take on the Lundin Lasers. Swots started slowly, going 2-0 behind, but rallied to take the lead back at 3-4 before the hosts took the next three matches, securing a narrow 6-4 victory. The performance of Roman Nydza from the Lasers was decisive as he picked up all three singles in the deciding fifth game. Highlights for Swots included a win for reserve Chris Wroniecki and two victories for Collin Bleak in addition to the doubles match with David Beveridge.

It was a fine performance for first division Prefects in the Chairman’s Challenge trophy against Defenders. The opening two points were shared evenly by the teams. Reliable as ever, Michael Hahn then put the Prefects in front with a straight set win and received help from Bonifac Legrady for the first doubles match of the night. With their backs to the wall, Defenders had to win the next doubles to stay in the match, which they did when Arthur Pritchard and Jos Berkhout beat Bonifac and Jean-Augustin Touton in straight sets. Michael needed only one opportunity to secure the victory and therefore qualification for the next round when he beat Jos 3-1.

Action from week 2 of the new league season

The New Kids trio of (left to right) Ian Smith, Kong Wan, and Howard Lee

It was another good week for teams from St Andrews. New Kids welcomed Kingsway from Dundee Fire Station at the Victory Memorial Hall. Despite losing the first match, when Derek Thomson beat Kong Wan in four games, the home team never looked like losing the fixture as they won the next seven matches for the loss of only three games. It was Derek Thomson again who broke the winning streak to take his second and Kingsway’s only points on the night by beating Ian Smith in the fifth and deciding game. Howard Lee scored his first hat trick of the season, dropping only one game on the night. Ian and Kong tallied two victories each as they extinguished the flames of firemen Willie Cooper and Alan Carrie. The final score was 8-2 for the hosts. After two matches New Kids (temporarily) lead Division 2 sharing the top spot with Villa.

On the other table, Prospects were facing Comets from Broughty Ferry but with a very different outcome. Guests Glenn Christie, Fraser Smith and Dougal Ogilvie were only ever troubled when Chris Wroniecki was on the other side of the table, as they were pushed to deciding games on each occasion. Chris will be relieved to take the one consolation point in a 9-1 reversal but disappointed to have lost three encounters by the smallest of margins, including the doubles. In the singles, Dave Goddard and Neal Lea were reduced to cosmic dust, winning only one game between them, against a dominant Comets team.

In Division 1, Jean-Augustin Touton made his debut for Prefects and saved the team from an away defeat against Star in the last game of the night. Michael Hahn won his singles and Graham Wood (reserve) scored another point for the visiting team. Star were represented by Ian Martin, with two victories as well as the doubles, and Jim Hutcheson, who won one single, as did Andy Ferguson. Overall, the 10 points were evenly shared between the two teams.

Finally, Truants, who were away at Forthill in Broughty Ferry playing Tigers, returned home victorious 6-4. Sascha Roschy lead the charge with a hat trick, as well as the doubles, partnering with Graham Wood who added two more victories to the score sheet, beating Kenny McLaren and Scott Thomson, but losing to Logie Anderson. Unfortunately, Knut Radmer was unable to tame the big cats despite two very close matches against Logie and Kenny.

The league season opens brightly for St Andrews

The opening week of the 2018/19 season in the Dundee and District League heralded fixtures in first round of the Stanley doubles. Second division Truants and New Kids both managed relatively straightforward victories against third division teams, Tass and Duffers respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, second division Swots and third division Prospects predictably fell at the hands of first division opponents Viscounts and Aces. Any deviation from the above results would have been a huge surprise.

The victors of the first week clashed in the opening match of the new league season in a local derby as the New Kids travelled to Gauldry to play Truants. With Truants as second division title contenders, and the Kids hoping to avoid a relegation battle, expectations were confounded as the New Kids stunned their rivals in an emphatic 7-3 victory. It was an excellent result for Ian Smith, undefeated on the night, Howard Lee, with two wins and Ken Falconer who scored one point for the team. New Kids will be especially pleased to have taken (twice) one of the most coveted scalps in Division 2, namely Sascha Roschy, who could only manage to beat Ken while Graham Wood overcame Ken and Howard. Knut Radner was unfortunate to leave with nothing despite taking Ian to a deciding set.

Also in Division 2, the Swots bounced right back after being eliminated from the Stanley doubles cup with a solid 9-1 victory over the Tigers in the league. Colin Bleak and Nick Shepherd combined well in the doubles to add to their splendid individual hat tricks, while Dave Beveridge was only defeated by Scott Thomson. Marion Davidson and Kenny McLaren for the Tigers were left to lick their wounds as they struggled and were unable to score any points on the night.

In Division 3, Prospects opened their league season with a commendable victory over Missiles 6-4. Chris Wroniecki was the sharp shooting man of the match, taking home an undefeated hat trick of wins, while Charlie Ross secured two points and Dave Goddard one over the misfiring Missiles.

Last but not least, Prefects in Division 1 secured their first win for the loss of only one game by reserve Sascha Roschy. Michael Hahn and Justin Yang remained undefeated in singles as well as in the doubles match. Their newly promoted opponents from Brechin comprised of Andrew Crawford, Aaron Robertson and John Anderson, the latter taking the only point on the long, long journey back to Angus.

Chris and Dave triumph in Eglinton Cup

Thirteen players at St Andrews Table Tennis Club dusted their bats to compete in the Eglinton Cup, the now traditional opening tournament of the season at the Victory Memorial Hall.

Club chair Alain Leger presents the 2018 Eglinton trophy to winners Chris Wroniecki (left) and Dave Beveridge (Right)

If the Eglinton trophy can be used as a barometer for the season to come, the pair to watch for the start of the competitive play on September 10th is Dave Beveridge and Chris Wroniecki, who took the final with a commanding 4-1 victory over Michael Hahn and John Carlton, the latter winning the only end for the runners up on the deciding point. The tournament, organized by Elaine Forbes and Alain Leger, is handicapped, to even the playing field and make the outcome more unpredictable. With many games going to sudden death, all players shared a fun and exciting evening. Dave equaled a club record on the night, taking the trophy home for the third time in the last four years. The evening was also marked by the last appearance under the St Andrews banner for Emma Bissett, who had an impressive night, conceding only one set during the event. Emma’s good nature and friendly attitude will be missed by all, although she has threatened to drop in occasionally at social events.

All league players are now focusing on the new season looming round the corner. The club will enter five teams again in the Dundee and District League, in the same divisions as last year, as all the teams avoided promotion and relegation alike. Leading the charge with the elite team in 1st division are the Prefects, but the club is represented in greater numbers in the second division with the Truants, New kids and Swots. Whereas in third division, the Prospects have renewed energy and focus and could well impress this season.

The club would also like to invite new players, either beginners or adult returners to drop in at Victory Memorial Hall at any time on a Monday between 1:30pm and 4pm to join the Rascals group. As a safe and relaxed environment to enjoy the sport in a leisurely manner, this is a great introduction to the club. Those who wish to play competitively are also very welcome.

Kong prepares for the new season with the help of quantum theory

Kong Wan – New Kids

As he prepares for another table tennis season with the New Kids in Division 2 of the Dundee and District League, Kong Wan has spent considerable time planning to exploit his knowledge of quantum mechanics to confuse his opponents. Just like a quantum particle, a player may be able to identify Kong’s position but not his momentum. This means we have no choice except to expect the unexpected with Kong’s spin, speed and direction. To find out what Kong knows and to thwart his quantum strategies, it is highly recommended that you read his latest book on quantum theory. If you discover his secrets, he will be very happy to sign your copy. To make it even easier, a solutions manual will soon be available for the various exercises.

Michael Hahn wins hardbat tournament

The competitors in the 2018 Legacy Shield (Dave Beveridge missing, presumed taking the photo)

On Monday, St Andrews Table Tennis Club hosted their third annual ‘hardbat’ tournament, using sandpaper bats and adopting the style and format used by the World Championships of Ping Pong. Top seed Michael Hahn was victorious, but did not have everything his own way, losing his first group game to Chris Wroniecki 21-12, before recovered to beat both Alain Leger and John Carlton to 12 and 14, respectively. John beat Chris to give a three-way-tie between Michael, Chris, and John for first place, with Chris taking this countback. In group 2, last year’s winner, Graham Wood and Collin Bleak both beat Neil Lea comfortably, while Graham came back from 19-17 down to edge out Collin 21-19 to take top spot. In group 3, Howard Lee won all of his games, although struggled against Nick Shepherd and Emma Bissett, winning 21-19 and 21-18, respectively. Nick won his other games while Dave Beveridge beat Emma to go through as third. The bottom players from each group, Neil, Alain, and Emma played off in a round robin group, with Alain winning with 21-19 and 21-12 victories against Emma and Neil, respectively, while Emma beat Neil 21-20.

The other players entered the quarter finals. Chris and Michael beat Nick and Collin fairly comfortably in their respective games, while Howard won a close contest against John 21-19 and Dave came through against last year’s champion, Graham in an even closer 21-20 game. The losing quarter-finalists, Nick, Graham, John, and Collin played off for positions five to eight with everyone winning at least one game, and Nick taking 5th place overall with two wins from three.

Michael Hahn (left) receives the Legacy Shield from Howard Lee

Chris beat Dave 21-16 and Michael beat Howard 21-17 in the semi-finals to set up a repeat of the first game of the night in the final. Dave beat Howard to take third place. Michael started well in the final to gain a small advantage by the half-way stage, and maintained that lead for the rest of the game to gain revenge and win the final 21-18. Chris should be commended for his good play throughout the night, especially as he only joined the club this year. Thanks go to Howard Lee and Elaine Forbes for running the event.

Last week, Swots finished their season in slightly disappointing fashion, losing to Division One team Rockets in the final of the Handicap Cup, however should be proud of their performances to take them that far. Playing each game in two sets up to 26 points, Emma Bissett and Dave Beveridge started on 15 points and Collin Bleak on 14, while their opponents Gary Lowson and Pete Yearworth started on 5 and Peter Dixon started on 6. Emma got a good start beating Peter 26-23 but then lost the second set 26-24. Then Gary, the best player on the night, beat Dave in two close sets to give Rockets a 3-1 lead. Pete then won two sets against Collin and Gary won another two against Emma to extend this to 7-1. Collin won a sudden-death point to win the first set against Peter 26-25 and won the second set more comfortably 26-16 to make it 7-3. Dave lost the first set comfortably to Pete but won another 26-25 set to make it 8-4. Gary then won both sets against Collin to close out the fixture and give the cup title to Rockets, doing very well to remain undefeated on the night.