New Kids, Swots and Prospects were in Handicap Cup action this week, while Prefects had a re-arranged league match. If last week’s action was dramatic it had nothing on what unfolded in St Andrews and Broughty Ferry on Monday night.
In Victory Memorial Hall, Prefects (Ian Smith, Howard Lee and Kong Wan) fought out a terrific 5-5 draw with Barons in Division 2. There was never more than a point between the teams. Young Scott Hamilton from Barons returned another impressive hat-trick of singles wins and partnered the equally youthful Craig Shearer to a five game doubles win over Ian and Howard. Prefects weren’t letting them have it all their own way though. Howard and Ian both beat Craig and John Thain, and the final result of the fixture came down to Kong’s energy and experience versus Craig’s youth and raw talent, in the last match of the night. It was a breathtaking contest. Kong has two speeds, fast and really fast, and he deployed them both to come back from 0-2 to win the match 14-12 in the fifth.
Alongside, Swots (Dave Beveridge, Robert Brown and Emma Bissett) were playing Thumpers in the Handicap Cup. Swots got off to a good start and were 5-2 ahead after four matches, the best of which was Emma’s 2-0 defeat of Jim (of the awkward bats) Fleming. However, only Robert could pick up a win over the next three matches and Thumpers moved 8-6 in front. The next two matches and the final outcome were to be decided by tie-break points. Emma first beat Ian McLagan 2-0, taking the first game 26-25. Dave, who had lost 14 points in a row at the start of the night, took the first game off Tony O’Shea 26-22. Struggling to win points on Tony’s serve, Dave squandered a big lead in game two, but rallied to 25-25. With Tony to serve, Dave finally made another decent return and the Thumpers’ player dumped the ball in the net, probably through sheer shock. Final score Swots 10, Thumpers 8.
If that was dramatic, it had nothing on Prospects’ cup tie against Comets in the Ferry. After five matches Comets were 8-2 in front, and then only one game away from victory when Neil Lea and Glenn Christie shared match seven 1-1. Captain Maxi Strobl rallied his troops with a storming 21-9, 21-9 win over Fraser Smith. Dave Goddard then had the big task of having to beat Eric Brown 2-0 to take the contest into a deciding third game between the same two players. Dave is a fair size himself and he proved he has the heart to match. The big man reeled off three games 21-15, 21-19 and 21-18 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. A special mention goes to the recuperating Neil Lea, chairman of the St Andrews’ Club, who won a crucial game for the Prospects in this tie. Final score Comets 9, Prospects 10.
The final contest of the week was New Kids’ handicap cup tie against Kingsway at Blackness Fire Station. Despite the best efforts of Peter Bladen, Michael Hahn and Nick Shepherd, there was to be no joyful outcome to this contest. The Kids are having a lean spell just now and Kingsway were in no mood to make them feel better. The Firies made a great start to the tie to go 4-0 ahead. While New Kids rallied a bit around matches three to five, to narrow the lead to 6-4, Nick Shepherd and Peter Bladen then lost both of the next two matches 2-0, to Willie Cooper and Derek Thomson. The handicaps may not have done New Kids any favours, over the piece, but that made it game over. Final score Kingsway 10, New Kids 4.
At the end of the week’s activity Prefects remain top of Division 2, for now, and Swots and Prospects progress to the quarter final of the Handicap Cup. Not bad.