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.

Grove Trophy 2018

Edward Coles (4th from the left) is pictured with the Grove Trophy while the other boys display their participants’ mementos, which were kindly donated by club member, Sandy Pearson. Unfortunately the Paterson brothers were not available for the photoshoot.

The members of St Andrews Table Tennis Club’s youth coaching group recently competed for this season’s Grove Trophy. After an exciting final a new name was engraved on the trophy, with Edward Coles defeating the 2016 champion, Murray Paterson. It was fine performance from Edward who was unfazed by reaching the semi-finals as the second placed in his group matches. The losing semi-finalists were Keir Paterson (finalist in 2016) and Michael Snodgrass (finalist from 2017).
As usual, all the boys displayed a high standard of sportsmanship over the course of the night.

Swots Avoid Relegation in Final Week of League Fixtures

In the final week of league fixtures in the Dundee and District Table Tennis League, St Andrews team Swots needed four points to avoid relegation to Division Three in their fixture against Comets. Nick Shepherd and Collin Bleak started with fairly comfortable 3-1 and 3-0 wins against Dougal Ogilvie and Glenn Christie respectively, and Dave Beveridge and Collin then came through in two 3-2 wins against Fraser Smith and Dougal, to obtain their required four wins in the first four matches of the night. Nick extended the lead to 5-0 with a 3-1 win against Fraser and the pair of Collin and Dave beat Glenn and Fraser 3-1 in the doubles, but the remaining four games went to Comets.

New Kids lost 7-3 on two occasions, against leading Division Two teams, Villa and Brechin. Against Villa, cadet David Hay was too strong for the New Kids trio of Howard Lee, Ian Smith, and Kong Wan, not dropping a set. Howard and Ian both managed to beat Ian McLagan, Ian 3-1 and Howard 3-2 (coming through a close fourth set 15-13 when 2-1 down). Ian managed a good 3-2 win against Sandy Bertie and Howard was just denied the same victory, losing 12-10 in the fifth to Sandy.


Ian Smith who had an outstanding win against Brechin’s Derek Mitchell

Against Brechin, it was the same number of wins for each of the New Kids players, and the same overall result. Howard and Ian both lost comfortably to John Anderson and beat Aaron Robertson in five sets, Ian in a very close 14-12 deciding set. Ian got an incredible win—maybe the best individual win for any St Andrews player this season—against Derek Mitchell, Derek having only previously lost three matches this season.

Truants managed a dominant 8-2 win against Tigers. Sascha Roschy won all three of his singles games for the loss of only one set to Scott Thomson. Scott had previously defeated both Alain Leger and Graham Wood. Alain and Graham were both successful in their two other games against Kenny McLaren and Marion Davidson, and Graham and Sascha teamed up to win the doubles 3-1 against Scott and Kenny.

Prospects finished their season with a 5-5 draw against Tass. Chris Wroniecki was in excellent form for Prospects, beating Stewart Clark 3-2, Robert Fortheringham 3-0, and Jim Wotherspoon 3-1. Dave Goddard managed the other singles win, recovering from 2-0 down to win 13-11 in the fifth set against Robert. Dave was unfortunate not to get a second win, losing out 11-9 in the fifth to Jim. Despite his best efforts, Neil Lea was unable to win a set on this occasion. In the doubles, the pair of Chris and Dave managed a good 3-0 win against Stewart and Jim, including a 17-15 first set.

Sandy’s news from his world cruise

The club has missed Sandy during the second half of the season, though we appreciate the attractions of cruising around the world. Needless to say, with half an eye on next season, he gives high priority to his table tennis practice. Playing conditions on the ship are good but not quite to the same standards of excellence as at the Victory Memorial Hall.

Sandy holds the ladder during the ball search

The low ceiling on the cruise liner requires a periodic rummage in the lighting gantry for all those smashed balls which didn’t quite connect. Naturally we feel very sorry for the opponents who had to cope with Sandy’s smashed balls which did connect. Below is a picture of Sandy having a knock with his playing partner on St Patrick’s Day, with a hint of green on his clothing and more than a hint on the table. Given it was 32 degrees centigrade outside in Kuala Lumpur, Sandy was grateful for the onboard air conditioning.

Sandy (far end) celebrates St Patrick’s Day