West Lothian 9: 2019’s first two matches and two victories

Report by Ros Beck: 

West Lothian VII got off to a good start in 2019 winning the first two fixtures, but by the narrowest of margins. This was enough to put us at the top of the table for now, followed by Penicuik V with a match in hand, and very similar match difference figures. As our first January opponents this season excitedly informed us, Fife IV have recently beaten Penicuik V, who had been top for a while. I see now that Fife IV in fact won that match against the league leaders 8-2, doing the rest of the division a great favour. Thanks Fife for making things more interesting, though there’s still plenty of time for positions to change again of course.    

Our first match was against Haddington V. My computer told me the venue was 37 miles away from Bathgate Academy, a long way to go for a few games of table tennis. With an accident on the Edinburgh bypass ahead of us, it certainly felt a long way, taking the full hour and a half for us to get there in the nick of time. Kevin was playing up for us again, along with the usual regulars- Bob and Ros. Judging by the stats we weren’t expecting a hard match, especially when Martin said he wasn’t playing. However, the three more junior players, Liam, Tom and David, had some powerful attacking shots, which caused difficulty for Kevin and me. Luckily Bob won his usual three, and we managed to win two of the three five-enders to win 6-4 overall. The way the tables were aligned, while playing my 5th end at one point I could clearly see that Kevin’s match  was also at 2 all, and monitor his progress. Just beyond him a posse of Haddington players from their club night were closely watching our progress. Quite distracting!  

Then four days later we faced Haddington IV at home. This time Nathan joined his father Bob and me. We had lost the away fixture in September, but several different players were involved that evening. This again was a close run thing with the result undecided until the simultaneous 8th and 9th matches when Nathan and I managed to beat Duncan and Magnus in our second five-enders of the evening. Even Bob suffered a defeat this time to the impressive play of Jordan Roderick who like Bob is well up in the individual league stats.

ELTTL scorecards:

http://elttl.interactive.co.uk/matchscore/20350/view

http://elttl.interactive.co.uk/matchscore/20348/view

West Lothian Division 4 Teams Catchup

Report by Tommy Toner:

The last two weeks have seen a busy spell for West Lothian’s three Division 4 Teams.

First of all there was the clash between WL VII and WL VIII. Dave Stephen,Tommy Hamill and Jordan Welsh faced John McLeod,Bob and Nathan Lander, Dave seen his 100 per cent record go after losing to Bob. However Dave bounced back with two victories against John and Nathan. John, Nathan and Bob all had comfortable wins against young Jordan who played some great shots but lacked consistency on the night.

Dave and Tommy got the better of the Lander father and son duo in the doubles. The star of the night though was undoubtedly Tommy Hamill. Now well recovered from health issues earlier in the season Tommy is now coming into form and showed this with three single wins. Two of these matches were five setters against Nathan and John. The final match between Tommy and John was the crucial one on the night as the match was on a knifeedge at that point. It promised to be a very entertaining affair with a mix of styles with Johns forehand attack coming up against Tommy’s consistent defence. Unfortunately John suffered an injury during the match and bravely played on with Tommy coming out a five set winner clinching the match for Team VIII 6-4 on the night.

Team XI saw Neil Webb, Tommy and Jamie Toner travel to league leaders Penicuik V. Jamie performed well on the night with 2 wins including a great 4 set victory against Craig Johnson. Tommy couldn’t follow Jamie’s lead losing all three matches for first time this season. Neil performed very well beating Stuart Bennett and narrowly lost in five sets to Stuart’s daughter Millie. Neil was well in the match against Craig but as the game went on he couldn’t get to grips with the pimples on Craig’s bat. The doubles was the crucial match on the night with Jamie and Neil having a match point in the fifth only to lose the set 12-10. The match ended with a 7-3 defeat for the West Lothian Team but no disgrace given that Penicuik V were league leaders.

The following weeks matches saw all three teams play Penicuik. Team VII were minus the injured John McLeod and brought in Tommy Toner against Penicuik VI. It was a 90 minute drive through from Bathgate which didn’t leave much time for practice. This didn’t deter West Lothian as each of the team won their first game to race into a 3-0 lead. Penicuik bounced back with Craig Linton edging out Tommy in an entertaining match and Ros losing narrowly to Louis McLeod. Bob put the team on track by beating Adam Woodhouse in straight sets. Ros and Bob then lost in the doubles in 5 sets which meant it was 4-3 going into the last three single matches. Louis dispatched Tommy in three close sets and Ros got the better of Adam in 4 sets. It was left to Bob to clinch the match for West Lothian with a good victory against Craig. It was a tight match but Bob’s experience and determination came shining through to gain a 6-4 victory for Team VII.

Team VIII then faced league leaders Penicuik V so it was first against second in the league.  Aidan Kerr replaced Jordan on the night and performed extremely well despite losing all 3 matches only narrowly losing a 5 setter against Stuart Bennett. Some of the winners Aidan played were sublime and looked effortless and are played with a smile on his face which is a joy to watch.

The rest of the match was pretty much a carbon copy of the previous weeks match with Tommy Hamill again the star of the show with 3 single wins and a doubles win alongside Dave. Two of Tommy’s wins were classic five setters against Millie Bennett and Craig Johnson. Those four points gained put West Lothian in a strong position and Dave Stephen closed out another 6-4 winning match out by winning 2 of his 3 singles. Dave  dispatched of Mille and Stuart in straight sets but lost a close match against the persistent Craig Johnson who consistently returned  the ball from all angles. This was enough to get the victory for West Lothian and put Team VIII to the top of the league.

Team IX brought in young David Macrae to join Neil Webb and Jamie Toner against a Penicuik VII trio of Hannah McDonnel, George Wilson and Phil Daly. Jamie was the star of the night winning all three singles without losing a set. This was particular impressive given that George had won his last 14 games in the division. Neil was made to work against young Hannah who showed tremendous speed and power but eventually Neil worked out a way to get the win. He didn’t fare as well against George and Phil losing both games. David Macrae lost his opening game against George where he couldn’t get to grips with his opponents serve. David bounced back brilliantly though by coming back from 2 sets down to beat Phil in an entertaining match. David and Jamie then got the win in the doubles against George and Hannah. David then topped off a good night for West Lothian by beating Hannah in four sets giving team IX a 7-3 victory.

These results see West Lothian occupying 3 of the top 5 places.

Div 4 League Positions

Divison 4 League Positions

West Lothian Team 9 v West Lothian Team 7

Match report by Tommy Toner:

It was the battle of two of the West Lothian teams in Division 4 with Team 9 meeting Team 7.

First match was Jamie Toner playing Bob Lander. Some amazing rally’s and returns in this match seen Bob get the better of Jamie in 4 ends.

Neil Webb levelled the game at 1-1 with a convincing 3 set victory against Ros Beck. Neil was patient then attacked when the opportunity came.

John McLeod then beat Tommy Toner over 4 ends. John waited patiently to get onto his forehand then took his chances when they came.

Jamie went a set up against John and then narrowly lost the 2nd set 14-12. Jamie was returning shots John wasn’t expecting back and took the third set 11-7. John then bounced back and found a strategy to get on top taking the final two sets 11-4 and 11-5.

Tommy and Ros played out 3 long sets where both of them were reluctant to attack. This meant a lot of long rally’s. Tommy came out on top over the 3 sets by consistently getting the ball back rather than going for the winners. Not the most exciting match for Neil the umpire but it got Team 8 back in the match 4-2 down with the doubles up next.

The doubles was a very entertaining match with Neil and Tommy taking the first two sets against Bob and John. The third set was a ding dong affair with Bob and John saving no fewer than 7 match points eventually winning the third set 19-17. They carried the momentum into the fourth set by winning 11-7. Bob and John raced into a 7-1 lead in the fifth set but Neil and Tommy found a way back and levelled it at 10-10. Bob and John kept at it and took the fifth set 12-10 to put their team 5-2 up.

John secured the victory for Team 7 with a 4 set victory v Neil. All sets were tight but John used that forehand with a bit of spin in it to pull out some very good winners.

Tommy put up a good account of himself against Bob taking it to a fifth set with some very entertaining rally’s and a very enjoyable match played in good spirit. Bob’s experience won the day in the final set.

Jamie and Ros then played out a very long match which looked like going on all night. Jamie eventually got the better of Ros 3-1 but it was hard work for the youngster as Ros just gets everything back. The match finished just on time at 9.59pm and the final score was a deserved 7-3 victory for a team 7.

Match Scorecard

Another 5-5 draw for Team 9

Match report by Tommy Toner:

Team 9 faced Haddington for the second week running. Last week it was a 5-5 home draw against Haddington V. This week David MacRae, Tommy Toner and Neil Webb travelled east to face Haddington IV again without the teams highest rated player (Jamie Toner) but were  hoping with Neil back they could go one better than the previous week.

David kicked off proceedings against  Jordan Roderick. Jordan played a lot of attacking winners to win in four sets.

Next game saw Tommy start well against John Robson taking the first two sets but John responded by saving two match points to win the third set and won the fourth set comfortably.  The fifth set was a tight one with John saving another couple of match points and then had one of his own at 11-10. Tommy dug in and overcame a few unlucky “Let” shouts at crucial points in the match to eventually clinch it.  This levelled the match at 1-1.

Neil was up next against David Drew and lost in four sets which was no disgrace as David is one of the top performers in Div 4 this season.

Jordan was working at 9pm so asked to play games out of sequence so he could get to work. Therefore the scheduled Match 10 between Tommy and Jordan was moved to Match 4. Tommy was still running high on adrenalin from the previous match and won an entertaining match with some good rally’s in 3 sets. This levelled the match at 2-2.

David then met John in a pulsating five setter. David remarkably came back from two sets down to get himself 10-7 up in the 5th set. John fought back to 10-10 but David played a sublime back hand winner to set himself up for another match point which he duly took putting West Lothian 3-2 up.

Tommy then lost to David in straight sets who showed his experience by patiently waiting for his chance to attack to draw the match level at 3-3.

Neil came back from 2 sets down to take Jordan to a fifth set only to lose 11-5. This put the home side 4-3 going into the doubles.

The doubles match saw David and Tommy meet Jordan and David and it was a ding dong battle with some sublime rally’s. The first two sets were close and shared 11-9 and 10-12. Haddington then won the third set convincingly 11-3 with Jordan playing some very good forehand smashes. David and Tommy showed character by taking the match. to a 5th end. It was a very exciting 5th set with some amazing returns from both sides. David Macrae played an unbelievable return when 12-11 match point down. No one in the hall could understand how he got it back and from there David’s confidence increased by playing a great serve and an attacking back hand winner to take the match level again at 4-4.

Neil got into his stride against John by playing some great returns using the width of the table wisely and won in straight sets. This put the West Lothian Team 5-4 up and for the second week running David was involved in the crucial final match.

It was the battle of the two David’s. Some great play by both players seen two very tight opening with Haddington’s David taking them 11-9 and 12-10.  This gave Haddington’s man of the match on the night the confidence to close out the third set 11-6 and tie the match at 5-5

Another great match in a division that throws up a lot of close matches.

Match scorecard

Match scorecard

WLTTC 9 vs Haddington 5: A deserved draw..

Team 9 were without the teams top scorer for season Jamie Toner and the experienced Neil Webb for home match v a young Haddington V team.

In stepped Aidan Kerr and David Macrae alongside Tommy Toner. Both Aidan and David performed well. Aidan showed great character in fighting back from 10-6 in the fifth set to win the final set 12-10 against Haddington’s Liam Govan. Both David and Tommy won their opening matches 3-1 so West Lothian went into an early 3-0 lead.

Haddington fought back with Tom Wilson beating Aidan in 3 very tight sets and Liam Govan outplayed Tommy in 4.

4-2 going into the doubles, David and Aidan started brightly going 2-1 up only to be pegged back losing the fifth set 11-8.

This set up a tight finish. Haddington levelled the match at 4-4 after David Hayman beat Aidan in straight sets. Tommy won a close match with Tom Wilson in 5 sets putting West Lothian 5-4 up.

It was left to David and Liam Govan to finish off proceedings and Haddington’s man of the match Liam Govan won in 4 sets to seal a deserved draw. 5-5 was a fair result given the fact 4 matches went the full distance.

match scorecard

Match Report: West Lothian 9 vs Fife 4

Team 9 were defeated for the first time this season to an experienced Fife team at Inverkeithing.

Neil, Tommy and Jamie each won one match on the night. Neil won a hard fought five setter against Davy Duffy where he played some sublime back hand winners. Tommy also opened up with a five set victory v Maurice Whitelaw which could have went either way as it was 9-9 in the fifth but Tommy’s advantage of having serve for the last two points proved crucial. Jamie managed a fine 3 set victory v Maurice where he waited patiently on his opportunities to attack and done well to win the first set when 10-7 down. This gave him confidence to narrowly take the remaining sets.

However, all West Lothian players found one match each very tough with all losing in straight sets in one match.Tommy and Jamie lost in straight sets against Neil Hoggan where his attacking forehand proved too much for the Toners. Neil lost in straight sets against Maurice where he struggled to get in a position to attack.

The other 3 defeats in the singles were the ones that made the difference on the night as on each occasion West Lothian had got their noses in front.

The match of the night was the battle of the two Neil’s where West Lothians Neil performed brilliantly to take it to a fifth set with some brilliant winners against a very tricky and experienced campaigner. Neil had a great comeback in the fifth set to get a match point at 10-9 only to lose the final three points. It was no disgrace to narrowly lose 12-10 in the fifth against Neil Hoggan who has a 100 per cent record in the league this season. Neil deserved the away team man of the match vote on this performance alone and even more so as his own bat was still lost in baggage control fromhis holiday a few days previously. He played the match with a spare bat which could have been the difference but a great effort all the same.

Tommy and Jamie both took a lead against Davy Duffy. Tommy was 2 sets to 1 up and Jamie won the first set. Davy tactically worked out both Tommy and Jamie as the matches went on by winning in 5 sets v Tommy and in 4 sets v Jamie.

To utilise a free second table the doubles were left to the end of the night and Maurice and Davy won 3-1 against Neil and Tommy.

An overall deserved 7-3 win for a Fife team who will surely fighting for promotion with an experienced team. Next up for Fife is a trip to Bathgate to play West Lothian’s Team 8 who are still unbeaten.

 

Match Report Team 9, and Division 4 season so far…

West Lothian Team 9 remain unbeaten for the season and  joined West Lothian Team 8 at the top of the league with an 8-2 victory away to Edinburgh University on Friday night.

Youngsters Jamie Toner and Aidan Kerr were again the stars for the team. Jamie won all 3 single matches not dropping a set all night and Aidan had two great wins including a 5 set victory coming back from 2-1 down. Aidan had been suffering from the cold all week and after an energy sapping 5 setter he  asked to sit out the doubles match. Tommy Toner stepped in and with his son Jamie beside him took the doubles comfortably in straight sets. It was a good win for Team 9 as they were missing their experienced player Neil Webb who no doubt will be practicing while on holiday! 

Great result for Tommy, Jamie and Aiden in latest league match 👍

Our other division 4 teams (Team 8 and Team 7) have also started the season well. Team 8 led by the experienced Dave Stephen are also unbeaten with youngsters Jordan Welsh and David Macrae performing well. Dave leads the way in the player rankings for the Division winning 100 per cent of games with young Jamie lying second with an 80% win ratio.

Bob Lander has won 75% of his games for Team 7 who alongside Ros Beck and John McLeod have won 3 and lost 2 so far this season. 

Teams 8 and 9 sitting pretty atop the league, and team 7 not far away either, could it be a 1, 2, 3 by end of season 🤔

Lots of WLTTC players in the top rankings 😁