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.