Penicuik VI v WL VII 28/11
Report by Ros Beck:
After Bob collected his passengers from various dark wet parts of West Lothian shortly after 5pm, we were delayed by slow moving traffic on the M8 and Edinburgh bypass, and after missing an unnoticeable road closed sign and spending a mile or two on an empty road near Penicuik before a U turn at a similarly hard to see red road closure sign, we were a little late arriving. We had apologised to our opponents in advance to avoid setting off on the wrong foot. Actually, I don’t think all their players or the non-playing captain had arrived when we got there late, so perhaps the published start time could have been a little later to help those of us travelling a distance across Edinburgh.
Due to John McLeod’s unfortunate knee injury at the previous week’s match, which we suspect may be fairly long term, Tommy Toner took up the gauntlet to play against a Penicuik team yet again. Our opponents were league newbies Craig Linton and Adam (son of Gary) Woodhouse plus old timer (for his age) Louis McLeod. Brian Bailey was ably coaching his team throughout the evening, and it was a little daunting umpiring with Brian nearby, looking out for umpiring errors no doubt. However, I don’t remember disputes in anyone’s matches.
While I was umpiring there was a more senior (I suppose I mean more skilful) match taking place next to us. An unidentified player was repeatedly shouting loudly. It was pretty disruptive and inconsiderate with another league match right next to them, so I asked the umpire sitting immediately behind me if he could get his players to be quiet. Not sure if it was in my remit to ask for that, but it seemed to work and I haven’t yet been reprimanded.
Louis has developed a fast and devilish shot these days which I certainly couldn’t return, and Tommy and I both lost to him. We also had difficulty against Craig. I narrowly won a 5 ender and Tommy lost 3-1. Bob and I played the doubles losing a 5 ender against Craig and Louis. We felt the absence of John, whose more aggressive style of play is a great help in doubles. Luckily with Bob winning his three, we still achieved a 6-4 win with the winning team excitingly undecided until the final set. All of us contributed to the end result, making the long journey very worthwhile for everyone.
To increase the feelgood factor we took Tommy’s ‘better than the diversion’ route home through Straiton after accidentally ignoring his advice on the way out.