European Team Qualifier Round 3
European League Qualifier Round 3
Note from Table Tennis Scotland Chairman Terry McLernon MBE
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Drumchapel Table Tennis Club for hosting this event and putting on an amazing show. Thank you to the umpires, referee and everyone who turned up to support the Scottish teams. Also a big thank you to everyone involved behind the scenes to get this event organised – a special mention to Cynthia Robinson for her fantastic involvement from the TTS office and to all the volunteers at Drumchapel Table Tennis Club for their hard work.
A huge well done and thank you to all the players for putting in their full effort and showing some amazing table tennis from both the men’s and women’s teams. It was an fantastic night for everyone – the home support was brilliant!”
Scotland’s Women’s team faced up against Bulgaria in the third round of the European League Qualifiers. Representing Scotland was Rebecca Plaistow (South Ayrshire TTC), Lucy Elliott (Drumchapel TTC) and Faye Leggett (Edinburgh TTC) – Coaching the women was ex Scottish International Scottish player and now Drumchapel player/coach, Corinna Whittaker.
Rebecca Plaistow was up first to start the night off for the women’s match against Karina Hristova (2). This was a great match between the two which got the home crowd started. Nerves were in the way of the first set which Hristova ran away with (6-11). With some great points in the second end which could have gone either way, Hristova won the set (7-11). Plaistow bounced back in the third set with the help of teammates and the home crowd supporting, taking the third set (11-8). Into the fourth set of the match, Hristova got off to a lead and finished the set 2-11 (Plaistow 1 – 3 Hristova) giving Bulgaria a lead 1-0 going into the second match of the night.
Up next was Lucy Elliott against Egin Said (1). The first set, Elliott felt the nerves also, and Egin took the set 8-11. Going into the second set Elliott was much more relaxed and playing her game. She took the second comfortably 11-6. Into the next set, with some great rallies and shots from both players, Egin won the third set 5-11. In the fourth set, the game started off very tight but Egin ran away with a 9-5 lead on Elliott. Elliott kept focused and fought for every point and closed down the gap and won the set 13-11 and the whole hall erupted with cheering. Into the fifth and final set, again, some great rallies and shots from each player keeping the points close. Egin took a 9-5 lead again but Elliott wasn’t able to chase back and lost out in 7-11 in a fantastic match with the coach, players and crowds support (Elliott 2–3 Egin). Bulgaria take the lead 2-0 going into the third match.
In the third game was Faye Leggett against Kristina Vramencalieva to decide if the team match would go into the fourth game. In the first set Leggett went in confident and ran away with the set 11-7. Into the second set the game was still tight with the two girls having some fantastic points; Vramencalieva took the set 7-11. The third set was so tight the whole way through with everyone supporting from the team bench and around the hall, Vramencalieva stole the third set 11-13 taking a 2-1 lead. Leggett bounced back strong in the fourth set taking it 11-7 to make the match even at 2-2. Into the fifth and final set, the hall is tense and all eyes are on this big match. Leggett fights into the game with Vramencalieva but unfortunately loses out 6-11 in a fantastic match losing 2/3.
Scotland 0 – 3 Bulgaria. Although it was 0-3, this does not reflect the matches, the girls put up a fantastic fight and showed respect and hard work throughout.
Rebecca Plaistow v Karina Hristova: -6, -7, 8, -3
Lucy Elliott v Egin Said: -8, 6, -5, 10, -7
Faye Leggett v Kristiana Vramencalieva: 7, -7, -11, 7, -6
A few words from the coach and the players of the women’s team:
Corinna Whittaker – “I was impressed with the girl’s professionalism and attitude throughout the day with their preparation leading up to the match and during. I thought all 3 played some excellent table tennis and remained focused throughout their matches. I look forward to seeing how the girls do in the return leg as I think they have a great chance of turning this defeat into a win with some minor changes.”
Lucy Elliott – “It was an incredible experience, probably one of the best. The team put in a huge fight and with the support of each other and the home crowd, the atmostphere was just fantastic. For me it was amazing to have the chance to represent my country in the club that I grew up in and with it being so close to home it was great having my family come to see the team play which is something that doesn’t usually happen. I’m excited to see how we get on in the away leg.”
Faye Leggett – “I thought it was a useful experience as it has shown me some key areas to work on in my game as well as reinforcing how high the standard is in the European game”
Rebecca Plaistow – “I thought we all played really well and the games could have gone either way. It was a great experience and having a home crowd supporting us really helped me a lot. Hopefully I can learn from it which will set me in good stead when I play them again.”
The Men’s European qualification group stage saw our Scottish men’s team in action against top side in the group Switzerland at Drumchapel Table Tennis Club. The tie saw the team of Colin Dagleish, Niall Cameroon and Yaser Razouk represent Scotland, with top players Gavin Rumgay and Craig Howieson (retired) unavailable.
First match up for the team was Colin Dagleish against Swiss number 2 Lars Posch. Colin started the game off well and raced to a 2-1 lead proving too strong with his 3rd ball attack, however a nervous Posch began to find his rhythm and after trailing 6-1 in the 5th Lars played a series of fine points to clinch the 5th set from Dalgeish. In the end, a question of “continuity” in points and rallies was the marginal difference (Richard Yule). Dalgeish (23) who has recently returned from his first Commonwealth Games reflected on a solid performance: “I played well in spells throughout the match to get myself into a winning position but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I’d like to thank the crowd for their support tonight.”
Next up was experienced Scottish International Niall Cameron who faced a tough challenge posed by Swiss number 1 Lionel Webber (WR 130). Niall served well throughout the match and imposed clear tactics on the game. Despite this, Webber was too strong and quick to compete on both wings with Niall losing out 3-0. Nevertheless a valiant effort from Cameron who showed great fight throughout the match. The well-established international described Webber as “too dominate and powerful in the rallies” but recalled that the “warm home support was a pleasure to play in.”
With the team trailing 2-0 to a strong swiss side, Yaser Razouk (19) was up next against Cédric Tschanz in his Men’s Senior International debut. An exciting match between the two youngsters saw a number of close exchanges with Razouk prevailing 3-1 in emphatic style on his debut. In a match, where serve and receive was pinnacle, Yaser ensured that he kept the Swiss number three out of sight. This proved crucial for the Scot who was pleased with his performance: “it was a nice way to end the season, getting my first call up to the national team and to do it at my home club was even better. The support was just overwhelming. Of course, I have to be happy with how I played but first and foremost the team result matters most and unfortunately we couldn’t get the points today.”
Dalgeish would then face Webber in the 4th match of the tie with the Men 2-1 down. Colin competed in patches of the match but again the number 1 was too quick and efficient with his play and clinched the match 3-0 to secure a 3-1 victory for Switzerland.
An exciting evening by no means with the whole team “extremely grateful” for the crowd who came in their numbers on the night.
Colin Dalgeish v Lars Posch (8,-10,5,-14,-8)
Niall Cameron v Lionel Webber (-5, -6, -8)
Yaser Razouk v Cédric Tschanz (8,-9, 5, 9)
Colin Dalgeish v Lionel Webber (-8, -5, -9)
June 26, 2019
June 24, 2019