Big guns power on to make Trophy progress

Virat Patel

Virat Patel

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The second round of the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League’s Challenge Trophy, sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd, produced some interesting results with only three results finishing within 20 points.

Facing a large handicap against the Division Three promotion chasers Wanderers E, Chesterwell A played to their full capability as they won 440-425.

Virtually every game was there or thereabouts on handicap but five and six tilted the balance with Valdy Papiernik wining out 11-0, 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 over Steve Hoole and Mike Pond, 11-1, 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 over Derek Shears.

Shears, however, gave the best performance in game nine in gaining 21 points against Papiernik, but the 31 needed in the doubles proved too much with Galkowski and Pond winning out 11-2, 11-2, 11-8, 11-4 over May and Shears to clinch victory.

In a real David versus Goliath contest, hosts Higham Band B battled bravely but top-flight side WDHA Royals overcame a large handicap to win out by a narrow 16 points, 440-424.

Although most games were on handicap, a brilliant display by Virat Patel swung the game for the visitors in games five and seven as he restricting Devlin Whitmore and Raylee Burton to five and six points respectively.

The hosts were 12 points in front going into the doubles but couldn’t hold on with Whitmore and Futrill going down 2-11, 6-11, 3-11, 4-11 to Ali and Patel.

Another excellent display by a top division side came as St John A overcame a large handicap to win 419-399 at Old Grammarians B.

St John did well to overcome the shock of Martin Rice defeating Jon Perkins in game five.

Game seven saw Richard Wills tilt the match in the visitors’ favour, seeing off a below-par Roger Fleming 11-3, 11-7, 11-3, 11-2.

And although Colin Lord managed 34 points in game nine when going down to Wills 8-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-10, they remained 16 behind at the doubles, which was increased to 20 as Perkins and Wills drew 11-4, 11-7, 5-11, 10-11 with Fleming and Rice.

Higham Harriers A threw away a golden opportunity to reach the quarter-finals as they were beaten 456-411 at Westfield D.

With Graham Bird just under handicap and Ian Bird well under, a place was there for the taking, but replacement Martyn Reeves had a night to forget, picking up a mere six points and had it not been for an 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 win over struggling Stuart Holroyd, it would have been far worse.

Ian Bird saw off Amrat Mistry 11-1, 11-2, 11-3, 11-3, whereas the same player gained six points in sharing 10-11, 11-5, 11-7, 8-11 with Reeves.

In an inter-club tie between Wanderers D and Wanderers B it looked a more than adequate handicap with the poor league form of the B side and the fact that in these matches the lower division side tend to raise their game.

However, the hosting D side turned in a poor performance as the higher-ranked team won 430-356.

Roger Ellingham went down 6-11, 6-11, 10-11, 11-8 to Bob Hickson as the handicap level attained.

Pete Briggs, in a rare appearance, relished his chance when dropping a mere 56 points. His highlight was an 11-4, 11-2, 11-4, 11-3 win over step up player Brian Pearce.

Higham Harriers B cruised into the quarter-finals with a 418-367 success at Wanderers C.

Bob Collyer, who has found Division Two much more to his liking after two tough years in the top division, gave an excellent display.

On the night he gained 35 points, his highlight being a 4-0 win over Carl Singh (11-8, 11-6, 11-1, 11-9) with 3-1 successes also over James Findlay and Tony Wallis.

It was a great night for St John B stalwart Alan Hill who now finds himself in the quarter-finals having never been beyond the first round before after his team beat Old Grammarians A 426-382.

The main hopes for the visitors was for the handicap to be clawed back by Steve Kendall and his team-mates to hold their own, but they failed on all three counts.

Phil Laurence crashed 4-0 to both Hill and Mike Terry to ruin the match as a contest.

Terry also won out 4-0 over Mick Ball and gained a creditable 31 points in a 11-10, 8-11, 7-11, 5-11 defeat to Kendall to ensure the biggest win of the round and make the handicap, surplus to requirements.

Results: Chesterwell A (0) 440 (Valdy Papiernik 132/50, Stan Galkowski 132/48, Mike Pond 132/36) Wanderers E (275) 425 (David May 42/132, Derek Shears 52/132, Steve Hoole 40/132), Higham Band B (275) 424 (Devlin Whitmore 38/132, Raylee Burton 44/132, Stuart Futrill 51/132) WDHA Royals A (0) 440 (Ethan Ali 132/52, Abin Islam 132/57, Virat Patel 132/24), Westfield D (245) 456 (Stuart Holroyd 50/129, Asish Nandi 83/116, Amrat Mistry 60/122) Higham Harriers A (0) 411 (Graham Bird 129/57, Martyn Reeves 106/100, Ian Bird 132/36), Wanderers D (125) 356 (Roger Ellingham 82/127, Graham Babbage 68/132, Brian Pearce 55/132) Wanderers B (0) 430 Pete Briggs 132/56, Paul Goodman 130/65, Bob Hickson 129/84), Old Grammarians B (150) 399 (Colin Lord 72/132, Martin Rice 85/119, Roger Fleming 63/132) St John A (0) 419 (Jon Perkins 119/90, Richard Wills 131/72, Grant Timms 132/58), St John B (70) 426 (Mike Terry 118/91, Steve Mansfield 90/117, Alan Hill 104/110) Old Grammarians A (0) 382 (Phil Laurence 84/120, Mick Ball 104/112, Steve Kendall 130/80), Wanderers C (0) 367 (James Findlay 114/98, Tony Wallis 118/97, Carl Singh 98/109) Higham Harriers B (75) 418 (Phil Inman 92/113, Bob Collyer 123/88, Neil Stevens 89/129).