Chesterwell return to winning ways

Tarun Mistry
Tarun Mistry
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Chesterwell D returned to winning ways in Division Three of the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League as they extended their lead at the top with a 10-0 success at Higham Harriers C.

They were pushed in some of the singles with Oli Hicks losing 13-11 to Duncan Wright in the fifth and taking an end off Daniel Mann, likewise Katie Hicks stretching both Wright and Johnathan Driscoll to four ends.

Undeterred by the scoreline, Oli and Katie Hicks threw themselves into the doubles and were unfortunate to lose out in five against Driscoll and Mann.

Second-placed Wanderers E only just edged to a 6-4 victory over Higham Band B.

Devlin Whitmore secured a hat-trick with Neil Thompson adding a single, with a fine victory over Wanderers’ Dave May, who had to settle for a single point.

Higham needed the doubles to tie the match but went down in four ends.

Stanwick maintained their challenge with a 9-1 success over Chesterwell E.

Chesterwell’s new signing Jake Hughes, opened with a fine win over Stanwick’s Al Hayes to save a whitewash, and was unlucky not to add a further point in a five-end tussle with Jon Tuplin, losing out 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-7.

The rest of the points were won in straight sets by promotion-chasing Stanwick.

WDHA Challengers went one point better than their previous meeting as they won 8-2 at Westfield E.

Hubert Malenda secured a fine treble, only being extended by Nicole King in his opening game while there was good support from both Daniel Bain and Rishan Ganatra with two wins apiece.

The doubles went to the Challengers as Bain and Malenda won out against Nicole King and Wendy Bradford.

Results: Westfield E 2 ( Nicole King, Wendy Bradford) WDHA Challengers 8 (Daniel Bain 2, Hubert Malenda 3, Rishan Ganatra 2, doubles Bain/Malenda), Stanwick VHTTC 9 (Geoff Neville 3, Al Hayes 2, Jon Tuplin 3, doubles Neville/Tuplin) Chesterwell E 1 (Jake Hughes), Wanderers E 6 (David May, Derek Shears 2, Steve Hoole 2, doubles Shears/Hoole) Higham Band B 4 (Devlin Whitmore 3, Neil Thompson), Higham Harriers C 0 Chesterwell D 10 (Johnathan Driscoll 3, Duncan Wright 3, Daniel Mann 3, doubles Driscoll/Mann).

In a season which has seen many surprise results in Division One, Westfield A’s narrow 6-4 success at Higham Harriers A surpassed all.

In the match of the giants, the mercurial Ian Bird beat Westfield’s Kevin Bird in 11-7 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, but in one of the biggest shocks for many a year, went down in five 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11 to Travis Holly.

On the strength of this result, a first treble of the season seemed a formality, but he lost 11-9 in the fifth to Norman Wooster after being 9-5 up.

Holly also dropped the first two sets to Graham Bird but recovered to win out 2-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6.

In the final shock of the night Harriers gained another point when Ian and Graham Bird won out 11-9, 3-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 over Kevin Bird and Patryk Polanski.

In view of the recent shock results, Grant Timms remained unruffled and scored an excellent treble without dropping a leg as St John A drew 5-5 with Wanderers A.

Richard Wills took Tony Wharton to five, losing out 11-6 in the fifth but was well beaten by John Stamp and avoided a blank, winning out 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 over Jon Taylor-Burt.

The hosts gained a draw when Jon Perkins and Timms won with surprising ease in the doubles 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 over Stamp and Wharton.

Thrapston fielded their Kettering League side and claimed an 8-2 success at Wanderers B.

For the hosts, Pete Briggs followed a good cup performance with an opening win over Chris Warliker (11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7) but failed to gain any further wins, going down to Ian Donaldson and Mark Stockley with Stockley sealing a good treble.

Bob Hickson gained a rare win with an 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 success over Donaldson but with Stewart Williams failing to register, they sank to a defeat which keeps them entrenched at the foot of the table.

Chesterwell A’s Mike Pond scored an excellent treble with his highlight being a superb 11-5, 11-2, 11-9 win over Steve Kendall as they recorded a 7-3 victory over Old Grammarians A.

The excellence of this win was clearly indicated as Kendall saw off Valdy Papiernik and Stan Galkowski with ease, not dropping a leg.

In a week of shocks, Mick Ball joined the ranks with a five-set win over Galkowski, but the struggling Phil Laurence went down to three heavy defeats.

Results: St John A 5 (Richard Wills, Grant Timms 3, doubles Perkins/Timms) Wanderers A 5 (Tony Wharton 2, John Stamp 2, Jon Taylor-Burt), Higham Harriers A 4 (Norman Wooster, Ian Bird 2, doubles G.Bird/I.Bird) Westfield A 6 (Kevin Bird 2, Travis Holly 2, Patryk Polanski 2), Wanderers B 2 (Pete Briggs, Bob Hickson) Thrapston 8 (Chris Warliker 2, Ian Donaldson 2, Mark Stockley 3, doubles), Chesterwell A 7 (Mike Pond 3, Stan Galkowski, Valsy Papiernik 2, doubles Pond/Papiernik) Old Grammarians A 3 (Mick Ball, Steve Kendall 2).

An inter-club clash saw Division Two leaders Westfield B win 7-3 at Westfield C.

The B team’s points were equally shared with two wins apiece for Mark Thomas, Charlie and Leigh Clements.

Steve Fuller scored two good wins for the C team and Mark Ramsden chipped in with an excellent singles victory over Thomas.

Charlie Clements and Thomas took the doubles for the visitors’ seventh point but the team need to look over their shoulders as their lead at the top has been cut to two points.

Just in behind them are St John B after they claimed a 10-0 success at Wanderers D in a match brought forward from March.

Solid trebles from the ever-reliable Mike Terry, Steve Mansfield and Alan Hill did the damage and the Terry/Mansfield combination ended the evening by taking the doubles to complete the whitewash.

Roger Ellingham came closest to gaining a point for the home team in his game against Mansfield but after taking a two-set lead, he then went down 11-7 in the fifth.

WDHA Superkings and Chesterwell C met twice in a week and the former won both matches 7-3.

Superkings ended Chesterwell’s recent run of good results in the first meeting as Tarun Mistry and Dev Patel both scored fine maximums while Maxine Shears’ long string of successive trebles for Chesterwell came to an end as she had to settle for a single win to go with further singles for Stuart and Clare Coles.

The two Superkings’ treble winners finally took the doubles to secure a very good home win.

Superkings repeated their success in the away match and Mistry again starred for the visitors with his fourth treble of the season and was well backed up with doubles from Patel and Jack Bain.

Shears scored Chesterwell’s two consolation wins and then joined Clare Coles to secure a good win in the doubles to gain their team’s third point.

Old Grammarians B are currently rooted to the bottom of the table and did well to take three points off visitors Higham Band A.

Martin Rice scored a fine double to maintain his recent run of good results and was backed up by a single win from Roger Fleming.

Higham’s points came from Pete Martin (three wins), Nigel Magee (two wins) and Keith Stockley (one win).

Martin and Magee took the doubles for the visitors to conclude a good night of action.

Higham Harriers B produced a very good performance to claim a 5-5 draw with third-placed Wanderers C.

There were no unbeaten players on the night, Phil Inman and Neil Stevens scoring doubles for the home team while James Findlay and Carl Singh hit back with braces for the visitors. Inman and Stevens combined well to take the doubles in straight sets and secure the draw.

Results: WDHA Superkings 7 (Tarun Mistry 3, Dev Patel 3, doubles Mistry/Patel) Chesterwell C 3 (Maxine Shears, Stuart Coles, Clare Coles), Chesterwell C 3 (Maxine Shears 2, doubles Shears/C Coles) WDHA Superkings 7 (Tarun Mistry 3, Dev Patel 2, Jack Bain 2), Higham Harriers B 5 (Phill Inman 2, Neil Stevens 2, doubles Inman/Stevens) Wanderers C 5 (James Findlay, Maurice Jones, Carl Singh 2), Westfield C 3 (Mark Ramsden, Steve Fuller 2) Westfield B 7 (Mark Thomas 2, Charlie Clements 2, Leigh Clements 2, doubles Clements/Thomas), Wanderers D 0 St Johns B 10 (Mike Terry 3, Steve Mansfield 3, Alan Hill 3, doubles Terry/Mansfield), Old Grammarians B 3 (Martin Rice 2, Roger Fleming) Higham Band A 7 (Pete Martin 3, Nigel Magee 2, Keith Stockley, doubles Martin/Magee).

The draw for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Trophy, sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd, has been made and ties are due to be played on March 13.

Draw: Chesterwell A (0) St John A (50), Westfield D (160) St John B (0), Wanderers B (0) WDHA Challengers (250), WDHA Royals (0) Higham Harriers B (265).

In the second round of the Merit Awards, sponsored by Seoni Clothing, there is only one player maintaining a 100 per cent record and that is Division Three’s Geoff Neville who has now qualified for the competition having played 75 per cent of his team’s matches.

He is a lone wolf for Stanwick, currently in third place, while the current leaders, Chesterwell D, are showing their strength in numbers with all three players - Daniel Mann, Johnathan Driscoll and Duncan Wright – in the rankings.

Division Two has a new name in pole position, with Mike Terry of St John B qualifying for the awards and he joins team-mate Alan Hill.

Keith Stockley, of Higham Band A, has joined the race, together with team-mate Nigel Magee.

St John A’s Grant Timms is still in pole position for Division One, his percentage rate slipping slightly from 86.67 per cent to 81.48 per cent.

But he now has to share the top spot with Patryk Polanski of Westfield A, who are currently in second place in the league tables.

Current Division One leaders, Chesterwell A have only one named player this time, Mike Pond, who still maintains his previous percentage.

Steve Kendall has kept up his percentage rate from the first round for Old Grammarians A, who are languishing in the relegation zone.

A new name to join the awards is Abin Islam, the only player from the WDHA teams to qualify.