Close finish as Kettering beat Exocets

Nicole Bird
Nicole Bird

The closest finish of the week in the first round of the Kettering & District League’s Millman Salver came at Weavers as Kettering B overcame Rothborough Exocets 21-19.

The match was decided in the last game of the doubles, with Kettering claiming it 13-11.

Anthony Yeomans beat Pete Scrivener 3-1 to open up a 9-7 lead after four games and Kettering skipper Jim Chatburn beat Sally Taylor 12-10, 11-7, 12-10, 12-10 to move them into a 11-9 lead in game five.

The next two games were shared before Yeomans put Exocets back in contention, beating Ann Woolston to level the tie.

Game nine proved decisive when Chatburn defeated Salander 11-9, 11-13, 11-6, 11-8 to restore Kettering’s two-point advantage.

Chatburn and Scrivener then halved the doubles against Yeomans and Taylor to record the narrowest of victories.

The result of the all Westfield clash between the D and B teams was only resolved in game nine when Nicole Bird defeated Paul Malpass 3-1 to secure a 21-15 advantage.

Scott Dixon and Malpass rallied in the doubles to make the final score 22-18 in favour of Westfield B.

Premier Division leaders Westfield A secured victory over Rothborough Arrows by winning the first leg of the doubles to take an unassailable 21-16 lead.

Westfield seemed to be in trouble when they were 14-10 down after six games with Helen Watts scoring six points against Steve Silk and Rouman Stefanov.

Late replacement Martin Watts also halved both his games with Silk and Kevin Bird.

But Westfield stepped up their game, taking 11 of the next 13 points in a remarkable turnaround.

Premier Division strugglers Thrapston Eagles found this competition more to their liking and won their first game of the season in all competitions.

Steve West and Chris Warliker were the star players, both scoring eight points.

Higham skipper Richard Elliott worked hard for his eight-point return but his efforts were not enough to prevent Eagles winning 21-15 after the nine singles had been completed.

Burton Baptist D defeated their own E team 24-16 in another close finish.

Many of the close points went against the Division Two strugglers and Derek Muggleton was the D team’s trump card with 10 points out of 12.

Ben Freeman, Brian Lade and John Sanders all held their own against their higher-ranked opponents.

Vaughan Allington was drafted into Harborough Athletic’s ranks to replace his unavailable son James and he proved to be a capable substitute, scoring seven of Athletic’s 27 points.

Father and son Barry and Nathan Thompson both scored eight points and a doubles whitewash delivered a comfortable win over Burton Baptist B.

Harborough Rangers defeated Burton Baptist C 25-15 after the latter forfeited 12 points by playing with only two players.

Ross Campbell was Rangers’ star player, only dropping a single point to both David Simmons and Paul Goodman.

Simmons and Goodman could take some consolation from having scored two points more than their three opponents in the games actually played.

Harborough Rovers had an easy 32-8 victory over Thrapston Falcons, who only fielded two players proving once again how difficult it is to win cup games without a full side.

Results: Burton Baptist B 13 (Crasto (+4) 6-6, Koltuniuk (SCR) 4-8, Manji (+4) 0-4) Harborough Athletic 27 (B Thompson (+2) 8-4, N Thompson (+3) 8-4, V Allington (+6) 7-5, Thompson/Thompson (+2) 4-0).

Rothborough Arrows 16 (H Watts (+5) 7-5, Marlow (+4) 4-8, M Watts (+6) 5-7) Westfield A 21 (Silk (SCR) 5-7, K Bird (SCR) 8-4, Stefanov (SCR) 7-5, Bird/Stefanov (SCR) 1-0).

Higham 15 (Elliott (SCR) 8-4, Nannery (+2) 5-7, Harrison (+2) 2-10) Thrapston Eagles 21 (West (+6) 8-4, Stockley (+4) 5-7, Warliker (+6) 8-4).

Kettering A 21 (Metcalfe (+3) 8-4, Fuller (SCR) 7-5, Hawes (+4) 5-7, Hawes/Metcalfe (+3) 1-0. Westfield C 16 (Wildman (+4) 5-7, Horrocks (+4) 4-8, Smalley (+4) 7-5).

Westfield B 22 (N Bird (+1) 7-5, Jaraices (+2) 6-6, Rushton (+2) 8-4, Rushton/Jaraices (+2) 1-3) Westfield D 18 (Dixon (+5) 6-6, Malpass (+4) 6-6, Mistry (+4) 3-9 Dixon/Malpass (+4) 3-1).

Harborough Rangers 25 (R Campbell (SCR) 10-2, Burnham (SCR) 8-4, Dixon (+6) 7-5) Burton Baptist C 15 (Simmons (+3) 7-5, Goodman (+4) 4-8, Forfeit 0-12, Simmons/Goodman (+3) 4-0).

Burton Baptist D 24 (Muggleton (SCR) 10-2, McNeely (+7) 3-9, Marshall (+3) 8-4, Marshall/Muggleton (+1) 3-1) Burton Baptist E 16 (Freeman (+6) 4-8, B Lade (+7) 6-6, Sanders (+4) 5-7 Freeman/Sanders (+5) 1-3).

Kettering B 21 (Chatburn (+2) 9-3, Scrivener (+3) 5-7, Ann Woolston (+4) 5-7, Chatburn/Scrivener (+2) 2-2) Rothborough Exocets 19 (Yeomans (+3) 8-4, Salander (+2) 5-7, Taylor (+5) 4-8, Yeomans/Salander (+4) 2-2).

Thrapston Falcons 8 (Baldock (SCR) 4-8, Payne (SCR) 2-10, Forfeit 0-12 Payne/Baldock (SCR) 2-2) Harborough Rovers 32 (S Burgess (+6) 9-3, J Burgess (+6) 10-2, Pearson (+4) 11-1 Burgess/Burgess (+6) 2-2).