Chesterwell B (0) produced an excellent display to beat Wellingborough & District Tables Tennis League Division Three leaders WDHA Superkings (140) by a 422-415 scoreline in the first round of the Stanley L Hunt (Printers Ltd) Challenge Trophy.
The first five games went virtually on handicap but games six and seven saw Superkings’ Abin Islam and Jack Bain gain 36 and 34 points against Craig Dilley and Luke Hughes respectively.
However, an excellent win by Graham Ellson over Islam reduced the deficit to 11.
Amit Shah fought fiercely against Dilley before going down 11-6, 2-11, 9-11, 10-11 and Chesterwell B needed to retrieve four points at the doubles which Hughes and Ellson duly did, winning out 11-8, 10-11, 11-7, 11-6 to earn a seven-point victory in a superb game.
Chesterwell D’s Bryan Farrar did well to amass 80 points in his team’s clash with Higham Band B to keep them in contention.
However, games six and seven proved fatal with Chloe Coles and Daniel Mann going down heavily to Pete Martin and Nigel Magee respectively.
Game eight could have swung the match but, after gaining 24 points in his first three legs, Farrar ran out of steam to go down 0-11 in the fourth.
Still 15 points in front at the doubles, Farrar and Coles battled hard but went down 3-11, 7-11, 7-11, 3-11 to Keith Stockley and Martin as they lost out by nine points after a valiant effort.
Stanwick VHTTC (240) 427 (Geoff Neville 72/129, Carl Eaves 47/132, Al Hayes 48/132) Old Grammarians A (0) 437(Phil Laurence 130/46, Mick Ball 131/70, Steve Kendal 131/51): This was a magnificent effort by the winless Division One side against their unbeaten Division Three rivals.
Phil Laurence gave by far his best display of the season as he dropped only 46 points on the night and less surprisingly, the in-form Steve Kendall dropped 51.
However, Mick Ball found the going harder and Stanwick’s Geoff Neville took a leg in a 11-10, 2-11, 7-11, 7-11 defeat to him in game nine, to leave the hosts 14 points ahead at the doubles.
Laurence and Ball won out over Carl Eaves and Neville to clinch a narrow 10-point victory.
Westfield E (0) 404 (Mark Holly 115/93, Piotr Polanski 127/86, Tim Mason 122/96) WDHA Challengers D (80) 390 (Tarun Mistry 88/126, Virat Patel 109/109, Manav Pandya 78/129): Westfield E were always slightly ahead of handicap and a home victory seemed certain.
However, excellent performances by the visitors in games eight and nine gave them a fighting chance.
Tarun Mistry didwell in a 2-2 draw with Tim Mason and then the shock result of the evening when Virat Patel beat Mark Holly left the new side this season within nine points.
The same pair combined for the doubles and, in another good performance, drew 2-2 to bow out by 14 points in another excellent cup tie.
Higham Harriers B (0) 357 (Mick Malins 113-109, Anthony Stevens 51/124, Martyn Reeves 117/105) Wanderers C (0) 380 (James Findlay 116/92, Maurice Jones 122/103, Carl Singh 107/122): This was a fiercely contested scratch game but for the hosts, Anthony Stevens had a tough evening, dropping 37 points which included a loss to James Findlay, which caused the Harriers B side to go down to a 23-point defeat.
Old Grammarians B (0) 411 (David Bayes 124/84, Colin Lord 120/86, Perce Sharp 127/82) Westfield F (160) 439 (Stuart Holroyd 66/127, Amrat Mistry 86/121, Linda Freeman 100/123): With most games in this match close to handicap and the home side all finishing with similar records, game eight looked to have swung it when Perce Sharp dropped a mere 17 points in a 11-5, 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 win over Stuart Holroyd.
However, Old Grammarians B’s David Bayes blotted his copybook in only sharing with Amrat Mistry.
Needing only five at the doubles, Mistry and Linda Freeman duly complied in a 6-11, 5-11, 5-11, 11-7 win over Colin Lord and Bayes.
Wanderers D (120) 418 (Roger Ellingham 104/106, Graham Babbage 82/131, 81/124) Higham Harriers A (0) 389 (Bob Collyer 123/76, Norman Wooster 125/84, Neil Stevens 113/107): For the visitors, Neil Stevens found it hard going and his game five defeat to Roger Ellingham saw him gain only six points on the night.
Ellingham further excelled himself in game nine when sharing with Norman Wooster.
Going into the doubles, the Harriers looked to have every chance but Ellingham and Graham Babbage confounded the handicap, winning out 11-5, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5 to win by a surprising 29 points over Collyer and Wooster.
Higham Harriers C (220) 404 (Phillip Inman 51/132, Linda Washington 47/132, David Cowl 61/125) Wanderers B (0) 433 (Paul Goodman 125/60, Richard Adams 132/46, Bob Hickson 132/53): Wanderers B continued their excellent start to the season with a hard-fought battle against a large handicap held by newcomers Harriers C.
Their only blemish on the night was in game eight where Paul Goodman dropped 32 points in sharing with David Cowl.
However, this had been nullified earlier when Richard Adams scored a massive 11-3, 11-2, 11-2, 11-1 win over Linda Washington.
Ten in front at the doubles, Goodman and Adams clinched victory with a win over Cowl and Phillip Inman.
Chesterwell C (0) 342 (Maxine Shears 123/104, Stuart Cole 87/117, Clare Coles 98/110) Works Warriors (0) 368 (Alan Woolston 97/124, Stephen Woolston 129/73, Roger Fleming 105/111): This scratch game was always likely to be decided by how many Stephen Woolston would claw back to compensate for his struggling team-mates.
Although dropping a leg to Maxine Shears before winning out 11-10, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, his overall performance gained a massive 56 points and with Roger Fleming only dropping six, Works Warriors gained a 26-point victory.
Westfield B (0) 393 (Travis Holly 105/108, Ethan Ali 132/67, Richie Bailey 120/81) Westfield D (125) 425 (Dave Long 67/132, Carlton Ellwood 95/108, Peter Sheldrick 94/117): Westfield B started brightly when Travis Holly saw off Dave Long 11-6, 11-5, 11-10, 11-3).
However, disaster was to follow as he went down 3-1 to both Peter Sheldrick and Carlton Ellwood.
With Ellwood also drawing 2-2 with Richie Bailey, the B side’s disappointing season continued as they went down by 32 points.
Westfield A (0) 440 (Kevin Bird 132/21, Patryk Polanski 132/44, Nitin Patel 132/54) Higham Harriers D (360) 487 (Oliver Hicks 41/132, Matthew Hicks 54/132, Katie Hicks 24/132): Westfield A had a mountain to climb, facing the maximum handicap against Division Three newcomers Higham Harriers D who fielded the league’s first set of triplets.
Without Daniel Smalley in their ranks, it looked a tall order.
Kevin Bird, the league’s top-ranked player, was well under handicap but Nitin Patel was well under par, conceding 23 points in game six to virtually finish the tie.
Matthew Hicks deserves special mention after gaining 45 points in game five against Patryk Polanski and Nitin Patel and the visitors ran out with a surprising 47-point winning margin.
Higham Band B (0) 440 (Deirdre Kiziak 132/42, Raylee Burton 132/47, Fred Sorrell 132/26) Chesterwell E (200) 316 (Gavin Birmingham 33/132, Lewis Parry 38/132, Katie Coles 34/132): Newcomers Chesterwell E, who are pointless at the foot of Division Three, were a nightmare for the handicapping committee and despite receiving 200 points against a mid-table side in the same division, they were totally outclassed as Higham Band romped home by 124 points.
St John A (0) 428 (Jon Perkins 124/74, Pete Boustred 132/56, Richard Wills 132/52) Wanderers E (150) 361 (David May 64/124, Derek Shears 59/132, Steve Hoole 59/132): Despite a generous handicap and St John A lacking Grant Timms, Wanderers E put in a disappointing performance, going down by 67 points.
After David May shared 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 9-11 in the opener against Jon Perkins, the remaining singles were all under handicap with no legs gained.
Chesterwell A (0) 317 (Mike Pond 120/100, Stan Galkowski 114/107, Valdi Papiernik 109/110) Wanderers A (75) 433 (Tony Wharton 111/104, Jon Taylor-Burt 110/115, Andy Law 96/124): Although this was a top versus bottom of Division One clash, it was felt that Wanderers A were in a false position and the handicap reduced accordingly.
In the last few years Chesterwell A’s cup performances have been unbelievably poor and this run continued.
Mike Pond, with a 100 per cent league record, went down 5-11, 10-11, 11-5, 7-11 to Tony Wharton in the opener, followed by Stan Galkowski being beaten 11-10, 10-11, 6-11, 6-11 by reserve Jon Taylor-Burt.
Despite Andy Law being well below par when going down to three defeats and gaining only two legs, Wharton continued to excel, winning out 11-6, 11-9, 11-3, 8-11 against Valdi Papiernik to ensure a comfortable 56-point victory.
Thrapston (0) 370 (Ian Donaldson 103/112, Chris Warliker 110/90, Ian Baldock 120/90) WDHA Royals A (100) 459 (Shivam Mistry 118/97, Rishan Patel 104/108, Mihir Mistry 111/107): This was a superb performance by WDHA Royals as Shivam Mistry shared with Ian Donaldson in the opener and Rishan Patel won out in the second over Chris Warliker.
Ian Baldock brought the home side back on track when defeating Mihir Mistry.
But the results from the Division Two leaders showed they are a force to be reckoned with as both Mihir Mistry and Rishan Patel won against Warliker and Donaldson respectively and went through with by an 82-point margin.
Results: WDHA Superkings B (140) 415 v Chesterwell B (0) 422, Higham Band A (0) 429 v Chesterwell D (245) 421, Stanwick VHTTC (240) 427 v Old Grammarians A (0) 437, Westfield E (0) 404 v WDHA Challengers D (80) 390, Higham Harriers B (0) 357 v Wanderers C (0) 380, Old Grammarians B (0) 411 v Westfield F (160) 439, Wanderers D (120) 418 v Higham Harriers A (0) 389, Higham Harriers C (220) 404 v Wanderers B (0) 433, Chesterwell C (0) 342 v Works Warriors (0) 368, Westfield B (0) 393 v Westfield D (125) 425, Westfield A (0) 440 v Higham Harriers D (360) 487, Higham Band B (0) 440 v Chesterwell E (200) 316, St John A (0) 428 v Wanderers E (150) 361, Chesterwell A (0) 317 v Wanderers A (75) 433, Thrapston (0) 370 v WDHA Royals A (100) 459.