Gap is reduced as St John win the big game

Tony Wallis
Tony Wallis
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St John B won the big game at the top of Division Two in the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League.

The second-placed team’s 6-4 success at leaders Westfield B saw them reduce the gap between them to three points with a game in hand.

Mike Terry once again starred for St John with a great maximum and was well supported by Alan Hill and Paul Lipczak.

A fighting double from Leigh Clements and single wins for Charlie Clements and Mark Thomas made up Westfield’s four points before Lipczak and Terry took the doubles to seal the victory.

WDHA Superkings maintained third place with a 7-3 win at Higham Harriers B.

Once again Tarun Mistry led the way with his fourth successive treble while Dev Patel also produced a hat-trick before the pair combined to take the doubles.

Phil Inman, Neil Stevens and Anthony Stevens all scored single wins for Harriers.

Struggling Wanderers D suffered another home defeat as Chesterwell C won 7-3.

Two wins for Roger Ellingham and a single from Graham Babbage accounted for the home side’s points but Maxine Shears delivered yet another maximum for the visitors with support from Stuart Coles (2) and Clare Coles.

Wanderers C came out on top 7-3 against fellow mid-table side Westfield C mainly thanks to a fine treble from Tony Wallis.

He was helped by a double from James Findlay and a single win from Maurice Jones.

Westfield’s points came by way of a double from Steve Fuller and a single from Mark Ramsden while Findlay and Wallis finally took the doubles for the home team in straight sets.

Results: Higham Harriers B 3 (Phill Inman, Neil Sevens, Anthony Stevens) WDHA Superkings 7 (Tarun Mistry 3, Dev Patel 3, doubles Mistry/Patel), Wanderers D 3 (Roger Ellingham 2, Graham Babbage) Chesterwell C 7 (Maxine Shears 3, Stuart Coles 2, Clare Coles, doubles Shears/Coles), Wanderers C 7 (James Findlay 2, Tony Wallis 3, Maurice Jones, doubles Findlay/Wallis) Westfield C 3 (Mark Ramsden, Steve Fuller 2), Westfield B 4 (Mark Thomas, Charlie Clements, Leigh Clements 2) St John B 6 (Mike Terry 3, Alan Hill, Paul Lipczak, doubles Terry/Lipczak).

Westfield A moved back to the top of Division One and are the favourites for the title after they won 8-2 at Chesterwell B.

With Carlton Ellwood injured and Graham Ellson far from fit, the two-man visitors could have expected a rare clean sweep inflicted on them.

However, Luke Hughes, whoever the opposition, has the knack of normally gaining one win and duly did so with an 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2 win over Patryk Polanski.

Ellson followed suit, winning out 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 and was edged out in two deuces in a 10-12, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12 defeat to the much improved Travis Holly.

Kevin Bird comfortably cruised home in both singles and in the doubles with team-mate Holly for the 8-2.

Steve Kendall once again kept Old Grammarians A afloat with a fine treble in their 7-3 loss at St John A.

His highlight was an 11-13, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8 win over Grant Timms.

Phil Laurence fought hard against Pete Boustred, going down 12-10 in the fifth and Mick Ball and Kendall went to five in the doubles, losing out 9-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 4-11 to Richard Wills and Timms.

The game between Higham Harriers A and Chesterwell A followed the pattern with a surprise result and surprise wins as they drew 5-5.

Graham Bird, who in his last outing failed to register against the bottom markers, gained an excellent five-set win over Valdy Papiernik but went down to Stan Galkowski and Mike Pond after good performances.

It looked like a complete disaster for Papiernik as he crashed to defeat against Norman Wooster but in an amazing transformation of form, he won out 6-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 over Ian Bird who also struggled against Pond before winning 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 11-5.

With Pond and Galkowski both picking up a brace each, the match depended on the doubles and the Birds won in five (17-15, 11-4, 8-11, 4-11, 11-6) over the same pair for a well-earned draw.

Results: Chesterwell B 2 (Luke Hughes, Graham Ellson) Westfield A 8 (Kevin Bird 2, Travis Holly 2, doubles Bird /Holly + 3 points by default), St John A 7 (Richard Wills 2, Grant Timms 2, Pete Boustred 2, doubles Wills/Timms) Old Grammarians A 3 (Steve Kendall 3), Higham Harriers A 5 (Graham Bird, Norman Wooster, Ian Bird 2, doubles Bird/Bird) Chesterwell A 5 (Mike Pond 2, Valdy Papiernik, Stan Galkowski 2).

Stanwick took a giant step towards promotion after they whitewashed Wanderers E 10-0 to above them into second place in Division Three.

Stanwick are 20 points behind leaders Chesterwell D but now have a five-point advantage over Wanderers.

They played their ace card in the form of Ian Baldock who, together with Geoff Neville, went through their games without dropping a set and added the doubles in three ends.

Kevin Tivey, however, battled for two of his three matches going to five against David May and Derek Shears, winning out 13-11 and 11-5 respectively.

Chesterwell D beat WDHA Challengers 10-0 to maintain their big lead at the top.

There were a number of close ends which made the match interesting, Duncan Wright defeating Ansh Shah on the fourth after a gruelling 18-16 battle.

Daniel Mann took Daniel Bain 15-13, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4 and Bain lost out to Wright in five but the doubles finished in a close three-ender.

For the second week running, Kavish Dodhia saved WDHA Knightriders from a whitewash, this time with a four-end victory over Higham Harriers C’s Katie Hicks.

Dodhia also took Matt Hicks to five before bowing out 11-4.

With little resistance from the visitors, Harriers swept through the card for a 9-1 success with hat-tricks for Matt and Oli Hicks, who also added the doubles in four ends over Swati Jethwa and Dodhia.

There was a fourth hat-trick for new signing Stuart Futrill as Higham Band B won 6-4 at Westfield E.

He was made to work for it with two fifth-end victories over Stuart Rae and Nicole King.

Raylee Burton supported well with two points, losing out to Westfield’s Nicole King and Matt Cox secured a single win in his opening game against Wendy Bradford, who was the only player not to gain a point on the night.

Westfield’s pairing of Rae and King added the doubles in five ends over Futrill and Cox for a more respectable scoreline.

Results: Higham Harriers C 9 (Oli Hicks 3, Matt Hicks 3, Katie Hicks 2, doubles Oli/Matt Hicks) WDHA Knightriders 1 (Kavish Dodhia), Chesterwell D 10 (Johnathan Driscoll 3, Duncan Wright 3, Daniel Mann 3, doubles Wright/Driscoll) WDHA Challengers 0, Stanwick VHTTC 10 (Ian Baldock 3, Geoff Neville 3, Kevin Tivey 3, doubles Baldock/Neville) Wanderers E 0, Westfield E 4 (Stuart Rae, Nicole King 2, doubles Rae/King) Higham Band B 6 (Matt Cox, Raylee Burton 2, Stuart Futrill 3).