Gulbicki’s treble not enough as Baptist are held

Mike Brocklebank was at the double in Harborough Bs 7-3 victory over Thrapston Falcons in Division One
Mike Brocklebank was at the double in Harborough Bs 7-3 victory over Thrapston Falcons in Division One

Dariusz Gulbicki’s fine treble wasn’t enough to get his Burton Baptist A side over the winning line as they were held by Higham in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.

The Pole beat Andy Harrison in four ends before thumping an unwell Richard Elliott for the loss of just four points.

Gulbicki then completed his maximum with another straight-game win over Richard Bashford.

Baptist led 5-2 after Martin Hall beat Harrison and Bashford, but couldn’t quite record their fourth win in as many weeks.

Harrison came from behind to beat a winless Alex Aston, before Elliott recovered to beat Hall.

Elliott and Bashford then won the doubles 11-9 at the last to tie up the scoreline at 5-5.

Reigning champions Westfield A made it seven wins from seven with a 10-0 victory over Westfield C.

The lower-ranked side had two chances to snatch a point, but both times the favourites prevailed.

Captain Steve Hobbs lost a deciding end to Brian Wooding, before Hobbs and Matt Rushton fell at the last in the doubles.

Roumen Stefanov was impressive for the A side, not dropping an end on the night.

Elsewhere, Westfield B remain top of the table after a 10-0 win at bottom-markers Thrapston Eagles.

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds for the visitors though, with five of the nine singles going to four ends.

Mark Stockley came closest to stealing a win, just missing out to Bogdan Capusa 9-11, 11-13, 19-17, 14-16.

Matt Horrocks picked up a welcome treble while Dan Smalley remained undefeated as expected, continuing his record of just one defeat all season.

Results: Higham 5 (Elliott 2, Bashford, Harrison, Elliott/Bashford) Burton Baptist A 5 (Gulbicki 3, Hall 2), Westfield C 0 Westfield A 10 (Silk 3, Stefanov 3, Wooding 3, Silk/Wooding), Thrapston Eagles 0 Westfield B 10 (Smalley 3, Horrocks 3, Capusa 3, Horrocks/Capusa).

Player of the week: Dariusz Gulbicki.

Team of the week: Westfield A.

When the top team fields arguably their strongest possible line-up against the bottom team in the division, one can usually expect a one-sided result and that’s what Harborough A did against Burton Baptist C in Division One.

Nathan Thompson was back to join father Barry and occasional player Rhys Emery completed the trio and all three of them completed trebles before the Thompsons added the doubles.

Despite the 10-0 scoreline, most of the sets were reasonably close with two five-enders and three going to four and most of the 3-0s had close games.

Harborough B retain second place but the gap is now seven points following a 7-3 victory over Thrapston Falcons.

Liam Burnham got the only treble, being the only player able to defeat Ian Baldock.

Mike Brocklebank added a brace by beating Nigel Payne 3-2 and Alan Tyler 3-0 but couldn’t quite get over the line against Baldock in a long five-ender that contained four deuce games.

Stephen Crook’s single win over Alan Tyler from 2-0 down and a doubles win for Burnham and Brocklebank against Baldock and Payne made up the tally.

Rothborough Arrows stay in third place and reduced the gap between them and Harborough B to three points following a 9-1 victory over Thrapston Kites.

Both Helen Watts and Julian Marlow got trebles fairly easily, just losing one game each out of 10.

Only Peter Briggs could score a point for Kites with a 3-1 win over Sean Smith but Smith beat both Stewart Williams and Geoff Judd for his brace.

Westfield D ensured the gap between the top and bottom halves of the division widened as the fourth-placed side beat fifth-placed Burton Baptist B 7-3 to increase the difference between the two teams to 20 points.

Westfield’s Chris Alder was the player to improve most on the previous fixture between the teams, going from one win to all three.

He beat Gerry Crasto and Steve Smith in straight games but was taken all the way to 13-11 in the fifth by Burton’s player of the match Nash Hooda.

Hooda won his other two, beating Nitin Patel by a similar score and Paul Malpass.

Patel also got a brace with Malpass and Crasto one win each for Westfield

Results: Harborough A 10 (B Thompson 3, N Thompson 3, Emery 3, Thompson/Thompson) Burton Baptist C 0, Harborough B 7 (Burnham 3, Brocklebank 2, Crook, Brocklebank/Burnham) Thrapston Falcons 3 (Baldock 2, Payne), Rothborough Arrows 9 (H Watts 3, Marlow 3, Smith 2, Smith/Watts) Thrapston Kites 1 (Briggs), Burton Baptist B 3 (Hooda 2, Crasto) Westfield D 7 (Alder 3, Patel 2, Malpass, Alder/Malpass).

Team of the week: Harborough A.

Player of the week: Chris Alder.

Corby Smash B comfortably beat Buccaneers in Division Two.

The 10-0 result, however, was somewhat surprising as there were hat-tricks for Adam Wilson, Sam Wilson – again playing from a wheelchair – and most impressively Lewis Hillery.

Hillery, playing up from the C team, is ranked 112th and beat Kelvin Linnett, Ivor Jones and Luke Saywood, who are all much higher.

For good measure, he also won the doubles with Adam Wilson and did it all by dropping only one end.

Smash are now eight points clear at the top, using nine players so far with great effect.

Corby Halesowen almost doubled their season’s tally with their first draw against Comets.

Ken Knott was the only maximum man on the night – his first of the season - and his fifth-end defeat of Gareth Lewis prevented the latter from repeating his previous treble.

Keith McLaren matched his best result of the season with a brace and seems to be coming into form.

They couldn’t force the win though with Knott and Ann Woolston losing in three close ends to Lewis and Lee Mordecai.

A tight win for fourth-placed Burton Baptist Team Jim over Harborough C in third saw them close the gap and reverse the 6-4 score from earlier in the season.

Jacob Tattersall had a fine hat-trick, beating all players ranked higher than him.

He only won one in the earlier fixture against the same players and this demonstrates his improvement.

The only game he lost was the doubles which also went the distance but Tattersall and Harry Lade were edged out by Jamie Burgess and Dave Coombs.

Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 6 (H Lade 3, Tattersall 3) Harborough C 4 (Burgess, Coombs, Dixon, Burgess/Coombs), Rothborough Buccaneers 0 Corby Smash B 10 (L Hillery 3, A Wilson 3, S Wilson 3, L Hillery/A Wilson), Rothborough Comets 5 (Lewis 2, Mordecai, Rowbotham, Lewis/Mordecai) Corby Halesowen 5 (Knott 3, McLaren 2).

Player of the week: Lewis Hillery.

Team of the week: Corby Halesowen.