Higham hit the top as Thrapston are whitewashed

Steve Silk
Steve Silk

Higham moved to the top of the Premier Division in the Kettering & District Table Tennis League with a 10-0 win over bottom-markers Thrapston Eagles.

But it wasn’t as easy as the scoreline suggests, with Eagles pushing Andy Harrison close in all three of his singles games.

Mark Stockley and Ian Donaldson were edged out in four ends but Chris Warliker led the Higham player 2-1 only to fall 14-12 in the decider.

Richard Elliott and Richard Bashford were largely untroubled for their trebles before sealing the whitewash with the doubles.

Reigning champions Westfield A scraped past Kettering Town 6-4 in a thrilling encounter where no player remained unbeaten.

The only one without a win on the night was Nigel Metcalfe, whose missed opportunities proved vital.

Metcalfe wasted three match points against Roumen Stefanov and two against Steve Silk as he lost in five to both.

Brian Wooding comfortably saw off Metcalfe, with Stefanov beating Shandor Czuczor who in turn beat Silk.

Silk beat John Fuller to deny the Kettering defender a treble as Westfield won the doubles to seal the win.

Burton Baptist A picked up their first win of the season with a 6-4 success over Corby Lyveden Fields in a late finish.

Alex Aston, Martin Hall and Dariusz Gulbicki all claimed a brace, with Aston losing 11-9 in the fifth to Henry Arthur but beating Chris Haynes 12-10 at the same stage.

Haynes and team-mate Kyle Murie had a rare blank night with Arthur putting up the only resistance with a fine treble. Corby then won the doubles to reduce the deficit.

Westfield B sit second in the league after a 10-0 thrashing of Corby Rothbury.

The hosts dropped just three ends all night as Dan Smalley continued his fine form, aided by unbeaten performances from Matt Horrocks and Bogdan Capusa.

Nigel Hunt briefly threatened when he levelled against Horrocks but that was as good as it got for the visitors.

Results: Higham 10 (Elliott 3, Bashford 3, Harrison 3, Elliott/Bashford) Thrapston Eagles 0, Westfield A 6 (Stefanov 2, Silk 2, Wooding, Stefanov/Wooding) Kettering Town 4 (Fuller 2, Czuczor 2), Burton Baptist A 6 (Aston 2, Hall 2, Gulbicki 2) Corby Lyveden Fields 4 (Arthur 3, Arthur/Haynes) Westfield B 10 (Smalley 3, Horrocks 3, Capusa 3, Smalley/Horrocks) Corby Rothbury 0.

Team of the week: Westfield B.

Player of the week: Henry Arthur.

Victory for both Harborough teams meant that the A team stay at the top and the B team returned to second place in Division One.

In an 8-2 win for Harborough A over Burton Baptist B, both Barry and Nathan Thompson got trebles but were made to work hard for them with Barry just getting over the line 12-10 in the fifth against Steve Smith and losing a game each to Nash Hooda and Gerry Crasto.

Nathan won all three 3-1 but nine of his 12 games were decided by a two-point margin.

It was only in the doubles that they had a comfortable 3-0 win while Kevin Shield got the better of Hooda but Crasto and Smith defeated him for two valuable points for Burton.

Harborough B and Westfield D swapped places after a 7-3 win for the former.

With Steve Crook abroad, Harborough had a strong replacement in Rhys Emery.

His battle with Nitin Patel would ultimately decide the player of the match and the only treble maker and was won by the narrowest margin of 12-10 in the fifth by Emery.

Patel later got a brace by beating Liam Burnham 3-1 and Mike Brocklebank 3-2 plus he won the doubles with Paul Malpass which Emery didn’t play in.

Brocklebank and Burnham both got a brace for Harborough.

It was the best week by far for Burton Baptist C as they got their first win when beating Thrapston Kites 7-3.

They brought in super sub Harry Lade and the teenager got a treble despite being registered in Division Two and the returning Paul Goodman will hope to strengthen the team and made a good start with a brace.

The unlucky Derek Muggleton had a 3-0 win and two 3-2 losses while for Kites, each of Peter Briggs, Stewart Williams and Geoffrey Judd got a single win each before Goodman and Lade added the doubles.

Despite this result Burton C are still five points below Kites at the bottom of the table so will need more results like this if they are to avoid the drop.

Rothborough Arrows stay in contention for promotion in fourth place but not too far behind the leaders following a solid 8-2 victory over Thrapston Falcons.

Player of the match was Martin Watts who got the only treble although he had to fight back from 2-0 down to beat Alan Tyler 11-9 in the fifth game.

Watts’ team-mates Julian Marlow and Sean Smith also contributed with a brace each, both losing to Ian Baldock who got both of Falcons’ two points.

Results: Harborough A 8 (B Thompson 3, N Thompson 3, Shield, Thompson/ Thompson) Burton Baptist B 2 (Smith, Crasto), Harborough B 7 (Emery 3, Burnham 2, Brocklebank 2, Burnham/Brocklebank) Westfield D 3 (Patel 2, Patel/Malpass), Burton Baptist C 7 (Lade 3, Goodman 2, Muggleton, Lade/Goodman) Thrapston Kites 3 (Briggs, Judd, Williams), Rothborough Arrows 8 (M Watts 3, Marlow 2, Smith 2, Watts/Smith) Thrapston Falcons 2 (Baldock 2).

Player of the week: Harry Lade.

Team of the week: Burton Baptist C.

Corby Lakeview and Corby Smash B are neck-and-neck at the top of the table in Division Two and appear to be pulling away.

After next week, which sees the end of the first third of the season when every team will have played six games, it will be clearer as they are due to play each other.

Lakeview are top by one point on the back of a convincing 9-1 win over club-mates Halesowen, who are slowly being cast adrift at the bottom.

Keith McLaren was the sole victor for Halesowen, beating a slow-to-start Stephen Woolston 11-9 in the fifth having earlier lost by the same score to Rob Warrander.

Otherwise Warrander and Adam Bendyk were made to work hard for their maximums, Warrander’s first in two outings and Bendyk’s third in five.

Woolston’s double was straightforward and included a no mercy defeat of mum Ann.

Smash’s close 6-4 defeat of Comets continued with Abin Islam and Sam Wilson still only having lost one game between them all season.

Islam struggled to beat Gareth Lewis in five closely fought ends in a match where there were only three games over quickly.

Wilson had two of these and if he had played in the doubles they may have increased their win but Islam and Tyler Hillery lost in five ends to Lewis and Lee Mordecai.

Rothborough Buccaneers’ Lauren Ainsworth finally lost in her ninth game of the season but it took a 15-13 end to end her run against Phil Dixon of Harborough C. Earlier she had overcome Dave Coombs in the fifth and Vaughan Allington, and Luke Saywood matched her double, inflicting Dixon’s only defeat but losing to Coombs, both of whom also got doubles.

The only unsuccessful player on the night was Ivor Jones.

Buccaneers’ double winners Saywood and Ainsworth did ensure parity.

Results: Corby Lakeview 9 (Bendyk 3, Warrander 3, Woolston 2, Bendyk/Woolston) Corby Halesowen 1 (McLaren), Rothborough Buccaneers 5 (Ainsworth 2, Saywood 2, Ainsworth/Saywood) Harborough C 5 (Coombs 2, Dixon 2, Allington), Rothborough Comets 4 (Harrison, Lewis, Mordecai, Lewis/Mordecai) Corby Smash B 6 (Islam 3, S Wilson 3).

Team of the week: Rothborough Buccaneers.

Player of the week: Dave Coombs.

The two unbeaten teams in Division Three faced off in a close encounter and the two players with the highest averages went toe-to-toe.

Mike Burrows was the man to watch on the night, taking out all three of Harborough E’s players and securing the win in the final singles against unbeaten John McGowan.

Beth Tyler managed a brace and Richard Bryant secured an important win over Ron Palfrey who scored a blank for the first time this season.

Burton Baptist D faced the experienced side of Rothborough Dakotas and found them too much of a task but Jon Sanders grabbed a hat-trick for the young Burton Side.

But it wasn’t enough as Adam Mills and luckless Mark Waterfield could not manage a win, although Waterfield took Cathy Fleming and Sally Taylor to five ends.

Fleming and Taylor then teamed up to win the doubles and secure a comfortable win.

Westfield E were without their top player Sidney Wright when they came up against Corby Smash D.

Evie Elliot was fairly untroubled throughout the night, gaining a treble and only losing two ends but Bronwen Grigg and Eleanor Smyth were outplayed by as the Smash players all earned braces.

David Morgan and Gareth Clarke teamed up in the doubles and won comfortably against Grigg and Elliot to secure a crucial 7-3 win.

Impressive Corby Smash C continued their superb form with a whitewash over Corby Woodlands.

They ran out 10-0 winners and Peter, Lewis and Tyler Hillery were all fairly untroubled. Tyler and Peter teamed up for the doubles with the win seeing them rise to second in the table.

Results: Old Village 6 (Burrows 3, Tyler 2, Bryant) Harborough E 4 (McGowan 2, Pearson, Pearson/McGowan), Burton Baptist D 3 (Sanders 3) Rothborough Dakotas (Rowbotham 2, Fleming 2, Taylor 2) 7, Westfield E 3 (Elliot 3) Corby Smash D 7 (Babic 2, Clarke 2, Morgan 2, Morgan/Clarke), Corby Smash C 10 (P Hillery 3, T Hillery 3, L Hillery 3) Corby Woodlands 0.

Player of the week: Mike Burrows.

Team of the week: Old Village.