Holders Kettering Town A eased into the quarter-finals of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League’s Millman Salver with a 21-15 win over Westfield C.
John Fuller’s 4-0 scoreline against Dan Smalley in game two proved decisive and, after eight , the deficit remained unchanged. The tie ended in game nine when the unlucky Smalley lost 3-1 to Nigel Metcalfe to open up an unbeatable six-point lead.
On an adjoining table, club-mates Town B secured a more comfortable 29-11 win against Rothborough Buccaneers.
After six singles Kettering held a six-point lead, mainly due to Ann Woolston’s 4-0 victory over Ivor Jones.
Jim Chatburn, Ann Woolston and Pete Scrivener then took control of the match and only dropped two more points. Woolston’s aggressive tactics proved decisive when returning a 10-2 score after only playing as a last-minute substitute for the injured Barry Davis.
The closest match of the second round was Westfield A’s 21-19 success against Harborough Imps.
After seven singles, Imps led 15-13 and an unlikely win looked on the cards after Westfield had held a 10-6 lead after game four.
Rouman Stefanov whitewashed John McGowan and Kevin Bird defeated Ron Palfrey 3-1 and Westfield led 20-16 after all singles had been completed. Ron and David Patmore took the first three games in the doubles, dropping only five points. But not to be denied, Bird and Stefanov took the decisive fourth end without reply to secure victory.
In the final match at Weavers, Higham beat Rothborough Exocets 26-14.
With Andy Harrison unavailable, Mick Allsopp was called up as his replacement and was the difference between the two sides when scoring 12 points without reply.
The Rothborough veteran trio of Ray Harrison, Lee Mordecai and Helmet Salander held their own against Richard Elliott and Mark Nannery but only managed to pick up 18 points in 12 ends against Allsopp.
Playing two matches simultaneously proved no handicap to Harborough Rangers as they overcame club-mates Athletic 24-12.
In game two, Vaughan Allington beat son James 4-0 but following a 3-1 defeat to Barry Thompson in game six, Rangers had eased into a 15-9 lead. Athletic only scored three more points from the remaining three singles and the match was over.
Thrapston Falcons and Corby A provided another close and entertaining match with the result being decided in the doubles.
Alan Tyler whitewashed Chris Haynes and Antony Marray did the same to Henry Arthur but surprisingly, in spite of these two setbacks, Corby A were only 15-9 in arrears after six singles.
Marray, Tyler and Nigel Payne only picked up four points in the remaining singles and with a scoreline of 19-17 the result was in the balance.
Payne and Marray’s steady and consistent doubles partnership proved decisive with a 3-1 defeat of Arthur and Lee O’Boyle, who was the star player when scoring nine points from his three singles matches.
Results: Westfield A 21 (K Bird (SCR) 6-6, Silk (SCR) 6-6, Stefanov (SCR) 8-4, Bird/Stefanov 1-3) Harborough Imps 19 (McGowan (+6) 2-10, Palfrey (+8) 5-7, Patmore (+8) 9-3, Palfrey/Patmore 3-1), Higham 26 (Elliott (SCR) 7-5, Allsopp (SCR) 12-0, Nannery (SCR) 6-6, Elliott/Nannery 1-3 Rothborough Exocets 14 (Harrison (+7) 4-8, Mordecai (+7) 4-8, Salander (+8) 3-9 Harrison/Mordecai 3-1), Kettering Town B 29 (Chatburn (+6) 8-4, Scrivener (+7) 8-4, Ann Woolston (+7) 10-2, Scrivener/Chatburn 3-1) Rothborough Buccaneers 11 (Saywood (SCR) 3-9, Owen (SCR) 4-8, Jones (SCR) 3-9, Owen/Saywood 1-3), Harborough Athletic 12 (N Thompson (SCR) 4-8, J Allington (+1) 2-10, B Thompson (SCR) 6-6) Harborough Rangers 24 (Burnham (+4) 9-3, V Allington (+6) 7-5, Crook (+5) 8-4), Thrapston Falcons 22 (Payne (+5) 4-8, Marray (+6) 8-4, Tyler (+6) 7-5, Payne/Marray 3-1) Corby A 18 (Arthur (SCR) 4-8, Haynes (SCR) 4-8, O’Boyle (SCR) 9-3, Arthur/O’Boyle 1-3), Kettering Town A 21 (Metcalfe (+1) 7-5, Fuller (SCR) 9-3, Hawes (+4) 5-7) Westfield C 15 (Dabev (+4) 5-7, Smalley (+3) 3-9, N Bird (+3) 7-5).
After losing narrowly to Falcons the previous evening in the Millman Salver, Corby A were on the wrong end of another tight match in the second round of the Borough Trophy when losing out 5-4 to Harborough Rangers.
After eight singles had been played and both sides had been in the lead, the match was tied at 4-4.
The outcome was decided in a game between both sides’ unbeaten players, Chris Haynes and Steve Crook. Crook took the game 21-18, 14-21, 21-17 to secure Rangers’ second cup victory of the week.
Second Division strugglers Gladiators produced the surprise result of the round with a 5-4 victory over Division One side Burton Baptist C especially as they had to concede three of the nine rubbers because of being a player short.
Daryl Sutcliffe defeated Sally Taylor 22-20, 21-19 for Baptist C’s only victory to level the scores. The match was settled in the final singles when star man Anthony Yeomans recorded his personal maximum with a 21-5, 17-21, 21-10 to put Gladiators in the quarter-final draw.
Thrapston Falcons secured their second cup quarter-final spot in consecutive days with a 6-3 win over Harborough Athletic.
Ian Baldock replaced the unavailable Antony Marray and scored a maximum while Nathan Thompson and James Allington beat Alan Tyler and Nigel Payne to put some respectability in the scoreline after Falcons had the match wrapped up 5-1 by game six.
Rothborough Buccaneers soon forgot the disappointment of the previous evening’s defeat in the Millman Salver with a fine 9-0 win over Higham.
Luke Saywood, Brett Owen and Ivor Jones made full use of their handicaps and only four of the nine games required a deciding end.
Division Two bottom markers Corby E again proved to be a difficult side to beat in the cup competitions and are one of only two sides who are still in the running in all three cups.
Dan Bottrill, Nathan Brown and Jess Sturdy all won twice in a comfortable 6-3 victory over Thrapston Eagles. Ian Donaldson, with two wins, and Chris Warliker gave the final result some respectability.
Westfield C defeated Burton Baptist B 6-3 with Nitin Patel, in a rare Kettering League outing, starring with three straight-game wins. Nicole Bird won twice and Dan Smalley once for the other three points. Gerry Crasto was Burton’s star player with straight-game victories over Bird and Smalley while only losing 19-21, 23-25 to Patel.
Last season’s runners up Corby C were knocked out when losing 7-2 to Rothborough Dakotas.
Martin Bradford and Tom Ravenscroft ensured victory with three wins each. Six games needed a deciding end but five of these went Dakotas’ way. Stephen Woolston was unlucky, only managing one win although all of his games needed a decider.
Results: Corby A 4 (Haynes (SCR) 2, O’Boyle (SCR), Arthur (SCR)) Harborough Rangers 5 (Burnham (+10), Crook (+11) 3, V Allington (+13)), Harborough Athletic 3 (N Thompson (+1) 2, J Allington (+4)) Thrapston Falcons 6 (Baldock (+8) 3, Tyler (+10) 2, Payne (+7)), Rothborough Buccaneers 9 (Saywood (+14) 3, Owen (+13) 3, Jones (+13)) 3 Higham 0, Thrapston Eagles 3 (Donaldson (SCR) 2, Warlicker (SCR)) Corby E 6 (Bottrill (+14) 2, Brown (+16) 2, Sturdy (+16) 2), Burton Baptist B 3 (Crasto (+8) 2, Hooda (+8)) Westfield C 6 (Patel (+10) 3, N Bird (SCR) 2, Smalley (SCR)), Rothborough Gladiators 5 (Yeomans (+12) 3, Taylor (+16) 2) Burton Baptist C 4 Sutcliffe (+1) 2, Muggleton (SCR), Simmons (+1)), Rothborough Dakotas 7 (T Ravenscroft (+6) 3, Bradford (+14) 3, Smith (+8)) Corby C 2 Woolston (SCR), Hunt (SCR)).
Westfield A’s Steve Silk continues to head the latest Kettering & District League ranking list, having suffered just one defeat all season.
Burton Baptist A’s Chris Ross is in second place with John Fuller of Kettering Town A completing the top three positions.
Top 10: 1 Steve Silk, 2 Chris Ross, 3 John Fuller, 4 Kevin Bird, 5 Richard Elliott, 6 Mick Allsopp, 7 Mark Nannery, 8 Brian Wooding, 9 Aiden Smith, 10 Lee O’Boyle.