Smalley enjoying his welcome return

Chris Haynes hit a treble for Corby A in their 9-1 success against club rivals Corby B
Chris Haynes hit a treble for Corby A in their 9-1 success against club rivals Corby B

Dan Smalley has made a welcome return to the Kettering & District Table Tennis League this season.

And he recorded his third consecutive hat-trick and sixth overall as Westfield C defeated Harborough Athletic 8-2 in the Premier Division.

This latest performance included fifth-end wins over both Barry and Nathan Thompson after opening the night with a four-end victory over James Allington.

Nicole Bird’s hat-trick was achieved in straight games while Tom Wildman lost only to Barry Thompson.

At 8-1 down, the Thompsons teamed up to take the doubles for their extra point.

Title contenders Higham recovered from last week’s defeat by recording an 8-2 win against Westfield B.

Richard Elliott was back on the treble trail and he was joined by Mark Nannery but only after the latter had seen off Matthew Rushton in five ends.

Andy Harrison added a single win with Brian Wooding and Rushton picking up a win apiece for the defeated side.

Third-placed Burton Baptist A edged out fourth-placed Kettering Town A 6-4 thanks largely to Chris Ross who took the honours with a fantastic and hard earned hat-trick.

Ross saw off Mike Hawes and Nigel Metcalfe in five ends after trailing 2-1 to both.

He completed his hat-trick with an 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 5-11, 11-8 success against John Fuller.

Alex Aston’s excellent form continued with straight games victories over Fuller and Metcalfe but he could not overcome the tricky Hawes.

In the all-Corby clash it was the A team who took the bragging rights with a 9-1 victory over the B side with Chris Haynes and Lee O’Boyle both recording trebles.

Henry Arthur won twice but lost out to Marian Divorsky, who had also taken Haynes and O’Boyle to a fifth end.

Divorsky also suffered a deciding end defeat in the doubles when, teamed with Mickey Clarke, they lost out to the prolific pairing of Haynes and Arthur.

Results: Westfield C 8 (Smalley 3, N Bird 3, T Wildman 2) Harborough Athletic 2 (B Thompson, Thompson/Thompson), Higham 8 (Elliott 3, Nannery 3, Harrison, Elliott/Nannery) Westfield B 2 (Wooding, Rushton), Kettering Town A 4 (Hawes 2, Fuller, Metcalfe) Burton Baptist A 6 (Ross 3, Aston 2, Ross/Aston), Corby Town A 9 (O’Boyle 3, Haynes 3, Arthur 2, Haynes/Arthur) Corby Town B 1 (Divorsky).

With the halfway point in the season now reached, Thrapston Eagles lead the Division One table by 13 points.

Their latest match saw them maintain their unbeaten record with a 9-1 win over bottom side Corby D with trebles for Steve West and Chris Warliker. Keith McLaren gained Corby’s point by defeating Ian Donaldson.

While Eagles look odds on for an immediate return to the Premier Division following their relegation last season, who will join them remains far from clear with just one point covering the next three sides.

Arrows remain in second place despite going down 7-3 to Diamonds who were not helped by only fielding two players for the third time this season.

While Helen Watts won twice and Paul Watts once, neither could stop Mike Brocklebank, who recorded a treble for Diamonds before combining with Dave Coombs to add the doubles.

Third-placed Rangers looked in trouble against Burton C when they lost three of the first four matches 11-9 in the fifth end.

Things looked worse still when Rangers skipper Steve Crook lost the first two ends in match eight to the unbeaten Darryl Sutcliffe with Burton leading 5-2.

However, Crook took the next three ends to start the fightback which finally finished at 11.15pm when Crook and Burnham, who recorded an excellent treble, took the doubles to leave the match tied at 5-5.

Corby C, who are now unbeaten in their last five matches, moved level on points with Rangers following their 7-3 win over Kites.

Kites actually led 3-2 thanks to two wins from Peter Briggs and one from Geoff Judd but Stephen Woolston’s treble meant after seven rubbers Corby led 4-3.

Woolston and Ryan Cassidy, who had won twice, added the doubles to leave Corby C in the promotion mix.

An 8-2 defeat against Falcons leaves Buccaneers in the relegation zone, 12 points adrift of safety with Corby D two further adrift.

Both Michael Cross and the upgraded Tom Ravenscroft got the better of Antony Marray but Buccaneers couldn’t stop Alan Tyler and Nigel Payne picking up seven points between them for the Thrapston side.

Results: Corby D 1 (McLaren) Thrapston Eagles 9 (Warliker 3, West 3, Donaldson 2, Warliker/Donaldson), Harborough Diamonds 7 (Brocklebank 3, Coombs 2, Pearson, Brocklebank/Coombs) Rothborough Arrows 3 (H Watts 2, P Watts), Burton Baptist C 5 (Agg 2, Sutcliffe 2, Simmons) Harborough Rangers 5 (Burnham 3, Crook, Burnham/Crook), Thrapston Falcons 8 (Payne 3, A Tyler 3, Marray, Payne/A Tyler) Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Cross, T Ravenscroft), Corby C 7 (Woolston 3, Cassidy 2, Murie, Woolston/Cassidy) Thrapston Kites 3 (Briggs 2, Judd).

The contest between first and third in Division Two promised to be tight and lived up to that.

Leaders Harriers hosted Comets and got a flying start to lead 4-1 at the halfwa point. But Comets got into their stride in a second half where four games went the full distance and they managed to force a draw.

Paul Blantern was the only unbeaten player but had to come from behind to beat Phil Tomlin in the last game. Alan Tyler lost only his second game of the season in a close five-setter to Alan Brisley, who bagged a pair on the night and was Comets’ best player.

Keith Stockley had previously only had one defeat all season but went home empty-handed on the night. Tomlin and Brisley won the duel of the doubles teams that had so far only been beaten once this season to ensure parity at the end of the night.

As a result of that draw, Burton Baptist finish the first half of the season at the top after a whitewash of Rothborough Exocets, for whom Ray Harrison had his first blank night of the campaign.

He, like all the Exocets, took an end off Jon Sanders but couldn’t turn them into game wins.

Harrison and Helmut Salander very nearly took the unbeaten doubles record from Baptist when two ends up and only lost 12-10 in the decider. Steve Smith and Kelvin Marshall were unbeaten all evening, only dropping ends in that nail-biting doubles.

It was another good night at Church Langton with improving Imps inflicting a heavy defeat on Kettering Town B, who they leapfrog in the table.

They equalled their best score of the season when only Alan Woolston, in the first game of the night, had any success for Town B.

Pete Scrivener’s heroics of the previous week meant nothing although he was ahead against both Jamie Burgess and Ron Palfrey, they both went on to get maximums, Palfrey’s second of the season and Burgess’ third.

Burgess now has the best averages of anyone playing in the bottom half of the table, and Palfrey’s defeat of Alan Woolston was his first in 10 years!

Dakotas overtook Exocets in the table with a heavy defeat of two player Gladiators, where Anthony Yeomans’ victory over Martin Bradford was Gladiators’ only success.

Tom Ravenscroft and Sean Smith’s straight-end trebles were their fourth of the season and both have over 75 percent victories at the halfway stage.

Phantoms also made up ground on Exocets with a 9-1 triumph over Corby E. Both Lauren Ainsworth and Pete Rowbotham gained their second hat-tricks of the season but Cathy Fleming missed out after Dan Bottrill came from behind to win in five ends.

Results: Burton Baptist D 10 (Marshall 3, Sanders 3, Smith 3, Marshall/Smith) Rothborough Exocets 0, Harborough Imps 9 (Burgess 3, Palfrey 3, McGowan 2, Burgess/Palfrey) Kettering Town B 1 (Al Woolston), Rothborough Gladiators 1 (Yeomans) Rothborough Dakotas 9 (T Ravenscroft 3, Smith 3, Bradford 2, Bradford/T Ravenscroft), Rothborough Phantoms 9 (L Ainsworth 3, Rowbotham 3, Fleming 2, L Ainsworth/Rowbotham) Corby E 1 (D Bottrill), Thrapston Harriers 5 (Blantern 3, A Tyler 2) Rothborough Comets 5 (Brisley 2, Sturges, Tomlin, Brisley/Tomlin).

Player of the week: Paul Blantern/Stephen Woolston.

Team of the week: Harborough Imps.