Steve Silk pulled out a man-of-the-match performance to record a hat-trick as Westfield A emerged victorious in their top of the table clash with Higham in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
Silk had to dig deep though, dropping the first end to Richard Elliott before completing a 3-1 victory, and he also lost an incredible first end to Mick Allsopp 20-18, before again turning it around to win 3-1.
He finally completed his treble with an 11-8 deciding-end verdict against John Alsop.
Kevin Bird added two wins for his Westfield team but lost his seasonal unbeaten record when he went down in four ends to Alsop.
Roumen Stefanov played exceptionally well and can consider himself unfortunate to pick up just a single win over Alsop.
All three Higham players picked up a win apiece but the Bird/Stefanov doubles pairing proved too strong for Alsop/Elliott as Westfield ran out 7-3 victors.
Westfield B and Kettering Town A fought out a 5-5 draw with the standout result being Brian Wooding’s fifth-end win over John Fuller.
Fuller won both his other matches in straight games but Wooding was denied a treble when he went down in straight games to Nigel Metcalfe.
Matt Rushton emulated Wooding with a double for his side and with Steve Hobbs winning once, Westfield led 5-4 going into the doubles.
However, they could not close out the win as the Kettering duo of Fuller and Metcalfe ensured that the match finished level, taking the doubles in four ends.
Lee O’Boyle was the hat-trick hero as Corby Town A overcame bottom markers Burton Baptist B 8-2.
He comprehensively beat Jacek Koltuniuk and Nash Hooa but had to work much harder to finally see off Gerry Crasto in five ends.
Koltuniuk picked up both points for Burton, defeating Chris Haynes in three ends before edging out Henry Arthur 13-11 in the decider.
The prolific doubles partnership of Haynes and Arthur were pushed hard by the battling pair of Koltuniuk and Crasto but finally added the extra point with an 11-3 fifth-end win.
Results: Westfield A 7 (Silk 3, Bird 2, Stefanov, Bird/Stefanov) Higham 3 (Elliott, Alsop, Allsopp), Westfield B 5 (Wooding 2, Rushton 2, Hobbs) Kettering Town A 5 (Fuller 2, Metcalfe 2, Fuller/Metcalfe), Corby Town A 8 (O’Boyle 3, Haynes 2, Arthur 2, Haynes/Arthur) Burton Baptist B 2 (Koltuniuk 2).
Both Rangers and Kites were without their top player when the sides met at Church Langton in Division One.
In the first match of the night, Harborough’s replacement Ross Campbell found the going tough against the pimples of Paul Goodman, eventually going down 11-9 in the fifth end.
Goodman also won the only other match to go to five ends when he defeated Steve Crook 12-10 in the decider.
In between, Goodman went down in straight ends to Vaughan Allington, who in turn lost out to Kites replacement Alan Tyler in four ends. While Campbell, Crook and Allington all won twice it was Goodman and Geoff Judd who took the doubles, leaving Rangers as 6-4 winners.
Having won their first nine matches of the season, leaders Thrapston Eagles found themselves 3-1 and 5-3 down against a Corby C side looking to improve their own promotion chances.
Mark Stockley had opened Eagles’ account when he came back from 2-1 down to beat Stephen Woolston 12-10 in the fifth end and completed his treble dropping just one more end.
Woolston, however, returned to beat both Chris Warliker and Ian Donaldson in four ends and, with Nigel Hunt also winning twice and Kyle Murie once, Corby led 5-4 going into the doubles.
Stockley and Warliker eventually maintained Eagles unbeaten start to the season when they took the doubles 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 14-12 against Woolston and Hunt.
Arrows strengthened their hold on second place with a 9-1 win over Falcons with Alan Tyler recording the Thrapston side’s only point when he defeated Paul Watts in four ends.
Watts was taken the distance in his other two matches before overcoming both Nigel Payne and Paul Blantern.
Payne also led Julian Marlow by 2-1 before the Rothborough player came back to extend his unbeaten start to the season to 18 games.
Helen Watts completed her treble, dropping just one end before she combined with Marlow to add the doubles.
Results: Harborough Rangers 6 (V Allington 2, R Campbell 2, Crook 2) Thrapston Kites 4 (Goodman 2, A Tyler, Goodman/Judd), Corby C 5 (Woolston 2, Hunt 2, Murie) Thrapston Eagles 5 (Stockley 3, Warliker, Stockley/Warliker), Thrapston Falcons 1 (A Tyler) Rothborough Arrows 9 (Marlow 3, H Watts 3, P Watts 2, Marlow/H Watts).
Imps visited Burton Baptist D hoping to get on the scoresheet this time and all three pushed Burton’s players to five ends without luck.
Both David Patmore and John McGowan pushed Jon Sanders all the way but the closest was Ron Palfrey when he succumbed 11-8 in the final set to Kelvin Marshall in a very close game.
Steve Smith was the outstanding singles player on the night, not losing an end and only having one deuce. In the doubles, Palfrey and McGowan went 2-0 up but Marshall and Smith scraped the victory and the whitewash was complete.
Two-man Kettering Town B fared similarly when visiting Islip as Thrapston Harriers were hardly troubled.
Jim Chatburn and Barry Davis gave their all but Paul Blantern, Mike Burrows and Alan Tyler all got hat-tricks.
And the situation was repeated when Gladiators could only muster two fit players and as a consequence lost 10-0 to Comets, with Gareth Lewis, Alan Brisley and Pete Sturges improving their already impressive averages with further maximums.
With two guests playing, Phantoms were not able to improve the score from the reverse fixture and Tom Ravenscroft and Sean Smith’s customary trebles enabled Dakotas to repeat their 7-3 victory.
Will Ravenscroft’s single win was hard-fought, coming from two ends down to defeat Kelvin Linnett and jump over him in the ranking list.
Results: Burton Baptist D 10 (Marshall 3, Sanders 3, Smith 3, Marshall/Smith) Harborough Imps 0, Rothborough Phantoms 3 (Linnett, Rowbotham, Linnett/Rowbotham) Rothborough Dakotas 7 (Smith 3, T Ravenscroft 3, W Ravenscroft), Rothborough Gladiators 0 Rothborough Comets 10 (Brisley 3, Lewis 3, Sturges 3, Lewis/Sturges), Thrapston Harriers 10 (Blantern 3, Burrows, 3 Tyler 3, Blantern/Burrows) Kettering Town B 0.
Player of the week: Steve Silk.
Team of the week: Corby Town C.