A maximum from Peter Briggs was not enough to prevent Kites falling to a 6-4 defeat at the hands of Burton C on a night where six matches required five ends in Division One of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
Derek Muggleton’s double for Burton included a 14-12 fifth-end victory over Paul Goodman and a 13-11 fifth-end win over Geoff Judd. Chris Agg also won twice for Burton and added the doubles with Muggleton, again in five ends.
Corby C’s Chris Haynes did his title-chasing B team colleagues a favour with a treble against fellow title contenders Westfield C.
However, Stewart Williams, Nitin Patel and Tom Wildman all won twice for Westfield before Williams and Wildman managed to get the better of Haynes and Ryan Cassidy with a fifth-end doubles success to seal a 7-3 victory.
Aaron Moore managed to maintain his unbeaten record this season despite being taken to five ends by Falcons’ Anthony Marray and Nigel Payne.
While Rob Warrender also recorded a treble for Corby B, both Marray and Payne got the better of Stephen Woolston. However Moore and Warrender added the doubles to give Corby B an 8-2 win.
Dave Coombs missed the all-Harborough affair due to an on-going knee problem on a night where all five players present won at least once but no player remained undefeated.
Diamonds’ Liam Burnham recovered from an opening fifth-end loss to James Allington to record a double. Meanwhile, Steve Crook found his best form to defeat James Allington in straight games before falling to a fifth-end defeat against Vaughan Allington. Burnham and Crook maintained their unbeaten doubles record to leave Rangers 6-4 winners.
Buccaneers and Burton D were both looking for their first win of the season when the bottom two sides met at Rothwell.
The visitors took the first five matches to guarantee they avoided defeat for the first time this season before the home team rallied to win three of the final four singles. Kelvin Marshall was the star performer for Burton D with his first treble of the season.
The doubles turned out to be the closest match of the night with Tom Ravenscroft and Luke Saywood defeating Marshall and Darryl Sutcliffe in five ends despite scoring fewer points.
Results: Harborough Rangers 6 (J Allington 2, V Allington 2, Brocklebank 2) Harborough Diamonds 4 (Burnham 2, Crook 1, Burnham/Crook), Burton Baptist C 6 (Agg 2, Muggleton 2, Smith, Agg/Muggleton) Thrapston Kites 4 (Briggs 3, Goodman), Corby C 3 (Haynes 3) Westfield C 7 (Patel 2, Wildman 2, Williams 2, Wildman/Williams), Rothborough Buccaneers 4 (Saywood, Ravenscroft, P Watts, Saywood/Ravenscroft) Burton Baptist D 6 (Marshall 3, Sutcliffe 2, Fatania), Thrapston Falcons 2 (Marray, Payne) Corby B 8 (Moore 3, Warrender 3, Woolston, Moore/Warrender).
Corby Town A continue to have their best season for many years in the Premier Division and their latest victory emphasised this as they defeated a full-strength Kettering Town A side 8-2.
John Fuller lost for the first time this season as first Lee O’Boyle saw him off and then Aiden Smith followed suit with an 11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6 victory. Smith went on to record a superb treble but O’Boyle couldn’t match his younger team-mate’s performance with Mike Hawes’ unique playing style proving too perplexing for him.
Henry Arthur’s good form continued with wins over Hawes and Carl Leeson but he was well beaten by Fuller. Smith rounded off an excellent night’s work when he and O’Boyle teamed up to take the doubles 14-12, 2-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6 against Fuller and Leeson.
Harborough Athletic fielded their strongest line-up for the first time this season when they faced reigning champions Burton Baptist A but a fantastic display from Chris Ross meant they ended up on the wrong end of a 6-4 scoreline.
After Dariusz Gulbicki had given Burton the lead with a win over Barry Thompson and Mick Allsopp had beaten Alex Aston to level matters, Ross and Jon Williams had a titanic battle with the former just edging it 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, 11-9.
The match continued in a similar style, Burton leading four times but the Harborough players kept responding to draw level. With the match evenly balanced at 5-4, the Burton doubles team of Gulbicki and Ross saw off Allsopp/Williams in the deciding end to finally complete the victory.
With Kettering’s Fuller now having tasted defeat, Ross remains the last of the regular players (those that have played in at least half of their teams fixtures) to maintain a 100 per cent record.
A weakened Harborough side, featuring just two players, turned out against Arthingworth and this time they lost heavily with Barry Thompson’s win over Michael Edwards their only success on the night as Gerald Henson and Chris Gibbons shared seven wins between them in Artingworth’s 9-1 win.
Charlotte Binley stepped into the Westfield A side for their match against bottom markers SAS Thrapston and she didn’t let the leaders down as she matched the hat-tricks recorded by her team-mates Kevin Bird and Steve Silk as Westfield recorded another emphatic victory.
Results: Kettering Town A 2 (Fuller, Hawes) Corby Town A 8 (Smith 3, O’Boyle 2, Arthur 2, Smith/O’Boyle), Harborough Athletic 4 (Allsopp 2, Williams 2) Burton Baptists A 6 (Ross 3, Aston, Gulbicki, Ross/Gulbicki), Arthingworth 9 (Henson 3, Gibbons 3, Edwards 2, Henson/Gibbons) Harborough Athletic 1 (Thompson), SAS Thrapston 0 Westfield A 10 (Binley 3, Bird 3, Silk 3, Binley/Bird).
The three matches in Division Two were one-sided affairs where one player from each beaten side prevented a Rothborough team from getting a whitewash.
Comets beat club-mates Phantoms 8-2 but the only hat-trick was from the ever-reliable David Simmons. As it turned out the first match of the evening decided the maximum man when Simmons edged out Ray Harrison 15-13 in the fourth end and he was untroubled after that.
Harrison recovered well to record excellent wins against Ivor Jones and Pete Sturges. In turn, Jones and Sturges were then untroubled as they cruised to victory.
Still at Montsaye, Dakotas would have been all-conquering if it hadn’t have been for Baptist E’s Richard Leder. Playing down from his usual team, Leder won all of his matches but had to work hard to beat Pete Rowbotham in the final singles rubber.
An under-the-weather Jim McNeely and recently returned Ryan Leder couldn’t assist and father and son were unable to add another point in the doubles. Gareth Lewis and Kelvin Linnett otherwise made serene progress towards the eventual 7-3 victory.
Exocets visited Church Langton where they beat Harborough Imps 8-2 but it could have been better if Anthony Yeomans hadn’t been injured for his final game. Maybe it was the titanic recovery from two ends down to beat Ron Palfrey in his previous game that did for Yeomans.
Jamie Burgess was the lucky recipient of the free point but he also beat Lauren Ainsworth to finish with two wins. Sean Smith was the main man on the night, dropping only one end in the singles but needed all five ends with Ainsworth in the doubles to beat Burgess and Palfrey.
Results: Harborough Imps 2 (Burgess 2) Rothborough Exocets 8 (Smith 3, L Ainsworth 2, Yeomans 2, L Ainsworth/Smith), Rothborough Dakotas 7 (Lewis 2, Linnett 2, Rowbotham 2, Lewis/Linnett) Burton Baptist E 3 (Ri Leder), Rothborough Phantoms 2 (Harrison 2) Rothborough Comets 8 (Simmons 3, Jones 2, Sturges 2, Simmons/Sturges).
Team of the week: Corby Town A.
Player of the week: Aiden Smith.