It is early days but champions for the last two years Chesterwell A look to have a fight on their hands to complete the treble in Division One of the Wellingborough Table Tennis League.
In their latest match, they looked much out of sorts and went down 6-4 to Wanderers B.
Valdi Papiernik went down 11-3 and 11-5 in the fifth end to Paul Goodman and Richard Adams respectively and gained a single point with an 11-9, 11-8, 12-10 win over Bob Hickson.
Graham Ellson squandered a two-set lead, going down 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5 to Adams and was fortunate to edge out Hickson in five.
Stan Galkowski spared the champions blushes with a fine treble in the minimum amount of time but lost out partnering Ellson in the doubles 11-9, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 to Adams and Hickson.
Against a strong Wanderers A line-up, St John A shrugged off last week’s disappointing display to earn an excellent 5-5 draw.
Jon Perkins drew a blank but was cancelled out by buoyant Grant Timms treble, Pete Boustred accounted for Stewart Williams 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 and with Timms won out in three ends in the doubles over Andy Law and Tony Wharton to clinch the draw.
For many years, promoted sides have struggles and this season looks no different.
Alex Aston and Steve Hobbs scored untroubled hat-tricks for Westfield A but an out of form Nitin Patel is finding the going tough.
He edged out Perce Sharp in four, Mick Ball in five but gave the visitors Old Grammarians A their first point of the season going down 3-11, 5-11, 12-10, 13-11, 11-9 to the unorthodox Phil Laurence.
Westfield B 9 v Higham Band B 1
Stephen Woolston fought hard in the opener for Higham Band B but went down in five to Mike Ainsworth and then Nigel Payne.
Roger Fleming had a chance of a rare win but succumbed to Ainsworth.
With Tony Penn well out of touch a whitewash looked certain, but Woolston and Fleming defied the odds to win out in the doubles over Ainsworth and Tom Wildman
Results: Chesterwell A 6 (Valdi Papiernik, Graham Ellson 2, Stan Galkowski 3) Wanderers B 4 (Paul Goodman, Richard Adams 2, doubles Adams/Hickson); Westfield A 9 (Alex Aston 3, Steve Hobbs 3, Nitin Patel 2, doubles Aston/Hobbs) Old Grammarians A 1 (Phil Laurence); Westfield B 9 (Mike Ainsworth 3, Thomas Wildman 3, Nigel Payne 3) Higham Band B 1 (doubles Stephen Woolston/Roger Fleming); Wanderers A 5 (Tony Wharton 2, Stewart Williams, Andy Law 2) St John A 5 (Pete Boustred, Grant Timms 3, doubles Bousted/Timms).
In Division Two, for the second week running St John B won the doubles they needed to share the points.
This time John Betts and Alan Hill, who have never paired before won in four long ends against Old Grammarians B’s Chris Smith and Fraser MacDonald.
In the singles, Smith and David Bayes won twice, and for the visitors Alan Hill scored a hat trick, MacDonald and Betts each secured a single apiece.
Owen Morris stamped his authority on the all Westfield clash by recording a hat trick, all in the fourth end, for the Ds over the Es.
Alfie Wright supported with a brace of victories, with Milan Modha adding the final 6th point.
Each of the ‘E’ outfit won once in the singles with Patrick Polanski and Travis Holly adding the doubles in three ends over Morris and Wright.
Although Wanderers D suffered their second 10-0 defeat - this time to Higham Band C - Roger Ellingham can count himself a trifle unlucky after losing out to both Alan Wooten and Nigel Magee at the fifth end and suffered the same fate in the doubles with Graham Babbage against Magee and Pete Martin.
The victory takes the Band top.
Craig Dilley put in a fine performance for Chesterwell B by claiming a hat-trick which turned out to be the only points the visitors claimed.
For Wanderers C, two wins each for James Findlay, Jon Taylor-Burt and Tony Wallis, with Wallis and Taylor-Burt adding the doubles at the fifth end over Dilley and Luke Hughes.
Westfield C inflicted a second defeat on Chesterwell C with their 8-2 victory.
Peter Sheldrick was the moist successful finishing with a treble and had a hand in the doubles with Mark Ramsden against Stuart Coles and Maxine Shears.
The latter claiming both points for the home side.
Ramsden and Dave Long each winning twice for the visitors.
Results: Old Grammarians B 5 (Chris Smith 2, Fraser Macdonald, David Bayes 2) St John B 5 (John Betts, Alan Hill 3, doubles Betts/Hill); Westfield D 6 (Owen Morris 3, Alfie Wright 2, Milan Modha) Westfield E 4 (Patrick Polanski, Charlie Morrow, Travis Holly, double Polanski/Morrow); Higham Band C 10 (Alan Wooten 3, Pete Martin 3, Nigel Magee 3, doubles Martin/Magee) Wanderers D 0; Wanderers C 7 (James Findlay 2, Jon Taylor-Burt 2, Tony Wallis 2, doubles Taylor-Burt/Wallis) Chesterwell B 3 (Craig Dilley 3); Chesterwell C 2 (Maxine Shears 2) Westfield C 8 (Peter Sheldrick 3, Mark Ramsden 2, Dave Long 2, doubles Sheldrick/Ramsden).
In Division Three Wanderers E and Westfield G shared it 5-5.
David May was unbeaten and only Ethan Ali gave him any competition, going down 14-12 in the fifth end.
Ali won his other two games against Derek Shears and Steve Hoole.
It was down to the doubles for Westfield to equalise the score which they did, winning out 11-4 in the fifth.
Third-placed Harriers B just edged past lower positioned Stanwick 6-4.
Bob Collyer and Michael Horam winning twice, and Collyer just missing out on a hat-trick going down 12-10 in the fifth end to Stanwick’s Al Hayes.
Roger Barlow took a solitary point from the luckless Mark Wilcox 12-10 in the fourth.
For Stanwick Ian Phillips and Hayes won twice but lost the doubles.
After losing heavily to Westfield F the previous week, the Old Boys pulled themselves together to beat Higham Band D 7-3.
Aarron Shelton won his first hat-trick of the season and Simon Hunt supported well with a brace, just losing to Deirdre Kiziak 11-9 in the fifth.
Kiziak also took a point from Mark Smith but was overshadowed by Shelton.
A heavy 8-2 defeat as Westfield F lose their first match of the season to leaders Harriers A but are still in second place.
Even at this early stage, 10 points separate the two teams. Norman Wooster picking up his third hat-trick and Neil Stevens and Martyn Reeves with two wins apiece, both going down to Westfield’s, Linda Freeman.
Results: Wanderers E 5 (Dave May 3, Derek Shears 2, Steve Hoole) Westfield G 5 (Joel Starr, Mark Holly, Ethan Ali 2, doubles Starr/Ali), Stanwick TTC 4 (Ian Phillips 2, Al Hayes 2) Higham Harriers B 6 (Bob Collyer 2, Michael Horam 2, Roger Barlow, doubles Collyer/Barlow); Old Boys 7 (Mark Smith, Aarron Shelton 3, Simon Hunt 2, doubles Hunt/Shelton) Higham Band D 3 (Bill Allen, Deirdre Kiziak 2); Higham Harriers A 8 (Norman Wooster 3, Neil Stevens 2, Martyn Reeves 2, doubles Wooster/Reeves).