Wanderers B’s startling transformation between playing in the league and cup continued as they reached the semi-finals of the Wellingborough & District League’s Challenge Trophy, sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd.
Marooned at the bottom of Division One, and facing a large handicap against WDHA Challengers, together with Stewart Williams having to double up (also playing in a league fixture) to win out by 55 points was a remarkable performance.
Apart from game two where Hubert Malenda managed 27 points in a 3-11, 6-11, 6-11, 6-11 defeat to Bob Hickson, the visitors were always behind handicap.
Even this was rectified when Hickson restricted Ansh Shah to nine points, winning out 11-4, 11-2, 11-1, 11-2.
St John B started badly in their defeat at Westfield D with Steve Mansfield actually dropping points in a 2-2 share with Stuart Holroyd
St John, although dropping legs, kept in the running until game eight where Mansfield dropped 35 points to Amrat Mistry in a 11-8, 11-7, 3-11, 9-11 win.
Game nine saw the visitors needing to claw back 52 points in the last singles and doubles.
Alan Hill won out 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3 over Holroyd to gain 16 but a 36-point advantage in the doubles proved too much as Mansfield and Lipczak could only gain a further 10 in a victory over Holroyd and Mistry.
The fielding of one or both of their higher-ranked players could well have seen the visitors into their first ever semi-final.
Division One side WDHA Royals crashed to a heavy defeat at the hands of Division Two strugglers Higham Harriers B.
Whilst the victory was enhanced by a carefree attitude in the doubles, nothing should detract from an excellent performance by the visitors.
Until game six, the Royals were slightly up on handicap but games six and seven saw Virat Patel and Abin Islam drop legs and a massive 57 points conceded.
And with only 16 points gained, the doubles was reached with victory impossible for the hosts.
Results: Wanderers B (0) 440 (Paul Goodman 132/38, Stewart Williams 132/38, Bob Hickson 132/44) WDHA Challengers (250) 385 (Daniel Bain 39/132, Hubert Malenda 49/132, Ansh Shah 32/132), Westfield D (160) 440 (Stuart Holroyd 87/124, Asish Nandi 76/131, Amrat Mistry 85/117) St John B (0) 414 (Steve Mansfield 116/100, Alan Hill 125/83, Paul Lipczak 131/65), WDHA Royals (0) 407 (Ethan Ali 132/48, Abin Islam 125/66, Virat Patel 123/49)
Higham Harriers B (265) 471 (Phil Inman 34/132, Neil Stevens 68/122, Bob Collier 61/126), Chesterwell A 0 St John A 50.