Westfield are still alive after a stunning fightback

Pete Bannister
Pete Bannister

Westfield C produced an incredible comeback to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League alive.

The Wellingborough side were staring down the barrel after a shocking start left them 5-0 down at rivals Burton Baptist A.

But, playing out of order after Dave Needham’s late arrival, they pulled it back to draw 5-5.

Matt Rushton fought from 2-0 down to beat Needham, who also fell to Steve Hobbs.

Sam Wildman edged past Michael Wilkins in five ends before Rushton beat Alex Aston and the two left-handers joined forces to complete the comeback in the doubles.

The result leaves Baptist trailing by five points but with an easier run-in, they are favourites to avoid the drop.

Westfield A continue to creep their way towards another title but they didn’t have it all their own way as they beat Corby Rothbury 7-3.

The visitors claimed two impressive scalps in the singles as Aiden Smith destroyed Steve Silk and Aaron Moore brilliantly beat Roumen Stefanov.

None of the Rothbury trio were able to beat Kevin Bird but they didn’t claim a third in the doubles as Moore and Guy Sparrow battled back from 2-0 down to win.

A youthful Corby Smash A side gained a creditable 7-3 loss at Higham despite not playing with a single Premier Division-registered player.

Brothers Sam and Adam Wilson, who both play in Division Two, picked up superb wins.

Sam beat both Pete Bannister and Andy Harrison, and almost claimed a memorable treble but lost in five ends to Richard Elliott.

Adam beat Harrison but Abin Islam couldn’t add to their tally.

Westfield B kept up the pressure on their club rivals at the top with a 7-3 win against Corby Lyveden Fields.

Dan Smalley and Bogdan Capusa were both unbeaten, although Capusa needed five ends to see off the threat of Chris Haynes.

Haynes and Henry Arthur got the better of Nicole Bird and then teamed up to win the doubles.

Results: Burton Baptist A 5 (Wilkins 2, Aston 2, Needham) Westfield C 5 (Rushton 2, Wildman, Hobbs, Rushton/Wildman), Westfield A 7 (Bird 3, Silk 2, Stefanov 2) Corby Rothbury 3 (Smith, Moore, Moore/Sparrow), Higham 7 (Elliott 3, Bannister 2, Harrison, Elliott/Bannister) Corby Smash A 3 (S Wilson 2, A Wilson), Westfield B (Smalley 3, Capusa 3, Bird) Corby Lyveden Fields 3 (Haynes, Arthur, Haynes/Arthur)

Team of the week: Westfield C.

Player of the week: Sam Wilson.

Having been top of Division One since week two it’s possible that Harborough A could wrap up the title with two matches to spare.

Thrapston Falcons were unlikely to give them much of a challenge being without Ian Baldock for the third consecutive match and this time down to two players.

Barry Thompson and Steve Crook both beat Nigel Payne and Alan Tyler for the loss of three games between them while Kevin Shield beat Tyler 3-0 but lost by the same score to Payne.

Thompson and Shield added the doubles making it 9-1 and although Falcons have a 10-point cushion at the bottom, if Baldock doesn’t return that 10 points may evaporate.

Harborough A are now 17 points ahead of second-placed Harborough B, who now have Rothborough Arrows within 10 of them.

Arrows claimed a 7-3 win over Harborough B who were missing Mike Brocklebank or Liam Burnham with Steve Crook joined by Rhys Emery and Division Two player Phil Dixon.

For Rothborough, Helen Watts took Emery’s 100 per cent record in her treble while 3-0 wins over both Crook and Dixon took her own average up to 87 per cent.

Emery did beat Julian Marshall 3-0 and Martin Watts 3-2 to give Harborough two points and the third was a 3-1 win by Crook over Martin Watts.

In the relegation battle, it was a bad week for Burton Baptist C and a good one for Burton Baptist B and Thrapston Kites.

An 8-2 victory for Burton B over Burton C moved them towards safety with three matches to go while Kites only lost 6-4 to Westfield D.

Dave Needham had a busy night, arriving late after a puncture before winning his three sets for Burton B for the loss of just one game to Harry Lade before crossing over the road for a more challenging match in the Premier Division.

With Needham the best player on show, Lade was the best for Burton C as he beat Steve Smith 3-0 and Nash Hooda 3-1.

Smith and Hooda accounted for Kelvin Marshall and Paul Goodman and they didn’t need Needham to defeat Lade and Marshall in the doubles.

For Thrapston Kites, Bob Hickson beat Paul Malpass and Chris Alder who are both above him in the ranking list but treble-maker Nitin Patel was a bridge too far.

It was a bad day for Malpass as he also lost to Alan Tyler and Peter Briggs while Alder got a brace before helping Malpass to win the doubles which they needed to win to win the match.

Results: Harborough A 9 (Thompson 3,Crook3, Shield 2, B Thompson/Shield) Thrapston Falcons 1 (Payne), Harborough B 3 (Emery 2, Crook) Rothborough Arrows 7 (H Watts 3, Marlow 2, M Watts, Marlow/H Watts), Burton Baptist C 2 (Lade 2) Burton Baptist B 8 (Needham 3, Smith 2, Hooda 2, Smith/Hooda), Thrapston Kites 4 (Hickson 2, Briggs, Tyler) Westfield D 6 (Patel 3, Alder 2, Malpass/Alder).

Team of the week: Burton Baptist B.

Player of the week: Helen Watts.

Corby Smash B continue to keep themselves just ahead at the top of Division Two and the Wilson brothers are leading the way after another unbeaten display.

Harborough C were the victims with only Phil Dixon gaining a point against Peter Hillery, although it took five ends to do it and he had to win from two down.

Dixon also got to five ends with Jamie Burgess in the doubles but Adam and Sam Wilson saw it out.

However, Hillery’s performance was probably the best as he beat the higher-ranked Jamie Burgess and Dave Coombs and has won 73 per cent of his games playing up.

Corby Lakeview are not easing off in their challenge for the title as they beat Burton Baptist Team Jim 8-2 to go one point behind Smash B and Rob Warrander was the chief reason with his second consecutive hat-trick, losing one end in the process.

Adam Bendyk lost in straight sets to Jacob Tattersall and had to come from behind to beat Harry Lade in five.

Stephen Woolston succumbed to Lade and had to stop a comeback from Tattersall to prevail and achieve his double.

Bendyk and Woolston then ensured a better result than previously by taking the doubles.

With a 6-4 win apiece the most likely result when Buccaneers met Comets was a draw, and that was the outcome.

Luke Saywood, for Buccaneers, was the best player on the night with a 100 per cent record in singles but eased out of the doubles in five.

Lauren Ainsworth bagged a pair but missed out against Pete Sturges who got his best result since his recent return with a double. Lee Mordecai and Gareth Lewis both beat an out of sorts Ivor Jones.

It leaves the two teams scrapping for fifth and sixth in the league.

It was one of those matches when Corby Halesowen hosted Harborough C.

No-one was unbeaten, everyone got at least one and the form book took a bit of a hammering.

Ken Murie beat Jamie Burgess and Phil Dixon for his best match of the season.

The match swung either way it was eventually a fifth-end doubles victory by Allington and Dixon that decided the affair.

It takes Harborough to within three points of Team Jim who will be looking over their shoulder if they are to stay in third.

Results: Corby Halesowen 4 (Murie 2, Hunt, McLaren) Harborough C 6 (Allington 2, Burgess 2, Dixon, Allington/Dixon), Corby Lakeview 8 (Warrander 3, Bendyk 2, Woolston 2, Bendyk/Woolston) Burton Baptist Team Jim 2 (H Lade, Tattersall), Corby Smash B 9 (A Wilson 3, S Wilson 3, P Hillery 2, A Wilson/S Wilson) Harborough C 1 (Dixon), Rothborough Buccaneers 5 (Saywood 3, Ainsworth 2) Rothborough Comets 5 (Sturges 2, Lewis, Mordecai, Mordecai/Sturges).

Player of the week: Ken Murie.

Team of the week: Corby Lakeview.