Westfield go top with a comfortable victory

Mike Brocklebank
Mike Brocklebank
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Westfield B moved to the top of the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League with a surprisingly convincing 10-0 win at Corby Lyveden Fields.

On paper it appeared an even match but the trio of Dan Smalley, Nicole Bird and Bogdan Capusa – who lost just one end – ran through the card to continue their impressive start to the season.

Henry Arthur looked like preventing the whitewash when he led Bird 2-1, but the youngster fought back to win 11-5 in the decider.

The hosts were given another final-game chance when Arthur and Chris Haynes levelled the doubles at 2-2, but Bird and Smalley – who has lost just once all season – edged home to return to the summit.

Colin Wilson maintained his unbeaten start but his treble was in vain as Corby Smash A lost 7-3 to Higham.

His treble didn’t come easily though, with the left-hander coming back from 2-0 down to beat Richard Elliott.

Colin’s son Adam almost pulled off two shock wins but lost to Richard Bashford from 2-0 up and was edged out 12-10 at the last by Mark Nannery.

It was a real family affair for Smash with three generations of the Wilson family on show, with youngster Sam joined by 83-year-old grandfather in the doubles.

Reigning champions Westfield A beat Corby Rothbury 9-1 but will be left wondering how they didn’t achieve the whitewash.

The visitors didn’t have too much to think about as they won the first nine encounters, with Aiden Smith’s tight four-end defeat to Steve Silk the closest the hosts came.

And when Roumen Stefanov and Kevin Bird led the doubles 2-0, it looked like being the perfect 10.

But Smith and Guy Sparrow roared back to win 14-12, 12-10, 11-9 and claim what could be an important win come the end of the season.

Burton Baptist A picked up their second win in two weeks with a 7-3 success at Westfield C.

Alex Aston and Dariusz Gulbicki dropped just three ends between them as they picked up trebles, before joining forces to win the doubles.

It was a bad night for Martin Hall as he lost in four ends to Bhavika Mistry and Matt Rushton and in five to Steve Hobbs.

Results: Corby Lyveden Fields 0 Westfield B 10 (Smalley 3, Bird 3, Capusa 3, Smalley/Bird), Corby Smash A 3 (C Wilson 3) Higham 7 (Elliott 2, Bashford 2, Nannery 2, Elliott/Bashford), Corby Rothbury 1 (Smith/Sparrow) Westfield A 9 (Silk 3, Bird 3, Stefanov 3), Westfield C 3 (Hobbs, Rushton, Mistry) Burton Baptist A 7 (Aston 3, Gulbicki 3, Aston/Gulbicki).

Team of the week: Westfield B.

Player of the week: Bogdan Capusa.

A third of the Division One season has been completed and now that everyone has played each other once the table becomes more meaningful.

The division appears to have split into two halves with a massive 18-point gap between Westfield D in fourth place and Thrapston Falcons in fifth.

In comparison there are only 12 points separating leaders Harborough A and Westfield D and just four between Falcons and bottom team Burton Baptist C and therefore the top four teams can all be considered contenders for the two promotion spots, while the bottom four are all only one bad result away from the one relegation position.

Harborough A continue to retain their status as top dogs after an impressive 8-2 victory over Westfield D.

Former Premier Division players Nathan and Barry Thompson were both expected to find this level easy but Nathan is claiming family bragging rights with a win-loss record of 20-1 compared to Barry’s 16-5.

Nathan got his sixth treble out of seven outings for the loss of two games, whereas Barry scored a hardworking brace, coming through a five game thriller 11-9 against Paul Malpass, then losing out 3-1 with two long losing deuce games to debutant Patryk Polanski, then winning 3-1 in four close games against Chris Alder.

They were joined by Mike Brocklebank who also got a brace, beating Polanski 11-9 in the fifth game and losing by the same score to Alder.

Harborough B retain second place following a 6-4 victory over Thrapston Kites.

This was despite an impressive treble for Stewart Williams for the underdogs.

Apart from this the only other win for Kites was Peter Briggs beating Steve Crook in five games.

For Harborough both Liam Burnham and Mike Brocklebank scored braces and Crook got a single win over Geoff Judd.

Harborough then needed to win the doubles to win the match and Burnham and Brocklebank overcame Williams and Briggs in the deciding game.

Third-placed Rothborough Arrows have taken a liking to Burton Baptist opposition and matched their 9-1 win over the C team in week three with the same score against the B team.

Burton went 1-0 up with Steve Smith winning the opener against Martin Watts.

That was as good as it got for the home side although Nash Hooda did take both Martin and Helen Watts to a decider.

Sean Smith was particularly impressive not losing a game and only conceding more than six points in two out of his nine games and this was against three opponents ranked above him but perhaps not for much longer.

Although still bottom, two consecutive victories have significantly improved Burton Baptist C’s chances of survival as in theory they could possibly go up to fifth if they win their next one.

Both Thrapston teams lost despite having a player score a treble and Ian Baldock did it for Falcons.

He had at least one close game from 11-9 to 15-13 against all three Burton Baptist opponents but didn’t lose any of them.

Both Derek Muggleton and Chris Agg scored braces for Burton by beating Alan Tyler and Antony Marray whereas Kelvin Marshall had a single win over Marray.

With the score at 5-4, Agg and Muggleton needed to win the doubles to get the overall win and they just scraped through 11-9 in the fifth against Tyler and Baldock.

Results: Westfield D 2 (Polanski, Alder) Harborough A 8 (N Thompson 3, B Thompson 2, Brocklebank 2, B Thompson/N Thompson), Thrapston Kites 4 (Williams 3, Briggs) Harborough B 6 (Burnham 2, Brocklebank 2, Crook, Burnham/Brocklebank), Burton Baptist B 1 (Smith) Rothborough Arrows 9 (Smith 3, H Watts 3, M Watts 2, Smith/H Watts), Thrapston Falcons 4 (Baldock 3, Tyler) Burton Baptist C 6 (Muggleton 2, Agg 2, Marshall, Agg/Muggleton).

Player of the week: Sean Smith.

Team of the week: Harborough A.

As promised the top-of-the-table Division Two clash between Corby Smash B and Corby Lakeview was close throughout, with never more than one point separating them all night.

And it finished all-square after Stephen Woolston and Adam Bendyk closed out the doubles for Lakeview.

They had earlier got a pair each, beating Adam Wilson and Peter Hillery who was playing up for Smash B.

These were Smash’s Adam Wilson’s first defeats of the season but Sam Wilson remains undefeated, although he needed five ends to beat Bendyk.

Hillery did well when beating the returning Martin Stamper and was very unlucky to lose to Bendyk where all four ends went to deuce.

It leaves the two teams only one point apart after the first cycle of matches and promising a close finish to the season when they will play each other in the last match.

Burton’s Team Jim won just their second match of the season in a tight encounter against Comets where everybody won at least one game, although it finished 7-3 to the home team at John Yeoman’s Hall.

This takes them into third in the table, 10 points behind leaders Lakeview as they have only lost two matches too.

Harry Lade won his third maximum in six matches, Jacob Tattersall missed out on a hat-trick in the fifth against Gareth Lewis but Bryan Lade beat Lewis – 25 places above him in the new ranking list in use from November 21 – in five for his only win. Yet he missed out to Lee Mordecai in five.

The youngsters then defeated Lewis and Mordecai in five in the doubles through sheer will.

Rothborough Buccaneers secured their first win of the season in a flattering, tightly fought 7-3 defeat of Halesowen, where only one game finished in three.

All three that went the distance were taken by the Rothborough outfit with Kelvin Linnett’s defeat of John Hunt the closest, finishing 13-11.

He went on to gain a double, matched by Ivor Jones as both of them were defeated by a rejuvenated Keith McLaren who took the otherwise unassailable Luke Saywood – with his first hat-trick – all the way.

Ken Murie and Hunt, having not won all night, took the responsibility to play the doubles and beat Saywood and Jones in a tight game that was a microcosm of the match as it could have gone either way before Halesowen prevailed.

Buccaneers are nearing their club-mates Comets in the table and that duel will be an interesting development as the season develops.

Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 7 (H Lade 3, Tattersall 2, B Lade, H Lade/Tattersall) Rothborough Comets 3 (Brisley, Lewis, Mordecai), Corby Smash B 5 (S Wilson 3, P Hillery, A Wilson) Corby Lakeview 5 (Bendyk 2, Woolston 2, Bendyk/Woolston), Corby Halesowen 3 (McLaren 2, Hunt/Murie) Rothborough Buccaneers 7 (Saywood 3, Jones 2, Linnett 2).

Player of the week: Adam Bendyk.

Teams of the week: Corby Smash B & Corby Lakeview.

Seven games went to the fifth end in a thriller between Rothborough Dakotas and Old Village where every player had to work in the top-of-the-table clash in Division Three.

Mike Burrows did it again with another hat-trick against a top side, but he was taken to the fifth end twice against Cathy Fleming and Pete Rowbotham.

Beth Tyler was unlucky not to get a hat-trick, falling short in the decider against Rowbotham who grabbed a brace for the Dakotas.

Richard Bryant gained another valuable point, taking out Fleming in the fifth to help secure the overall 6-4 victory.

Corby Smash C secured yet another superb win with an 8-2 victory over Burton Baptist D.

Peter Hillery grabbed another hat-trick, with Lewis and Tyler both picking up braces.

Jim Chatburn couldn’t manage his usual hat-trick as he was defeated swiftly by Peter Hillery.

Jon Sanders will be disappointed with himself as he scored a blank for the first time in over a season.

Corby Smash D eased past struggling Corby Woodlands with an easy 8-2 win.

The impressive Gareth Clarke and Alex Cochrane both got hat-tricks on the night but Rob Beaumont could only manage a single point.

Callum Donaldson and Claire Dixon both picked up a point for Woodlands but it wasn’t enough as they sit rock bottom of the table and are yet to pick up a win this season.

Smash D have now won two on the bounce and are looking in impressive form.

Harborough E were denied a whitewash over Westfield E and came out 9-1 winners.

John McGowan and Mark Pearson both claimed maximums for Harborough and Michael Radford bagged a brace, being beaten by Evie Elliot.

Sidney Wright had a night to forget as she was beaten in straight games.

After a good week for the top three teams, they all sit on 47 points and with Old Village being the only unbeaten team, it is bound to be a close promotion push.

Results: Rothborough Dakotas 4 (Yeomans, Rowbotham 2, Yeomans/Rowbotham) Old Village 6 (Burrows 3,Tyler 2, Bryant), Harborough E 9 (Pearson 3, McGowan 3, Radford 2, Radford/Pearson) Westfield E 1 (Elliot), Corby Smash C 8 (T Hillery 2, L Hillery 2, P Hillery 3, P Hillery/L Hillery) Burton Baptist D 2 (Chatburn 2), Corby Smash D 8 (Clarke 3, Cochrane 3, Beaumont, Clarke/Beaumont) Corby The Woodlands 2 (Donaldson, C Dixon).

Team of the week: Corby Smash D.

Player of the week: Alex Cochrane.