Westfield still out in front

Steve Silk was untroubled as he recorded a hat-trick in Westfield A's 9-1 success over Corby Town A in the Premier Division
Steve Silk was untroubled as he recorded a hat-trick in Westfield A's 9-1 success over Corby Town A in the Premier Division

Westfield A continue to head the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League after their 9-1 victory over a Corby Town A.

Kevin Bird extended his seasonal unbeaten run to 15 matches but was given a scare by Henry Arthur in the first match of the night.

Arthur led 2-0 but Bird showed all his experience to turn the match around and record a 1-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 victory.

Arthur, in partnership with Lee O’Boyle, tasted a fifth end defeat for the third time of the night when they lost out to the regular doubles pairing of Bird and Stefanov, but Steve Silk was untroubled as he won both his matches without dropping a leg.

The battle for second place could not be closer with three teams having identical records. Kettering Town A are one of those teams and they kept up the pressure on their rivals with an 8-2 success over Harborough Athletic, John Fuller recording his fifth hat-trick in six outings.

The other two sides that are level with Kettering Town A faced off at Burton Baptist church as Burton Baptist A hosted Higham.

Chris Ross took the man of the match honours with a treble for the loss of just one end but the result of the night saw Dariusz Gulbicki claim a 12-10, 12-10, 11-7 victory over Richard Elliott.

The Higham trio of Elliott, Mark Nannery and Andy Harrison all won once each but Ross’ treble, Gulbicki’s pair, and a single for Alex Aston, plus a doubles success for Ross and Aston over Elliott and Harrison ensured that Burton ran out 7-3 victors.

Burton Baptist B have struggled for points so far this season but they recorded their first win of the season with an 8-2 success over a severely depleted Corby Town B side.

In a match that saw no less than seven rubbers go to a fifth end, Asif Manji stole the show with a superb hat-trick.

Arthingworth’s struggles continued as they were held to a 5-5 draw by Westfield C.

Dan Smalley took the main plaudits with a quality treble for Westfield for the loss of just two ends with Tom Wildman and Stefan Dabev offering support with a win apiece.

Chris Gibbons won twice for Arthingworth, including a 17-15 deciding end win over Wildman.

Results: Westfield A 9 (K Bird 3, Silk 3, Stefanov 2, Bird/Stefanov) Corby Town A 1 (O’Boyle), Harborough Athletic 2 (B Thompson, Shield) Kettering Town A 8 (Fuller 3, Hawes 2, Metcalfe 2, Hawes/Metcalfe), Burton Baptist A 7 (Ross 3, Gulbicki 2, Aston, Ross/Aston) Higham 3 (Nannery, Elliott, Harrison), Corby Town B 2 (Clarke, Murie) Burton Baptist B 8 (Manji 3, Koltuniuk 2, Crasto 2, Manji/Koltuniuk), Arthingworth 5 (Gibbons 2, Edwards, Henson, Gibbons/Henson) Westfield C 5 (Smalley 3, Wildman, Dabev).

Despite losing the first end in all three of his matches, Steve West recorded his first treble of the season, winning all his matches in five ends as Thrapston Eagles maintained their place at the top of the Division One table with an 8-2 win over club colleagues Falcons.

Antony Marray and Nigel Payne both got the better of Chris Warliker but a treble by Mark Stockley helped ensure Eagles stretched their lead at the top to seven points.

Trebles from Julian Marlow and Helen Watts mean the pair have now won 34 of their 36 singles matches this season. However, by fielding only two players, Arrows had to settle for a 7-3 win over Burton C.

Harborough Rangers and Corby C both fielded the same players who had met in the Millman Salver the previous week when the Harborough side edged home 21-19.

In another close affair, all six players recorded wins but it was Ross Campbell’s treble that helped Rangers into a 5-3 lead.

Ryan Cassidy then came back from 2-0 down to defeat Liam Burnham 13-11 in the fifth end before joining up Steve Woolston to add the doubles to leave the match all-square at 5-5.

Paul Goodman recorded his second treble of the season but needed five ends to get past Corby D’s Eric Schwarzer.

Schwarzer had earlier got the better of Peter Briggs in another five-ender and completed his double with victory over Geoff Judd. However Corby’s only other success came when Tom Cardwell beat Judd leaving Kites 7-3 winners.

Buccaneers recorded their first win since the opening week of the season in a battling display against Diamonds with six matches requiring the full five ends.

Michael Cross got the better of Dave Coombs in the first of these before Coombs levelled the match at 2-2 with a fifth-end win over Luke Saywood.

The next five-end match saw Mike Brocklebank defeat Ivor Jones to level the match at 3-3 before Saywood and Jones recorded deciding end victories in matches seven and eight to put Buccaneers 5-3 ahead.

Brocklebank returned to complete his treble in match nine before joining Coombs to take a 2-1 lead in the doubles.

However Cross and Saywood took the final two ends 11-9, 11-9 to secure Buccaneers’ second 6-4 win of the season.

Results: Thrapston Eagles 8 (West 3, Stockley 3, Warliker, Stockley/Warliker) Thrapston Falcons 2 (Marray, Payne), Rothborough Arrows 7 (Marlow 3, H Watts 3, Marlow/H Watts) Burton Baptist C 3 (Agg, Simmons, Sutcliffe), Harborough Rangers 5 (Campbell 3, Burnham, Crook) Corby C 5 (Cassidy 2, Murie, Woolston, Cassidy/Woolston), Thrapston Kites 7 (Goodman 3, Briggs 2, Judd, Briggs/Goodman) Corby D 3 (Schwarzer 2, Cardwell), Rothborough Buccaneers 6 (Cross 2, Jones 2, Saywood, Cross/Saywood) Harborough Diamonds 4 (Brocklebank 3, Coombs).

Thrapston Harriers extended their lead to four points in Division Two when they dropped just one game at Dakotas. Sean Smith beat Mike Burrows for the home team’s only victory.

Alan Tyler and Keith Stockley scored maximums with both have still only having lost one game all season. Tyler then joined forces with Burrows to take the doubles for good measure.

The result when Burton Baptist D visited Kettering Town B was unsurprising, however the two victories that Town achieved were impressive.

Jim Chatburn defeating Jon Sanders from two ends down was good but topping that was Pete Scrivener, ranked 115 until next week’s new list becomes operational, inflicting Steve Smith’s (ranked 68th) fourth defeat of the season in the final match of the night.

There was much honour in defeat for Harborough Imps at second-placed Comets.

The improving Jamie Burgess won his first and last matches against Alan Brisley and Kelvin Linnett respectively, both in five ends and both from behind, whilst John McGowan also beat Linnett, at which point Imps were in the lead.

Gareth Lewis’ steady hand steered Comets to six of the next seven games and the match was safe, but it drops Comets below Burton in the table in the penultimate week of the first half of the season, with Thrapston Harriers to play next week.

Rothborough’s Exocets and Phantoms shared the spoils in only the third draw in the division this season.

Ray Harrison’s third hat-trick in seven matches sealed it as it was his win in the last singles then doubling up with Lee Mordecai that brought Exocets back into a match Phantoms nearly won.

Mordecai was involved in all the games that went beyond three ends, losing in the two singles in five ends but getting revenge in the doubles when they beat Cathy Fleming and Pete Rowbotham who had earlier inflicted his defeats.

When Gladiators visited Corby E they came away with their first win of the season.

Three of the players on show recorded their first wins of the season as Pete Ainsworth won twice for Gladiators and Sally Taylor once, with Nathan Brown recording his first win for Corby.

Anthony Yeomans was undefeated on the night as Gladiators won 7-3, with Dan Bottrill recording two wins for Corby in a match that saw 12-year-old Jessica Sturdy make her league debut.

Results: Corby E 3 (D Bottrill 2, Brown) Gladiators 7 (Yeomans 3, Ainsworth 2, Taylor), Kettering Town B 2 (Chatburn, Scrivener) Burton Baptist D 8 (Marshall 3, Sanders 2, Smith 2, Marshall/Sanders), Rothborough Comets 7 (Lewis 3, Brisley 2, Linnett, Brisley/Lewis) Harborough Imps 3 (Burgess 2, McGowan), Rothborough Dakotas 1 (Smith) Thrapston Harriers 9 (Stockley 3, A Tyler 3, Burrows 2, Burrows/A Tyler), Rothborough Exocets 5 (Harrison 3, Salander, Harrison/Mordecai) Rothborough Phantoms 5 (Fleming 2, Rowbotham 2, L Ainsworth).

Player of the week: Asif Manji.

Team of the week: Burton Baptist A.