Colin Wilson marked his return to the Premier Division of the Kettering & District League with a fine treble against reigning champions Westfield A.
Wilson saw off Kevin Bird before fighting back from 2-1 down to beat Steve Silk, bagging a maximum with a comfortable win over Roumen Stefanov.
His efforts were in vein as the hosts beat his Corby Smash A side 7-3, although Adam Wilson – registered in Division Two – gave Silk a fright before succumbing in five ends.
Westfield C picked up a big 9-1 win at Thrapston Eagles, who look favourites to go down just a few games into the season.
Matt Rushton and Steve Hobbs both claimed their first maximums of the campaign, although both were made to work hard by Mark Stockley.
Stockley fell to both in deciding games but did pick up the host’s single point with another five-end match against Bhavika Mistry, this time coming from behind to win.
Ian Donaldson was forced to concede his match with Hobbs after needing to leave early, as the visitors moved up the table.
Higham came from 2-1 down to defeat Corby Lyveden Fields 8-2 in an impressive victory.
Andy Harrison proved to be the pivotal player for the home side with two deciding-game wins.
First he came from behind to beat Chris Haynes 11-9 at the last, before fighting off Kyle Murie to win 12-10 at the same stage.
Richard Elliott won all three of his encounters and team mate Richard Bashford bagged a brace, with Haynes and Henry Arthur picking up single wins.
Burton Baptist A’s tough start to the season continued as they lost 9-1 at home to Kettering Town.
Alex Aston got the hosts off to the best possible start as he easily beat Mike Hawes, who had to play all three before leaving.
That was as good as it got for Baptist as Hawes, John Fuller and Nigel Metcalfe then ran through the scorecard to move back up the table.
Results: Westfield A 7 (Bird 2, Silk 2, Stefanov 2, Bird/Stefanov) Corby Smash A 3 (C Wilson 3), Thrapston Eagles 1 (Stockley) Westfield C 9 (Hobbs 3, Rushton 3, Mistry 2, Hobbs/Rushton), Higham 8 (Elliott 3, Bashford 2, Harrison 2, Elliott/Bashford) Corby Lyveden Fields 2 (Haynes, Arthur), Burton Baptist A 1 (Aston) Kettering Town 9 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 3, Hawes 2, Fuller/Metcalfe).
Team of the week: Higham.
Player of the week: Colin Wilson.
Once again it was a very successful week for Harborough in Division One as both the A and B teams recorded convincing victories to keep them top and second respectively in the table.
Harborough A beat Thrapston Falcons 9-1 as Barry and Nathan Thompson were unbeaten on the night in singles and doubles together.
Steve Crook accounted for Alan Tyler and Nigel Payne before Ian Baldock took the last singles of the night against him to avoid the whitewash.
The match-up between promotion hopefuls Harborough B and Rothborough Arrows looked like a close one on paper but Liam Burnham and Rhys Emery had other ideas as they both got trebles to help their team win 8-2.
Emery won three out of four games against each of Sean Smith, Julian Marlow and Helen Watts and in his doubles with Burnham against Smith and Marlow.
This week Burnham got on the right side of two fifth-game deciders - both 11-5 against Marlow and Smith.
Crook added an important eighth point beating Smith and just missed out against Watts 11-9 in the fifth and lost to Marlow in four.
Westfield D took full advantage of Peter Briggs being absent and Stewart Williams having an off day with a 9-1 victory over Thrapston Kites, taking them up to third place and only two points below Harborough B.
Kites may have been hopeful of victory when, against the rankings, Bob Hickson beat Paul Malpass 11-9 in the fifth to put them 1-0 up but three of the next four sets all went to five games and Westfield’s Malpass, Chris Alder, Nitin Patel held their nerve best in each of them before things got more comfortable for Westfield and they led 8-1 going into the doubles.
A marathon game three which Malpass and Alder eventually won 22-20 proved decisive in the end as they also won the deciding game 12-10.
Alder earned player of the week for his treble, beating two people ranked above him.
The match-up between the two Burton Baptist teams looked even and so it proved with a 5-5 draw.
Filling in for the injured Derek Muggleton, Harry Lade claimed two big scalps in terms of rankings.
The league’s number 75 beat Gerry Crasto (42) and Nash Hooda (44).
Lade couldn’t quite win a game against Steve Smith though, despite amassing 24 points from the last two close games.
Overall, nobody on either team was unbeaten with braces for Lade, Agg, Smith and Hooda and a single win for Kelvin Marshall over Crasto who was keen enough to double up for the A team in the Premier but had a fruitless night.
Results: Burton Baptist C 5 (Lade 2, Agg 2, Marshall) Burton Baptist B 5 (Smith 2, Hooda 2, Smith/Hooda), Harborough B 8 (Burnham 3, Emery 3, Crook, Burnham/Emery) Rothborough Arrows 2 (Watts, Marlow), Harborough A 9 (B Thompson 3, N Thompson 3, Crook 2, Thompson/Thompson) Thrapston Falcons (Baldock), Thrapston Kites 1 (Hickson) Westfield D 9 (Patel 3, Alder 3, Malpass 2, Malpass/Alder).
Team of the week: Harborough B.
Player of the week: Chris Alder.
Corby Halesowen have had a slow start to the season in Division Two, partly because they have struggled to put a full team out.
In their first match, where the scorecard was delayed, against Comets they suffered a 9-1 reversal with Lee Mordecai and Gareth Lewis filling their boots for hat-tricks apiece while there was a brace for David Steele, losing only to Ken Murie.
Halesowen were able to field a full team in their latest match but suffered the same fate against Harborough C.
However, a drubbing this was not as only one game was over in three, but also only one went to five.
That was when Jamie Burgess beat Keith McLaren 15-13 in the final end on his way to a maximum, matched by Dave Coombs, the Harborough outfit’s player of the season so far.
This takes Harborough to the top of a very tight division where three points separate the top five teams after four weeks.
The week’s closest match saw Buccaneers hosting club-mates Comets with the lower-ranked team edging a very tight match 6-4.
There were six games that went the full distance, including five of the first six, but the standout player was Lauren Ainsworth in her first appearance of the season and she was extremely unlucky to end up on the losing side with a treble.
She beat Lewis and Steele the long way and also accounted for Alan Brisley, however Steele and Lewis beat Luke Saywood in five on their way to braces and then Lewis teamed up with Brisley to secure the match.
Corby Lakeview are looking strong contenders this year with 22 points from three matches.
They beat last year’s Division Two champions Burton Baptist Team Jim 7-3.
Nobody was unbeaten but the Kingswood team were more consistent with a pair apiece for Adam Bendyk, Ken Knott and Stephen Woolston and then the important doubles between two teams previously unbeaten in that format this season.
However, Team Jim won the only two five-enders with Ben Freeman’s defeat of Bendyk particularly impressive.
Results: Corby Halesowen 1 (Murie) Rothborough Comets 9 (Lewis 3, Mordecai 3, Steele 2, Lewis/Mordecai), Corby Halesowen 1 (Hunt) Harborough C 9 (Burgess 3, Coombs 3, Dixon 2, Burgess/Dixon), Corby Lakeview 7 (Bendyk 2, Knott 2, Woolston 2, Bendyk/Woolston) Burton Baptist Team Jim 3 (H Lade 2, Freeman), Rothborough Buccaneers 4 (Ainsworth 3, Saywood) Rothborough Comets 6 (Lewis 2, Steele 2, Brisley, Brisley/Lewis).
Player of the week: Lauren Ainsworth.
Team of the week: Rothborough Comets.
Unbeaten Harborough E faced their hardest task yet in Division Three against third-placed Dakotas.
Harborough ran away with the game early on as they stormed to a 3-1 lead which then doubled and they were suddenly 6-2 up.
Dakotas pulled two games back to lower the deficit to just a 6-4 loss.
John McGowan remains unbeaten after gaining another hat-trick for Harborough E and Ron Palfrey continues to impress with yet another double, it was an off week for Anthony Yeomans as he scored a rare blank in Dakotas’ second loss of the season.
Corby Smash C continued their impressive start to the season with a 5-5 draw with improving side Westfield E.
Sidney Wright and Evie Elliott both managed doubles for Westfield.
Peter Hillery saved the night for Smash in the last singles game taking out Wright in five ends to make sure that they couldn’t lose going into the doubles.
Wright and Elliot then teamed up to gain a draw in what was a long match fought to the end by both teams.
Old Village gained maximum points in a fast whitewash of Corby Woodlands as Beth Tyler, Mike Burrows and Joan Harris all gained maximum points with only three games going over three ends.
Woodlands found the experience and skill of high fliers Village too much and are still looking for their first win of the season.
Burton Baptist D fielded two debutants as they were beaten 9-1 by Corby Smash D - their first win of the season.
Mark Waterfield gained the only point for Burton with an impressive five-end win over Alex Cochrane.
Gareth Clarke and David Morgan both got trebles and won the doubles for Smash D as Burton were beaten convincingly.
Adam Mills and Dave Marks couldn’t manage a point on the night but put up fighting performances.
Results: Old Village 10 (Tyler 3, Burrows 3, Harris 3, Tyler/Burrows) Corby The Woodlands 0, Westfield E 5 (Wright 2, Elliott 2, Grigg) Corby Smash C 5 (L Hillery 2, T Hillery 2, L Hillery/T Hillery), Burton Baptist D 1 (Waterfield) Corby Smash D 9 (Clarke 3, Morgan 3, Cochrane 2, Clarke/Morgan), Rothborough Dakotas 4 Harborough E 6
Player of the week: Joan Harris.
Team of the Week: Corby Smash D.