Higham advance after a fine encounter
Higham came through what was a great match in the latest stage of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League's Millman Salver where there were no more than two points separating the teams until the doubles.
Corby Lyveden Fields took a slender lead when Henry Arthur beat Mark Nannery 3-1 with Richard Bashford then levelling the match, beating Kyle Murie by the same score.
Richard Elliott and Chris Haynes shared the spoils and tied 2-2.
Murie started convincingly against Nannery going into a 3-0 lead but the experience of the latter showed when he took the final end.
The match was level at 14-14 before Nannery got an excellent 3-1 win over Haynes and Higham then sealed the match by winning the first two ends of the doubles.
Westfield A beat Burton Baptist A, who made a solid start when Jacek Koltuniuk got the better of Kevin Bird 3-1.
Westfield then took the next two games 3-1 with Brian Wooding beating his bogey player Alex Aston and Roumen Stefanov had a good night, winning 3-1 against both Martin Hall and Jacek.
Burton were trailing going into the eight singles match and needed a good win and Koltuniuk provided that with an excellent 3-1 success over Wooding.
Westfield held their nerve and took the doubles 3-1 to secure a narrow success.
Rothborough Arrows and Westfield B tied the first game 2-2, but from there on in it was one-way traffic as Rothborough won at a canter.
The star player was Helen Watts who won all her games 4-0, 4-0 and 3-1 while Westfield had an unusually bad night.
Thrapston Kites came through another close encounter where Westfield E could not have asked for a better start when winning the first eight legs.
Geoff Judd then halved the score by beating Eleanor Smyth 4-0.
Games five and six were shared with Kites then stepping it up winning the next couple 3-1 and 4-0.
Smyth, making her first cup appearance, was very unlucky to lose four deuce games to Stewart Williams.
Burton Baptist Team Jim took the first game 4-0 against Corby Smash D, courtesy of the star man of the night Harry Lade. Six of the next seven games were all shared before Burton won the final singles and doubles 4-0.
Corby Halesowen’s match against Old Village provided another tight finish which also went down to the doubles.
Charlie Poppy was in good form for Old Village, winning nine of his 12 ends.
After six games Corby looked to be in control but two great 4-0 wins gave Old Village the slender lead.
The match went into the doubles tied at 18-18 but Corby came through to win the final game of the night 3-1.
It looked like the clash between Harborough B and Harborough E was going down to the wire when the first three games were all shared.
However, the B team tipped the tie in their favour, winning 13 of the next 16 ends.
Results: Corby Lyveden Fields 17 (Murie (+3) 6/6 Haynes (+2) 5/7 Arthur (+2) 6/6 Haynes/Arthur (+2) 0/2) Higham 21 (Elliott (SCR) 7/5 Bashford (+2) 7/5 Nannery (+2) 5/7 Elliott/Bashford (+1) 2/0), Burton Baptist A 19 (Koltuniuk (+4) 7/5 Aston (+3) 5/7 Hall (+3) 6/6 Aston/Hall (+3) 1/3) Westfield A 21 (Bird (SCR) 5/7 Wooding (+2) 5/7 Stefanov (SCR) 8/4 Bird/Wooding (SCR) 3/1), Rothborough Arrows 25 (H Watts (+4) 11/1 M Watts (+6) 8/4 Smith (+6) 7/5) Westfield B 10 (Capusa (+1) 5/7 Smalley (SCR) 4/8 Bird (+1) 1/11), Thrapston Kites 21 (Williams (SCR) 6/6 Hickson (+1) 4/8 Judd (+2) 9/3 Williams/Judd (+1) 2/2) Westfield E 19 (Wright (+5) Grigg (+7) Smyth (+8) Wright/Grigg (+6)), Burton Baptist Team Jim 25 (Lade (SCR) 10/2 Freeman (+2) 5/7 Tattersall (+1) 6/6 Freeman/Tattersall (+1) 4/0) Corby Smash D 15 (Locke (+7) 4/8 Winter (+7) 5/7 Morgan (+6) 6/6 Morgan/Winter (+6) 0/4), Corby Halesowen 21 (Stone (SCR) 7/5 Woolston (+5) 4/8 Hunt (SCR) 7/5 Stone/Hunt (SCR) 3/1) Old Village 19 (Poppy (+6) 9/3 Harris (+6) 3/9 Banner (+7) 6/6 Poppy/Banner (+6) ⅓), Harborough E 17 (McGowan (+2) 4/8 Radford (+6) 2/10 Palfrey (+6) 8/4 Radford/Palfrey (+6) 3/1) Harborough B 23 (Burnham (SCR) 7/5 Crook (SCR) 5/7 Brocklebank (SCR) 10/2 Burnham/Crook (SCR) 1/3), Rothborough Dakotas 27 Corby Smash C 13.
Kettering Town, probably with one eye on the Premier Division title, were well beaten by Rothborough Arrows in the Borough Trophy.
Mike Hawes is struggling to find some consistent form due to work commitments this season and lost all of his matches in the third end.
John Fuller ran Helen Watts close before losing out 21-18 in the decider.
Fuller then made amends by winning Kettering’s solitary point by beating the inform Sean Smith in two deuces.
Martin Watts made good use of the handicaps by getting the better of Nigel Metcalfe 21-18 in the third.
Thrapston Kites overcame Corby Smash D as the experienced Peter Briggs started the night off by narrowly edging out Alex Cochrane 23-21 in the decider.
Chris Winter, who has only played in a couple of league matches this season, had good wins over Stewart Williams and Geoff Judd.
He, however, just fell short of gaining an excellent hat-trick by losing out to Briggs 21-18 in the third.
Over the night, five of the games went to deuce in the deciding end but Kites managed to win four of them.
Corby Smash B were only able to field two players but the ever improving Sam and Adam Wilson came through in style beating good cup opponents Dakotas.
Even though Smash won the match, Dakotas could still count themselves a little unlucky by losing eight deuce ends on the night.
Harborough B, also fielding two players, managed to get the better of Westfield E.
Liam Burnham and Steve Crook were determined to win this match and got revenge for losing to the same team in last season’s Points Cup semi-finals.
The Westfield girls are improving week on week as Sidney Wright got their only win, beating Crook.
Thrapston Eagles, who are struggling in the league, are proving to be a tough team to crack in the cups.
They had a very hard match in prospect against Old Village but came through.
The first two games were shared, firstly with Mike Burrows having an excellent win over Ian Donaldson 21-19 in the decider before Chris Warliker levelled.
Beth Tyler put Old Village back in front with a straight games win over Mark Stockley, both to 14.
Later on Tyler had another good win over Warliker but just fell short losing out to Donaldson 25-23 in the decider.
Corby Smash A could be the team to avoid in the next round.
With both Colin Wilson and Tony West turning out, Burton Baptist C were always going to be up against it.
Mike Ainsworth was Corby’s third player, however he had a bad night losing all his games two straight.
Wilson and West had a fairly comfortable night, winning all their games without dropping an end.
Results: Kettering Town 1 (Fuller (SCR)) Rothborough Arrows 5 (H Watts (+10) 2 M Watts (+12) 2 Smith (+12)), Corby Smash D 3 (Winter (+14) 2 Clarke (+10)) Thrapston Kites 6 (Briggs (SCR) 2 Williams (SCR) 2 Judd (+4) 2), Corby Smash B 5 (S Wilson (SCR) 2 A Wilson (SCR) 3) Rothborough Dakotas 4 (Fleming (+12) Yeomans (+13) 2 Taylor (+14)), Westfield E 4 (Wright (+10) 2 Elliott (+11) Grigg (+14)) Harborough B 5 (Burnham (SCR) 3 Crook (SCR) 2), Old Village 3 (Burrows (+8) Tyler (+9) 2) Thrapston Eagles 6 (Stockley (SCR) 2 Warliker (+1) 1 Donaldson (+2) 2), Corby Smash A 6 (West (SCR) 3 Wilson (SCR)) Burton Baptist C 3 (Agg (+13) Muggleton (+13) Marshall (+14)).