Battle intensifies after a double whitewash

Steve Silk was in impressive form
Steve Silk was in impressive form

Higham Band A and Westfield A both secured 10-0 victories as they continued their battle at the top of the Premier Division of the Kettering and District Table Tennis league.

Westfield had the harder fixture of the two as they came up against a strong Kettering Town A side.

However John Fuller was missing from the Kettering outfit for the first time this season and the Westfield trio of Kevin Bird, Steve Silk and Roumen Stefanov took full advantage of his absence, with only Bird’s match against Carl Leeson requiring a deciding end.

Silk was particularly impressive, winning all three singles games and then teaming up with Stefanov to take the doubles without dropping an end all night.

Higham Band were faced with an easier task when they played Harborough Athletic, with Jon Williams and Mick Allsop both unavailable.

Like Westfield, only one of their matches required a deciding end with Andy Harrison getting the better of Barry Thompson.

Corby Town A remain in third position as they battled to a 6-4 win over lowly Burton Baptist B.

With Lee O’Boyle and Aiden Smith both unavailable, Michael Clarke made his first appearance of the season for Corby.

In a close encounter, Henry Arthur’s hat-trick, together with two wins from Aaron Moore and a single from Clarke proved to be just enough for the Corby victory.

It was a mixed night for Burton’s Jacek Koltuniuk as he beat Moore at deuce in the deciding end after saving two match points and then saw the roles reversed on him when he played Arthur.

Chris Ross continued his unbeaten start to the season as Burton Baptist A recorded an 8-2 victory over struggling Westfield B.

Four of the matches went to a fifth end but the only one to escape Burton’s grip was when Scott Dixon got the better of Alex Aston 11-9.

Nicole Bird was unlucky to lose out twice in the deciding end, first to Ross 11-9 and then to Dariusz Gulbicki 11-7.

SAS Thrapston look like they are in for a long season and fell to another defeat, 8-2 at Arthingworth.

Chris Gibbons was unbeaten for Arthingworth, but Michael Edwards and Gerald Henson could not quite follow his lead, as they lost out to Mark Stockley and Graham Ellson respectively.

Stockley had given SAS the lead and has been involved in five of the six points that his side have picked up this season.

Results: Kettering Town A 0 Westfield A 10 (Bird 3, Silk 3, Stefanov 3, Silk/Stefanov), Higham Band 10 (Elliott 3, Nannery 3, Harrison 3, Elliott/Nannery) Harboro Athletic 0, Corby Town A 6 (Arthur 3, Moore 2, Clarke) Burton Baptist B 4 (Koltuniuk 2, Crasto, Koltuniuk/Manji), Burton Baptist A 8 (Ross 3, Aston 2, Gulbicki 2, Ross/Gulbicki) Westfield B 2 (Hobbs, Dixon), Arthingworth 8 (Gibbons 3, Edwards 2, Henson 2, Gibbons/Henson) SAS Thrapston 2 (Stockley, Ellson).

Unbeaten records tumbled in Division One with two teams suffering their first defeats of the season while the two players with the longest unbeaten runs since the start of the season also tasted defeat for the first time.

Derek Muggleton became the first player this season to defeat Arrows’ Julian Marlow but two wins each for Marlow, David Steele and Helen Watts meant Burton C suffered their first defeat of the season.

Ex-Leamington League player Chris Haynes dropped just one end on the way to his treble and added the doubles with Alex Dickson as Corby C inflicted defeat on Rangers for the first time this season.

Paul Goodman also lost for the first time this season when he went down in five ends to Vaughan Allington in a marathon match with the first five matches taking over two hours.

Diamonds led 3-0 but Kites won six of the remaining seven matches including 3 in the 5th end with the match finishing at 11.10pm.

While Westfield C’s 10-0 defeat of Falcons sounds easy it was anything but with only one match being decided in straight ends.

Tom Wildman and Nitin Patel were both twice take to 5th end deciders but like Malpass remained unbeaten.

Results: Harborough Rangers 4 (Brocklebank 2, J Allington, V Allington) Corby C 6 (Haynes 3, Dickson, Murie, Haynes/Dickson), Burton Baptist C 3 (Muggleton 3) Rothborough Arrows 7 (Marlow 2, Steele 2, H Watts 2, Marlow/Watts), Thrapston Falcons 0 Westfield C 10 (Wildman 3, Patel 3, Malpass 3, Wildman/Malpass), Thrapston Kites 6 (Goodman 2, Hickson 2, Judd, Goodman/Judd) Harborough Diamonds 4 (Burnham 2, Coombs, V Allington).

Thrapston Harriers upset the early season Division Two table with a resounding win against Kettering B, winning the first seven games, and finishing off with a doubles success.

Paul Blantern scored his second consecutive treble and has now won 80 per cent of his matches.

Mike Burrows was joined on two wins by Muriel Cox in her best performance so far, where her defeat of Dennis Millman included an 18-16 score in the third end of four.

Harborough Imps started well at home to Corby D when Mark Pearson beat John Hunt and Ron Palfrey beat Stewart Abraham in the first two games.

Then Andrew Dorrian got into his stride and Corby took the rest, Dorrian’s first hat-trick – plus the doubles with Abraham – was for the loss of only two ends.

In the absence of results from Montsaye this week, Corby D leapfrog Kettering B to go top, Kettering B stay second and Harriers go third.

Results: Harborough Imps 2 (Palfrey, Pearson) Corby D 8 (Dorrian 3, Abraham 2, Hunt 2, Abraham/Dorrian), Thrapston Harriers 8 (Blantern 3, Burrows 2, Cox 2, Blantern/Burrows) Kettering B 2 (Chatburn, Millman).

Player of the week: Derek Muggleton.

Team of the week: Thrapston Harriers.