Duo show tenacity but Corby progress

Steve Silk helped Westfield A move into the Millman Salver semi-finals
Steve Silk helped Westfield A move into the Millman Salver semi-finals

With players either cup tied or unavailable, Harborough Diamonds could only field a two-man team in their Kettering & District League Millman Salver quarter-final against Corby A.

The unfamiliar line-up of Steve Crook and Kevin Shield showed tremendous tenacity to only lose 21-19, despite having to concede 12 points for having the player short.

The tie was decided in game nine when Lee O’Boyle took the final end 13-11 for the decisive 21st point against Crook. Diamonds easily achieved another four points in the doubles.

Corby C were hopeful of reversing their narrow defeat to Kettering Town B in the Borough Trophy quarter-final but again just lost out 22-18.

Jim Chatburn gave Town B an early lead by beating Rob Warrender 3-1 and Ann Woolston doubled it with a 3-1 victory also over the unlucky Warrender.

Further 3-1 wins for Stephen Woolston and Keith McLaren quickly brought Corby level again at 14-14 after seven games.

But game eight proved decisive with Stephen Woolston took the first end easily to put Corby in front for the first time.

Chatburn reeled off the next three games to restore Town’s two point lead at 17-15 but the match ultimately depended on the doubles.

With Pete Scrivener feeling unwell the unfamiliar partnership of Chatburn and Ann Woolston took the doubles 3-1 against Ann’s son Stephen and Keith McLaren for a hard-fought victory.

Premier Division leaders Westfield A did not have things all their own way when defeating a mixture of youth and experience in Corby D.

Dan Bottrill impressively halved all his matches against Kevin Bird, Steve Silk and Roman Stefanov.

Nathan Brown gave him solid support, scoring five points out of 12 and partnering Bottrill to halve the doubles.

Sadly for Corby, the experienced John Hunt could not match his youthful team mates and only won one end in each of his three outings.

Kettering Town A became the third Premier Division side to reach the semi-finals as they beat Rothborough Dakotas 23-13.

Nigel Metcalfe was Town’s ace, only dropping two ends out of twelve for a 10-point haul.

For Dakotas, Lauren Ainsworth halved with John Fuller and Mike Hawes and Pete Rowbotham beat Hawes and also halved with Fuller.

Cathy Fleming struggled all evening picking up only one point against Fuller and Hawes.

Results: Corby C 18 (Warrender 4/8, McLaren 8/4, S Woolston 5/7, Woolston/McLaren 1/3) Kettering Town B 22 (Chatburn 8/4, Scrivener 4/8, Ann Woolston 7/5, Chatburn/Woolston 3/1), Westfield A 24 (Bird 7/5, Silk 8/4, Stefanov 7/5, Bird/Stefanov 2/2) Corby D 16 (Bottrill 6/6, Brown 5/7, Hunt 3/9, Brown/Bottrill 2/2), Harborough Diamonds 19 (Crook 9/3, Shield 6/6, Crook/Shield 4/0) Corby A 21 (Arthur 6/6, O’Boyle 7/5, Haynes 8/4), Kettering Town A 23 (Hawes 6/6, Fuller 7/5, Metcalfe 10/2) Rothborough Dakotas 13 (Rowbotham 6/6, Ainsworth 5/7, Fleming 2/10).

After being knocked out of the Millman Salver the previous evening against Premier Division opposition, Corby D were in action again facing another top-flight side Harborough Athletic in the Shirley Everard Points Cup.

This match went right down to the wire with Corby clinching a two-point win in a nail-biting doubles.

Starting with a 220-point deficit, the Athletic trio of father and son Barry and Nathan Thompson and Kevin Shield reduced the lead to 20 after the nine singles had been completed.

With the doubles to play, Shield and Nathan Thompson were now favourites.

Tom Cardwell and Dan Bottrill lost the first end 21-9 and still needed another 14 points for victory but against all the odds scored 15 in the second end to earn a 421-419 win.

With six singles completed the all-Westfield clash between the C and D teams was also heading for a close finish which could have easily gone either way.

The remaining three singles and the doubles turned out disastrously for Westfield C, only picking up 12 points against handicap having reduced the deficit by 121 in the first six rubbers.

Chris Alder, Scott Dixon and Paul Malpass all won ends against their Premier Division opponents to run out 502-415 victors.

With Derek Muggleton’s absence, Burton Baptist D were never in the hunt against Rothborough Exocets.

Anthony Yeomans, Helmut Salander and Sally Taylor played consistently throughout and ran out easy winners 495-412.

Yeomans starred for Exocets, dropping only 33 points including a 37-32 victory over Brett Owen.

In a very similar match on an adjoining table, Rothborough Dakotas beat Thrapston Falcons 518-409.

A fit-again Sean Smith played well above his league ranking, winning three of his six rubbers, with Lauren Ainsworth taking another and Pete Rowbotham chipped in with 20 and 18 points in two of his.

The winning margin probably reflected that Falcons had been treated a little harshly by the handicappers.

Results: Rothborough Exocets (+220) 495 (Yeomans 83/116, Salander 84/126, Taylor 74/127, Taylor/Salander 34/43) Burton Baptist D (SCR) 412 (Marshall 127/78, Smith 126/83, Owen 116/80, Smith/Owen 43/34), Corby D (+220) 421 (Bottrill 74/125, Cardwell 59/126, Brown 44/126, Bottrill/Cardwell 24/42) Harborough Athletic (SCR) 419 (B Thompson 126/71, Shield 126/54, N Thompson 125/52, Shield/N Thompson 42/24), Rothborough Dakotas (+220) 518 (Rowbotham 81/127, Smith 108/117, Ainsworth 86/123, Rowbotham/Ainsworth 23/42) Thrapston Falcons (SCR) 409 (Payne 120/103, Baldock 126/71, Tyler 121/111, Baldock/Tyler 42/23), Westfield C (SCR) 415 (Wildman 134/82, Horrocks 124/81, Smalley 123/78 Wildman/Horrocks 34/41) Westfield D (+220) 502 (Dixon 83/123, Malpass 71/134, Alder 87/124, Dixon/Malpass 41/34).