John Fuller and Shandor Czuczor both hit fine trebles as Kettering Town A thrashed perennial rivals Higham 8-2 in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
Neither were ever really troubled by the usually imposing force of Richard Elliott, Pete Bannister and Richard Bashford.
It could so easily have been 9-1 had Town’s Nigel Metcalfe got the better of Bannister, succumbing 12-10 in the deciding end, with Higham’s second point coming from Elliott against Metcalfe.
Westfield B moved into the lofty heights of third after a crushing 10-0 win at Rothborough Arrows.
Arrows were without their key performer Helen Watts and they struggled to get going.
Westfield’s trio of Sam Wildman, Dan Smalley and Richie Bailey were all in consistent form, dropping just one end all night.
Burton Baptist A got the better of Harborough A 7-3 in a topsy-turvy encounter.
Dariusz Gulbicki was the star for the hosts with an impressive maximum, aided by a brace from Alex Aston and a single win for Gerry Crasto over Nathan Thompson.
Barry Thompson scored a brace and was helped by Mike Brocklebank’s solitary win to pick up an important three points.
Burton Baptist B moved three points clear of Harborough in the relegation zone despite going down 6-4 at Corby A.
Martin Hall secured a fantastic hat-trick, including a win over Chris Haynes, and was helped by Jacek Koltuniuk’s win over Nigel Hunt.
Haynes, Kyle Murie and Hunt combined for five points before Haynes and Murie combined to seal the win in the doubles.
Corby B lost 6-4 against Corby Smash in the latest instalment of Corby derbies.
Henry Arthur, Guy Sparrow and Chris Robertson all beat Adam Wilson but found Colin Wilson and Tony West a bridge too far.
Arthur and Robertson did reduce the scoreline in the doubles, coming from behind to beat the Corby Smash pairing 11-8 in the decider.
Results: Higham 2 (Elliott, Bannister) Kettering Town A 8 (Fuller 3, Czuczor 3, Metcalfe, Fuller/Metcalfe), Rothborough Arrows 0 Westfield B 10 (Wildman 3, Smalley 3, Bailey 3, Wildman/Smalley), Burton Baptist A 7 (Gulbicki 3, Aston 2, Crasto, Gulbicki/Aston) Harborough A 3 (B Thompson 2, Brocklebank), Corby A 6 (Haynes 2, Murie 2, Hunt, Haynes/Murie) Burton Baptist B 4 (Hall 3, Koltuniuk), Corby B 4 (Arthur, Sparrow, Robertson, Arthur/Robertson), Corby Smash 6 (C Wilson 3, West 3).
Team of the week: Kettering Town A.
Player of the week: Martin Hall.
The top three teams in Division One all had convincing wins, the most impressive being Westfield C’s 10-0 whitewash of Thrapston Kites.
Kites had scored 25 points in their last three matches taking them up to fourth place and on paper this looked like a tough match for Westfield.
Unfortunately for Kites, their number two Stewart Williams had an off day and only managed to win one game out of 10 played.
Geoff Judd and Bob Hickson both did better than this, between them taking four sets to the deciding fifth games in singles and doubles combined but on each occasion Paul Malpass and Chris Alder won the all-important decider.
There was no such drama involving Bhavika Mistry with the improving junior winning nine out of nine games.
Westfield C lead Thrapston Eagles by one point and they have Luke Saywood to thank for that as his 12-10 fifth end win over Chris Warliker was Rothborough Buccaneers’ only point to prevent Eagles getting the whitewash.
Warliker recovered to beat Sean Smith and Ivor Jones 3-1.
Mark Stockley was never tested, winning every game between 11-2 and 11-8 while Steve West had slightly more work to do, needing four games to beat Smith and Saywood but only three for Jones.
Third-placed Harborough B beatBurton Baptist D 8-2 but overall the match was closer than the scoreline suggests.
The main reason for this difference was Derek Muggleton’s unfortunate habit of losing sets in five games.
It has already happened 13 times so far this season and all three times in this match despite him being either one or two games up in all three.
Technically Liam Burnham was the player of the match as he was the only treble winner but Chris Agg put in the surprise performance of the match, beating both Mike Brocklebank and Steve Crook 3-0 who are 26 and seven places ahead of him respectively in the rankings.
As expected the Thrapston Falcons trio of Nigel Payne, Antony Marray and Ian Baldock were too good for Rothborough Comets.
Lauren Ainsworth got the closest for Comets to avoiding the whitewash but after she lost the fifth game to Antony Marray the Falcons players won all of the other sets either 3-0 or 3-1.
As a result, Falcons have regained fourth place and Comets are now 19 points adrift at the bottom.
Harborough C had a good 7-3 win over Burton Baptist C, who are two places ahead of them in sixth, although the Burton side have recently been weakened by the unavailability of David Simmons.
This time it was Jon Sanders’ turn to play up and he found the higher standard too tough on this occasion, not getting on the scorecard despite going 2-0 up on Mark Pearson.
Sam Burgess is generally Harborough C’s best player and was the player of the match with the only treble.
Pearson got a brace but lost to Kelvin Marshall who also got a brace.
Ninth-placed Corby C beat second to bottom Harborough D 7-3.
Corby’s Rob Warrender was the highest ranked player in the match and this was reflected in his performance, winning a treble for the loss of one game.
As all of the Corby players were ranked above all of the Harborough players, Harborough should be pleased with the three points.
All three of them chipped in with a single win, Vaughan Allington and Phil Dixon beating an out of form Dan Bottrill and Jamie Burgess with a good win over Stephen Woolston.
Harborough D increased their lead over Comets to 19 points and narrowed the gap with Buccaneers to six.
Results: Westfield C 10 (Malpass 3, Mistry 3, Alder 3, Malpass/Alder) Thrapston Kites 0, Rothborough Buccaneers 1 (Saywood) Thrapston Eagles 9 (West 3, Stockley 3, Warliker 2, West/Stockley), Burton Baptist D 2 (Agg 2) Harborough B 8 (Burnham 3, Crook 2, Brocklebank 2, Crook/Burnham), Thrapston Falcons 10 (Payne 3, Marray 3, Baldock 3, Marray/Baldock) Rothborough Comets 0, Harborough D 3 (Burgess, Allington, Dixon) Corby C 7 (Warrender 3, Woolston 2, Bottrill, Woolston/Warrender), Harborough C 7 (Burgess 3, Pearson 2, Burgess, Pearson/Burgess) Burton Baptist C 3 (Marshall 2,Goodman).
Team of the week: Westfield C.
Players of the week: Bhavika Mistry and Chris Agg.
There were some close games and ends in Division Two, with two matches ending in draws and the other two 7-3.
That was the score when Rothborough Exocets entertained Old with the home team emerging victorious, but five games went the distance, five ends finished 12-10 with five other higher scores including an 18-16 and a 20-18 in the doubles.
The main man was Lee Mordecai who won every game he played, in the process inflicting Beth Tyler’s only defeat and contributing to a rare blank week for Mike Burrows.
David Marshall – who is 122 in the new rankings list – had a superb victory over Burrows (96) and also beat Charlie Edwards, who was the unluckiest player in losing two games that went the distance but he did beat Helmut Salander, ranked 15 places higher.
It brings Exocets just a point behind their opponents and two behind Kettering Town B.
This is because Kettering B lost to Corby D who are edging closer to the top two.
Neil Stone also won everything on the night and was largely untroubled until the doubles when he was paired with John Hunt – who had earlier won two – but they had to go the distance to beat Jim Chatburn and Ann Woolston to add the gloss to their victory.
Woolston was Town’s best player in matching her brace from the earlier match.
Team of the week was undoubtedly Westfield D as the bottom team visited second and long-time leaders Team Jim and obtained their best result in drawing, having previously lost 1-9.
Team Jim had to win the last three games to achieve parity.
Charlie Clements, playing in only his third match, beat Jacob Tattersall, Ben Freeman and Harry Lade but couldn’t quite force the doubles, losing 10-12 in the fifth with Sidney Wright.
Wright ably supported Clements in also beating Lade and Freeman, only missing out on her own maximum in a fifth-end decider against Tattersall.
The leaders were also held this week, as they and Harborough earned their first draws of the season.
John McGowan had trouble in the first match against Tony Yeomans, but from there on was not stretched, and again cajoled Ben Baker to a doubles win against Cathy Fleming and Pete Rowbotham after a blank singles night for the youngster.
Rowbotham’s consistency won him two games and Yeomans won his customary tight encounter with Ron Palfrey to also obtain a pair.
With one more week until the second round of matches are complete in the second division, the top four are closer than they were after the first round in week seven.
Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 5 (J Tattersall 2, Freeman, H Lade, H Lade/J Tattersall) Westfield D 5 (Clements 3, Wright 2), Harborough E 5 (McGowan 3, Palfrey, McGowan/Baker) Rothborough Dakotas 5 (Rowbotham 2, Yeomans 2, Fleming), Kettering Town B 3 (An Woolston 2, Chatburn) Corby D 7 (Stone 3, Hunt 2, Brown, Hunt/Stone), Rothborough Exocets 7 (Mordecai 3, Marshall 2, Salander, Marshall/Mordecai) Old Village 3 (Tyler 2, Edwards).
Player of the week: Charlie Clements.
Team of the week: Westfield D.
Tributes have flooded in for Pete Scrivener, who recently lost his fight against illness.
Nobody had a bad word for him in the 21 years and more than 1,200 matches he played in Kettering.
Fittingly, in his last match he won the Borough Trophy, the first cup he had ever won, although his sportsmanship, gentle nature and sense of fun (like finding his sweet wrappers in your bag at the end of the night) contributed to his team winning the sportsmanship trophy and being second twice.
He won more than half of his 849 singles matches and was part of the oldest team ever to play in the league, a total of 231 years.
Those team members he liked to take to matches in his Jaguar knew the real reason was so that they could navigate as he was notoriously bad and once failed to find Braybrooke School.
In Jim Chatburn’s words: “Pete’s passing leaves a large hole both in my team and the League. He will be sadly missed and very difficult to replace.”