Higham edged past Westfield B 6-4 to start their Premier Division campaign with a win in the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
With captain Richard Elliott facing a spell on the sidelines, county number one Andy Trott stepped in and won his customary treble without dropping an end.
Nicole Bird and Dan Smalley picked up two wins each for the home side, defeating Mark Nannery and Geoff Cummings.
Both Nannery and league newcomer Cummings edged past a winless Matt Horrocks in deciding ends, leaving the score at 5-4 to Higham with just the doubles to play.
But Westfield’s hopes of salvaging a draw were ended when Trott and Cummings pulled clear to win 11-9 in the fourth end.
Kettering Town sit top of the pile after week one after a resounding 10-0 win over Harborough A.
Harborough, who were promoted from Division One last season, were always likely to find it tough going with no matches going beyond four ends.
Barry Thompson took an end off both Nigel Metcalfe and Ian Johnston but that was as good as it got for the visitors.
Fellow promoted side Harborough B took the title of unluckiest team of the week in an 8-2 loss at Corby Lyveden Fields.
Liam Burnham, Mike Brocklebank and Steve Crook lost and incredible five last-game deciders between them, and could easily have snatched a draw.
Burnham and Brocklebank picked up good wins over Aaron Moore, with Burnham blowing 2-1 leads over both Kyle Murie and Guy Sparrow.
To rub salt into the wounds the visitors led 2-1 in the doubles but fell 11-2, 12-10 for a gut-wrenching 8-2 scoreline.
A young Corby Smash A team got off to a fine start to the season with an 8-2 win against Westfield C.
Sam Wilson, who recently won the Masters Invitational, and brother Adam both picked up trebles with relative ease with Adam not dropping a game.
Steve Hobbs and Matt Rushton score single wins over Pete Hillery who was playing up, although Hillery did beat league newcomer Mark Beaumont in five.
Results: Westfield B 4 (Smalley 2, Bird 2) Higham 6 (Trott 3, Cummings, Nannery, Trott/Cummings), Kettering Town 10 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 3, Johnston 3, Metcalfe/Johnston) Harborough A 0, Corby Lyveden Fields 10 (Murie 3, Sparrow 3, Moore, Murie/Sparrow) Harborough B 2 (Burnham, Brocklebank), Corby Smash A 8 (S Wilson 3, A Wilson 3, Hillery, Wilson/Wilson) Westfield C 2 (Hobbs, Rushton).
Team of the week: Higham.
Player of the week: Adam Wilson.
The biggest winners in the first week of the Division One season were Rothborough Arrows, with defeat for Helen Watts at the hands of newcomer David George being the only blot on the scoresheet.
George also nearly made an impressive comeback from two down against Sean Smith before the Arrows player rallied to win the decider 11-4.
Martin Watts struggled against Paul Malpass but otherwise he and Smith took all their singles points and Smith teamed up with Helen Watts for the doubles victory.
Burton Baptist B nearly matched them with an 8-2 defeat of Corby Smash C.
If Derek Muggleton had reversed the final-end 12-10 result against Mike Burrows in the first game it would have been a clean sweep in the singles but Burrows doggedly fought it out to prevent Muggleton overcoming a 2-0 deficit.
Burrows teamed up with Alex Cochrane for the doubles as well.
Nash Hooda’s guile and Jacob Tattersall’s emerging talent saw them to hat tricks, both only dropping one end.
Thrapston have only one team in the league this season but the biggest squad in the division and they started well with an 8-2 win over Corby Lakeview, only Steve West dropping a game, albeit 12-10 in the fifth to Adam Bendyk.
That was the ninth singles and buoyed by this Lakeview took the doubles too, with Bendyk teaming up with Stephen Woolston.
Pete Briggs and Chris Warliker both bagged maximums and were never taken the full distance.
Corby Halesowen came away with the spoils from Church Langton, but Harborough C had the strongest start, racing to a 3-1 lead.
Then Halesowen applied the pressure and won the next five before Harborough rounded it off with the doubles for a 4-6 loss.
The Halesowen team of Ken Knott, Tom Lathom and Neil Stone each secured a brace, matched by Jamie Burgess for Harborough, with Vaughan Allington getting a hard-fought fifth-end win to prevent Stone’s treble.
Corby Smash B also had a strong start, at one point 4-1 ahead of a new look Burton Baptist A.
Debutant Denise Jacobi had a tough start to the Kettering league when she got the one, showing her mettle in a hard-fought fifth-end defeat of Tyler Hillery, then lost in four to Pete Hillery, finally beating Lewis Hillery in four.
With her brace, matched by Dave Needham, and then the doubles success by the pair, it dragged Burton back to parity at the end of the night.
Pete and Lewis Hillery got two apiece and Tyler was very close to equalling them.
Results: Burton Baptist B 8 (Hooda 3, Tattersall 3 Muggleton 2) Corby Smash C 2 (Burrows, Burrows/Cochrane), Corby Lakeview 2 (Bendyk, Bendyk/Woolston) Thrapston 8 (Briggs 3, Warliker 3, West 2), Corby Smash B 5 (L Hillery 2, P Hillery 2, T Hillery) Burton Baptist A 5 (Jacobi 2, Needham 2, Jacobi/Needham), Harborough C 4 (Burgess 2, Allington, Burgess/Allington) Corby Halesowen 6 (Knott 2, Lathom 2, Stone 2), Westfield D 1 (George) Rothborough Arrows 9 (Smith 3, M Watts 3, H Watts 2, Smith/H Watts).
Player of the week: Adam Bendyk.
Team of the week: Rothborough A.
The Division Two season kicked off with two of the top favoured teams in the division going head to head, however with Beth Tyler away Old were soundly beaten.
With Alan Tyler and Gareth Lewis both on braces it was Lewis who got the treble over Tyler over a very close five sets.
Pete Rowbotham and Lee Mordecai picked up braces over the two ladies and despite a close doubles Comets ran out comfortable winners in the end.
Smash E, fielding a completely new team, were up against Burton D.
With Burton playing Jon Sanders and Jim Chatburn, two of last year’s division’s better players, on paper it was always going to be a tough game for the new E team.
Chatburn, now playing in his 50th year, scored a fine treble, however with a superb effort from Piotr Knitter, after seven games E were only 4-3 down.
Dave Marks picked up one win despite playing well, and debutant Tom Reygen also had his first win.
Michael Wilson had a blank and will look to improve to bolster his team’s good performance.
Chatburn and Sanders cleaned up the last two singles and then added a quick doubles victory.
Harborough D, with new player Peter Smith, started where they left off last season with a resounding victory over Corby Chesham.
John McGowan and Ron Palfrey both had trebles with Palfrey dropping ends to Claire Dixon and debutant Nick Preston Jones.
Smith had a brace on his debut but was soundly beaten in three by Dixon.
Nathan Dixon in his second season and Jones both had blanks but both played well.
Newly formed team Burton C had a tough night against Smash D in a close encounter.
Bryan Lade made a good treble but that is all the team managed to score.
Chris Winter, Andrew Frearson and Reece Radford all had braces with Winter and Frearson adding a very close doubles.
Burton’s new boys Harry Andrews and Samuel Tattersall both had close games to five ends but ended with blanks on their debuts.
The last game of the week saw the two of the three newly-formed Corby teams going head to head, Lincoln against Harrogate.
Lincoln had the advantage playing three previous league players against Harrogate’s one.
With captain John Hunt unavailable Harrogate’s debutant Mia Solomon was the only one who managed to take one end in what turned out to be a miserable night for them, losing 10-0
Rothborough Dakotas and Westfield E had an eventful evening with a power outage causing an abandonment. The fixture will be replayed at a later date.
Results: Old Village 2 (A Tyler 2) Rothborough Comets 8 (Rowbotham 2, Lewis 3, Mordecai 2, Mordecai/Lewis), Smash E 3 (Reygan, Knitter 2) Burton D 7 (Chatburn 3, Sanders 2, Marks, Sanders/Marks), Burton Baptist 3 (Lade 3) Corby Smash D 7 (Frearson 2, Radford 2, Winter 2, Winter/Frearson), Corby Lincoln 10 (Donaldson 3, Woolston 3, Frost 3, Woolston/Frost) Corby Harrogate 0, Harborough D 9 (McGowan 3, Palfrey 3, Smith 2, McGowan/Palfrey) Corby Chesham 1 (Dixon).
Player of the week: Piotr Knitter.
Team of the week: Corby Lincoln.
Some of Great Britain’s best female table tennis players will be in action in Kettering this weekend.
The venue will host eight divisions of Women’s British League action across the weekend, with teams travelling from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Plymouth, the north east and across the rest of the UK.
The league has featured international players in the past and action starts at 10.30am on Saturday and 9.45am on Sunday.
The event, which takes place at the Kettering Arena in Thurston Drive, is free for spectators to watch.
Anyone in the local area looking to join a table tennis club can find their nearest by visiting https://tabletennis365.com/kettering/Clubs