Leaders Eagles see off fellow high-fliers

Kevin Bird hit a hat-trick for Westfield A in the Premier Division
Kevin Bird hit a hat-trick for Westfield A in the Premier Division

Top of the table Thrapston Eagles won the first four matches against second-placed Rothborough Arrows, who were without their top player Julian Marlow.

Helen Watts stopped the rot in the Kettering & District Table Tennis League Division One clash when she beat Ian Donaldson in four ends and also beat Mark Stockley to record a second point.

Paul Watts also got the better of Donaldson before the unbeaten Chris Warliker joined Stockley to add the doubles to give Eagles a 7-3 win and move them seven points clear at the top of the table.

Liam Burnham continued his excellent start to the season with another treble for Rangers and Mark Pearson eventually got past Falcons’ Alan Tyler 11-8 in the fifth end.

However, two wins each for Nigel Payne and Antony Marray, and a single from Tyler, meant Falcons led 5-4 going into the doubles.

Burnham teamed up with John McGowan to come back from two ends down to take the doubles 14-12 in the fifth end to leave the match drawn.

The first game of the night between Buccaneers and Burton C was the only one to go the full five ends with Dave Simmons coming back from 2-1 down to defeat Luke Saywood.

Burton took the next four in straight ends to lead 5-0 before Ivor Jones opened Buccaneers account by beating Chris Agg.

Simmons and Derek Muggleton both completed trebles but couldn’t add the doubles against the battling Jones and Saywood.

The all-Corby match proved a one-sided affair with the D team only able to field two players.

Stephen Woolston, Ryan Cassidy and Kyle Murie all recorded trebles for the C team with only Eric Schwarzer able to take a game to the fifth end. Murie and Cassidy added the doubles for a 10-0 win.

Results: Thrapston Eagles 7 (Warliker 3, Stockley 2, Donaldson, Warliker/Stockley) Rothborough Arrows 3 (H Watts 2, P Watts), Harborough Rangers 5 (Burnham 3, Pearson, Burnham/McGowan) Thrapston Falcons 5 (Payne 2, Marray 2, A Tyler), Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Jones, Jones/Saywood) Burton Baptist C 8 (Simmons 3, Muggleton 3, Agg 2), Corby C 10 (Murie 3, Woolston 3, Cassidy 3, Murie/Cassidy) Corby D 0.

Westfield A lead the way as they attempt to retain their Premier Division crown and they showed bottom markers Burton Baptist B no mercy as they romped to a 10-0 victory for the loss of just four ends.

They did suffer one scare though as Steve Silk had to dig deep to come back from 2-1 down to defeat Jacek Koltuniuk.

The rest of the games were won comfortably by the team of Silk, Kevin Bird and Dan Smalley as Burton’s early season struggles continued.

Burton Baptist A are enjoying a far better season than their club colleagues and they moved into second place courtesy of a resounding 8-2 victory over a Corby Town A side that were without Lee O’Boyle.

Chris Ross and Alex Aston were both unbeaten although Aston was pushed hard by Chris Haynes before winning 11-9 in the fifth end. Dariusz Gulbicki won twice but fell to defeat against Haynes. Finally the Corby pair of Haynes and Arthur extended their unbeaten doubles record as they overcame Ross and Gulbicki in four ends.

Kettering A were without John Fuller but still came away with a 9-1 victory from their match with Westfield C.

Nigel Metcalfe and Brian Harradine both scored trebles, though Metcalfe was pushed hard by Nicole Bird before clinching his hat-trick 11-9 in the decider. Nicole Bird recorded Westfield’ s solitary point when she beat Mike Hawes.

Corby Town B avoided defeat for the first time this season in their draw with Westfield B. Brian Wooding was unbeaten for Westfield and Steve Hobbs added a double.

Hobbs looked to be on his way to his own hat-trick when he led Aaron Moore 2-0, only for the Corby skipper to fight back and claim a 3-2 victory.

Moore had earlier shown his fighting attitude by recovering from 2-1 down to defeat Scott Dixon in five ends, with the unfortunate Dixon also losing out to Michael Clarke after leading 2-1, and also provided Rob Warrander with his first success of the season.

Results: Westfield A 10 (K Bird 3, Silk 3, Smalley 3, Bird/Silk) Burton Baptist B 0, Burton Baptist A 8 (Aston 3, Ross 3, Gulbicki 2) Corby Town A (Haynes, Arthur/Haynes), Westfield C 1 (N Bird) Kettering Town A 9 (Metcalfe 3, Harradine 3, Hawes 2, Metcalfe/Harradine), Westfield B 5 (Wooding 3, Hobbs 2) Corby Town B 5 (Moore 2, Clarke, Warrander, Clarke/Moore).

The top-of-the-table clash at Rothborough between the two unbeaten teams saw Burton Baptist D triumph over Comets – but only just.

Although ahead throughout, the win was only assured at 11-9 at the fifth end of the doubles. This maintained Burton’s unbeaten doubles record and inflicted Pete Sturges’ first doubles defeat since 2011.

Kelvin Marshall achieved a maximum but needed three deuce wins to defeat Sturges and to recover from 2-0 down to beat Kelvin Linnett. The victory puts Burton alongside Comets in the table.

Thrapston Harriers leapfrogged both Comets and Burton to the top of the table by virtue of an 8-2 success over Rothborough Exocets.

Alan Tyler needed all the ends to beat Ray Harrison in his first game but was then largely untroubled on his way to four victories on the night. Paul Blantern and Mike Burrows chipped in with a pair apiece, defeated only by Harrison and Lee Mordecai respectively. Harrison played 18 ends on the night for his single victory.

Dakotas join Exocets on 35 points and an identical record when they overcame Kettering Town B 7-3.

Both Tom and Will Ravenscroft got hat-tricks, Will’s second of the season and Tom’s third in five matches. Alan Woolston and Pete Scrivener got all the points for Town, but most unlucky was Ann Woolston, losing to both Will Ravenscroft and Martin Bradford 9-11 in fifth ends.

This week’s all-Rothborough clash saw Phantoms’ handsome victory over Gladiators take them level with Kettering Town B, also with identical records.

Pete Rowbotham and Lauren Ainsworth both got their first maximums of the season, Lauren showing no family sentiment in defeating Pete Ainsworth in the process.

Tony Yeomans’ sole victory against Cathy Fleming means he has won all of Gladiators five points so far this season.

Harborough Imps matched their best result of the season in defeating a reduced Corby E 9-1.

Ron Palfrey and debutant John McGowan recorder maximums and Ben Campbell gainied his first win but couldn’t better Dan Bottrill who got his and Corby’s second point of the season. Imps are now close on the tail of Phantoms and Kettering B, promising a tight mid-table fight.

Results: Corby E 1 (D Bottrill) Harborough Imps 9 (McGowan 3, Palfrey 3, Campbell 2, Campbell/Palfrey), Rothborough Comets 4 (Lewis 2, Linnett, Sturges) Burton Baptist D 6 (Marshall 3, Smith 2, Marshall/Smith), Rothborough Dakotas 7 (T Ravenscroft 3, W Ravenscroft 3, Bradford) Kettering town B 3 (Scrivener, Al Woolston, Scrivener/ Al Woolston), Rothborough Exocets 2 (Harrison, Mordecai) Thrapston Harriers 8 (A Tyler 3, Blantern 2, Burrows 2, Blantern/A Tyler), Rothborough Phantoms 9 (L Ainsworth 3, Rowbotham 3, Fleming 2, L Ainsworth/Fleming) Rothborough Gladiators 1 (Yeomans).

Player of the week: Will Ravenscroft/Liam Burnham.

Team of the week: Burton Baptist D.