Westfield A dominated the first half of the season in the Premier Division of the Kettering and District Table Tennis league and they kicked off the second half the season in much the same way.
Burton Baptist B were the latest team to suffer from a 10-0 whitewash and with Roumen Stefanov, Kevin Bird and Steve Silk in fine form.
Even at this stage of the season it seems very unlikely that any of the chasing pack will be able to catch them.
The Westfield B team are finding the season a little tougher than their club-mates in the A team and they suffered their seventh defeat of the season, going down 8-2 against a Harborough Athletic side strengthened by Mick Allsopp’s and Jon Williams inclusion.
Both players recorded hat-tricks though Steve Hobbs came close to achieving the scalp of Williams before going down 11-7, 14-12, 5-11, 8-11, 7-11.
Barry Thompson picked up a single success but lost out to Hobbs and Matthew Rushton.
The Thrapston club played host to the two clubs battling for second place as bottom-placed Thrapston SAS hosted second-placed Higham Band and, on the adjacent table, relegation threatened Thrapston Eagles entertained third placed Corby Town A.
The Higham trio of Andy Harrison, Richard Elliott and Mark Nannery all recorded comfortable hat-tricks for the loss of just five ends.
But Steve West and Mark Stockley upset the pairing of Nannery and Elliott to win the doubles and prevent the whitewash.
Corby Town were missing Aiden Smith so Aaron Moore was promoted from the first division and he continued his fine form in that division as he recorded his first-ever top-flight treble.
Lee O’Boyle was in excellent form with a straight games hat-trick but Henry Arthur had to work harder for his treble with fifth-end wins over Valdy Papienik, Ian Donaldson and Chris Warliker.
Moore and O’Boyle then teamed up to take the doubles and complete the 10-0 win and move a point closer to their Higham rivals.
Kettering Town A could only muster two players for their match at Arthingworth but still came away with a 6-4 victory.
John Fuller recorded another treble although Chris Gibbons pushed him close before losing 10-12, 13-15, 9-11.
Mike Hawes almost matched Fuller’s performance but after beating Michael Edwards and Gerald Henson, he saw his hopes of a hat-trick slip away as Gibbons edged him out 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 10-12.
Finally the Kettering pair teamed up to complete the win with a hard earned 14-16, 11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 15-13 win over Henson and Gibbons.
Results: Westfield A 10 (Stefanov 3, Bird 3, Silk 3, Bird/Stefanov) Burton Baptist B 0, Westfield B 2 (Rushton, Hobbs) Harborough Athletic 8 (Allsopp 3, Williams 3, Thompson, Allsopp/Williams), Thrapston SAS 1 (West/Stockley) Higham Band 9 (Harrison 3, Elliott 3, Nanney 3), Thrapston Eagles 0 Corby Town A 10 (Moore 3, O’Boyle 3, Arthur 3, Moore/O’Boyle), Arthingworth 4 (Gibbons 2, Henson, Edwards) Kettering Town A 6 (Fuller 3, Hawes 2, Fuller/Hawes).
Burton D’s hopes of avoiding Division One relegation took a double blow at Wellingborough as they lost 10-0 to Westfield C with Darryl Sutcliffe having to concede his second and third games due to a reoccurrence of an old neck injury.
The only match to go to a deciding 5th end was the doubles where Nitin Patel and Paul Malpass came back from two ends down to defeat Richard Leder and Baz Fatania.
The other side currently filling one of the relegation places, Buccaneers had a much closed game against top of the table Corby B.
The first four singles all went to five the fifth end but only Paul Watts managed to record a win for the Rothborough side in these matches.
Aaron Moore maintained his 100 per cent record for the season but needed five ends to get past both Tom Ravenscroft and Luke Saywood.
While Ravenscroft did record a win over Stephen Woolston, Saywood was particularly unlucky to end the night with a blank having taken all of his singles matches to the fifth end.
Ravenscroft also featured in the Arrows/Diamonds match on the same evening replacing the absent Julian Marlow.
Luckily his matches were all decided in straight ends, with two wins before falling to Liam Burnham.
Burnham had earlier come back from two ends down to defeat David Steele, while Steele came back from 2-1 down to defeat John McGowan 11-9 in the fifth end.
Vaughan Allington came back from 2-0 down to defeat Nigel Payne in a marathon encounter which saw the first three matches between Rangers and Falcons take 75 minutes to complete.
Payne then came back from two ends down to take Mike Brocklebank to a fifth end but the Rangers player took the decider 13-11.
Luckily an early finish on the other table meant the match could be finished on two tables where Allington senior completed his first treble of the season by defeating Antony Marray in five ends while Brocklebank came back from two ends down against Alan Tyler to also complete his treble and leave Falcons unlucky to have taken only one point from the evening.
While all three Kites players recorded at least one win they couldn’t stop Corby C’s Chris Haynes recording another treble, his seventh in his last eight matches.
The closest match of the night was when Kyle Murie came back from 2-0 down to defeat Paul Goodman 13-11 in the 5th end. Murie then joined Haynes to take the doubles to give Corby a 6-4 win.
Results: Westfield C 10 (Bird 3, Malpass 3, Patel 3, Malpass/Patel) Burton Baptist D 0, Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Ravenscroft, P Watts) Corby B 8 (Moore 3, Woolston 2, Murie 2, Moore/Woolston), Harborough Rangers 9 (V Allington 3, Brocklebank 3, J Allington 2, Brocklebank/J Allington) Thrapston Falcons 1 (Marray), Rothborough Arrows 8 (H Watts 3, Steele 2, Ravenscroft 2, H Watts/Steele) Harborough Diamonds 2 (Burnham 2), Corby C 6 (Haynes 3, Murie 2, Haynes/Murie) Thrapston Kites 4 (Briggs 2, Goodman, Judd).
There was little festive spirit at Montsaye when Division Two leaders Rothborough Comets made short work of third place Dakotas with a 9-1 victory.
Dakotas fought hard for little reward, particularly Gareth Lewis who twice lost in a decider, against Ivor Jones and David Simmons for his first blank night of the season. Dakotas’ sole success was Kelvin Linnett’s notable defeat of Pete Sturges, otherwise Sturges, Jones and Simmons extended their lead, and have to visit second place Corby D next.
There were only two draws in the first half of the season, but there were three in the first week of the second half of the season, and with three of the same teams.
The much-anticipated clash between the top two was a moral victory for Rothborough Comets, as their reduced team forced a draw with Corby D.
Keith McLaren’s first return to 2nd division action since week three was particularly impressive as he inflicted David Simmons’ second defeat of the campaign in his third hat-trick in four matches.
Even McLaren though couldn’t prevent Simmons extending his and Comets unbeaten doubles success, this time with Alan Brisley, as they also both got doubles.
The match between Thrapston Hawks and Rothborough Exocets was thrilling with a good start and finish allowing Hawks a share of the spoils, much improved from their previous 8-2 defeat.
Exocets’ Sean Smith was unbeaten with his fifth maximum from eight appearances, although Joe Kent pushed him hard.
Kent played 19 ends, losing only to Smith but scraping through against Will Ravenscroft and from two ends down in the doubles with Alfie Wright, who also bagged a pair.
Their club-mates Harriers also drew at Church Langton in a game shortened by a reduced number of players.
Paul Blantern went through the card unbeaten, in the process getting revenge on an earlier defeat by Mark Pearson but needing the full distance. Pearson got a double as did Jamie Burgess, also reversing a previous defeat by Mike Burrows.
Kettering B improved on their earlier defeat of Burton Baptist E when they hosted them in the first match of the second half of the season.
Their 8-2 margin included trebles for Dennis Millman – dropping only one end – and Jim Chatburn – in straight ends.
It was perhaps most notable though for Ryan Leder’s first victory since his return to action this season, and in straight ends too against Ann Woolston.
The only blot on Rothborough Dakotas score sheet against Gladiators was provided by Tony Yeomans in a hard fought defeat of Pete Rowbotham, although Edward West was very close to a victory against Kelvin Linnett. Otherwise Linnett, Rowbotham and Gareth Lewis made the most of gathering points for their promotion push.
Results: Corby D 5 (McLaren 3,Cardwell, Hunt) Rothborough Comets 5 (Brisley 2, Simmons 2, Brisley/Simmons), Harborough Imps 5 (Burgess 2, Pearson 2, Lauder) Thrapston Harriers 5 (Blantern 3, Burrows, Blantern/Burrows),
Kettering B 8 (Chatburn 3, Millman 3, An Woolston,Chatburn/Millman) Burton Baptist E 2 (Leder, Loake), Rothborough Dakotas 1 (Linnett) Rothborough Comets 9 (Jones 3, Simmons 3, Sturges 2, Simmons/Sturges), Rothborough Dakotas 9 (Lewis 3, Linnett 3, Rowbotham 2, Lewis/Linnett) Rothborough Gladiators (Yeomans), Thrapston Hawks 5 (A Wright 2, Kent 2, A Wright/Kent) Rothborough Exocets 5 (Smith 3, Bradford, Ravenscroft).
Player of the week: Vaughan Allington/Aaron Moore
Team of the week: Rothborough Comets