Two of the league’s unbeaten records tumbled as there were shocks aplenty in the Kettering & District Table Tennis Premier Division.
Roumen Stefanov had a rare off night as he suffered defeat for the first time, but his Westfield A side still pulled through to hammer Higham 8-2.
The Bulgarian went down in four tight ends to Richard Bashford before being beaten convincingly by Richard Elliott, but picked himself up to beat Pete Bannister.
That was as good as it got for Higham as Kevin Bird and daughter Nicole combined for seven points, with a particularly impressive treble for the younger Bird.
Kevin was made to work for his maximum and needed deciding ends before seeing off the threat of Bashford and Elliott.
Colin Wilson also saw his unbeaten start end as Corby Smash drew 5-5 with Westfield B.
The left-hander fell in five ends to Dan Smalley, who almost claimed a magnificent hat-trick before losing to Tony West at the death.
West and Wilson picked up five points, with Smalley’s brace, singles from Sam Wildman and Paul Malpass and a Smalley/Wildman doubles success leaving it all-square.
Stefanov and Wilson’s defeats leave Dawid Przybysz as the only 100 per cent player after he recorded a comfortable treble in Burton Baptist A’s 7-3 defeat of Rothborough Arrows.
He was joined by Alex Aston in success, with the away side’s points all coming from surprise wins over Dariusz Gulbicki.
Martin and Helen Watts both recorded four-end wins over the Pole, with Tom Ravenscroft sneaking through 12-10 in the fifth end.
Chris Haynes hit another maximum as Corby A won 7-3 at Harborough A.
He was joined by Kyle Murie and Guy Sparrow who both bagged braces – Murie falling to Barry Thompson and Sparrow losing to Nathan Thompson.
The Thompson’s then paired up to claim what could be an important doubles win in their fight to avoid relegation.
Also struggling at the wrong end of the table are Burton Baptist B, who lost 8-2 to Kettering Town A having only fielded two players.
John Fuller and Nigel Metcalfe were untroubled as they avoided defeat, with Shyam Bavalia picking up a good win over Baptist’s Asif Manji on his debut.
Gerry Crasto edged past Bavalia before he and Manji won the doubles to reduce the deficit.
Results: Westfield A 8 (K Bird 3, N Bird 3, Stefanov, K Bird/N Bird) Higham 2 (Elliott/Bashford), Kettering Town A 8 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 3, Bavalia 2) Burton Baptist B 2 (Crasto, Crasto/Manji), Burton Baptist A 7 (Przybysz 3, Aston 3, Przybysz/Aston) Rothborough Arrows 3 (H Watts, M Watts, Ravenscroft), Harborough A 3 (B Thompson, N Thompson, B Thompson/N Thompson) Corby A 7 (Haynes 3, Murie 2, Sparrow 2), Corby Smash 5 (West 3, Wilson 2) Westfield B 5 (Smalley 2, Wildman, Malpass, Smalley/Wildman).
Team of the week: Westfield A.
Players of the week: Nicole Bird and Dan Smalley.
As the top three teams in Division One all won 8-2 or 7-3 there was little change at the top of the table.
Leaders Westfield C scored one point less than their two main contenders but they had the toughest opponents in Thrapston Falcons and still achieved a good result with a 7-3 win.
By Steve Hobbs’ standards he got off to a bad start losing the first end of the evening 11-6 to Ian Donaldson, but it proved to be a minor blip as he didn’t lose another game all night in singles and it got easier towards the end as Nigel Payne retired injured.
Payne had earlier been in tight battles with Scott Dixon and Nitin Patel before losing to both in five games.
It was left to Donaldson to get Falcons’ points as he got the better of Dixon in four games and Patel in five, before joining Alan Tyler to win the doubles.
Thrapston Eagles are only six points behind in second place after their 8-2 win over Corby C.
Chris Warliker got a treble but Corby’s junior rising star Dan Bottrill enhanced his growing reputation with a fine 3-1 win over the much more experienced Steve West, and Mark Stockley suffered a rare defeat at the hands of Stephen Woolston.
Harborough B still have hopes of retaining the title and an 8-2 victory over Harborough C keeps them within one good win of the lead.
While the overall result went according to the club rankings there was one notable shock result when 76th ranked Phil Dixon beat 40th ranked Liam Burnham, with the other win for the C team coming from Sam Burgess who beat Steve Crook.
Mike Brocklebank was the man of the match with the only treble.
Falcons’ expected defeat to Westfield C allowed Burton Baptist D to move above them into fourth place with a comfortable 8-2 defeat of Rothborough Buccaneers, who are 10th.
As often happens Sean Smith was the only one to gain any points for Buccaneers, beating Chris Agg and Chris Marshall, but Steve Smith was slightly too good on the day winning 3-2 to complete his treble.
Next door neighbours in the table and seventh-placed Thrapston Kites drew 5-5 with sixth-placed Burton Baptist C.
Peter Briggs was the highest ranked player in the match and so it was no surprise that he was the only player to achieve a treble.
Stewart Williams earned a brace by beating David Simmons and Kelvin Marshall but couldn’t quite cope well enough with long pimples player Paul Goodman, who also earned a brace for Burton before pairing up with Kelvin Marshall to win the doubles and draw the match.
The most noteworthy match of the week was the one between the two teams at the bottom of the table, Rothborough Comets and Harborough D.
The match started promptly at 7.30pm but went on until after midnight and finished in a 5-5 draw.
A look at the scorecard explains why with five of the 10 sets going the full distance of five games.
Pete Sturgess earned a brace for Comets, as did Dave Coombs and Phil Dixon for Harborough.
The strangest scoreline was the doubles which was 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 11-0, 12-10 to Comets who would have been happy to avoid defeat for the first time this season.
Results: Thrapston Falcons 3 (Donaldson 2, Tyler/Donaldson) Westfield C 7 (Hobbs 3, Patel 2, Dixon 2), Corby C 2 (Woolston, Bottrill) Thrapston Eagles 8 (Warliker 3, West 2, Stockley 2, West/Stockley), Harborough B 8 (Brocklebank 3, Burnham 2, Crook 2, Burnham/Crook) Harborough C 2 (Dixon, S.Burgess), Burton Baptist D 8 (Smith 3, Marshall 2, Agg 2), Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Smith 2), Thrapston Kites 5 (Briggs 3, Williams 2) Burton Baptist C 5 (Goodman 2, Simmons, Marshall, Goodman/Marshall), Rothborough Comets 5 (Sturgess 2, Ainsworth, Linnett, Sturgess/Ainsworth) Harborough D 5 (Coombs 2, Dixon 2, Allington).
Team of the week: Rothborough Comets.
Player of the week: Phil Dixon.
When third played fourth in Division Two, Corby D, the higher-placed team, reinforced their position over Harborough E with a 7-3 victory.
Harborough started and finished well, winning the only two games to go the distance and in the process winning their seventh from nine doubles, but didn’t get much in between.
Maximum men for the home team at Kingswood were Tom Cardwell with his first and Ken Knott with his second, with a victory chipped in by Nathan Brown over Ian Lauder making his seasonal debut.
Burton Baptist E extended their lead at the top when the energy and enthusiasm of the young team overcame the efficiency and experience of Kettering Town A, with Ann Woolston’s 12-10 victory in the final end against Jacob Tattersall the visitors’ only success.
Otherwise Harry Lade and Ben Freeman got three each, Freeman beating players who are all ranked higher than him, and Tattersall a double, then pairing up with Lade for a fifth-end win to seal a satisfactory night.
The result between the division’s new teams currently occupying the two bottom slots saw Old put more daylight between them and Westfield D with a 9-1 win, their second success of the season.
Charlie Edwards won his first brace, losing only to Kaitlin Curt, Richard Bryant hit his first hat-trick but nearly lost to a spirited comeback by Curt, and Beth Tyler didn’t lose an end all night, including doubling up with Edwards.
Due to the postponement of Rothborough Exocets’ game last week and the late arrival of their current results sheet, Old go five points ahead of Exocets with the Montsaye team having two games in hand.
Results: Burton Baptist E 9 (H Lade 3, Freeman 3, Tattersall 2, H Lade/Tattersall) Kettering Town B 1 (An Woolston), Corby D 7 (Cardwell 3, Knott 3, Brown) Harborough E 3 (Baker, Palfrey, Baker/Palfrey), Westfield D 1 (Curt) Old Village 9 (Bryant 3, Tyler 3, Edwards 2, Edwards/Tyler).
Player of the week: Ben Freeman.
Team of the week: Old Village.