Table Tennis - Fuller edges out Elliott in clash of the big guns

John Fuller
John Fuller

The big clash of the week in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District League saw Higham Band host Kettering Town A in a match involving two of the division’s top individual performers, Higham’s Richard Elliott and John Fuller from Kettering.

Both players went into the match with 100 per cent records but the tactical defence of Fuller proved too much for Elliott as he picked up an 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 win. Fuller went on to record his treble with straight games wins over Mark Nannery and Andy Harrison.

Elliott did win his other two singles and with Nannery also winning twice and Harrison once, the final outcome of the match would rely on the doubles.

With Fuller absent from the doubles, Mike Hawes and Carl Leeson paired up to take on Elliott and Harrison but couldn’t quite get the victory required to secure the draw with the Higham pair easing through and securing their team’s 6-4 success.

Westfield B, strengthened by Brian Wooding, recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season when they claimed an 8-2 victory over bottom markers SAS Thrapston.

There was some good news for SAS though as Steve West sealed his first win of the season and almost picked up a second point before losing to Wooding in five ends. The win pushes the Wellingborough side into mid-table safety but SAS are firmly rooted to the bottom.

Chris Gibbons was the hat-trick hero for Arthingworth in their 7-3 win against Burton Baptist B.

Michael Edwards (2), Gerald Henson and a doubles win for Gibbons and Edwards completed the scoring for Arthingworth despite brave resistance from Gerry Crasto (2) and Jacek Koltuniuk.

The difference between the top and the bottom of the division was evident when league leaders Westfield A took on relegation-threatened Thrapston Eagles.

Steve Silk and Kevin Bird both recorded straight-game hat-tricks and Roumen Stefanov wasn’t far behind as Eagles were whitewashed 10-0.

Results: Higham Band 6 (Elliott 2, Nannery 2, Harrison, Elliott/Harison) Kettering Town A 4 (Fuller 3, Leeson), Westfield B 8 (Wooding 3, Rushton 2, Hobbs 2, Wooding/Hobbs) SAS Thrapston 2 (Stockley, West), Burton Baptist B 3 (Crasto 2, Koltuniuk) Arthingworth 7 (Gibbons 3, Edwards 2, Henson, Gibbons/Edwards), Westfield A 10 (Silk 3, Stefanov 3, Bird 3, Stefanov/Bird) Thrapston Eagles 0.

With Corby B not having a fixture, second-placed Westfield C moved nine points clear at the top of Division One following their 10-0 victory over Buccaneers.

Nicole Bird was the pick of the Westfield players, winning all of her singles matches in straight ends. The doubles included the tightest end in the division so far this season with Brett Owen and Luke Saywood eventually taking the fourth end 20-18 before going down in five to Bird and Stewart Williams.

Derek Muggleton’s treble put Burton C 4-3 ahead against Harborough Diamonds but Steve Crook and Liam Burnham both completed doubles before combining to take the doubles to give the Harborough team a 6-4 win.

In a match where all 10 games required at least four ends, Rangers won the first five games against Burton D.

While Mike Brocklebank went on to complete his treble, James and Vaughan Allington both fell to Darryl Sutcliffe, who then combined with Richard Leder to add the doubles leaving the Harborough team to return home 7-3 winners.

Chris Haynes extended his unbeaten run to 13 games when he won the first match of the night for Corby C against Arrows’ David Steele.

Haynes’ run, however, came to an end in his next match when he went down in five to Julian Marlow as Arrows won their sixth match in succession.

While Marlow went on to complete his treble, Haynes returned to beat Helen Watts and take the doubles in five ends with Kyle Murie but his side couldn’t add to these wins and Arrows won 7-3.

The first five matches in the all-Thrapston affair between Kites and Falcons required 23 ends with the closest being Alan Tyler’s 15-13 fifth-end victory over Geoff Judd.

Peter Briggs beat both Tyler and Antony Marray in five ends before completing his treble with a straight-end win over Nigel Payne. Paul Goodman, who had won twice for Kites, joined Briggs to take the doubles, with the match eventually finishing at 11.05pm with Kites winning 7-3.

Results: Westfield C 10 (Patel 3, Williams 3, Bird 3, Williams/Bird) Rothborough Buccaneers 0, Harborough Diamonds 6 (Burnham 2, Crook 2, V Allington, Burnham/Crook) Burton Baptist C 4 (Muggleton 3, Agg), Burton Baptist D 3 (Sutcliffe 2, Sutcliffe/Leder) Harborough Rangers 7 (Brocklebank 3, J Allington 2, V Allington 2), Rothborough Arrows 7 (Marlow 3, H Watts 2, Steele 2) Corby C 3 (Haynes 2, Haynes/Murie), Thrapston Kites 7 (Briggs 3, Goodman 2, Judd, Briggs/Goodman) Thrapston Falcons 3 (Marray, Payne, A Tyler).

When unbeaten Comets faced yet-to-win Gladiators in Division Two, there were no surprises with a straight-end whitewash across the board.

David Simmons’ 100 per cent record was never in danger and Pete Sturges and Alan Brisley both got their second maximums, although Tony Yeomans pushed Sturges hard with two deuce ends.

Comets’ next match confirmed their status at the summit of the table as they beat Thrapston Harriers 8-2 and, in the process, knocked Harriers down to fourth.

But it was notable for Simmons’ first defeat of the season at the hands of Mike Burrows. Simmons still remains unbeaten in the doubles, but Ivor Jones was the star man on the night with his fourth treble in five starts, Alan Brisley’s double enhancing the margin of defeat.

Harborough Imps won their second match of the season with Ron Palfrey leading the way with his best performance of the season, a hat-trick against Burton Baptist E. Palfrey teamed up with Jamie Burgess – who bagged a pair – for an undefeated evening and Ian Lauder also made his mark with his first win of the season.

There was a surprisingly one-sided result from Westfield with a heavy defeat for Kettering B when they entertained Rothborough Dakotas.

Dennis Millman’s sole victory prevented the whitewash but trebles from Kelvin Linnett and Gareth Lewis, the doubles between them and Pete Rowbotham’s double moved Dakotas to third in the table.

The result between Thrapston Hawks and Corby D, who won 7-3, was not a surprise given their respective league positions but the match itself was very tight with the first six games shared before Corby accelerated away.

Andy Dorrian’s maximum was the main difference but he had to work hard against Sidney Wright and Joe Kent and his clash with Alfie Wright in the ninth game decided who would be the hat-trick hero on the day, Dorrian winning 11-8 in the fifth.

Alfie Wright’s two victories against higher-ranked players along with Joe Kent and Sidney Wright’s improvements bode well for the rest of the season for Hawks.

The second draw of the season in the division was between club colleagues Rothborough Exocets and Phantoms, although the latter needed the last three games to claw back the deficit. Sean Smith was the only unbeaten player, a situation confirmed with his fifth-end defeat of the otherwise unbeaten Ray Harrison.

Will Ravenscroft’s two successes included a tight and laudable defeat of Lee Mordecai 12-10 in the decider after being two ends down. Tony Yeomans’ 12-10 win over Pete Ainsworth in the final end included the highest score yet this season for any end in this division, the first end going 20-18 to Ainsworth.

Results: Burton Baptist E 3 (Young 2, Mills) Harborough Imps 7 (Palfrey 3, Burgess 2, Lauder, Burgess/Palfrey), Kettering Town B 1 (Millman) Rothborough Dakotas 9 (Lewis 3, Linnett 3, Rowbotham 2, Lewis/Linnett), Rothborough Comets 8 (Jones 3, Brisley 2, Simmons 2, Brisley/Simmons) Thrapston Harriers 2 (Blantern, Burrows), Rothborough Exocets 5 (Smith 3, Ravenscroft 2) Rothborough Phantoms 5 (Harrison 2, Mordecai, Yeomans, Harrison/Mordecai), Rothborough Gladiators 0 Rothborough Comets 10 (Brisley 3, Simmons 3, Sturges 3, Simmons,Sturges), Thrapston Hawks 3 (A Wright 2, Kent) Corby D 7 (Dorrian 3, Hunt 2, Cardwell, Dorrian/Hunt).

Player of the week: John Fuller.

Team of the Week: Rothborough Dakotas.