Table Tennis - Holders and runners-up fall at the first hurdle this time

Twelve-year-old Alex Ramsden is in the top 10 in the latest Kettering & District League rankings
Twelve-year-old Alex Ramsden is in the top 10 in the latest Kettering & District League rankings

Last year’s winners and runners-up fell at the first hurdle in this season’s Kettering & District Table Tennis League’s Shirley Everard Points Cup.

Holders Rothborough Arrows lost out by 53 points to Division Two high-fliers and club-mates Comets.

After eight games the result could have gone either way but the ninth proved decisive when Ivor Jones beat David Steele 37/34 to seal victory.

Last season’s beaten finalists Thrapston Harriers were also eliminated as they lost by a massive 108 points against Exocets.

Rothborough youngsters Lauren Ainsworth, Sean Smith and Will Ravenscroft played way above their rankings and the result was never in doubt with them winning seven of the 10 games. The result was even more extraordinary as Harriers won the recent league fixture between the two 8-2.

The closest result came when Kettering Town A beat Premier Division rivals Thrapston Eagles by three points. Town’s 42-26 doubles win decided the result after they started the final game with a 13-point deficit.

There was another nail-biting finale at Islip Village Hall where Division One side Burton Baptist D beat Thrapston Hawks by 10.

After nine singles, Burton had wiped out their 160-point starting deficit and only needed to win the doubles to clinch the tie. Alfie Wright and Joe Kent took the first end 24-22, but the fairytale ending was not to be as Baz Fatania and Darryl Sutcliffe turned defeat into victory by taking the final end 21-9.

In another Division One versus Division Two clash, Harborough Diamonds and Rothborough Gladiators were also level at 370 points each after the nine singles matches had been completed.

Liam Burnham and Steve Crook only conceded 19 points in the doubles to complete Diamonds’ 23 point victory. Tony Yeomans had earlier kept Gladiators in contention with an outstanding 91-118 result against three much higher-ranked opponents.

Kettering Town B trio Dennis Millman, Jim Chatburn and Anne Woolston played consistently to record a 51-point advantage over Burton Baptist C.

Burton’s Derek Muggleton was the star player, conceding 48 points which would have been decisive if his team-mates had matched his performance.

Peter Briggs’ 110/98 and Aaron Moore’s 126/70 were the star performances for Thrapston Kites and Corby B. Briggs’ team-mates Paul Goodman and Geoff Judd provided him better support than Moore’s and they ensured that the 100-point starting advantage was only reduced to 55.

At the commencement of the doubles, Harborough Imps’ lead over Corby C had been reduced from 140 points to 21 but Chris Haynes and Ryan Cassidy could only claw back another four to leave Imps victorious by 17 points.

Mark Pearson had an outstanding match and partnered Ron Palfrey in the deciding doubles.

Division One strugglers Rothborough Buccaneers put their terrible league form behind them and demolished Westfield B by 115 points.

Brett Owen, Luke Saywood and Tom Ravenscroft, who are hoping to carry this form into their future league performances, were excellent and the result never looked in doubt.

Rothborough Dakotas scored a comfortable 80-point victory over Premier Division leaders Westfield A. Kevin Bird’s 21-3, 21-6 win in the first game was the only time Westfield came close to achieving the stiff task given to them by the handicappers.

Westfield C kept the flag flying for the club following defeats for their A and B sides.

Burton Baptist B were never in the hunt and Tom Wildman, Nicole Bird and Nitin Patel proved unstoppable, adding a net 15 points to run out 484-369 winners.

Corby A’s trio of Henry Arthur, Aiden Smith and Lee O’Boyle continued their impressive recent league form and ran out fairly comfortable 396-310 winners over Higham Band.

Higham’s skipper Richard Elliott’s son Cameron was drafted in as a replacement for the unavailable Andy Harrison and he recorded an impressive 59-126 result.

Unfortunately his dad and Mark Nannery could not match their performances in the league match against Corby to make up the deficit.

Results: Harborough Rangers w/o Burton Baptist E, Harborough Diamonds (SCR) 412 (Burnham 126/35, Crook 126/52, McGowan 118/83) Rothborough Gladiators (+200) 389 (Patterson 30/126, West 49/126, Yeomans 91/118), Burton Baptist C (SCR) 428 (Smith 130/98, Muggleton 126/58, Agg 123/68) Kettering Town B (+220) 479 (Chatburn 67/127, Millman 88/126, Woolston 59/126), Thrapston Eagles (+ 140) 410 Kettering Town A (SCR) 413 (Fuller 125/75, Leeson 123/79, Hawes 123/90), Thrapston Kites (+100) 418 (Briggs 110/98, Goodman 94/103, Judd 87/120) Corby B (SCR) 363 (Moore 126/70, Woolston 112/108, Hunt 83/113), Thrapston Hawks (+160) 408 (A Wright 95/123, Kent 76/126, S Wright 44/126) Burton Baptist D (SCR) 418 (Marshall 126/60, Sutcliffe 123/70, Fatania 126/85), Westfield A (SCR) 420 (K Bird 126/47, Stefanov 126/56, Binley 126/59) Rothborough Dakotas (+320) 500 (Linnett 43/126, Lewis 61/126, Rowbotham 58/126), Westfield C (+120) 484 (Wildman 103/115, N Bird 112/113, Patel 117/99) Burton Baptist “B” (SCR) 369 (Koltunik 111/108, Crasto 118/105, Hooda 98/119), Corby C (SCR) 396 (Haynes 126/58, Cassidy 119/95, Murie 108/81) Harborough Imps (+140) 413 (Pearson 107/100, Palfrey 75/127, Burgess 52/126), Westfield B (SCR) 413 (Dixon 123/109, Rushton 126/60, Williams 122/94) Rothborough Buccaneers (+240) 528 (Owen 92/118, Saywood 72/126, T Ravenscroft 99/127), Corby A (SCR) 396 (Arthur 109/94, Smith 119/92, O’Boyle 126/96) Higham Band (SCR) 310 (Nannery 103/116, R Elliott 120/112, C Elliott 59/126), Thrapston Harriers (SCR) 330 (Burrows 110/113, Tyler 81/126, Blantern 96/127) Rothborough Exocets (+40) 438 (L Ainsworth 120/98, Smith 126/85, W Ravenscroft 120/104), Rothborough Arrows (SCR) 359 (Steele 107/111, Marlow 126/62, Watts 126/79) Rothborough Comets (+160) 412 (Sturgess 78/126, Jones 83/118, Simmons 91/115).

In the league action, Corby D lost for only the second time this season in Division Two as Kettering B scored an impressive 6-4 away win in a match where nobody was unbeaten and there were some good individual performances.

Foremost of these was Dennis Millman, who fought back from two ends down to beat Andrew Dorrian and beat John Hunt in five close ends (10-12, 12-10, 11-9, 12-14, 11-7) but losing to young upstart Tom Cardwell in four.

Jim Chatburn, however, beat Hunt and Cardwell but lost to Dorrian – maintaining an identical record to Millman – and Alan Woolston beat Dorrian and Hunt but lost to Cardwell, who was Corby’s best player on the night.

Hunt and Dorrian asserted their team’s doubles dominance, they have lost only one all season in their first match against the unbeaten Rothborough Comets pairing.

Result: Corby D 4 (Cardwell 2, Dorrian, Dorrian/Hunt) Kettering B 6 (Chatburn 2, Millman 2, Al Woolston 2).

Kettering Town A’s John Fuller heads the latest issue of the Kettering & District League’s ranking list, replacing Chris Ross (Burton Baptist A) who drops to third place with Steve Silk (Westfield A) moving up one to second.

Richard Elliott (Higham Band) and Kevin Bird (Westfield A) remain in fourth and fifth place respectively. Mick Allsopp (Harborough Athletic), Lee O’Boyle (Corby Town A), Alex Ramsden (Westfield A), Terry Cardwell (Corby Town A) and Chris Gibbons (Arthingworth) complete the top 10 places.

Interestingly only two of the players have not reached the stage of veteran (over-40), with O’Boyle still in his late 20s and 12-year-old Ramsden proving to be the real exception to the rule.

Further down the list Anthony Marray and Darryl Sutcliffe have made the biggest moves up the list this season, with gains of 15 and 19 places respectively.