Unbeaten Westfield win it again

Ian Donaldson was at the double in Thrapston's 6-4 success at Wanderers A
Ian Donaldson was at the double in Thrapston's 6-4 success at Wanderers A

The Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League has now been completed with Westfield A retaining the Division One title after amassing 149 points with no losses.

Division Two saw Westfield C’s young players taking the top spot after an unbeaten campaign while in Division Three, another young side the WDHA Royals also completed the season without a defeat.

All the winners and runners-up will receive their trophies at the annual presentation evening, incorporating the Challenge Trophy final match on Monday, May 12 at the Old Grammarians Memorial Ground from 7pm.

This final handicap event, sponsored by Stanley L Hunt (Printers) Ltd, will be between Westfield C (0) and WDHA Super Kings (+180)

In the final round of Division One matches, Westfield claimed an 8-2 victory at Wanderers A.

Tony Wharton gained Wanderers’ first point with a straight-sets win over Nitin Patel and there was a surprise outcome in game eight when Wanderers’ Andy Law took Daniel Smalley to five and won.

It meant Smalley lost his 100 per cent record in his last game of the season (8-11, 14-12, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7).

St John finished their season strongly with a 7-3 success over Wanderers B with Grant Timms and Richard Wills gaining comfortable trebles.

Paul Goodman, for Wanderers, comfortably saw off Jon Perkins, as did Richard Adams and in the case of Goodman, he finished his best ever season in the top division.

The third point for Wanderers was gained when Bob Hickson got some consolation for a blank night when he joined Adams to win out in a five-set doubles victory over Timms and Wills.

The season was completed by Thrapston’s 6-4 win at Wanderers A, who lost Law due to illness during his match against Steve West having lost out to both Chris Warliker and Ian Donaldson earlier.

Wharton was on form when recording a fine hat-trick as he beat West in five and, more easily, Donaldson in three.

Gene Brown picked up the remaining point with a four-set win over Thrapston’s Warliker.

Results: Wanderers A 2 (Tony Wharton, Andy Law) Westfield A 8 (Daniel Smalley 2, Alex Aston 3, Nitin Patel 2, doubles Smalley/Aston), St John A 7 (Jon Perkins, Richard Wills 3, Grant Timms 3) Wanderers B 3 (Paul Goodman, Richard Adams, doubles Adams/Hickson), Wanderers A 4 (Gene Brown, Tony Wharton 3) Thrapston 6 (Steve West 2, Ian Donaldson 2, Chris Warliker, doubles West/Donaldson).

Division Two champions Westfield C completed their season unbeaten with a 9-1 demolition of St John B with the only blip being when Cameron Elliott dipped out to David Hatherall.

Richie Bailey and Travis Holly recorded hat-tricks and Bailey and Elliott took a fifth-end victory in the doubles over Hatherall and Paul Lipczak.

Half of the games in the 5-5 draw between Higham Band A and Chesterwell C went to five ends, including the doubles in which Keith Stockley and Nigel Magee came good with an 11-6 victory over Maxine Shears and Stuart Coles.

Shears finished her season with her ninth hat-trick, Stuart and Clare Coles notched a single apiece as did Pete Martin and Keith Stockley for the Band and, with Magee winning twice, the points were shared.

St John B and Old Grammarians B brought the division’s matches to a conclusion and, fittingly, it ended all-square at 5-5.

For St John, Steve Mansfield and David Hatherall won twice and Martin Rice and Colin Lord replicated that feat for the visitors with David Bayes adding a single win over Paul Lipczak.

Bayes and Rice contested the doubles against Lipczak and Hatherall and it was the latter pair who came out on top to share the spoils.

Results: Westfield C 9 (Cameron Elliott 2, Richie Bailey 3, Travis Holly 3, doubles Elliott/Bailey) St John B 1 (David Hatherall), Higham Band A 5 (Pete Martin, Nigel Magee 2, Keith Stockley, doubles Magee/Stockley) Chesterwell C 5 (Maxine Shears 3, Stuart Coles, Clare Coles), St John B 5 (Steve Mansfield 2, David Hatherall 2, doubles Lipczak/Hatherall) Old Grammarians B 5 (Martin Rice 2, David Bayes, Colin Lord 2).

WDHA Royals walked away with the Division Three title as they finished 43 points clear of Higham Harriers B, an effort that also earned them the Team of the Season award, sponsored by L&M Waters Trophies Ltd, in their first-ever campaign.

Five out of the eight players from the WDHA club now also qualify for the divisional Averages Top 8 event – a new competition to find the strongest player in each division.

Wanderers F had three matches to round off the season as they finally caught up.

In the first, both they and Higham Band B were only able to field two players.

The rule was passed at the annual meeting in May last year that this combination was able to go ahead as a fixture with a maximum of seven points available for a win.

Higham took full advantage as Deirdre Kiziak and Fred Sorrell gaining all the available points to seal a 7-2 success.

Hat-tricks for Craig Hartwell and Bob Collyer and two points for Martyn Reeves plus the doubles saw Higham Harriers B secure second place as they beat Wanderers F 9-1.

Brian Pearce scored the only point for Wanderers, although Diana Wiseman put us a brave attempt against Hartwell, increasing her score in each set before losing in the third.

Heather Sawyer also had a good game against the higher-ranked Reeves, losing out 8-11, 12-14, 9-11.

In their second match with only two players aside, Wanderers’ Pearce won both points available with Jack Bain and Milan Pandya defeating Diana Wiseman and joining to take the doubles point (11-5)(11-8)(11-13)(11-4) as WDHA Super Kings sealed a 5-4 win to secure fifth place.

Results: Wanderers F 2 (2 points by default) Higham Band B 7 (Deirdre Kiziak 2, Fred Sorrell 2, doubles Kiziak/Sorrell + 2 by default), Higham Harriers B 9 (Martyn Reeves 2, Bob Collyer 3, Craig Hartwell 3, doubles Reeves/Collyer) Wanderers F 1 (Brian Pearce), WDHA Super Kings 5 (Jack Bain, Milan Pandya, doubles Bain/Pandya + 2 by default) Wanderers F 4 (Brian Pearce 2 + 2 by default).

Westfield C are still on course for the double after they beat Westfield G to book a Challenge Trophy, sponsored by Stanley L Hunt (Printers) Ltd, final date with WDHA Super Kings, who beat club rivals WDHA Royals.

The young Westfield side produced an excellent display in overcoming a large handicap against their club colleagues.

Most games were slightly under handicap for the G side but the killer blows were struck by Ethan Ali, who conceded only 36 points in a superb display, winning out 11-3, 11-3, 11-4, 11-0 over Sidney Wright, 11-5, 11-2, 11-3, 11-4 over Linda Freeman and 11-3, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 over Glenn Morris.

The best performance for the G side was by Morris who gained a leg in a 3-11, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7 defeat to Cameron Elliott.

Seventeen points behind at the doubles, defeat looked inevitable and so it proved as, despite a plucky display by Linda Freeman and Glenn Morris, they went down to Ali and Travis Holly to bow out by 34 points.

In the other semi-final, after an excellent start with Shivam Mistry dropping only 19 points in a win over Jack Bain, the WDHA Royals faltered badly.

The writing was on the wall in game three when Rishan Patel scored an excellent 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11 win over Kishan Patel and capped this in game seven, defeating Mihir Mistry 11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4.

The Royals clawed some of the deficit back with big wins in the last singles, Shivam Mistry winning out over Modha and then joining with Mihir Mistry for a doubles win over Rishan Patel and Chiraag Modha but it was too little too late for the runaway Division Three leaders and they went down to a disappointing 51-point defeat.

Results: WDHA Royals (0) 392 (Shivam Mistry 124/71, Mihir Mistry 111/102, Kishan Patel 113/114) WDHA Super Kings (rec 140) 443 (Jack Bain 89/122, Chiraag Modha 85.122, Rishan Patel 113/104), Westfield C (0) 436 (Travis Holly 132/51, Cameron Elliott 128/68, Ethan Ali 132/36) Westfield G (rec 220) 403 (Glenn Morris 53/128, Linda Freeman 53/132, Sidney Wright 49/132).