Westfield B were the big winners in the latest round of fixtures in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
They moved out of the relegation zone courtesy of an 8-2 victory over fellow strugglers Thrapston Eagles.
Steve Hobbs and Matthew Rushton both recorded their first trebles of the season for Westfield to help secure the vital win.
Scott Dixon picked up a single and with Rushton/Hobbs also taking the doubles, the two wins shared between Ian Donaldson and Valdi Papiernik were scant consolation for Eagles in a match that saw four of the clashes go to a deciding end but only one of them escape from Westfield’s grasp.
The clash between the second and third places sides turned out to be a close affair with only three of the matches won in straight games as Higham Band proved victorious against their hosts, Corby Town A.
Richard Elliott proved to be the difference between the teams with another treble and a match winning doubles shared with Mark Nannery.
Nannery won twice but with Andy Harrison failing to register for the first time this season, two wins from Henry Arthur and singles from Aiden Smith and Lee O’Boyle kept the outcome of the match in question until the Elliott/Nannery doubles pairing just edged out O’Boyle/Smith in four ends.
John Fuller was back in the Kettering Town A line-up for their match against Harborough Athletic but once again Kettering had to forfeit three points due to player unavailability.
Fuller recorded his customary treble but only after a topsy turvey 9-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 11-8 victory over Mick Allsopp.
Mike Hawes added to Fuller’s treble with a success against the upgraded Steve Crook, but Harborough took the remaining matches to record a welcome 6-4 victory.
Burton Baptist A were clear cut winners in the match against their B team with an 8-2 victory.
Chris Ross maintained his 100 per cent record for the season, but Alex Aston and Dariusz Gulbicki both went down to a battling display from Jacek Koltuniuk.
Westfield A’s continue to dominate their rivals and this time it was Arthingworth who succumbed to a 10-0 defeat with only one match not decided in straight games.
Kevin Bird and Steve Silk maintained their excellent form this season and Roumen Stefanov joined them on the treble trail but only after a fluctuating 11-3, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5 success over Gerald Henson.
Results: Thrapston Eagles 2 (Donaldson, Papiernik) Westfield B 8 (Rushton 3, Hobbs 3, Dixon, Rushton/Hobbs), Corby Town A 4 (Arthur 2, O’Boyle, Smith) Higham Band 6 (Elliott 3, Nannery 2, Elliott/Nannery), Kettering Town A 4 (Fuller 3, Hawes) Harborough Athletic 6 (Allsopp 2, Thompson 2, Crook, Thompson/Allsopp), Burton Baptist A 8 (Ross 3, Aston 2, Gulbicki 2, Ross/Gulbicki) Burton Bpatist B 2 (Koltuniuk 2), Arthingworth 0 Westfield A 10 (Bird 3, Silk 3, Stefanov 3, Bird/Stefanov).
Joint leaders Westfield C could only field two players for their Division One trip to face a Rangers side who themselves were without their highest-ranked player, Mike Brocklebank.
The closest match of the night turned out to be the first match where Nitin Patel defeated James Allington in five ends.
Patel completed his treble and combined to take the doubles with Tom Wildman, who also recorded a treble as Westfield won all seven matches played to return home with 7-3 winners.
The first match of the night was again the closest when Falcons Antony Marray went down in five ends to Diamonds Liam Burnham.
Marray did however win the other match to go to five ends when he defeated Vaughan Allington.
With Marray and Nigel Payne both recording doubles and Alan Tyler winning once, Falcons led 5-4 but fresh from his treble Burnham returned to take the doubles with Steve Crook to leave the match tied at 5-5.
Two wins for Paul Watts was all Buccaneers had to show after eight games of their derby match against Arrows.
In game nine Paul led the other unbeaten player, Helen Watts, 2-1 before Helen came back to take the final two ends to complete her treble.
Arrows went on to take the doubles in five ends to complete an 8-2 win.
Corby B skipper Aaron Moore continued his unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable treble against Kites.
Stephen Woolston and Rob Warrender both won twice, however both fell to fifth end defeats to Paul Goodman.
Moore and Woolston added the doubles to give Corby B an 8-2 win and return them to the top of the table with a one point lead over Westfield C.
Results: Harborough Rangers 3 (J Allington, V Allington, Pearson) Westfield C 7 (Patel 3, Wildman 3, Patel/Wildman), Thrapston Falcons 5 (Marray 2, Payne 2, A Tyler) Harborough Diamonds 5 (Burnham 3, V Allington, Burnham/Crook), Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (P Watts 2) Rothborough Arrows 8 (H Watts 3, Marlow 2, Steele 2, Marlow/H Watts), Corby B 8 (Moore 3, Woolston 2, Warrender 2, Moore/Woolston) Thrapston Kites 2 (Goodman 2).
Although Corby D won 7-3 in Division Two, there were some very close ends against Dakotas, with the rapidly-improving Sean Smith involved in two of those.
He was just eased out 11-13 in the fifth end by Stewart Abraham - on his way to a treble - but it was even closer when Smith defeated Tom Cardwell 16-14 at the death.
Lauren Ainsworth also got into the act when she squeezed out Andy Dorrian in the fifth after being 2-0 down, but Corby – unbeaten since the first game of the season - took all the others to go to the top of the table, with Cardwell and Abraham having identical 75% winning records.
Harborough Imps gradual improvement continued in style this week with their excellent first win, 8-2 against Kettering B, which jumps them three places up the table.
Mark Pearson played in two matches on the night and for his nominated team got his third treble, with good doubles for the in-form Jamie Burgess and Ron Palfrey’s first of the season.
Alan Woolston won the pair for Kettering B, with a fifth end defeat of Burgess denying him his treble.
Although Rothborough Dakotas beat Thrapston Hawks 8-2 with Gareth Lewis’ second hat-trick it was actually a very tight match.
In total 43 ends were played and nine of them went to deuce. Alfie Wright was most unlucky, beating Anthony Yeomans in five ends but losing in the decider to both Pete Rowbotham and Lewis, against whom there were three ends decided 12-10. Joe Kent beat Rowbotham in five, lost in five to Yeomans and in four to Lewis – as the young players improve it will be interesting to see if the reverse fixture brings more luck.
With James Young having won more than 50% of the Baptist E teams wins this season his absence was likely to be noticed.
In the event, Phantoms were far too strong with first hat-tricks of the season for both Helmut Salander and Roger Powdrill.
Lee Mordecai nearly forced the whitewash but Suzy Mills’ tenacity in her fifth end victory in the ninth game denied him this.
It does raise Phantoms above their opponents in the table to sixth.
There were two more maximum men at Islip with Mike Burrows’ second and Paul Blantern’s third of the season taking them away from Rothborough Exocets after the first four games were shared, eventually winning 8-2.
They also won the doubles and Muriel Cox added the eighth with a last ditch defeat of the unlucky Martin Bradford, however lost in good wins for Will Ravenscroft and Pete Ainsworth. This win took Harriers to second in the table.
Results: Corby D 7 (Abraham 3, Cardwell 2, Dorrian, Abraham/Dorrian) Rothborough Dakotas 3 (Smith 2, L Ainsworth), Harborough Imps 8 (Pearson 3, Burgess 2, Palfrey 2, Burgess/Pearson) Kettering B 2 (Al Woolston),
Rothborough Exocets 8 (Lewis 3, Rowbotham 2, Yeomans 2, Lewis/Rowbotham) Thrapston Hawks 2 (Kent, A Wright), Rothborough Phantoms 9 (Powdrill 3, Salander 3, Mordecai 2, Mordecai/Powdrill) Burton Baptist E 1 (Mills), Thrapston Harriers 8 (Blantern 3, Burrows 3, Cox, Blantern/Burrows) Rothborough Exocets 2 (P Ainsworth, Ravenscroft).
Player of the Week: Sean Smith. Team of the Week: Rothborough Dakotas