Westfield retain their title

Kevin Bird
Kevin Bird

Westfield A picked up the four points they needed to secure the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League Division One title for the second year in a row.

They claimed a 7-3 victory over Wanderers B, who were playing their last top flight for at least year but fought hard.

While Westfield’s Kevin Bird was never troubled, his colleagues found it much tougher.

Stewart Williams won out in five against both Patryk Polanski and Travis Holly 11-8 and 12-10 respectively.

Paul Goodman was unlucky in a 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 8-11, 10-12 defeat to Polanski but gained some reward with a 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 3-11, 10-12 win over Holly.

WDHA Royals took the runners-up spot after their 9-1 success over Old Grammarians A and Chesterwell A’s surprise 6-4 defeat to Chesterwell B.

The main interest in Royals’ match was the hosts’ games against Steve Kendall, as Phil Laurence and Mick Ball finished the season as they had for numerous years without registering.

Abin Islam scored an excellent 11-13, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8 win over Kendall and Ethan Ali followed suit, winning a five-set game 13-11, 12-10, 5-11, 3-11, 11-7.

But Kendall avoided his first blank of the season in another five-set encounter with victory over Virat Patel 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7.

A further point was almost gained when Kendall and Laurence fought hard in the doubles before going down 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 8-11, 4-11 to Ali and Islam.

In a season of surprise results in both games and matches, the final week provided one of the biggest as Chesterwell B beat their own A team 6-4.

With Luke Hughes absent and Carlton Ellwood arriving late, it hardly looked promising. Graham Ellson opened with a five-set, 11-8, 10-12, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7 win over Stan Galkowski and then had to play Valdy Papiernik immediately and not surprisingly went down 6-11, 9-11, 3-11.

However, the arrival of Ellwood saw an immediate transformation and in his performance of the season, he gained a magnificent treble, his highlight being a 11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 12-10 win over Mike Pond.

A rejuvenated Ellson also won out 14-12, 11-3, 11-8 over Pond and then joined with Ellwood to clinch a staggering victory with an 11-7, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 doubles win over Papiernik and Galkowski.

St John A claimed a 6-4 win over Higham Harriers A before going down 7-3 to Wanderers A.

Against Harriers, hosts St John took advantage of Norman Wooster’s absence to gain a narrow victory.

Stand-in Martyn Reeves gained a leg against Jon Perkins in a 11-8, 9-11, 4-11, 3-11 defeat but ended the season without a win to his credit.

Ian Bird, whose signing transformed the visitors, gained a treble but needed five sets against Perkins and less so against Grant Timms.

With Graham Bird winning out 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3 over Perkins, the match depended on the doubles, where Timms and Perkins clinched the match with a 13-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9 win over the Bird brothers.

St John were below strength for the game at Wanderers and a member of their B team, Steve Mansfield, had a taste of what was to come as he failed to register or gain a leg.

Perkins also failed to register but did well against Andy Law before bowing out 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-13, 6-11. He gained some consolation when teaming up with Timms as they won out in the doubles 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 over Law and Tony Wharton.

Not on the mega scale, but earlier Law had won out in a surprise 11-7, 11-9, 11-8 win over Timms, who gained the other two points in a comfortable win over Jon Taylor-Burt and a five-set 9-11, 11-6, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5 victory over Tony Wharton.

Results: Chesterwell B 6 (Graham Ellson 2, Carlton Ellwood 3, doubles Ellson/Ellwood) Chesterwell A 4 (Valdy Papiernik, + 3 points by default), St John A 6 (Jon Perkins, Richard Wills 2, Grant Timms 2, doubles Perkins/Timms) Higham Harriers A 4 (Graham Bird, Ian Bird 3), Westfield A 7 (Kevin Bird 3, Travis Holly, Patryk Polanski 2, doubles Bird/Holly) Wanderers B 3 (Paul Goodman, Stewart Williams), WDHA Royals 9 (Ethan Ali 3, Abin Islam 3, Virat Patel 2, doubles Ali/Islam) Old Grammarians A 1 (Steve Kendall), Wanderers A 7 (Tony Wharton 2, Andy Law 3, Jon Taylor-Burt 2) St John A 3 (Grant Timms 2, doubles Perkins/Timms).

St John B were crowned Division Two champions after two wins in the final week of the season.

They made their game in hand on Westfield B count in emphatic fashion as they beat Old Grammarians B 10-0 thanks to another maximum from Mike Terry and trebles from Steve Mansfield and Alan Hill.

And they finished the job with a 7-3 success over Wanderers C.

Terry and Paul Lipczak scored fine maximums and later combined to take the doubles in three straight ends.

James Findlay, Maurice Jones and Carl Singh all gained single wins for the Wanderers against an out of sorts Alan Hill but St John can now enjoy the summer break knowing they will be in the top flight next season.

Westfield B had to settle for the runners-up spot after they claimed a 7-3 victory at Wanderers C.

Charlie Morrow scored another great treble and was well supported with a double from Charlie Clements and a single win from Leigh Clements.

Tony Wallis scored a good double for Wanderers and Roger Ellingham, playing up from his D team, did very well to see off Leigh Clements but had to hang on for a 15-13 score in the deciding end.

The two Charlies once again took the doubles in a convincing 11-9, 11-2, 11-3 encounter.

WDHA Superkings finished the season in a terrific third place following a 10-0 mauling of mid-table Westfield C.

There were maximums all round from Tarun Mistry, Manav Pandya and Dev Patel before Mistry and Patel completed the rout by taking the doubles in three ends.

Westfield didn’t have much to cheer about but Mark Holly would have been pleased to take a single end off Pandya and Patel and Nicole King, playing up from her E team, should be delighted after taking an end off Pandya.

Chesterwell C eventually ran out 6-4 winners in a close match with Higham Band A where only two of the 10 games were decided in three ends.

Good doubles from Stuart Coles, John Henderson and Clare Coles made up their six points while Nigel Magee played well to record two wins and Pete Martin added a further single for the home side.

Magee and Martin finally took the doubles in an enthralling five sets to keep the scoreline close.

Higham Harriers B recorded an excellent 8-2 victory over Wanderers D and the fact that eight of the 10 games went to a fourth end wasn’t reflected in the scoreline.

Fine maximums from Phil Inman and Bob Collyer did the damage and Neil Stevens added a single before Inman and Collyer took the doubles to make up their eight points.

Graham Babbage and Mike Howorth notched a single win each for the visitors.

Wanderers D rounded off the season with a 5-5 draw against fellow bottom two side Old Grammarians B.

Martin Rice was the night’s only unbeaten player but he had to play 14 close ends to secure his treble while Colin Lord and Roger Fleming added single wins to make up the OGs’ five points.

For the Wanderers, Roger Ellingham and Babbage both scored good doubles and concluded the season’s play by taking the doubles over Lord and Rice to get the draw.

Results: Higham Band A 4 (Nigel Magee 2, Pete Martin, doubles Magee/Martin) Chesterwell C 6 (Stuart Coles 2, John Henderson 2, Clare Coles 2), Higham Harriers B 8 (Phill Inman 3, Bob Collyer 3, Neil Stevens doubles Inman/Collyer) Wanderers D 2 (Roger Ellingham, Graham Babbage), Wanderers C 3 (Tony Wallis 2, Roger Ellingham) Westfield B 7 (Charlie Morrow 3, Charlie Clements 2, Leigh Clements, doubles Clements/Morrow), Old Grammarians B 0 St Johns B 10 (Mike Terry 3, Steve Mansfield 3, Alan Hill 3, doubles Terry/Mansfield), Westfield C 0 WDHA Superkings 10 (Tarun Mistry 3, Manav Pandya 3, Dev Patel 3, doubles Mistry/Patel), Wanderers D 5 (Roger Ellingham 2, Graham Babbage 2, doubles Ellingham/Babbage) Old Grammarians B 5 (Colin Lord, Roger Fleming, Martin Rice 3), St John B 7 (Mike Terry 3, Paul Lipczak 3, doubles Terry/Lipczak) Wanderers C 3 (James Findlay, Maurice Jones, Carl Singh).

A two-man Higham Band B team gave Stanwick the final result needed to be in the runner-up position in Division Three as they won 6-4.

Both Devlin Whitmore and Stuart Futrill won two points while both went down to the unbeaten Geoff Neville.

Whitmore had to fight for his point against Al Hayes with the final deciding point going to Stanwick 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-6.

Higham then beat WDHA Knightriders 8-2 with Whitmore securing a fine treble with little resistance from his opposition.

However, Raylee Burton and John Yeates were not so lucky as they were defeated by Knightriders’ Kavish Dodhia.

They were also pushed to a fourth end by the improving Swati Jethwa and Anish Patel was unlucky losing out to Burton 11-7 in the fifth.

Knightriders also went down by the same scoreline to club-mates Challengers.

Rishan Ganatra registered a hat-trick and Dodhia claimed the Knightriders two points with his victories over Ansh Shah in five and Hubert Malenda in four ends.

Westfield D came out on top by a 6-4 scoreline at Higham Harriers C.

Amrat Mistry was unbeaten with good support from Stuart Holroyd with two points, losing to Oli Hicks in three.

The final doubles went to Harriers C to make the scoreline more respectable as Oli and Katie Hicks won out 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 against Holroyd and Mistry.

Although there is still one match outstanding between Higham Band B and WDHA Challengers which will take place next week, this will not make a difference to the tables and Chesterwell D are clear winners with Stanwick VHTTC 20 points behind in second place.

Results: Stanwick VHTTC 6 (Geoff Neville 2 doubles Hayes/Tuplin + 3 points by default)

Higham Band B 4 (Devlin Whitmore 2, Stuart Futril 2), Higham Harriers C 4 (Oli Hicks 2, Matt Hicks doubles Oli/Katie Hicks) Westfield D 6 (Stuart Holroyd 2, Asish Nandi, Amrat Mistry 3), WDHA Challengers 8 (Rishan Ganatra 3, Ansh Shah 2, Hubert Malenda 2, doubles Ganatra/Shah) WDHA Knightriders 2 (Kavish Dodhia 2), Higham Band B 8 (Raylee Burton 2, John Yeates 2, Devlin Whitmore 3, doubles Burton/Whitmore) WDHA Knightriders 2 (Kavish Dodhia 2).