A week to remember for Westfield’s Smalley

Lauren Ainsworth
Lauren Ainsworth

Dan Smalley had the week of his life with four unexpected wins in two days in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.

First, he defied his ranking to pick up two wins as his Westfield B side were edged out 6-4 by club-mates Westfield A.

Smalley beat Kevin Bird and Roumen Stefanov in after coming behind and could have had a treble, but let a 2-1 lead slip against Steve Silk.

Silk had previously let a 2-1 lead slip himself as he lost out to Nicole Bird, with Smalley and Bogdan Capusa winning the doubles to reduce the overall deficit.

Then, the following day, Smalley was the hat-trick hero as he helped his side draw 5-5 with Kettering Town.

He started off with a straight-game mauling of John Fuller before an equally convincing win over Nigel Metcalfe.

Smalley then topped off a near-perfect week with a superb defeat of Shandor Czuczor and another doubles success.

Nicole Bird picked up a solitary win over Metcalfe, with Matt Horrocks just edged out by Fuller.

Burton Baptist A have struggled to get going this season and fell to an 8-2 defeat to a strong Corby Rothbury.

Lee O’Boyle was the only unbeaten player on the night and the only man to get the better of Alex Aston.

Aston defeated Guy Sparrow and then edged a five-game thriller with Aiden Smith to double his side’s tally.

Jacek Koltuniuk and Gerry Crasto failed to register as Baptist continue to hover around the bottom of the table.

Higham picked up another win by beating Westfield C 6-4.

Richard Elliott picked up another treble and a doubles win and was supported by Mark Nannery and an out-of-sorts Pete Bannister.

Matt Rushton and Steve Hobbs both bagged braces for Westfield with good wins.

The Wilson family joined forces as Corby Smash A beat Thrapston Eagles 8-2.

Colin and Sam were unbeaten in singles and Adam nearly joined them but lost in five to Mark Stockley.

Eagles then got the better of Adam and Sam in the doubles to double their score.

Results: Westfield A 6 (K Bird 2, Stefanov 2, Silk 2) Westfield B 4 (Smalley 2, N Bird, Smalley/Capusa), Westfield B 5 (Smalley 3, Bird, Smalley/Bird) Kettering Town 5 (Fuller 2, Czuczor 2, Metcalfe), Corby Rothbury 8 (O’Boyle 3, Smith 2, Sparrow 2, Smith/Sparrow) Burton Baptist A 2 (Aston 2), Westfield C 4 (Hobbs 2, Rushton 2) Higham 6 (Elliott 3, Nannery, Bannister, Elliott/Bannister), Corby Smash A 8 (C Wilson 3, S Wilson 3, A Wilson 2) Thrapston Eagles 2 (Stockley, Stockley/Donaldson).

Player of the week: Dan Smalley.

Team of the week: Corby Rothbury.

After a great start to the Division One season, the two Harborough teams had a less successful week, amassing just 10 points between them from their two matches to bring Westfield D and Rothborough Arrows into the promotion battle.

Harborough A suffered their first loss but only had two players against Arrows.

Effectively starting 3-0 up, Arrows only needed another three sets for the win.

Helen Watts made up for the lack of table time with the missing player by going the maximum distance with father and son Barry and Nathan Thompson, beating them both 3-2 and nine of her 10 games were decided by two or three points.

After Nathan’s defeat nobody who has played more than one match in the division is left with a 100 per cent record.

Martin Watts also had a good win over Barry Thompson also in five games.

Westfield D have moved up to second place, only one point below Harborough A, after scoring a maximum 10 points against Burton Baptist C who move deeper into the relegation zone.

The match was not as one-sided as the scoreline implies and Burton were ahead in the first three sets of the evening as Chris Agg led Paul Malpass 2-1, Derek Muggleton led Nitin Patel 1-0 and Kelvin Marshall led Chris Alder 2-1 but the Westfield lads won each of them 3-2 and later the battle of the Chrises went all the way to 11-9 in the fifth game to Alder.

Burton Baptist B did well to restrict Harborough B to only a 6-4 win.

For Harborough, Liam Burnham got his third treble from five matches, only losing one game and was helped by a brace by Steve Crook who beat Steve Smith and Gerry Crasto and just the one win for Mike Brocklebank over Crasto.

Burton’s Nash Hooda has made a good start in this division and so far has won two singles in all five matches.

In the Thrapston derby both Falcons and Kites were level on points going into the match but a 6-4 win for Falcons puts them two points ahead in sixth place with Kites in seventh but nine points above bottom team Burton Baptist C.

Falcons were helped by Ian Baldock who got his third treble from five matches and Alan Tyler who got his first brace which included a good ranking win over Peter Briggs who is 27 places above him.

Tyler also beat Geoff Judd but couldn’t see off Stewart Williams who also edged out an unlucky Nigel Payne 13-11 in the fifth game.

Results: Rothborough Arrows 6 (H Watts 3, M Watts 2, Marlow) Harborough A 4 (N Thompson 2, B Thompson, N Thompson/B Thompson), Westfield D 10 (Malpass 3, Patel 3, Alder 3, Malpass/Alder) Burton Baptist C 0, Burton Baptist B 4 (Hooda 2, Smith,Hooda/Smith) Harborough B 6 (Burnham 3, Crook 2, Brocklebank), Thrapston Falcons 6 (Baldock 3, Tyler 2, Baldock/Tyler) Thrapston Kites 4 (Williams 2, Briggs, Judd)

Player of the week: Helen Watts.

Team of the week: Westfield D.

Lauren Ainsworth’s return has really galvanised Rothborough Buccaneers in Division Two as another hat-trick ensured parity in the match score with Burton’s Team Jim.

Her tenacity really got her through this time as all games were won in five ends and in two of these there were three ends beyond deuce.

First she beat Jacob Tattersall, then Harry Lade 14-12 in the fifth and finally Ben Freeman having lost the first two ends 21-23 and 11-13.

She couldn’t make the doubles though as Tattersall and Lade got their revenge in this.

In all there were five games that went the full distance and only Tattersall won for Team Jim, against Luke Saywood.

Harborough C drop from the top to fourth after this round of matches with a heavy defeat to a very strong Corby Lakeview team.

Dave Coombs was the only singles success but Harborough did get a 12-10 win in the fifth in the doubles to double their night’s tally.

Jamie Burgess took Adam Bendyk to five but otherwise Bendyk and Stephen Woolston both got their second maximums of the season and Rob Warrander’s first appearance in this division saw him bag a brace.

Lakeview are kept from the top by Corby Smash B who are averaging eight points a match so far this season.

It wasn’t the night for Halesowen’s continuing problems in fielding a full team as they were swept aside by Andrzej Michalski, Abin Islam and debutant Sam Wilson, who only dropped one end all night in the singles games.

Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 5 (H Lade 2, Tattersall 2, H Lade/Tattersall) Rothborough Buccaneers 5 (Ainsworth 3, Jones, Saywood), Corby Smash B 10 (Islam 3, Michalski 3, S Wilson 3, Islam/Michalski) Corby Halesowen 0, Harborough C 2 (Coombs, Burgess/Coombs) Corby Lakeview 8 (Bendyk 3, Woolston 3, Warrander 2).

Player of the week: Sam Wilson.

Team of the week: Corby Lakeview.