Champions start the new season in emphatic style

Richard Elliott hit a hat-trick as Higham beat Arthingworth 9-1 in the Premier Division
Richard Elliott hit a hat-trick as Higham beat Arthingworth 9-1 in the Premier Division

Westfield A kicked off their bid for a fourth straight Kettering & District Table Tennis Premier Division title with a resounding 10-0 win over two-man Harborough A.

The father and son pairing of Barry and Nathan Thompson – who were technically relegated but kept their top division status due to a team reshuffle – offered little resistance to the reigning champions, failing to take an end all night.

Kettering Town A look like they could pose the biggest threat in the title race this season, having retained the services of the big-hitting Shandor Czuczor.

He was unavailable as they cruised past newly-promoted Rothborough Arrows 9-1, Helen Watts picking up the home side’s solitary point with an excellent 3-1 win over Brian Harradine.

Nigel Metcalfe and the elegant defender John Fuller were largely untroubled as they kicked off their season with comfortable hat-tricks.

Corby have also had a team reshuffle, with Henry Arthur demoted to the B side who saw off Burton Baptist B 8-2.

Arthur did indeed claim a maximum which saw him scrape past Jacek Koltuniuk 12-10 in the decider, Koltuniuk defeating Guy Sparrow and Aaron Moore to continue his fine form from last season.

Corby A have added Kyle Murie to their ranks but he drew a blank as they went down 6-4 to a new-look Westfield B in a topsy-turvy encounter.

Murie was edged out in five by Dan Smalley and new addition Richie Bailey, and lost surprisingly comfortably to Sam Wildman.

Wildman opened his season with a narrow loss to Nigel Hunt but followed up with a fantastic win over Chris Haynes, who himself picked up a brace.

Burton Baptist A started with an 8-2 win over new side Corby Smash, who only fielded two players with Colin Wilson away.

Tony West picked up two points for Smash by defeating Alex Aston and Dariusz Gulbicki but found Dawid Przybsz a bridge too far, losing 11-7 in the fifth.

Son Martin played his first competitive match in some time and found the going tough, but there were signs of potential to come.

Higham have bolstered their side with the addition of Peter Bannister and he kicked off the season with a fantastic treble as they beat Arthingworth 9-1.

Bannister was taken to five by Martin Hall and Chris Gibbons, who beat Mark Nannery to claim their only point.

Richard Elliott didn’t drop an end all night and his side could challenge for the title depending on squad availability.

Results: Westfield A 10 (Silk 3, Stefanov 3, N Bird 3, Stefanov/Bird) Harborough A 0, Higham 9 (Elliott 3, Bannister 3, Nannery 2, Eliott/Bannister) Arthingworth 1 (Gibbons), Burton Baptist A 8 (Przybysz 3, Aston 2, Gulbicki 2, Aston/Przybysz) Corby Smash 2 (T West 2), Rothborough Arrows 1 (Watts) Kettering Town A 9 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 3, Harradine 2, Fuller/Metcalfe), Corby A 4 (Haynes 2, Hunt, Haynes/Murie) Westfield B 6 (Wildman 2, Smalley 2, Bailey 2), Corby B 8 (Arthur 3, Sparrow 2, Moore 2, Moore/Sparrow) Burton Baptist 2 (Koltuniuk 2).

Team of the week: Higham.

Player of the week: Peter Bannister.

Westfield C and Thrapston Falcons made an excellent start in week one as the Division One season got underway.

Westfield have been strengthened by the addition of Steve Hobbs – although he is waiting on an operation – and he, improving junior Bhavika Mistry and the dependable veteran Paul Malpass destroyed Rothborough Comets 10-0 .

They have a strong squad and with Nitin Patel and Chris Alder waiting in the wings, their title chances are good.

Thrapston Falcons had opened their season with a 6-4 win over Harborough B.

Ian Donaldson was the star man, winning all three of his matches in five games, while Ian Baldock chipped in with a brace with a five end win over Steve Crook and 3-0 over Mike Brocklebank.

Liam Burnham continued his fine form with a double for the away side.

Thrapston Eagles would have been fancied to earn a convincing win over Harborough C and will be disappointed to have won by the narrow margin of 6-4.

Sam Burgess hit the treble trail for the Harborough side, adding the doubles with brother Jamie.

Baldock, Steve West and Mark Stockley all picked up a brace but found the elder Burgess brother a step too far.

Thrapson Kites were only able to field two players against Rothborough Buccaneers, with the latter’s Sean Smith beating Stewart Williams and Geoff Judd.

Gareth Lewis and Ivor Jones both beat Judd but Williams justified his higher ranking by beating the Rothborough pair reduce the deficit to 7-3.

Those seven points are a great start for a team trying to buck the trend of promoted teams subsequently being relegated.

Harborough D were due to be relegated but were saved by the committee deciding to add an extra team to the division.

New addition Rhys Emery picked up a brace against Burton Baptist C but found Paul Goodman a step too far.

Dave Simmons picked up two wins as the away side won out 7-3.

Burton Baptist D completed a good week for the club in this division with an equal 7-3 win over Corby C.

Derek Muggleton and Chris Agg both picked up a brace, with all three Corby players picking up a solitary win.

Results: Westfield C 10 (Malpass 3, Mistry 3, Hobbs 3, Malpass/Hobbs) Rothborough Comets 0, Thrapston Falcons 6 (Donaldson 3, Baldock 2,Tyler) Harborough B 4 (Burnham 2, Brocklebank, Burnham/Brocklebank), Harborough C 4 (S. Burgess 3, S.Burgess/J.Burgess) Thrapston Eagles 6 (Baldock 2, West 2, Stockley 2), Rothborough Buccaneers 7 (Lewis 2, Smith 3, Jones 2) Thrapston Kites 3 (Williams 2,Williams/Judd), Harborough D 3 (Emery 2, Allington) Burton Baptist 7 (Goodman 3, Simmons 2, Marshall, Simmons/Goodman), Burton Baptist D 7 (Muggleton 2, Agg 2, Smith 2, Smith/Muggleton) Corby C (Woolston, Bottrill, McLaren).

Team of the week: Westfield C.

Player of the week: Sam Burgess.

There were three new faces and a new team at Kingswood when Corby D took on Old Village in Division Two.

Player of the night was Beth Tyler and her treble included Tom Cardwell, nine places higher in the end of season ranking.

Her new Old Village team-mates, Richard Bryant and Anthony Banner, were involved in close ends against Corby new boy Ben Burns but couldn’t force an end and Burns finished with a good double in his first match as well as taking an end from Tyler, matching the pair from Cardwell and Ken Murie.

The returning John McGowan gained two points for Harborough but Burton Baptist E’s Harry Lade, with a hat-trick in his first game, and dad Bryan and Ben Freeman both with two, were too strong as they picked up an 8-2 win to kick start their Division Two campaign.

There was a new player in each team when Westfield D hosted Rothborough Exocets but it was the experience of the Exocets which told, Helmut Salander and Sally Taylor each picking up a maximum.

Debutant David Marshall also got a brace to start his season well, with Westfield’s sole victory Sidney Wright’s fifth end victory over Marshall.

It was all familiar faces at Montsaye when Dakotas entertained Kettering Town B, but the highest ranked player – Alan Woolston – had a blank night.

David Steele and Cathy Fleming won all of their games although Ann Woolston only failed narrowly to beat Steele in the final end of the final match, after triumphing in the full distance earlier against Tony Yeomans.

Barry Davis gained Kettering’s other point as Dakotas won 8-2.

Results: Burton Baptist E 8 (H Lade 3, Freeman 2, B Lade 2, Freeman/H Lade) Harborough E 2 (McGowan 2), Corby Town D 7 (Burns 2, Cardwell 2, Murie 2, Birns/Murie) Old Village 3 (Tyler 3), Rothborough Dakotas 8 (Fleming 3, Steele 3, Yeomans, Fleming/Yeomans) Kettering Town B 2 (Davis, An Woolston), Westfield D 1 (Wright) Rothborough Exocets 9 (Salander 3, Taylor 3, Marshall 2, Salander/Taylor).

Team of the week: Rothborough Exocets.

Player of the week: Sally Taylor.