Title race rumbles on as Westfield see off their rivals

Kevin Bird
Kevin Bird

Westfield A picked up a 9-1 victory over fellow contenders Wanderers A in the race for the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League Division One title.

The hosts fielded the father and daughter combination of Kevin and Nicole Bird who duly registered trebles against a surprisingly below-strength Wanderers side.

Westfield’s Travis Holly went down 11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 5-11 to Tony Wharton but edged out John Stamp 11-3 in the fifth and comfortably saw off reserve James Findlay to complete the win and put a severe dent in the visitors’ title aspirations.

WDHA Royals kept their own hopes alive as they sealed a convincing 8-2 victory over two-man St John A.

Ethan Ali inflicted only A sixth defeat of the season on Grant Timms who then saw off Abin Islam and Shyam Bavalia for the visitors’ two points.

Jon Perkins failed to register and the hosts are now nine points behind leaders Chesterwell A with a game in hand.

Ian Bird cruised to a treble as Higham Harriers A won 6-4 at bottom markers Wanderers B.

His brother, Graham, had his worst game for some time, failing to register and giving Wanderers B’s trio of Paul Goodman, Stewart Williams and Bob Hickson welcome wins.

Goodman, despite the hosts’ poor season, has had some good wins and gained a further point when defeating Norman Wooster 11-7, 11-8, 11-9.

The visitors gained their third consecutive win when Bird and Wooster won out 11-6, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8 in the doubles over Goodman and Williams.

Results: Wanderers B 4 (Paul Goodman 2, Stewart Williams, Bob Hickson) Higham Harriers A 6 (Ian Bird 3, Norman Wooster 2, doubles Bird/Wooster), Westfield A 9 (Kevin Bird 3, Nicole Bird 3, Travis Holly 2, doubles Bird/Bird) Wanderers A 1 (Tony Wharton), WDHA Royals 8 (Ethan Ali 2, Abin Islam, Syham Bavalia, doubles Ali/Islam + 3 points by default) St John A 2 (Grant Timms 2).

The big game in Division Two ended in deadlock as leaders Westfield B were held to a 5-5 draw at fourth-placed Chesterwell C.

Maxine Shears led the way for the home team with yet another maximum and Clare Coles chipped in with a single.

Mark Thomas and Charlie Clements scored good doubles for the visitors and Leigh Clements added a single to make up their 5 points.

To end the night, Stuart Coles joined Shears for a good doubles victory over the Clements’ pairing to secure the draw.

WDHA Superkings continued their good run of form as they moved up to third

with an 8-2 victory over Old Grammarians B.

Tarun Mistry and Milan Pandya both scored fine trebles for the victors and Manav Pandya added a further point while Martin Rice and Roger Fleming scored consolation wins for the OGs.

The Superkings’ maximum men paired up for the doubles and claimed a thrilling a12-10, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9 win.

Results: Chesterwell C 5 (Maxine Shears 3, Clare Coles, doubles Shears/Coles) Westfield B 5 (Mark Thomas 2, Charlie Clements 2, Leigh Clements), WDHA Superkings 8 (Tarun Mistry 3, Milan Pandya 3, Manav Pandya, doubles Mistry/Pandya) Old Grammarians B 2 (Martin Rice, Roger Fleming).

Wanderers E hold a five-point advantage over third-placed Stanwick in the race for the promotion spot in Division Three after beating Westfield D 8-2.

David May and Derek Shears secured hat-tricks along the way and teamed up to add the doubles in three ends over Amrat Mistry and Stuart Holroyd.

Holroyd and Mistry had a single win each over Steve Hoole 5-11, 4-11, 11-4, 6-11 and 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 5-11 respectively.

Kavish Dodhia prevented a whitewash for WDHA Knightriders with his fifth-end victory over Stanwick’s Kevin Tivey and was unfortunate not to gain a second point against Al Hayes, losing out in the fifth.

Hayes was also taken to the wire by Swati Jethwa, before winning out 11-6 in the last.

The remainder of the points went, as expected, in three ends to Stanwick who sealed a 9-1 success.

WDHA Challengers’ 7-3 victory over Higham Harriers C was a complete reversal of the scoreline from the first half of the season, which saw Hubert Malenda register a hat-trick over the visitors and was supported well with a brace each for Ansh Shah and Daniel Bain.

Shah lost out to Katie Hicks, 15-17, 7-11, 16-18 and Bain, 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11 to brother Matt, with the same pairing adding the doubles for Higham third point.

Higham Band B fielded one experienced player in Devlin Whitmore and two fairly new members to the league in John Yeates and Matt Cox as they claimed an expected 10-0 win over Chesterwell E.

Chesterwell’s Gordon Campbell put up the most resistance against Yeates, losing 6-11, 11-4, 10-12, 12-10, 11-7, with Peter Atkins and Gavin Birmingham also taking Yeates to a fourth end.

Atkins conceded his final singles of the night due to illness and Higham duly took the final point of the evening with Whitmore and Cox adding the doubles 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 over Birmingham and Campbell.

Results: WDHA Knightriders 1 (Kavish Dodhia) Stanwick VHTTC 9 (Geoff Neville 3, Kevin Tivey 2, Al Hayes 3, doubles Neville/Hayes), WDHA Challengers 7 (Hubert Malenda 3, Ansh Shah 2, Daniel Bain 2) Higham Harriers C 3 (Matt Hicks, Katie Hicks, doubles Hicks/Hicks), Higham Band B 10 (Devlin Whitmore 3, John Yeates 3, Matt Cox 3, doubles Whitmore/Cox) Chesterwell E 0, Wanderers E 8 (David May 3, Steve Hoole, Derek Shears 3, doubles May/Shears) Westfield D 2 (Stuart Holroyd, Amrat Mistry).