Kettering Town have the upper hand on the rest of the field in the Premier Division of the Kettering and District Table Tennis League after a pulsating 6-4 win over Corby Rothbury.
The hosts took the lead when Nigel Metcalfe edged past Aiden Smith 12-10 at the last and soon led 3-0 as John Fuller beat Henry Arthur and season debutant Mike Hawes beat Guy Sparrow.
When Fuller took on Smith most would have expected it to be 4-0, but the Corby left-hander claimed a superb win.
Smith took an exhilarating first game 20-18 and eventually saw off the defender 11-9 in the fourth.
Arthur came from 2-1 down against Metcalfe to make it 5-4 to Town going into the doubles, with the hosts sealing the win 11-9 in the fifth in the final match.
They sit two points behind Corby Smash A, albeit with a game in hand, after Smash drew 5-5 at Westfield B.
Only two games went the distance and they proved vital for the visitors as they fought back from 5-2 down to salvage the draw.
First, last season’s best player Dan Smalley took on arguably this season’s best player so far in Sam Wilson.
The game ebbed and flowed with Wilson eventually taking it 12-10 at the last.
Sam’s brother Adam then edged past Matt Horrocks 11-6 in the fifth before the siblings teamed up to beat Smalley and Bogdan Capusa in the doubles.
Westfield C’s difficult start to the season continued as they lost 7-3 to Corby Lyveden Fields.
Matt Rushton and Bhavika Mistry beat Aaron Moore before claiming the doubles for the Westfield side.
For the hosts, Chris Haynes and Kyle Murie scored trebles while Aaron Moore picked up a single win over Sam Wildman.
Harborough A picked up three useful points as they went down 7-3 to Higham.
Geoff Cummings was the maximum man for Higham, assisted by a brace from Richard Bashford and a single win for Andy Harrison.
Nathan Thompson beat both Bashford and Harrison with Kevin Shield also beating Harrison in four.
Results: Kettering Town 6 (Fuller 2, Metcalfe 2, Hawes, Fuller/Metcalfe) Corby Rothbury 4 (Smith 2, Arthur 2), Westfield B 5 (Smalley 2, Capusa 2, Horrocks) Corby Smash A 5 (S Wilson 3, A Wilson, Wilson/Wilson), Corby Lyveden Fields 7 (Haynes 3, Murie 3, Moore) Westfield C 3 (Rushton, Mistry, Rushton/Mistry), Harborough A 3 (Thompson 2, Shield) Higham 7 (Cummings 3, Bashford 2, Harrison, Bashford/Cummings)
Team of the week: Corby Lyveden Fields/Higham
Player of the week: Sam Wilson
Corby Smash visited Westfield D in Division One and came away with a 6-4 win where four players got two each but no player got a maximum.
Peter and Tyler Hillery were matched by their team mate Abin Islam on his first outing this season.
Peter and Islam beat Paul Malpass and Nitin Patel, Tyler beat Malpass and Patryk Polanski, but Polanski gained two very good scalps in Peter and Islam.
Malpass did get a victory in the doubles with Polanski over the Hillerys.
Smash have won just one of five doubles now.
After seven games Halesowen were 6-1 down to Burton Baptist B, but the one was notable, Neil Stone taking Jacob Tattersall’s 100 per cent record with a four-end win.
He then went on to beat Nash Hooda from two down to gain Corby’s second point in the eighth game and is on 80 per cent wins himself, and Tom Lathom got in on the act in the final singles, in five against Derek Muggleton.
They couldn’t get a fourth point as Hooda and Muggleton took the doubles.
So all the Burton players gained a pair, as did Stone.
Andy Logan got his first win of the season for Smash C – against Ivor Jones playing up for Rothborough Arrows –for their only point of the game, but otherwise Arrows took all the spoils.
Helen and Martin Watts got three apiece, although Martin was nearly pegged back from two down by Mike Burrows, who also lost in five to Jones.
Alex Cochrane took ends from all players as he continues to progress so the 9-1 score line didn’t accurately reflect how close the game scores were.
Corby Lakeview were unlucky to be on the wrong end of an 8-2 score line when hosting Burton’s A team.
Only two games were over in three ends and three of the four that went the distance went to the away team.
Adam Bendyk won one of his two five enders, inflicting Denise Jacobi’s only defeat when she was on course for a maximum, when she had earlier done the same to Rob Warrander.
Then, in combination with Dave Needham, she did it again to Warrander and Stephen Woolston. Needham’s hat-trick means he has only lost once in four matches, and Jacobi and Harry Lade weighed in with a brace each to keep their push at the top end of the table going after a quarter of the season.
Results: Burton Baptist B 7 (Hooda 2, Muggleton 2, Tattersall 2, Hooda/Muggleton) Corby Halesowen 3 (Stone 2, Lathom), Corby Lakeview 2 (Bendyk, Warrander) Burton Baptist A 8 (Needham 3, Jacobi 2, Lade 2, Jacobi/Needham), Corby Smash C 1 (Logan) Rothborough Arrows 9 (H Watts 3, M Watts 3, Jones 2, Watts/Watts), Westfield 4 (Polanski 2, Patel, Malpass/Polanski) Corby Smash B 6 (Hillery P 2, Hillery T 2, Islam 2)
Player of the week: Neil Stone
Team of the week: Corby Smash B
Old Village and Corby Smash E kicked off Division Two this week with another closely contested match.
With Charlie Poppy and captain Beth Tyler returning for Old, along with Alan Tyler, they looked odds on for a comfortable win with Smash E playing two new players in Lana Orbell and Neil Marlow.
However things didn’t go all their own way.
Piotr Knitter swept aside Beth and Poppy but found Alan too good for him.
The two newcomers from Smash Orbell and Marlow picked up their first wins both beating Poppy whose return went unrewarded.
At 5-4 Old took the match with a close five set doubles.
Corby Smash D entertained league leaders Rothborough Comets.
Showing no mercy Comets flew through the singles with Corbys Andrew Frearson the only player to take a solitary end in the whole match.
With the doubles seemingly in the bag, the Comets pairing had to retire and forfeit the last game giving Smash a single point for their endeavours.
The teams ranked two and three in the league faced off with Harborough D turning out their first team for the first time, facing Rothborough Dakotas without their captain Cathy Fleming.
David Steele, playing with his wrong bat, managed to take John McGowan and Mick Radford to five ends but came away empty handed.
Unfortunately this was as good as it got for Dakotas, not winning a single end.
Mark Pearson and McGowan sped through the doubles sealing second spot and a convincing win.
John McGowan still remains on top of the league player ratings unbeaten in all formats.
Burton Baptist C and Corby Chesham, both fielding squads full of young talent, turned out to be the match of the week with six out of the 10 games going over three games.
Captain Bryan Lade was untroubled picking up a treble not dropping an end, and was backed up by the youngest player in the league Samuel Tattersall who beat Claire Dixon in a remarkable five set match, gaining his first ever league win.
The two Chesham young guns of Nick Preston-Jones and Nathan Dixon both had braces.
Burton’s Harry Andrews gave his best with two games going to five sets, but left empty handed.
With the match poised at 4-5 Chesham took the doubles which gives Claire Dixon her first team win in two seasons.
The all-lady team over at Westfield E were looking to put behind them a jittery start to the season when they faced one of the bottom sides in Corby Harrogate.
Sidney Wright and Evie Elliott took the higher ranked John Hunt to four and five sets respectively but failed to register giving Hunt another treble.
Harrogate have brought in a new player Stuart Abraham who missed last season, with him picking up an unlikely brace.
Eleanor Smyth got the better of Mia Solomon over four, which meant Wright and Elliott still had to win the doubles to salvage a draw which they duly did.
After their first few weeks terrific start Corby Lincoln are still dropping down the league, this week losing to Burton D.
The competent duo of John Sanders and Jim Chatburn bagged three a piece with David Marks gaining his third win this season.
Ann Woolston and Callum Donaldson took a game apiece from marks but then lost the doubles.
Ten out of the thirty matches so far have been decided by the doubles with many going five sets.
With nearly every team having four or five rotating players the team make up every week has become unpredictable making for some very entertaining matches.
No team will finish this season losing every match.
Results: Old Village 6 (A Tyler 3, B Tyler 2, Tyler/Tyler) Corby Smash E 4 (Knitter 2, Orbell, Marlow), Corby Smash E 1 (Lock/Frearson) Rothborough Comets 9 (Mordecai 3, Lewis 3, Rowbotham 3), Rothborough Dakotas 0 Harborough D 10 (McGowan 3, Pearson 3, Radford 3, McGowan/Pearson), Burton Baptist C 4 (Lade 3, Tattersall) Corby Chesham 6 (N Dixon 2, Preston-Jones 2, C Dixon, N Dixon/Preston Jones) Corby Harrogate 5 (Hunt 3, Abraham 2) Westfield E 5 (Wright 2, Elliott, Smyth, Wright/Elliott), Corby Lincoln 2 (Woolston, Donaldson) Burton Baptist D 8 (Sanders 3, Chatburn 3, Marks, Sanders/Marks)
Player of the week: Samuel Tattersall
Team of the week: Corby Chesham