Westfield C pulled off the comeback of all comebacks as they kick started their Premier Division campaign with a 6-4 win at Corby Rothbury.
It looked like being a miserable opening night for the Wellingborough-based side after Lee O’Boyle tore through Matt Rushton, Sam Wildman and Bhavika Mistry to put Corby 3-0 up.
And when Aaron Moore saw off Rushton to put them 4-0 ahead, things looked bleak – but that was as good as it got for the hosts.
Wildman saw off a spirited Nigel Hunt, Mistry impressively beat Moore, Rushton beat Hunt and then Wildman beat Moore to restore parity.
Mistry comfortably beat Hunt to guarantee at least a draw, before Wildman and Rushton came back from 2-1 down to win the doubles and seal a fantastic win.
Westfield B were left to settle for a 7-3 win over Burton Baptist A in a match that could easily have been 9-1 or 5-5.
Bogdan Capusa was the only unbeaten player on the night, although he was taken the distance by Martin Hall.
Hall gained one of the away side’s three points with a deciding-game win over the returning Matt Horrocks, but was left to rue failing to finish off a 2-0 lead over Nicole Bird.
But whilst Bird came back from two down to beat Hall, she was on the reverse of a similar situation after leading Alex Aston by two games before losing.
Hall and Aston then joined forces to win the doubles by a surprising 3-0 scoreline.
Two Corby rivals fought out a 5-5 draw as Lyveden Fields were held at home by Smash A.
Tony West hit a treble for the away side and was aided by youngster Sam Wilson, who fought back from 2-0 down to claim an outstanding win against Chris Haynes.
Wilson and West teamed up to win the doubles to force the draw.
Henry Arthur and Kyle Murie both got the better of Wilson and debutant Anderej Michalski, with Haynes picking up a single win over the Michalski to make up the host’s five points.
Kettering Town got their season under way with a 9-1 win over relegation favourites Thrapston Eagles.
Nigel Metcalfe and John Fuller were untroubled as they claimed maximums, with Mike Hawes chipping in with a brace.
Hawes succumbed to the wily Mark Stockley in four close ends as Eagles avoided the whitewash.
Results: Westfield B 7 (Capusa 3, Bird 2, Horrocks 2) Burton Baptist A 3 (Hall, Aston, Hall/Aston), Corby Rothbury 4 (O’Boyle 3, Moore), Westfield C 6 (Wildman 2, Mistry 2, Rushton, Wildman/Rushton), Kettering Town 9 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 3, Hawes 2, Metcalfe/Hawes) Thrapston Eagles 1 (Stockley), Corby Lyveden Fields 5 (Arthur 2, Murie 2, Haynes) Corby Smash A 5 (West 3, Wilson, West/Wilson_
Team of the week: Westfield C
Player of the week: Bogdan Capusa
Division One promotion contenders: Harborough A, Harborough B, Rothborough Arrows, two teams to be promoted
Relegation contenders: Burton Baptist B, Burton Baptist C, one team to be relegated
The reformatting of the league from three divisions to four smaller divisions means two things for the new Division One:
1. It will be a higher overall standard than last season's Division One and
2. There should be a smaller difference between the top and bottom teams which should mean more close matches
The new Division One comprises of last season's bottom three teams in the Premier Division and five teams between second and seventh place in last season's Division One. The teams that were formerly mid table in Division One will now be relegation contenders.
Harborough A may consider themselves unfortunate not be have stayed in the Premier Division having finished above the relegation zone in third from bottom position last season but were victims of the decision to go to four divisions.
They therefore have to be considered the favourites to win the division one title and they got off to a good start with a resounding 9-1 victory over Thrapston Kites who have kept the same team that finished fourth in last season's Division One.
The strength of Harborough A in this division was highlighted by the fact that Kites Peter Briggs recorded his first blank since April 2015.
Stewart Williams scored the only point for Kites with a 3-1 victory over Kevin Shield but was unfortunate to lose fifth game deciders to both father and son Barry and Nathan Thompson.
Harborough will be hoping for a double promotion and Harborough B got off to the perfect start towards their goal by destroying Burton Baptist C 10-0 and it looks odds on that the one relegation spot will go to one of the Burton Baptist teams but time will tell and there is a long way to go.
The 10-0 scoreline though belies the fact that it was actually quite a competitive match with eleven games going to 11-9 or beyond and three of the sets decided by the fifth game.
Unusually for Harborough B Steve Crook was the one to get the easiest treble for the loss of only one game whereas Liam Burnham lost three and Mike Brocklebank four.
For Burton Chris Agg was the unluckiest player losing 11-8 in the fifth to both Burnham and Brocklebank although Kelvin Marshall went one closer with 11-9 in the fifth to Brocklebank.
Rothborough Arrows were hosts to Westfield D. Arrows were relegated as bottom team in the Premier Division last season and Sean Smith has been added to their squad this season.
Westfield D can either be considered a new team or last season's Westfield C minus Steve and Bhavika.
Most people would probably have considered Arrows the favourites for this contest but Paul Malpass and Nitin Patel have put an early dent in Arrows promotion prospects by earning a 5-5 draw.
Malpass earns player of the week for his treble and Patel's pimples out rubber proved too troublesome for both Julian Marlow and Martin Watts.
Newcomer Duncan Brudenall couldnt get on the scoresheet but showed promise for the future by taking Watts to five games.
The early signs are that Smith will strengthen Arrows with him being the only one able to fathom out Patel's pimples in five games after holding off a comeback after leading 2-0 thus earning his team's only brace and then teamed up with Marlow to add the doubles to earn a draw.
Burton Baptist B were happy to go down to Division One as they are greatly reduced in strength after losing Martin, Jasik and Asif.
Gerry Crasto and Nash Hooda have been joined by Steve Smith.
They took on Thrapston Falcons and Falcons on paper looked marginal favourites for this match with Ian Baldock, Alan Tyler and Nigel Payne and so it proved with the 6-4 scoreline to Falcons.
None of the Burton players could contain the hard hitting Baldock who lost just two games in his treble and both Tyler and Payne got a single win over Crasto who was trying out a new pimples out rubber however nobody got an easy win over Crasto especially Payne who won 12-10 in the fifth after recovering from 2-0 down.
Both Smith and Hooda got a brace beating Tyler and Payne before Baldock and Tyler secured the win by only 3 points 11-8 in the fifth over Smith and Hooda.
Results: Harborough A 9 (B Thompson 3, N Thompson 3, Shield 2, B Thompson/N Thompson) Thrapston Kites 1 (Williams), Harborough B 10 (Burnham 3, Brocklebank 3, Crook 3, Crook/Burnham) Burton Baptist C 0, Rothborough Arrows 5 (Smith 2, Marlow, M Watts, Smith/Marlow) Westfield D 5 (Malpass 3,Patel 2), Burton Baptist B 4 (Smith 2, Hooda 2) Thrapson Falcons 6 (Baldock 3, Tyler, Payne, Baldock/Tyler)
Team of the week: Harborough B
Player of the week: Paul Malpass
Last year’s Division Two champions started their campaign this season against a new team with all new players.
Early signs are Corby Smash B will give them a run for their money as the first match ended with a close draw, thanks to Burton Team Jim’s last gasp wins 12-10 in the final end in the last two matches.
It was an attacking match throughout and the individual spoils went to Harry Lade, continuing his fine form from last year.
It was a titanic tussle in the final singles as Lade faced Abin Islam for the hat-trick on the night, Islam going ahead by two ends but Lade scraping through.
The other two debutants for Smash also got on the scoresheet with Damian Carr getting a brace, again only being edged out by Lade in five, and Vitalij Borovskiy overcoming the luckless Jacob Tattersall.
Lade and Ben Freeman then forced the draw with the tight doubles from 1-2 down.
When Buccaneers faced Corby Lakeview every player had a game that went the distance.
Lakeview’s Steve Fuller played in two and won both, against Kelvin Linnett and Ivor Jones, but Linnett was on the wrong end again against Stephen Woolston.
Both the Lakeview players went on to gain maximums and league returner Adam Bendyk chipped in with a single, lost his five-ender against Luke Saywood but won the doubles with Woolston, ensuring the 8-2 victory.
Comets also played host, to Harborough C, and were also at the wrong end of the 3-7 result.
Phil Dixon was the only maximum man for the loss of only one end all night; Dave Coombs got a pair also only dropping one end and Jamie Burgess also bagged a brace but all of his went the full distance, the only three games to do so.
Lee Mordecai and Gareth Lewis were the only ones to win for Comets, at that point putting them 2-1 ahead, and they also paired up for the third point.
Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 5 (H Lade 3, Freeman, H Lade/Freeman) Corby Smash B 5 (Carr 2, Islam 2, Borovskiy), Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Jones, Saywood) Corby Lakeview 8 (Fuller 3, Woolston 3, Bendyk, Bendyk/Woolston), Rothborough Comets 3 (Lewis, Mordecai, Lewis/Mordecai) Harborough C 7 (Dixon 3, Burgess 2, Coombs 2)
Player of the week: Steve Fuller
Team of the week: Corby Smash B
There were new faces and new teams in the first week of Division Three as Corby Town The Woodlands, Corby Smash C and Corby Smash D played their first matches.
Corby Woodlands found their first opponents Harborough E too much of a task as they were beaten 9-1.
John McGowan and Mark Pearson both with hat tricks on the night with Mick Radford taking two points.
Claire Dixon gained a point for Corby in her first match.
The other two new teams faced off against each other, as Corby Smash D hosted Corby Smash C, the three Hillerys proving too much for the new D team.
Peter Hillery picked up a hat trick in his first match, with Lewis and Tyler both taking a double.
Dragan Babic got two points for his team and paired up with Alex Cochrane to take the doubles to reduce the deficit to 3-7.
It was a landmark night for Westfield E as they claimed their first win in the Kettering League, 6-4 winners over Rothborough Dakotas.
Sidney Wright was the hat trick hero on the night, winning all three matches and having to come from behind to beat Anthony Yeomans in a five game thriller.
Evie Elliot managed two points on the night, overcoming Sally Taylor and Anthony Yeomans, Brownen Grigg had a blank night but put up a good fight against a strong Rothborough team.
Player of the week Charlie Poppy starred in Old Village’s 6-4 win over Burton Baptist D.
He claimed his first ever hat trick in the Kettering League and has already improved on the amount of wins from last year, as he overcame Jim Chatburn and Jonathan Sanders in 5 games.
Jim Chatburn got a double on the night with Jon Sanders getting a single win.
The pair then teamed up to take the doubles and to only just lose 6-4 with two players.
It was an unusual night for Mike Burrows as he suffered two losses to both Sanders and Chatburn.
Results: Corby Town Woodlands 1 (Dixon) Harborough E 9 (Pearson 3, McGowan 3, Radford 2, McGowan/Radford) Old Village 6 (Poppy 3, Tyler 2, Burrows) Burton Baptist D (Chatburn 2, Sanders , Chatburn/Sanders) Corby Smash D (Babic 2, Babic/Cochrane) Corby Smash C ( P.Hillery 3, T.Hillery 2, L.Hillery 2) Westfield E 6 (Wright 3,.Elliot 2, Elliot/Wright) Rothborough Dakotas 4 (Rowbotham 2, Yeomans, Taylor)
Player of the Week: Charlie Poppy
Team of the Week: Westfield E