Westfield A closed the gap at the top of Kettering’s Table Tennis League Premier League to just five points after beating title rivals Higham 16-14 at the Weavers Leisure Center.
Roumen Stefanov was in sensational form as he pocketed eight out of nine points, inflicting a first loss of the season on Andy Trott in stride.
Stefanov won the first two ends over Higham’s star man 11-8, 12-10 to seal the surprise victory, with only an 11-9 loss in the third end, denying him the perfect hat-trick.
He was ably supported by Kevin Bird and Brian Wooding, both of whom had 2-1 wins over Richard Bashford and an below par Richard Elliott.
Westfield led 16-11 before the double and would have been the first with a 3-0 win.
But Higham hit back to take all three ends and make sure they only collapse in a narrow loss.
The result was a perfect example of how the new match format can affect a score in one way or another.
If every win counted as a point, like the previous season, Westfield would have won by a much more convincing 7-3.
Smash Kettering A was the biggest winner of the week with a 20-10 win over Westfield C.
Youngster Alex Cochrane continued his strong streak with another hat-trick, gaining seven points in his three wins.
Ashley Bennett has had his best night of the season so far with six points, with Matt Rushton the only Westfield player to get the better of him.
Rushton was Westfield’s best player, scoring half his team’s points with five including 2-1 wins over Bennett and Gary Pells.
Westfield C is now nine points behind Smash Kettering B at the bottom, but with one game less, after Smash lost 18-12 at home to Westfield B.
Adam Wilson was the treble hero for the hosts, with his treble including a 2-1 win over Nicole Bird.
He was the only player to knock out Carl Leeson of Westfield, who was back at his best scoring seven points for the visitors.
It looked like Smash could grab a surprise win when Mark Stockley tied the scores at 12-12 late by beating an out of reach Matt Horrocks.
But Westfield scored six straight points thanks to Leeson’s 3-0 singles result over Steve Codrington and his doubles success with Bird to seal the victory.
Results: Premier Division: Westfield A 16 (Stefanov 8, Bird 4, Wooding 4) Higham 14 (Trott 7, Elliott 2, Bashford 2, Trott / Elliott 3); Westfield C 10 (Rushton 5, Roper 3, Kendall 2) Smash Kettering A 20 (Cochrane 7, Bennett 6, Pells 4, Cochrane / Bennett 3); Smash Kettering B 12 (Wilson 7, Codrington 3, Stockley 2) Westfield B 18 (Leeson 7, Bird 6, Horrocks 2, Leeson / Bird 3).
Player of the week: Roumen Stefanov.
Team of the Week: Westfield A ..
Division 1: Division 1: Harborough A 21 (B Thompson 7 Brocklebank 7 Crook 5, Brocklebank / Crook 2) Corby Lakeview 9 (Pedley 4, R Warburton 3, J Warburton, Pedley / R Warburton); Old / Thrapston 16 (Payne 9, Warliker 3, Williams 3, Payne / Warliker) Kettering Smash C 14 (Logan 4, Palinkas 4, A Parrott 4, Logan / Parrott 2); Rothborough A 23 (Marlow 8, M Watts 8, Clifton 7) Westfield E 7 (Holly 3, Hooda, Holly / Hooda 3); Westfield D 14 (George 6, Malpass 5, Wooster 3) Burton Baptist A 16 (Marshall 6, Crasto 4, Cheesewright 3, Crasto / Marshall 3).
Player of the week: Nigel Payne.
Team of the Week: Rothborough A.
Division Two: Division Two: Smash Kettering E 2 (Kelly 1, P Menon 1) Smash Kettering D 28 (Dyson 9, Burrows 8, Marlow 8, Dyson / Marlow 3); Rothborough C 8 (Elrington 4, Linnett 2, Steele 1, Elrington / Linnett 1) Corby Lincoln 22 (Murie 9, Hunt 8, Donaldson 3, Murie / Hunt 2); Rothborough B 22 (Jones 8, Sturges 7, Shipley 4, Jones / Sturges 3) Smash Kettering F 8 (P Menon 4, V Menon 3, Reygan 1); Old Village 20 (B Tyler 8, Swaysland 6, Bradford 5, Tyler / Swaysland 1) Westfield F 10 (Grigg 4, D Elsom 2, A Elsom 2, Elsom / Elsom 2); Corby Chesham 9 (Preston-Jones 6, Redman 2, Preston-Jones / Redman 1) Harborough B 21 (McGowan 7, Morgan 6, Coombs 6, McGowan / Morgan 2); Corby Harrogate 9 (G O’Callaghan 5, Solomon 1, Woolston 1, O’Callaghan / Solomon 2) Burton Baptist B 21 (Muggleton 8, Sanders 6, Chatburn 6, Muggleton / Sanders 1).
Player of the week: Nick Preston-Jones.
Team of the Week: Smash Kettering D.
Chesterwell was only able to field two players due to transport issues, but they still managed to secure a narrow victory at Westfield B in Division 1 of the Wellingborough and District Table Tennis League.
This came thanks to the good maximums of Johnathon Driscoll and Daniel Mann.
Westfield’s Richard Mole and Paul Benko both managed to pick up a few points apiece to add to their default nine points before ending the night with a fine 3-0 doubles victory over unbeaten Chesterwell pair.
Highfield A regained second place in the league with a solid 24-12 victory over Stanwick, mainly thanks to undefeated performances from Ganiu Owolabi and Mike Hawes to add another five points to Shyam Bavalia.
Stanwick’s Ian Baldock and Graham Taylor both managed to beat Bavalia before adding three more valuable points with a fine doubles victory over Hawes and Owolabi.
Division 2: Old Grammarians B 30 Wanderers C 4, Highfield C 18 Old Grammarians C 22, Westfield D 20 Higham Harriers B 19, Highfield B 27 Chesterwell C 5, Chesterwell B 22 Wanderers D 13, Westfield C 18 Higham Harriers C 18.