Higham began 2018 with a win in the Premier Division of the Kettering and District Table Tennis League after edging Corby Smash A 6-4.
The scores were level at 2-2 when the league’s top two players went head to head in a titanic tussle.
Andy Trott took the first two ends against youngster Sam Wilson 11-8, before Wilson fought back to level with two 11-8 ends of his own.
But Trott maintained his 100 per cent record by winning the decider, also 11-8.
Adam Wilson’s five-end win over Mark Nannery made it 4-4 on the night before Trott’s win against young Adam Cochrane and the doubles sealed the win for the hosts.
Kettering Town were also 6-4 victors, scraping a classic at Corby Lyveden Fields.
Chris Haynes scored a fine win from 2-1 down against Nigel Metcalfe almost made it a treble against John Fuller.
In a game of attack versus defence it was defence that eventually prevailed, Fuller winning 11-9, 13-11, 11-13, 9-11, 11-8.
Guy Sparrow stunned Metcalfe by taking a two-set lead but fell away at the end to lose 11-6 in the fifth.
With Town 5-4 ahead Fuller and Metcalfe stole the doubles 13-11 in the decider to take the win.
Westfield A stay top after a 10-0 win at Harborough A but they didn’t have it all their own way.
Steve Silk was facing a shock defeat when he trailed Kevin Shield 2-1, but stormed through 11-7, 11-4 to win.
Roumen Stefanov was also 2-1 down, this time to Nathan Thompson, but found top form when it mattered to win 11-5, 11-2.
Kevin Bird won his treble without dropping an end.
Two man Harborough B were always going to be up against it with Steve Crook struggling with an elbow injury but they picked up their fourth point of the season in a 9-1 loss to Corby Rothbury.
Liam Burnham lost 11-7 in the fifth to Henry Arthur and when he trailed 1-0 to Kyle Murie with his side 8-0 down, it looked like another whitewash was on the cards.
But an inspired Burnham won the next three 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 for a fine win.
Crook’s injury eventually proved too much as the hosts were forced to concede the doubles.
Results: Higham 6 (Trott 3, Bashford, Nannery, Trott/Bashford) Corby Smash A 4 (S Wilson 2, A Wilson), Corby Lyveden Fields 4 (Haynes 2, Sparrow, Murie) Kettering Town 6 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 2, Fuller/Metcalfe), Harborough A 0 Westfield A 10 (Bird 3, Stefanov 3, Silk 3, Bird/Stefanov), Harborough B 1 (Burnham) Corby Rothbury 9 (Arthur 3, Smith 3, Murie 2, Arthur/Smith)
Team of the week: Kettering Town
Player of the week: Liam Burnham
Burton A’s rearranged match with Rothborough Arrows in Division One was won 6-4 after a five-end comeback in the doubles by the Burton team.
It could have been very different had Helen Watts been able to continue but her illness meant she could only manage one game, which she lost to Dariusz Gulbicki.
Julian Marlow and Martin Watts fought manfully and got two each, both defeating Gulbicki in close fifth-enders and both overcoming Denise Jacobi in four and five ends respectively, however Dave Needham beat them both in four and remains with only one defeat all season.
Burton remain undefeated in the league and in doubles and are five points ahead of their rivals.
Both of these rivals started the New Year convincingly with whitewashes of their opponents.
Most impressively Arrows beat Smash B who had been only ten points behind them, although they were playing a player up.
Sean Smith returned from his injury lay off with twelve straight ends, none against, matched by Martin Watts in the singles.
Julian Marlow only dropped one end all night.
Smash’s worst defeat prior to this was 3-7.
Burton A overcame Harborough C similarly but dropped more ends.
Harry Lade, Dave Needham and Denise Jacobi all completed the rout and at half way in the season are looking good bets for promotion.
Needham is on 96 per cent wins, Jacobi 78 per cent and Lade 67 per cent and they still haven’t lost a doubles.
The Burton Baptist B side were pegged back to a draw after a strong start against Corby Lakeview.
Burton took the first three and then the fifth to take a 4-1 lead, but Lakeview won the second half 4-1 to ensure honours were even.
Lakeview have only lost one doubles all season so odds were on them at that stage to achieve parity.
The only two games to go the distance went Burton’s way and in the end Jacob Tattersall’s defeat of Adam Bendyk 11-9 in the fifth decided the maximum man, ensuring the youngest player on the night was the only undefeated one, and all against players currently above him in the rankings.
There remains just four points between the teams.
Thrapston jumped from seventh to equal fourth with Lakeview in the table with a 9-1 success over Halesowen.
It was almost a whitewash but Neil Stone forced a win over Pete Briggs in the ninth game to avoid the ignominy, and it would have been harsh on the Corby team as only two games were over in the bare three ends.
Stewart Williams got his second maximum and Chris Warliker his sixth, although he needed five to get past both Stone and Ken Knott.
Corby Smash C put distance between themselves and Buccaneers at the bottom with their first win of the season and a good start to 2018, beating their rivals 8-2.
Mike Burrows got his first hat-trick, having only two wins previously all season, Andy Logan got his second and third victories in his eight matches and Andrej Michalski moved to 50 per cent wins in the two matches he has played.
Then Burrows and Logan teamed up for their second doubles win.
Lauren Ainsworth got Buccaneers’ double and remains the Rothborough outfits top player, having twice the success of her team mates.
Results: Burton Baptist A 6 (Needham 3, Gulbicki, Jacobi, Jacobi/Needham) Rothborough Arrows 4 (Marlow 2, M Watts 2), Burton Baptist A 10 (Lade 3, Jacobi 3, Needham 3, Jacobi/Needham) Harborough C 0, Corby Lakeview 5 (Bendyk 2, Hunt, Woolston, Bendyk/Woolston) Burton Baptist B 5 (Tattersall 3, Hooda, Muggleton), Corby Smash C 8 (Burrows 3, Logan 2, Michalski 2, Burrows/Logan) Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Ainsworth 2), Rothborough Arrows 10 (Marlow 3, Smith 3, M Watts 3, Marlow/Smith) Corby Smash B 0, Thrapston 9 (Warliker 3, Williams 3, Briggs 2, Briggs/Williams) Corby Halesowen 1 (Stone)
Player of the week: Jacob Tattersall
Team of the week: Rothborough Arrows
At the half way point of the season in Division Two Rothborough Comets cemented their dominance with a whitewash win over Corby Smash E.
Smash, without Piotr Knitter, only managed to win one end through Lana Orbell.
Comets are now 17 points clear of their nearest rivals.
Harborough D had a relatively easy night against Burton Baptist D but all found a fiery John Sanders too hot to handle.
Sanders picked up a great treble only dropping one end to John McGowan.
An unwell Jim Chatburn managed an end against Ron Palfrey and after running away with his first game Dave Marks couldn’t convert anymore against Mark Pearson.
With Old Village still in pursuit of second place they closed the gap a little with a complete haul against Westfield E.
Westfield were without Sidney Wright and put out new player Zach for the second time but Old were too strong.
Evie Elliott was unlucky losing two five setters to Beth Tyler and Wendy Bradford.
Elliott got off to a slow start in both games but dug deep to go the distance.
Corby Smash D were lucky to get a victory against Rothborough Dakotas, with the latter having to give away three games though a forfeit.
Sally Taylor and Tony Yeomans won two apiece and Smash will have to be thankful to Andrew Frearson for taking them over the line with a treble.
Dakotas nearly salvaged a draw, being two sets up in the doubles but just falling short in the fifth.
Corby Lincoln played Burton Baptist C and hit the showers quickly with only the doubles going to four games.
Kelvin Marshall continues his unbeaten run taking the scalps of Callum Donaldson, Ken Murie and Ann Woolston.
All three Lincoln players were untroubled playing Burton’s newcomers Neil Biggs and Harry Andrews.
Andrews will be happy going home winning the doubles with Marshall.
The last game of the week saw a local derby between Corby Harrogate and Corby Chesham, with the spoils being shared in a closely contested match.
Mia Solomon and Ethan Hunt both picked up their first wins of the season, with the unlucky recipient Thomas Knox still winless, however he did win an important doubles with Nathan Dixon to make the match all square.
Stewart Abrahams flew through his treble not dropping an end.
Results: Rothborough Comets 10 (Mordecai 3, Lewis 3, Rowbotham 3, Mordecai/Lewis) Corby Smash E 0, Burton Baptist D 3 (Sanders 3) Harborough D 7 (McGowan 2, Palfrey 2, Pearson 2, Palfrey/Mcgowan) Westfield E 0, Old Village 10 (A Tyler 3, B Tyler 3, Bradford 3, Tyler/Tyler), Corby Smash D 6 (Frearson 3, Winter, Radford, Winter/Frearson) Rothborough Dakotas 4 (Taylor 2, Yeomans 2), Corby Lincoln 6 (Donaldson 2, Murie 2, Woolston 2) Burton Baptist C 4 (Marshall 3, Andrews), Corby Harrogate 5 (Abraham 3, Solomon, Hunt), Corby Chesham 5 (C Dixon 2, N Dixon 2, Dixon/Knox)
Player of the week: John Sanders
Team of the week: Corby Harrogate