Westfield A continued their march towards yet another title as they beat Corby B 10-0 in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
It was far from one-sided however, with Roumen Stefanov saving three match points as he fought back from 2-0 down to beat Chris Robertson.
The Bulgarian also came through a deciding game with the unfortunate Guy Sparrow, who also narrowly lost to Nicole Bird.
Steve Silk was relatively untroubled as his treble helped the Wellingborough side come away with maximum points.
Higham beat Corby A 7-3 but will be disappointed having led 7-0 at one stage.
Chris Haynes led the fight back with a five-end win over Richard Bashford, before Kyle Murie picked up an outstanding win over Richard Elliott.
The pair combined to win the doubles and reduce the deficit, with unbeaten Pete Bannister the star for the hosts.
Westfield B came back from 1-0 down to beat relegation-threatened Harborough A 9-1.
Barry Thompson gave the hosts the lead when he beat Richie Bailey but trebles from Sam Wildman and Dan Smalley, along with Bailey’s brace, saw a comfortable win.
Smalley and Wildman were lucky to claim the doubles, coming from 2-0 down and saving match points before prevailing against Thompson and Kevin Shield.
Rothborough Arrows picked up points on their rivals at the bottom as they narrowly went down 6-4 to Corby Smash.
Helen Watts, Tom Ravenscroft and Julian Marlow all beat Adam Wilson but found Colin Wilson and Tony West a step too far.
Watts and Ravenscroft came from 2-0 down to win the doubles and keep themselves in with sniff of avoiding the drop.
Burton Baptist A got the better of their B team rivals with a comprehensive 9-1 victory.
Martin Hall claimed the B team’s sole point with a win over Dariusz Gulbicki, and narrowly went down in four to Alex Aston.
Aston and Chris Ross remained unbeaten to ensure they held the bragging rights.
Results: Westfield A 10 (N Bird 3, Stefanov 3, Silk 3, Bird/Stefanov) Corby B 0, Harborough A 1 (B Thompson) Westfield B 9 (Wildman 3, Smalley 3, Bailey 2, Wildman/Smalley), Higham 7 (Bannister 3, Elliott 2, Bashford 2) Corby A 3 (Haynes, Murie, Haynes/Murie), Corby Smash 6 (C Wilson 3, West 3) Rothborough Arrows 4 (Watts, Ravenscroft, Marlow, Watts/Ravenscroft) Burton Baptist A 9 (Aston 3, Ross 3, Gulbicki 2, Ross/Gulbicki) Burton Baptist B 1 (Hall).
Player of the week: Pete Bannister
Team of the week: Westfield A
As we are now approaching the end of the season, the top of the table Division One clash between third-placed Harborough B and first placed Thrapston Eagles was crucial for both teams.
A 7-3 victory for the latter maintains their five points lead over Westfield C, and with all of their remaining five matches against teams below the top four, the title should be theirs for the taking.
Top-ranked player Mark Stockley was the main difference between the two teams although his treble was well supported by a brace by Steve West and Ian Donaldson's single win.
West and Stockley then rounded off a successful night by winning the doubles.
For Harborough B, Mike Brocklebank, Liam Burnham and Steve Crook all chipped in with a single win each.
Though second-placed Westfield C are looking good for a top two finish they failed to make any ground on the leaders only matching their 7-3 win against ninth-placed Harborough C.
Steve Hobbs completed his expected treble without too much drama but Bhavika Mistry was denied hers by Sam Burgess who completed his brace against Chris Alder, who also lost to Vaughan Allington but got a single win against Mark Pearson.
If Westfield C keep winning they should be able to hold onto their seven point lead over Harborough B but if they slip up at all and Harborough do well the end of season match between the two teams could decide second place.
There was an unusual match between Thrapston Falcons and Harborough D as both teams only had two players.
In all his years of playing this was the first time that Alan Tyler had been involved in such a match.
He was also unlucky, losing both singles sets by the closest possible margin 9-11 in the fifth game to Phil Dixon and 10-12 to Dave Coombs.
Ian Baldock had little trouble seeing them both off with 3-0 wins.
According to the league rules, in this type of match an extra doubles is played to replace the missing tenth point.
Both teams won one doubles each making it 5-5, a very good result for Harborough D being second to bottom compared to Falcons in fourth place in the table giving Harborough, six points below Rothborough Buccaneers at least a shout of getting out of the relegation zone.
Eighth-placed Corby C helped Harborough D close the gap to six points by beating Buccaneers 8-2.
Ivor Jones and Gareth Lewis got Buccaneers off to a 2-0 lead by beating Stephen Woolston and Keith McLaren respectively but without their star player Sean Smith they were unable to maintain this momentum and Rob Warrender's win over Luke Saywood was the start of a Corby comeback which continued until they won 8-2.
In the Burton Baptist derby the D team claimed the club bragging rights over the C team for the second time this season with an emphatic 8-2 victory, and as a result the two mid table teams have swapped places in the table.
Derek Muggleton bravely dealt with an injury as well as his three opponents winning nine out of nine games in his treble.
Steve Smith was also on good form only losing two games on the way to his treble.
Chris Agg got a brace beating both Kelvin Marshall and Ben Freeman 3-0 but failed to convert a 2-1 lead against Paul Goodman who combined with Marshall for the second point in the doubles.
For Thrapston Kites in fifth place both Peter Briggs and Stewart Williams got predictably easy trebles and the doubles against bottom team Rothborough Comets but Geoff Judd went the full distance of five games with all three opponents.
In his first decider he just overcame Pete Sturgess 12-10 then lost 11-6 to Kelvin Linnett then beat Lauren Ainsworth 11-4 to make the score 9-1 to Kites.
Results: Harborough B 3 (Burnham, Brocklebank, Crook) Thrapston Eagles 7 (Stockley 3, West 2, Donaldson, Stockley/West), Westfield C 7 (Hobbs 3, Mistry 2, Alder, Hobbs/Alder) Harborough C 3 (Burgess 2, Allington), Thrapston Falcons 5 (Baldock 3, Tyler, Baldock/Tyler) Harborough D 5 (Coombs 2, Dixon 2, Coombs/Dixon), Corby C 8 (Warrander 3, Woolston 2, McLaren 2, Woolston/Warrander) Rothborough Buccaneers 2 (Jones, Lewis), Burton Baptist D 8 (Smith 3, Muggleton 3, Agg 2) Burton Baptist C 2 (Goodman, Goodman/Marshall), Rothborough Comets 1 (Linnett) Thrapston Kites 9 (Briggs 3, Williams 3, Judd 2, Briggs/Williams).
Team of the week: Burton Baptist D
Player of the week: Derek Muggleton
The match of the week in Division Two was at Montsaye where Rothborough Dakotas hosted Old and, having been 4-3 ahead, had to win the doubles to force parity, when they had won the previous encounters 7-3.
Five games went the distance and only Tony Yeomans escaped involvement in one of those, with Beth Tyler, Cathy Fleming and David Steele involved in three of the five-enders.
Steele was the most successful winning all of his but only scraping through 12-10 against Richard Dyball, then lost in four to Mike Burrows, the only maximum man on the night.
Fleming lost her two long singles but was successful with Steele in overcoming Burrows and Tyler as the match ended 5-5.
We will see what damage Old can do to leaders Burton Baptist Team Jim next week.
The tight games were at the end of the night at Church Langton with three of the last five going all the way as Harborough E beat Kettering Town B 8-2.
Luke Brown lost only one end all night and is unbeaten in his two games so far.
John McGowan had to fight off a spirited comeback from Ann Woolston to deliver his customary three and he is now second in the averages for regular league players, then he teamed up with Ben Baker again for another successful doubles, surely the most successful pairing in the league.
They consolidate their position in fourth.
Burton’s Team Jim improved on their previous displays against Exocets with a 10-0 victory, the young players all getting hat-tricks.
It was particularly sweet for Ben Freeman after losing all three in their first encounter, and two in their second, to demonstrate his improvement over the season with consecutive hat-tricks.
It was also impressive for Jacob Tattersall who was involved in the only games to go the distance, and both times to come back from two down, against the luckless Lee Mordecai and Dave Marshall.
Also comfortable was Corby D’s 9-1 defeat of Westfield D with the only game going beyond the basic three was Sidney Wright’s five end defeat of John Hunt, twenty places ahead of her in the rankings.
Otherwise Stewart Abraham’s late appearance to the team continued with his second successive maximum and Ken Knott also hit a treble; the two then paired up for the doubles win.
It should be more of a challenge next week for Corby as they take on Dakotas, just ahead of them in second in the league; a good win there could throw the promotion places wide open.
Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 10 (Freeman 3, H Lade 3, Tattersall 3, H Lade/Tattersall) Rothborough Exocets 0, Harborough E 8 (Brown 3, McGowan 3, Baker, Baker/McGowan) Kettering Town B 2 (Chatburn, Davis), Rothborough Dakotas 5 (Steele 2, Fleming, Yeomans, Fleming/Steele) Old Village 5 (Burrows 3, Tyler 2), Westfield D 1 (Wright) Corby D 9 (Abraham 3, Knott 3, Hunt 2, Abraham/Knott).
Player of the week: Sidney Wright
Team of the week: Old Village