The battle for second place in Division Three of the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League could not be closer with Wanderers E and Higham Harriers B now locked on 99 points behind champions WDHA Royals.
Westfield F are also just a point further back from Wanderers and Harriers but their hopes suffered a setback in the latest round of matches.
Harriers claimed a 5-5 draw at Westfield, who were grateful to Piotr Polanski and Mark Holly for winning twice. Holly came close to Bob Collyer before losing 7-11, 12-10, 14-16, 9-11.
Unusually Joel Storr only managed a single point and also came close to taking an end off Collyer.
With Martyn Reeves also adding two points for Harriers, it rested on the doubles which Reeves and Collyer added to level the match.
Wanderers E took full advantage of that result to move level on points with Harriers B with an 8-2 success at Higham Band B.
David May and Derek Shears scored perfect hat-tricks without losing an end and Steve Hoole picked up a solitary point against a scoreless Maf Davis.
Deirdre Kiziak and Raylee Burton took one win each against Hoole, while Kiziak came close to taking an end off Shears, going down 6-11, 11-13, 12-14. The doubles were all over in three for Wanderers.
Champions WDHA Royals picked up another whitewash as Stanwick won only two ends in the 10-0 defeat.
Shivam Mistry, Mihir Mistry and Kishan Patel went through the card for the unstoppable leaders.
Results: Westfield F 5 (Joel Storr, Piotr Polanski 2, Mark Holly 2) Higham Harriers B 5 (Martyn Reeves 2, Bob Collyer 2, doubles Reeves/Collyer), Higham Band B 2 (Deirdre Kiziak, Raylee Burton) Wanderers E 8 (David May 3, Derek Shears 3, Steve Hoole, doubles May/Shears), WDHA Royals 10 (Shivam Mistry 3, Mihir Mistry 3, Kishan Patel 3, doubles Mistry/Mistry) Stanwick VHTTC 0.
Westfield B produced a gutsy display in their 7-3 defeat to Division One title chasers Chesterwell A, who would have been in deep trouble but for an excellent treble by Stan Galkowski.
Mike Pond was on the end of two shock defeats going down 7-11, 10-12, 7-11 to Scott Dixon and 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11 to Will Shepherd who also scored another superb win when seeing off Valdi Papiernik 11-7 in the fifth.
Despite battling hard, Patryk Polanski could not emulate his team-mates and failed to register.
Chesterwell nearly dropped a fourth point in the doubles but Papiernik and Galkowski edged home against Shepherd and Dixon.
For hosts Chesterwell B, Graham Ellson scored comfortable wins over Paul Goodman and Bob Hickson but went down to his bogey player Richard Adams 10-12, 11-13, 11-9, 3-11.
Luke Hughes, who is having his best season in the top division, also weighed in with a brace, edging out Wanderers B’s Goodman and Adams 11-5 and 11-7 respectively in five but Carl Singh failed to register.
With the match in the balance the hosts surprisingly opted for Singh and Hughes in the doubles and they lost out to Adams and Hickson as Wanderers sealed a 6-4 success.
In the battle of the bottom two, Old Grammarians A managed their first win of the season with a 6-4 verdict against Works Warriors.
For the visitors, Stephen Woolston duly obliged with his expected treble, although he was taken to five by veteran Perce Sharp.
Roger Fleming managed his third win when edging out Sharp 7-11, 19-17, 12-10, 11-7.
However, Alan Woolston, for the 15th time out of 16, failed to register and with his son lost out in the doubles to Phil Laurence and Mick Ball as Grammarians claimed victory.
Results: Westfield B 3 (Scott Dixon, Will Shepherd 2) Chesterwell A 7 (Valdi Papiernik 2, Stan Galkowski 3, Mike Pond, doubles Papiernik/Galkowski), Chesterwell B 4 (Graham Ellson 2, Luke Hughes 2) Wanderers B 6 (Paul Goodman, Richard Adams 2, Bob Hickson 2, doubles Hickson/Adams), Old Grammarians A 6 (Phil Laurence 2, Mick Ball 2, Perce Sharp, doubles Laurence/Ball) Works Warriors 4 (Stephen Woolston 3, Roger Fleming).
Two wins in a week saw Higham Harriers A break the 100-point mark in Division Two.
Norman Wooster and Graham Bird scored all six points in their 6-4 victory over Higham Band A, Wooster’s being a hat-trick and he, with Bird, took the doubles over Keith Stockley and Pete Martin in the fifth end.
For the visitors, Martin won twice with a single victory for Stockley and Nigel Magee over Neil Stevens.
Harriers followed that up by completing the double over Westfield D by the same 6-4 scoreline.
Milan Modha went one better than the first encounter for the hosts by scoring a fine hat-trick.
Owen Morris notched Westfield’s fourth point but he and Modha went down in the doubles to Wooster and Graham Bird by the short route.
Bird and Wooster both won twice with Mick Malins picking up a single point for the visitors.
Champions Westfield C claimed a 7-3 win over Wanderers C at Mears Ashby.
Richie Bailey, Cameron Elliott and Travis Holly won twice with Holly’s haul including a fine last-end victory over Jon Taylor-Burt.
Holly and Elliott also took the doubles over James Findlay and Taylor-Burt (12-10) in the fifth. Taylor-Burt won twice for the home side with Findlay claiming the third point.
In what turned out to be an excellent match, St John B just edged out Chesterwell C 6-4 by virtue of a doubles victory for Steve Mansfield and David Hatherall against Clare Coles and Maxine Shears.
Both Coles and Shears had two wins each in the singles but Hatherall completed a treble, together with Mansfield and Paul Lipczak who gained singles.
As in their first encounter, Westfield E bettered Old Grammarians B by the same 6-4 scoreline.
Mark Ramsden, Dave Long and Peter Sheldrick all won twice for the home side as did David Bayes for the visitors. Martin Rice notched a single and, along with Bayes, won the doubles in three ends over Ramsden and Long.
Results: Higham Harriers A 6 (Graham Bird 2, Norman Wooster 3, doubles Bird/Wooster) Higham Band A 4 (Pete Martin 2, Nigel Magee, Keith Stockley), Chesterwell C 4 (Maxine Shears 2, Clare Coles 2) St John B 6 (Steve Mansfield, David Hatherall 3, Paul Lipczak, doubles Mansfield/Hatherall), Westfield D 4 (Owen Morris, Milan Modha 3) Higham Harriers A 6 (Graham Bird 2, Norman Wooster 2, Mick Malins, doubles Bird/Wooster), Westfield E 6 (Mark Ramsden 2, Dave Long 2, Peter Sheldrick 2) Old Grammarians B 4 (David Bayes 2, Martin Rice, doubles Bayes/Rice), Wanderers C 3 (James Findlay, Jon Taylor-Burt 2) Westfield C 7 (Richie Bailey 2, Cameron Elliott 2, Travis Holly 2, doubles Elliott/Holly).