There was a late finish to a tough match between St John B and Higham Band A in Division Two of the Wellingborough & District Table Tennis League as the two sides battled out a 5-5 draw.
Alan Hill made a rare appearance for St John and came away with a hat-trick with David Hatherall giving good support by winning twice.
Pete Martin also claimed a double for Higham while Nigel Magee and Keith Stockley both had single victories over Paul Lipczak before Stockley and Martin paired up and came back from 2-0 down to win a fantastic doubles 12-10 in the last end to tie the match.
Ethan Ali claimed his ninth treble of the season for runaway leaders Westfield C in their 9-1 victory over Westfield E, although he was made to work hard by Carlton Ellwood before coming through 11-7 in the fifth end.
Richie Bailey also recorded a treble and again showed great battling strength to come through 11-9 against both Ellwood and Dave Long at the last hurdle. But Cameron Elliott couldn’t mirror their feat after losing out to Ellwood.
Mark Ramsden and Dave Long succumbed in the doubles to Ali and Bailey in three ends and the victory saw the leaders hit a century of points for the season.
Old Grammarians were gifted three points due to the fact that Stuart Coles was taken ill just prior to the match with Chesterwell C.
However, Maxine Shears scored a treble and along with Clare Coles, who registered a single, added the doubles in three ends against David Bayes and Martin Rice to ensure a 5-5 draw.
Results: St John B 5 (Alan Hill 3, David Hatherall 2) Higham Band A 5 (Pete Martin 2, Nigel Magee, Keith Stockley, doubles Martin/Stockley), Old Grammarians B 5 (David Bayes, Martin Rice, +3 by default) Chesterwell C (Maxine Coles 3, Clare Coles, doubles Shears/Coles), Westfield C 9 (Ethan Ali 3, Cameron Elliott 2, Richie Bailey 3, doubles Ali/Bailey) Westfield E 1 (Carlton Ellwood).
For most of the season, the title race in Division One has looked a one-horse race involving only Westfield A.
But, after gaining 29 points from their last three games including their latest 10-0 win over Wanderers B, Chesterwell A have given themselves a glimmer of hope of catching the leaders.
A much-improved Wanderers side were on the end of a whitewash, although Valdi Papiernik was taken to five by both Paul Goodman and Richard Adams and similarly Stan Galkowski by Goodman.
However the rest were plain sailing, with Mike Pond hitting a superb treble without dropping a leg.
Westfield A maintained their own good form with a 7-3 success over Thrapston.
Mark Stockley fought hard in the opener, going down 6-11, 15-12, 5-11, 10-12 to Alex Aston but Aston was untroubled by Chris Warliker and Ian Donaldson while Kevin Bird cruised to his treble without losing an end.
However Nitin Patel drew another blank, gaining only one leg and in the process gave the out of form Donaldson his first win in the last four outings.
Old Grammarians continued their improved performance of the previous week with a fighting display against Westfield B before going down 7-3.
Mick Ball saw off Scott Dixon and Travis Holly and Phil Laurence gained a welcome victory over Will Shepherd.
Unfortunately, Perce Sharp failed to register, losing out in five to both Dixon and Holly and 14-12 to Shepherd in the fourth.
Graham Ellson, back on duty for his registered side, saved the complete whitewash for Chesterwell B by defeating Wanderers A’s Stewart Williams in four (12-10, 4-11, 7-11, 9-11).
Ellson took all three of his opponents to a fourth end but was only successful on one as Wanderers went on to complete a 9-1 victory.
Craig Dilley did well when going to four with Andy Law, losing out 12-10, 15-17, 11-1, 11-5 and had some deuce points in his other sets, with Carl Singh still finding the going tough.
Results: Chesterwell A 10 (Valdi Papiernik 3, Stan Galkowski 3 Mike Pond 3 , doubles Galkowski/Pond) Wanderers B 0, Westfield B 7 (Scott Dixon 2, Will Shepherd 2, Travis Holly 2, doubles Dixon/Shepherd) Old Grammarians A 3 (Phil Laurence, Mick Ball 2), Westfield A 7 (Alex Aston 3, Kevin Bird 3, doubles Bird/Patel) Thrapston 3 (Mark Stockley, Ian Donaldson, Chris Warliker), Wanderers A 9 (Tony Wharton 3, Stewart Williams 2, Andy Law 3, doubled Wharton/Law) Chesterwell B 1 (Graham Ellson).
There were no surprises in Division Three as leaders WDHA Royals wrapped up a 10-0 success over two-man Wanderers F.
Shivam Mistry, Mihir Mistry and Shyam Bavalia took all the honours, although Brian Pearce came close to Bavalia when losing out 11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 11-5, 10-12.
The Royals are now 23 points ahead of nearest rivals Wanderers E, who enjoyed a 6-4 success over WDHA Super Kings.
It was another good effort from the visitors with a lot of close games which could easily have reversed the score.
Jack Bain saw off David May and Derek Shears in two five-set matches and took Steve Hoole in a close three-end game to give him his fourth hat-trick.
For Wanderers, Shears and May won twice and added the doubles while Hoole picked up a point from Rahul Jethwa.
Westfield G celebrated their second win of the season, a 7-3 success at higher-placed Chesterwell D.
Linda Freeman, Sidney Wright and Glenn Morris all won twice but failed to get the better of Bryan Farrar, who notched his fourth hat-trick. The doubles point also went Westfield’s way with the Morris/Wright combination winning out.
Westfield F took advantage of a weakened Stanwick side to seal a first 10-0 verdict of the season.
Joel Storr, Piotr Polanski and Mark Holly did the damage with the later registering his first treble after a close four-end game against Al Hayes.
Storr and Polanski finished the match off with a fine doubles win (11-3, 11-5, 11-8).
Results: Chesterwell D 3 (Bryan Farrar 3), Westfield G 7 (Linda Freeman 2, Sidney Wright 2, Glenn Morris 2, doubles Wright/Morris), WDHA Royals 10 (Shivam Mistry 2, Mihir Mistry 2, Shyam Bavalia 2, doubles Mistry/Mistry +3 points by default), Wanderers E 6 (Derek Shears 2, Steve Hoole, David May 2, doubles Shears/May) WDHA Super Kings 4 (Jack Bain 3, Chiraag Modha), Stanwick VHTTC 0, Westfield F 10 (Joel Storr 3, Piotr Polanski 3, Mark Holly 3, doubles Storr/Polanski).