Two tremendously exciting Kettering & District Table Tennis League Points Cup matches were played on adjoining tables at Corby Kingswood Neighbourhood Centre.
And they saw both Corby B and Corby D defeat Thrapston Eagles and Rothborough Exocets respectively by one point.
After nine singles, Corby D had reduced their starting deficit to five points.
John Hunt and Keith McLaren turned the deficit into a three-point advantage in the first end of doubles but Ray Harrison and Lee Mordecai dug deep to take the second end 23/21 to fall agonisingly short by a single point.
Their B team club-mates were six points in arrears after the singles had been completed and needed seven points from the doubles to clinch victory.
Both ends were tight but Corby B took them 21/16 and 23/21 to earn a single-point win on the last shot of the night.
Harborough Imps beat Kettering Town B by four points in another match decided in the final end of doubles.
In a game that ebbed and flowed with both sides taking turns to hold the lead, Imps held a five-point advantage after the nine singles.
The experienced and higher-ranked John McGowan only dropped 58 points but this advantage was nullified by Jim Chatburn and Pete Scrivener for Town and a rare appearance by Barry Davis, dropping only 19 points.
Chatburn and Scrivener took the first end of doubles 21/16 to level the scores and also made sure that an unusual tie was not possible.
McGowan and Patmore clinched the win for Imps by taking the last end 21/17.
Burton Baptist C and Thrapston Falcons produced another nail biting finale when Baptist completed a five-point victory.
The game swung one way and another with Falcons leading by three points after the nine singles had been completed.
Derek Muggleton and Darryl Sutcliffe beat Nigel Payne and Antony Marray 21/15, 21/19 and turned this deficit into a five-point advantage and victory.
Andy Harrison was taken ill on matchday and Higham Band’s skipper Richard Elliott was forced into using son Cameron as a last minute substitute against Harborough Diamonds.
Showing no signs of nerves and lack of skill he dropped 27 points against the much more experienced and higher ranked trio of Mike Brocklebank, David Coombs and Mark Pearson.
Richard Elliott conceded 45 points and Mark Nannery 72 to reduce Diamonds lead to 14 with the doubles to play.
Brocklebank and Coombs could only muster 22 points from the doubles and fell agonisingly short of the 29 required to clinch victory.
Corby A joined their B and D sides in the second-round draw with a narrow 23-point win over Rothborough Comets.
Henry Arthur, Lee O’Boyle and Chris Haynes all produced excellent displays to overcome a massive 220-point handicap with Arthur and Haynes wrapping up the match 22/20, 13/21 in the doubles.
Nigel Metcalfe and Mike Hawes also secured Kettering Town A’s victory over Premier Division leaders Westfield A by taking the first end of doubles 21/12 against Steve Silk and Kevin Bird.
Silk again remained undefeated but his efforts were in vain against steady and consistent play by the Kettering Trio. Westfield had to call up late substitute Tom Wildman and Bird and Silk could not quite secure enough points dropped as a result of this change.
Stephen Woolston’s excellent performance in conceding only 65 points was the deciding factor in Corby C’s 407/347 victory over Rothborough Dakotas.
Tom Ravenscroft worked hard and conceded no points but Martin Bradford and Will Ravenscroft could not take advantage of Dakotas’ 100-point advantage and fell 60 short.
With Corby E receiving a bye, all five Corby sides have now progressed to the second round.
Unfortunately, there was no such success for the Rothborough club having lost six of their teams in the first round.
With Buccaneers unable to field a side and having to concede to Thrapston Kites, the Arrows’ and Gladiators’ causes were not helped by both fielding a player short and losing out to Harborough Rangers and Harborough Athletic respectively.
The performances of Anthony Yeomans and Pete Ainsworth, for Gladiators, and Helen and Paul Watts for Arrows indicated that with full sides both these matches would have produced two more close finishes.
Results: Corby D (SCR) 394 (J Hunt 109/119, Cardwell 117/99, McLaren 126/79, McLaren/Hunt 42/36) Rothborough Exocets (+60) 393 (Harrison 119/109, Mordecai 93/117, Salander 85/126, Harrison/Mordecai 36/42.
Harborough Imps (SCR) 342 (McGowan 126/58, Patmore 108/116, Lauder 71/126, McGowan/Patmore 37/38) Kettering Town B (SCR) 338 (Chatburn 107/94, Davis 94/113, Scrivener 99/98, Chatburn/Scrivener 38/37.
Higham Band (SCR) 380 (Nannery 126/54, C Elliott 86/113, R Elliott 126/45, Elliott/Nannery 42/22) Harborough Diamonds (+140) 374 (Brocklebank 76/108, Coombs 62/118, Pearson 74/112, Brocklebank/Coombs 22/42.
Corby A (SCR) 419 (Arthur 126/56, O’Boyle 126/36, Haynes 126/49, Haynes/Arthur 41/35) Rothborough Comets (+220) 396 (Lewis 51/126, Sturgess 47/126, Brisley 35/41, Lewis/Brisley 35/41).
Kettering Town A (SCR) 348 (Metcalfe 115/107, Fuller 115/91, Hawes 97/113, Metcalfe/Hawes 21/12) Westfield A (SCR) 323 (K Bird 114/110, Silk 126/91, T Wildman 71/126, Silk/Bird 12/21).
Rothborough Dakotas (+100) 347 (T Ravenscroft 113/113, W Ravenscroft 69/126, Bradford 41/126, Ravenscroft/Ravenscroft 24/42) Corby C (SCR) 407 (Woolston 124/65, Cassidy 126/78, N Hunt 115/80, Woolston/Cassidy 42/24).
Burton Baptist C (SCR) 372 (Muggleton 108/114, Simmons 111/103, Sutcliffe 111/116, Muggleton/Sutcliffe 42/34) Thrapston Falcons (SCR) 367 (Marray 117/115, Tyler 94/126, Payne 122/89, Payne/Marray 34/42).
Rothborough Arrows (+60) 322 (H Watts 118/93, P Watts 111/123, Forfeit 126, Watts/Watts 33/42) Harborough Athletic (SCR) 384 (B Thompson 117/77, J Allington 94/80, Campbell 131/72, Allington/Campbell 42/33).
Rothborough Gladiators (+200) 354 (Yeomans 79/126, P Ainsworth 63/126, Forfeit 126, Ainsworth/Yeomans 12/42) Harborough Rangers (SCR) 420 (Burnham 126/39, V Allington 126/51, Crook 126/52, Allington/Crook 42/12).
Corby B beat Thrapston Eagles by one point.
Thrapston Kites walkover Rothborough Buccaneers.