Seven games in a row went the distance as Corby Rothbury defeated Westfield C 6-4 in an enthralling encounter in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
The clash was level at 1-1 when Steve Hobbs handed Lee O’Boyle his first defeat of the season 11-9 in the fifth to put the hosts ahead.
Sam Wildman matched his captain’s feat with a surprise win over Aiden Smith to double their lead, but O’Boyle reduced the deficit with a narrow defeat of Matt Rushton.
Hobbs picked up his second win after coming back from 2-0 down to beat Guy Sparrow before O’Boyle denied Wildman his treble in yet another deciding game.
Playing on simultaneous tables with time running out, Corby regained the lead for the first time since game one in the last singles games.
Sparrow edged past Rushton and Smith denied Hobbs an incredible maximum in a tense decider.
Rothbury then breezed through the doubles to snatch the win having trailed 4-2.
Corby Smash A hammered town rivals Corby Lyveden Fields 8-2.
Henry Arthur and Chris Haynes both beat Sam Wilson but that was as good as it got for the Kingswood side.
Tony West and Anthony Ellis dropped just two ends between them all night as they claimed maximums, with Sam Wilson claiming an impressive win over Kyle Murie.
Kettering Town went top of the table with a 10-0 win at rock-bottom Thrapston Eagles.
The hosts looked set to pick up a point when Mark Stockley led Mike Hawes 12-10, 12-10.
But the wily left-hander came back to win 11-8 in the fifth and claim a maximum.
The result moved Town six points clear, although reigning champions Westfield A have a game in hand.
Results: Westfield C (Wildman 2, Hobbs 2) Corby Rothbury 6 (Smith 2, O’Boyle 2, Sparrow, O’Boyle/Sparrow), Corby Smash A 8 (West 3, Ellis 3, S Wilson, Ellis/Wilson) Corby Lyveden Fields 2 (Haynes, Arthur), Thrapston Eagles 0 Kettering Town 10 (Fuller 3, Metcalfe 3, Hawes 3, Fuller/Metcalfe).
Team of the week: Corby Smash A.
Player of the week: Steve Hobbs.
The two Harborough teams have started to pull away from the pack at the top of Division One after they both had convincing victories in their first matches after the Christmas break.
Leaders Harborough A did their B team, who sit in second place, a favour by soundly beating third-placed Rothborough Arrows 8-2.
Nathan Thompson once again got a convincing treble with Helen Watts the only one able to win a single game against him and she was Arrows’ best player on the night as she got their two points by beating Kevin Shield and Barry Thompson who also both got a brace.
With Harborough B beating Burton Baptist B 9-1 it means they are now 15 points ahead of Arrows and just four below Harborough A.
Nash Hooda gave the Burton team early hope as a 3-0 win over Stephen Crook levelled the match score at 1-1 but, although Hooda later took a 2-1 lead over Michael Brocklebank and Gerry Crasto took a 2-0 lead over Crook, they could not add to the score and the 9-1 defeat makes it look odds on that the one relegation spot will go to a Burton team.
Burton Baptist C increased the chances that it won’t be them going down as the current bottom team only lost 6-4 to fourth-placed Westfield D.
This was a massive improvement on the previous fixture when Westfield won 10-0 and the only difference in either team was that Jacob Tattersall was playing up in place of Derek Muggleton, which in theory should have given Westfield a better chance.
But Chris Agg went from zero to hero by getting his first treble of the season and young Division Two player Tattersall used the opportunity of playing up by getting his second big scalp from his second match for this team.
This time Paul Malpass, 33 places higher in the ranking list, was his victim.
For Westfield, Nitin Patel and Chris Alder both got a brace while Malpass beat Kelvin Marshall.
The two Thrapston teams fought out a very competitive match in which everyone won at least once but nobody was unbeaten and five of the 10 sets went the full distance.
That Falcons won four of these five deciding games and they were a factor in them coming out the 6-4 victors.
Falcons went 5-1 up but then Kites took the next three and would have got away with a draw had they managed to pinch the doubles, which summed up the whole evening going to five games and every game was either 13-11 or 11-9 and Trevor Beard and Nigel Payne won from 2-1 down in games against Peter Briggs and Stewart Williams.
Beard and Payne both won two singles and Antony Marray got the other one for Falcons.
For Kites, Williams got two and Briggs and Judd one each.
This leaves Burton C bottom and six points below Burton B, but with the C team playing the two Thrapston teams and the B team playing Harborough A and Rothborough Arrows in the next two matches, they should be very close and will be level with a repeat of the previous results.
Results: Harborough A 8 (N Thompson 3, B Thompson 2, Shield 2, Thompson/Thompson) Rothborough Arrows 2 (H Watts 2), Harborough B 9 (Burnham 3, Brocklebank 3, Crook 2, Brocklebank/Crook) Burton Baptist B 1 (Hooda), Burton Baptist C 4 (Agg 3, Tattersall) Westfield D 6 (Patel 2, Alder 2, Malpass, Alder/Malpass), Thrapston Kites 4 (Williams 2, Briggs, Judd) Thrapston Falcons 6 (Beard 2, Payne 2, Marray, Payne/Beard).
Player of the week: Chris Agg.
Team of the week: Harborough A.
A strong start for Burton Baptist Team Jim at Rothborough Buccaneers in Division Two saw them go 3-0 up - but in the end they needed the doubles to avoid defeat.
In those first three, Ben Freeman and Bryan Lade won their only games – both 11-8 in the fifth – against Luke Saywood and Kelvin Linnett respectively.
Then Buccaneers motored away with four of their own on the bounce, including a 11-8 fifth-end revenge victory for Saywood over Harry Lade and a 12-10 fifth-end win for Linnet over Freeman.
Ivor Jones bagged a pair but couldn’t force the win in the doubles with Saywood as Harry Lade and Freeman ensured parity to match the previous result and make these teams the draw specialists.
Harborough C improved their result against Corby Lakeview, who fielded an identical team, but still went down 7-3.
Jamie Burgess was the big difference as he beat both Rob Warrander and Adam Bendyk after a blank last time out, while Phil Dixon matched the point won previously by Dave Coombs.
All the Lakeview team got two but Bendyk only needed 10 ends, Warrander 11 and Stephen Woolston 12 and then Bendyk and Woolston added the extra point.
Results: Corby Lakeview 7 (Bendyk 2, Warrander 2, Woolston 2, Bendyk/Woolston) Harborough C 3 (Burgess 2, Dixon), Rothborough Buccaneers 5 (Jones 2, Saywood 2, Linnett) Burton Baptist Team Jim 5 (H Lade 2, Freeman, B Lade, Freeman/H Lade).
Player of the week: Jamie Burgess.
Team of the week: Harborough C.
Division Three results: Burton Baptist D 1 (Waterfield) Harborough E 9 (McGowan 3, Radford 3, Palfrey 2, Radford/McGowan), Rothborough Dakotas 0 Corby Smash C 10 (P Hillery 3, L Hillery 3, T Hillery 3, L Hillery/T Hillery), Westfield E 10 (Wright 3, Elliot 3, Grigg 3, Elliot/Wright) Corby The Woodlands 0, Old Village 10 (Burrows 3, Tyler 3, Bryant 3, Tyler/Burrows) Corby Smash D 0.
Player of the week: Bronwen Grigg.
Team of the week: Westfield E.