The match of the week in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League was played out between Higham and Corby Smash, with both sides claiming five points after a hard-fought draw.
Colin Wilson was the star for the away side as he maintained his unbeaten start, although he was given a scare by Richard Bashford who took him the distance.
Richard Elliott picked up a brace with a fine win over Tony West, who was otherwise unbeaten, before teaming up with Andy Trott – who came in just for the doubles – to seal the draw.
The result leaves Higham in second place, with Corby Smash just behind in fourth.
Kettering Town A also picked up a 5-5 draw with Westfield B despite the unavailability of John Fuller and Nigel Metcalfe.
Shandor Czuczor was instrumental in the result with a fine treble, added to by wins for Mike Hawes and Brian Harradine over Sam Wildman.
Dan Smalley and Matt Rushton both picked up a double before joining forces to claim the doubles to avoid defeat.
Burton Baptist A’s title ambitions were dealt a blow as they lost 6-4 at Corby A.
Missing star man Dawid Przybysz, they fell short as Chris Haynes’ treble proved decisive – including a fantastic 12-10 in the fifth end win over Chris Ross.
Dan Bottrill, playing up from Division One, picked up an excellent win over Dariusz Gulbicki as Baptist were condemned to their first loss of the season.
Henry Arthur got himself back on the treble trail as Corby B saw off Harborough A 6-4.
His maximum was added to by single wins from Aaron Moore and Chris Robertson over Barry Thompson.
Nathan Thompson and Kevin Shield fought valiantly but their braces were in vain as they fell to another loss.
Damage to their Montsaye home after high winds meant Rothborough’s home games were postponed.
Results: Higham 5 (Elliott 2, Bashford, Bannister, Elliott/Trott) Corby Smash 5 (C Wilson 3, West 2), Westfield B 5 (Smalley 2, Rushton 2, Smalley/Rushton) Kettering Town A 5 (Czuczor 3, Hawes, Harradine), Corby A 6 (Haynes 3, Murie, Bottrill, Haynes/Murie) Burton Baptist A 4 (Ross 2, Gulbicki, Marshall), Corby B 6 (Arthur 3, Moore, Robertson, Arthur/Robertson) Harborough A 4 (N Thompson 2, Shield 2).
Team of the week: Corby A.
Player of the week: Chris Haynes.
In Division One, results went as expected in week 10 as all of the leading teams won.
Leaders Westfield C beat Corby C 8-2 as Steve Hobbs completely dominated all three of his opponents, winning all nine games for the loss of only 33 points.
Also relatively untroubled was Paul Malpass, whose treble came for the loss of just one game to Keith McLaren.
Dan Bottrill and McLaren picked up two points for Corby with wins over Chris Alder. Stephen Woolston had a bad night and lost all three sets 3-0.
Second-placed Thrapston Eagles are keeping up the pressure on the leaders after a creditable 7-3 win over club-mates Thrapston Kites.
There were five sets that needed a fifth and deciding game and Ian Donaldson and Peter Briggs were both involved in three of these which included the doubles.
The first of these was the very first set between these two in which Briggs won the decider 11-4, before he then won another in the fifth 11-5 against Chris Warliker.
In between, Stewart Williams had beaten Warliker 3-1 and Mark Stockley had beaten Geoff Judd 3-0 making it 3-1 to Falcons.
Eagles fought back as Stockley got his expected treble for the loss of just one game to Williams, Donaldson got a brace, beating Judd 3-0 and Williams 3-2 and Warliker beat Judd 3-2 before Donaldson and Stockley won the doubles 11-9 in the fifth against Briggs and Williams.
Third-placed Harborough B justified their higher ranking with an easy 10-0 win over Harborough D.
Mike Brocklebank was the only player not to lose a game whereas Liam Burnham just lost one to Phil Dixon and Steve Crook lost one to Dave Coombs.
Ian Baldock was the man of the match for Thrapston Falcons against Rothborough Buccaneers with a treble for the loss of no games.
Sean Smith was, as usual, Buccaneers’ star player.
With his team staring at a heavy loss at 5-0 down, he managed to pull it back to a respectable 7-3, three useful points for the team third from bottom.
His wins against Antony Marray and Nigel Payne were against two players 21 and 17 places above him in the ranking list.
He then paired up with Luke Saywood to inflict the only defeat of the night for Baldock in the doubles with Marray.
Improving Harborough C managed a 5-5 draw with Burton Baptist D.
In this match there was no outstanding player as everyone suffered at least one defeat.
For Harborough, both Burgess brothers Sam and Jamie won two singles and then paired up to win the doubles.
For Burton D, Chris Marshall and Steve Smith earned braces and there was a single win for Derek Muggleton over Mark Pearson.
Sixth-placed Burton Baptist C’s expected dominance over bottom team Rothborough Comets was only interrupted briefly when Pete Sturgess overcame Kelvin Marshall in five games.
Otherwise it was plain sailing for the Burton trio of Paul Goodman, Dave Simmons and Marshall with all other sets being 3-0 wins except the doubles, which was 3-1 to make a match score of 9-1 to Burton Baptist C.
The performance of the consistent Goodman is worth a mention as he has only lost 37 points in winning all nine singles games.
Results: Westfield C 8 (Hobbs 3, Malpass 3, Alder, Malpass/Alder) Corby C 2 (McLaren, Bottrill), Thrapston Eagles 7 (Stockley 3, Donaldson 2, Warliker, Donaldson/Stockley) Thrapston Kites 3 (Briggs 2, Williams), Harborough D 0 Harborough B 10 (Burnham 3, Crook 3, Brocklebank 3, Crook/Burnham), Thrapston Falcons 7 (Baldock 3, Payne 2, Marray 2) Rothborough Buccaneers 3 (Smith 2, Saywood/Smith), Harborough C 5 (S.Burgess 2, J.Burgess 2, S.Burgess/J.Burgess) Burton Baptist D 5 (Marshall 2, Smith 2, Muggleton, Marshall/Smith), Burton Baptist C 9 (Simmons 3, Goodman 3, Marshall 2, Marshall/Goodman) Rothborough Comets 1 (Sturgess).
Team of the week: Harborough B.
Player of the week: Steve Hobbs.
Rothborough Dakotas claimed an 8-2 win at Kettering Town B in Division Two.
And, although the visitors took the first five games and thus virtually assured themselves of the match quite quickly, there was only one game over in the basic three ends and the last two were classics.
Jim Chatburn defeated Tony Yeomans in five ends in game nine and then they faced each other again with their respective partners of Ann Woolston and Pete Rowbotham in a game where the last four of the five ends finished 12-10 the team second in the table taking the last two of them to put a favourable gloss to the scoreline.
It was Rowbotham and David Steele that did the early damage with hat-tricks apiece with Yeomans also chipping in.
An impressive treble from new kid on the Harborough E block Luke Brown couldn’t quite force a result against table-toppers Burton Baptist D but it was only the last two games that took it away from them.
Having already beaten Bryan Lade and Ben Freeman, Brown had to see off Harry Lade for his maximum and the first end suggested a tight game as the debutant edged it 14-12.
But the next two ends were more straightforward and he secured a great start to his Kettering League career and returned the match to all-square.
Freeman then squeezed out Ron Palfrey in five before partnering Lade in the doubles to secure a 6-4 victory for their endeavours.
Ben Burns featured in the only two games to go the distance when Corby D beat Old 7-3.
He lost in the singles to Richard Bryant after coming from two down, Bryant in the process achieving his first victory in his fifth match, but Burns atoned in the doubles with a final-end defeat over Beth Tyler and Charlie Edwards.
His partner was Neil Stone who is matching John Hunt maximum for maximum as both were unbeaten in this match as they have been all season.
This result moves Corby above Harborough into third in the table in a close top half of the division.
Results: Harborough E 4 (Brown 3, Baker) Burton Baptist E 6 (B Lade 2, H Lade 2, Freeman, Freeman/H Lade), Kettering Town B 2 (Chatburn, An Woolston) Rothborough Dakotas 8 (Rowbotham 3, Steele 3, Yeomans, Rowbotham/Yeomans), Old Village 3 (Bryant, Edwards, Tyler) Corby D 7 (Hunt 3, Stone 3, Burns/Stone).
Player of the week: Luke Brown.
Team of the week: Harborough E.