The semi-finals of all three cup competitions were completed in the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
A marathon lasting four hours between Corby A and Westfield A produced the cup match of the season in the last four of the Millman Salver.
And it was Westfield who eventually gained a place in the final after a play-off.
Roumen Stefanov beat Henry Arthur 4-0 but Lee O’Boyle levelled the scores again with a 4-0 defeat of Steve Silk before 3-1 victories for Chris Haynes and Lee O’Boyle put Corby 10-6 up by game four.
Haynes halved with Silk and Stefanov and Bird’s 4-0 win over O’Boyle put Westfield in the lead again 17-15.
Having taken only one point in his previous two matches, up stepped Arthur with a 3-1 win over Silk to level the scores again at 18-18 with the doubles to play. O’Boyle and Haynes raced into a 2-0 lead against Stefanov and Bird but they came back from the brink of defeat to level the scores again at 20-20.
The play-off was a bit of an anti-climax with Stefanov defeating Haynes 3-0 compared to their thrilling 2-2 draw earlier in the match.
Westfield will meet Kettering Town A in the final following their 22-14 victory over club-mates Town B in the other semi-final.
Mike Hawes was their ace, taking nine ends out of 12 as Town B’s trio of Jim Chatburn, Pete Scrivener and Ann Woolston could not handle Hawes’ unorthodox style of play.
Scrivener produced an outstanding result by beating John Fuller 4-0 and with the scores at 16-12 after eight ends, a close finish seemed possible.
Stirred into action, Fuller showed no mercy on Chatburn, taking 40 points without reply for a 3-1 win and put the game beyond Town B’s reach.
Results: Corby A 20 (Arthur 4/8, O’Boyle 7/5, Haynes 7/6, O’Boyle/Haynes 2/2) Westfield A 21 (Stefanov 8/5, Silk 3/9, Bird 8/4, Bird/Stefanov 2/2), Kettering Town A 22 (Metcalfe 7/5, Hawes 9/3, Fuller 6/6) Kettering Town B (14 Chatburn 4/8, Scrivener 5/7, Ann Woolston 5/7).
Both Shirley Everard Points Cup semi-finals were held at Rothwell with Exocets entertaining Westfield D and Dakotas playing Corby D.
Westfield started with a 220-point handicap deficit and gradually reduced this advantage to 18 by game eight.
Scott Dixon easily beat Anthony Yeomans 21-1, 21-7 in the final singles to open up a 16-point advantage and settle the match.
Dixon, Chris Alder and Nitin Patel played consistently throughout with only Exocets’ Helmut Salander able to offer any substantial opposition.
Rothborough Dakotas claimed the second final place after defeating Corby D 347-321.
Corby’s John Hunt and Dan Bottrill will be bitterly disappointed to lose having won 10 of their 14 ends.
Nathan Brown had a terrible evening and dropped 72 points to the Dakotas trio of Cathy Fleming, Sean Smith and Pete Rowbotham.
Results: Rothborough Exocets (+220) 378 (Yeomans 37-126, Salander 63-126, Taylor 42-126, Yeomans/Salander 16-42) Westfield D (SCR) 420 (Patel 126-49, Dixon 126-44, Alder 126-49, Dixon/Alder 42-16), Rothborough Dakotas (SCR) 347 (Smith 106-84, Fleming 87-100, Rowbotham 144-102, Smith/Rowbotham 40-35) Corby D (SCR) 321 (Hunt 106-102, Bottrill 126-79, Brown 54-126, Hunt/Bottrill 45-40).
Westfield D became the only team to reach two finals with a close fought 5-3 victory over last season’s runners-up Harborough Rangers in the Borough Trophy.
No player was unbeaten and six of the eight games played needed a deciding end to find a winner.
After game six the match score was 3-3 but a 21-15, 18-21, 21-19 win by Nitin Patel over Mike Brocklebank and a 21-18, 14-21, 22-20 win for Paul Malpass against Steve Crook was enough to seal the victory for Westfield.
The other semi-final between Corby D and Kettering Town B meant one side finishing the week empty handed as both teams had already lost in the other competitions semi-finals.
Corby strengthened their side, replacing Nathan Brown with Tom Cardwell and Town B had an enforced change when bringing in Barry Davis to replace Peter Scrivener following a hand injury.
Dan Bottrill, Tom Cardwell and John Hunt proved too strong for Davis but Jim Chatburn and Ann Woolston were holding their own and after seven games Town B led 4-3.
Chatburn beat Hunt 21-9, 21-15 to secure victory and Woolston took the dead rubber 21-15, 15-21, 21-11 against Bottrill.
Results: Harborough Rangers 3 (Brocklebank (SCR) 2, Crook (+5)) Westfield D 5 (Malpass (+3) 2, Patel (+2) 2 Alder (+5)), Corby D 3 (Bottrill (SCR), Cardwell (+2), Hunt (+2)) Kettering Town B 6 Chatburn (+7) 3, Ann Woolston (+7) 3).