Two from top and bottom to battle it out in last four
Two Premier Division teams and two Division Two sides will contest the semi-finals of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League's Borough Trophy.
Top-tier teams Higham and Westfield B were both victorious in nail-biting 5-4 finishes but Old Village and Rothborough Dakotas, from the bottom division, both had comfortable 8-1 wins.
After six matches Harborough D led Higham 4-2 and had victory in their grasp.
But Pete Bannister led the recovery with a 22-20, 21-19 win over Phil Dixon.
Richard Bashford’s only win over previously unbeaten Vaughan Allington levelled the scores and Higham skipper Richard Elliott settled the tie 23-21 in the deciding end over the unlucky Dave Coombs.
Dan Smalley secured Westfield B’s win over Burton Baptist Team Jim with a 21-19 victory over Ben Freeman in game eight.
Smalley’s triple and Richie Bailey’s double accounted for Westfield’s five points.
John Sanders was Team Jim’s star player with victories over Bailey and Matt Rushton.
Pete Rowbotham and Anthony Yeomans both had maximums in Dakotas’ easy 8-1 win over Thrapston Kites.
Cathy Fleming scored a double and was only beaten by Stewart Williams.
Beth Tyler and Mike Burrows maximums secured the last semi-final place for Old Village in their 8-1 success over Burton Baptist D.
Richard Bryant won twice and was only denied a maximum by Steve Smith.
Results: Westfield B 5 (Smalley (SCR) 3, Bailey (+2) 2) Burton Baptist Team Jim 4 (Sanders (+13) 2, Freeman (+14), H Lade (+12)), Old Village 8 (Tyler (+13) 3, Burrows (+13) 3, Bryant (+16) 2) Burton Baptist D 1 (Smith (+5)), Rothborough Dakotas 8 (Rowbotham (+12) 3, Fleming (+12) 2, Yeomans (+14) 2) Thrapston Kites 1 (Williams (+1)), Higham 5 (Elliott (SCR) 2, Bannister (+1) 2, Bashford (+1)) Harborough B 4 (Allington (+14) 2, Coombs (+14), Dixon (+13)).
Burton Baptist Team Jim bounced back from losing on the previous evening in the Borough Trophy with a fine 472-420 win over Corby A to gain a place in the quarter-final draw of the Shirley Everard Points Cup.
Harry Lade’s magnificent 94/125 return against the Premier Division trio of Kyle Murie, Chris Haynes and Rob Warrender was the difference between the two teams.
Westfield C’s 420-404 defeat of Rothborough Dakotas was decided in game nine.
Dakotas were still 31 points in front and the match result could have gone either way.
Steve Hobbs demolished veteran David Steele 21-6, 21-7, reducing the deficit to only two points.
Hobbs then teamed up with Paul Malpass to take the doubles 21-13, 21-11 and an overall victory by 16 points.
Division Two’s bottom side Westfield D took full advantage of their 320-point handicap over Harborough B to win 469-420.
Harborough made a brave attempt to overhaul the deficit but Evie Elliott and Sidney Wright, with 59 and 52 points, each proved a step too far.
Higham fell 94 points short of the required target against Rothborough Buccaneers.
Consistent play by Ivor Jones, Luke Saywood and Sean Smith enabled Buccaneers to reach the 421-point victory target after game seven.
Burton Baptist B were awarded a 40-point start by the handicappers against Corby B.
But Henry Arthur, Aaron Moore and Chris Robertson all hit form and only dropped two ends all night as Corby ran out easy 400-306 winners.
Lee Mordecai was Rothborough Exocets’ hero with a 94/118 return in the 493-407 win over Burton Baptist C.
Results: Rothborough Exocets (+280) 493 (Mordecai 94/118, Taylor 46/126, Marshall 37/126, Taylor/Mordecai 36/37) Burton Baptist C (SCR) 407 )Gulbicki 126/33, Goodman 126/69, K Marshall 118/75, Gulbicki/Goodman 37/36), Corby B (SCR) 400 (Arthur 126/65, Moore 119/95, Robertson 116/71, Arthur/Robertson 39/32) Burton Baptist B (+40) 306 (Koltuniuk 96/117, Manji 74/118, Crasto 64/126, Koltuniuk/Manji 32/39), Corby A (SCR) 420 (Murie 127/75, Warrender 125/74, Haynes 126/50, Haynes/Murie 42/33) Burton Baptist Team Jim (+240) 472 (H Lade 94/125, Freeman 60/126, B Lade 45/127, H Lade/Freeman 33/42), Rothborough Buccaneers (+300) 515 (Jones 61/126, Saywood 64/127, Smith 76/126, Jones/Saywood 14/42) Higham (SCR) 421 (Allsop 126/61, Elliott 126/57, Harrison 127/83, Elliott/Harrison 42/14), Westfield C (SCR) 420 (Hobbs 126/48, Malpass 126/69, Alder 126/63, Malpass/Hobbs 42/24) Rothborough Dakotas (+200) 404 (Fleming 58/126, Steele 59/126, Rowbotham 63/126, Rowbotham/Fleming 24/42), Harborough B (SCR) 420 (Burnham 126/56, Crook 126/39, Burgess 126/41, Crook/Burnham 42/13) Westfield D (+300) 469 (Wright 59/126, Elliott 52/126, Grigg 25/126, Wright/Elliott 13/42), Harborough D w/o Westfield B, Harborough E w/o Kettering Town A.