It couldn’t be any closer at both ends of the Premier Division table with just one round of fixtures to go.
Westfield A lead Higham by just two points and need eight from their final match against Harborough A to regain the title.
They took advantage of their game in hand to move to the top of the pile by beating Corby Lyveden Fields 7-3.
Westfield quickly moved into a 5-0 lead but where pegged back when Guy Sparrow beat Brian Wooding before Chris Haynes convincingly beat Kevin Bird.
Steve Silk’s win over Sparrow and Wooding’s deciding-game triumph over Kyle Murie made it 7-2 but Corby took the doubles to reduce the deficit.
In the final week, title rivals Higham travel to Corby Smash A.
At the other end of the table the final relegation spot could be decided by a one-off play-off.
Westfield C needed at least three points to avoid the drop and took advantage of a weakened Corby Rothbury to win 6-4, just their fourth win of the season.
Bhavika Mistry was the match winner after she beat Henry Arthur in five nail bitingly close games.
The win moved the Wellingborough side three clear having played all of their games, but rivals Harborough A had two left.
Harborough knew they would condemn Westfield C to relegation if they scored four points the following night against Westfield B but could only muster one in a 9-1 defeat.
Nathan Thompson beat Nicole Bird but neither he, father Barry or James Lancaster could add to their tally against Dan Smalley or the impressive Matt Horrocks.
Harborough now sit two short of the drop zone with champions in waiting Westfield A to play.
Should they score three points or more they will relegate Westfield C, but if they score one or less they will be the team to lose out.
If they score two but lose the doubles they will be relegated by virtue of winning fewer doubles matches – by a single match – than Westfield C.
But should they lose 8-2 and win the doubles Harborough A’s and Westfield C’s records will be absolutely identical – meaning a one-off best of nine match at a neutral venue to determine who stays up.
In the week’s other fixture Harborough B were unable to raise a side against Kettering Town and forfeited the match.
Results: Corby Lyveden Fields 3 (Haynes, Sparrow, Haynes/Murie) Westfield A 7 (Silk 3, Bird 2, Wooding 2), Westfield C 6 (Mistry 3, Hobbs 2, Wildman) Corby Rothbury 4 (Arthur 2, Bendyk, Arthur/Bendyk), Harborough A 1 (N Thompson) Westfield B 9 (Horrocks 3, Smalley 3, Bird 2, Smalley/Horrocks), Harborough B 0 Kettering Town 10 (walkover)
Team of the week: Westfield B
Player of the week: Matt Horrocks
Lakeview versus Halesowen in Division One was played last week, carried over from week 17, the “snow week”.
Halesowen might have wished for it to have been played before as they only managed three ends all night, one of them when Neil Stone joined them from playing in the cup on an adjoining table for the doubles.
Rob Warrander, Adam Bendyk and Nigel Hunt were ruthless and all move to 70 per cent-plus victories this season.
It was their third whitewash and an improvement on their 7-3 victory earlier in the season.
Similarly carried over from week 17, Corby Smash B took a couple of players from Division Twi to Buccaneers and managed a narrow victory.
Peter Hillery won his three dropping only one end, but his feat was matched by Andy Frearson, beating Kelvin Linnett 12-10 in the last end and coming from two down to beat Pete Rowbotham, also playing up, before beating Lauren Ainsworth in four.
He teamed up with luckless James Lock but couldn’t force a fourth victory so Buccaneers equalled their best result with a 4-6 loss.
The only outstanding match now from that week is Burton B V Harborough C, which will be played after the last week, but is unlikely to affect promotion or relegation.
The first match in the penultimate week saw Westfield complete their season with a storming start at Smash, winning the first four games, but Smash C countered well and it wasn’t secured for the visitors until game nine.
David George won his third consecutive hat-trick and finishes the season on 75 per cent although he was stretched in all the games.
Paul Malpass got a double to finish on 61 per cent, losing out to Andy Logan’s only win.
Duncan Brudenall won a tight five-ender against Logan but lost in five for Mike Burrows only success on the night, thus Logan and Burrows atoned for a blank night in the reverse fixture.
Andy Michalski also got a solo victory, also against Brudenall.
The 7-3 margin leaves Westfield on 120 points, but they could drop from third to sixth depending on other results.
The top two had substantial victories but Baptist A’s comprehensive demolition of Halesowen means another 10-0 will win them the league.
Dave Needham, Denise Jacobi and Harry Lade swept the board without dropping an end, although Nathan Dixon was the closest to changing that, the only one to take his opponent to deuce, which he did to both Needham and Jacobi.
Rothborough Arrows did drop the one point to Harborough when Helen Watts lost out to Chris Parmar-Saville in his second outing this year, who also took Julian Marlow to five.
Otherwise Watts, Sean Smith and Marlow kept the pressure on Baptist A, who take on Harborough in their final match.
Arrows take on Smash B, and both leading teams beat their final week’s opponents 10-0 earlier in the season.
Lakeview also won 10-0, against Buccaneers, so Stephen Woolston goes to 50 per cent victories for the season, and Rob Warrander and Adam Bendyk go above 72 per cent.
They have also won 79 per cent of their doubles, taking them to 121 points which may well be enough to secure them a very creditable third place in the league.
Despite having to call on two players from Division Two Buccaneers put up a fight, particularly captain Lauren Ainsworth who was unlucky to lose in five after being ahead against Warrander and in five again against Woolston.
She remains their most successful regular player.
Results: Burton Baptist A 10 (Jacobi 3, Lade 3, Needham 3, Jacobi/Needham) Corby Halesowen 0, Corby Lakeview 10 (Bendyk 3, Warrender 3, Woolston 3, Bendyk/Woolston) Rothborough Buccaneers 0, Corby Smash C 3 (Burrows, Logan, Michalski) Westfield D 7 (George 3, Malpass 2, Brudenall, George/Malpass), Corby Lakeview 10 (Bendyk 3, Hunt 3, Warrender 3, Bendyk/Warrender) Corby Halesowen 0, Rothborough Arrows 9 (Marlow 3, Smith 3, H Watts 2, Marlow/Smith) Harborough C 1 (Parmar-Saville), Rothborough Buccaneers 4 (Ainsworth, Linnett, Rowbotham, Linnett/Rowbotham) Corby Smash B 6 (P Hillery 3, Frearson 3)
Player of the week: Chris Parmar-Saville
Team of the week: Corby Smash C
In Division Two, Harborough D secured promotion with two victories.
Against a depleted Westfield E, John McGowan was unbeaten in singles and doubles.
Captain Ron Palfrey and the returning Mark Pearson settled for pairs with Evie Elliott beating Palfrey in a decider and Pearson losing to Sidney Wright in four ends.
McGowan and Palfrey took a fourth end deuce in the doubles to give Harborough an 8-2 win.
They also travelled to Rothborough Comets with Danny Verrall replacing Palfrey.
It was not looking good for Harborough when Comets took a 3-0 lead which included Pete Rowbotham gaining a tremendous fifth end win against McGowan.
However, they battled back to take six of the last seven games as the match spilled over onto two tables.
Three of these wins came in five ends with Pearson taking the scalps of Rowbotham and Lee Mordecai and Verrall scraping through against Rowbotham.
Mordecai joined regular partner Gareth Lewis for the doubles, but solid play from McGowan and Verrall gave Harborough the win and promotion.
Corby Smash E moved up to fifth in the table with a 6-4 win at Westfield E.
Piotr Knitter was on top form and surrendered just one end to Evie Elliott. His team mates also put in good performances with Neil Marlow winning twice and Tom Reygan once.
Despite losing to Knitter, Elliott had a successful evening with good wins against Marlow and Reygan.
She then joined Sidney Wright as Westfield ended their home programme with an exciting comeback in the doubles 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-8.
Burton Baptist C had a recent cup win at Corby Harrogate and they repeated that success in the league with a 7-3 victory.
With just one week of the season remaining, Kelvin Marshall of Burton retained his 100 per cent record with wins over Stewart Abraham, Ethan Hunt and Mia Solomon.
Neil Biggs and Harry Andrews both won twice for Burton, but could not get the better of Abraham who combined well with Solomon to take the doubles.
Rothborough Dakotas had a busy schedule with three matches in eight days.
They began with a 7-3 defeat against Corby Smash E.
Piotr Knitter continued his terrific season with another maximum.
He lost one end to Cathy Fleming, but otherwise did not concede more than six points in an end.
He gained good support from Michael Wilson who won twice and Tom Reygan who beat Tony Yeomans.
Rothborough’s Sally Taylor took her tally for the season to 28 with wins against Wilson and Reygan.
Dakotas fared better at Corby Harrogate where they posted a 7-3 victory.
Pete Sturges joined Yeomans and Taylor as they all won twice, but the Rothborough players could not contain Stewart Abraham who played some brilliant shots to register a hat-trick.
Yeomans battled hard against Abraham before bowing out 11-4 in the deciding end.
Dakotas visited Corby again to play Corby Lincoln and were beaten 8-2.
Lincoln appeared to be boosted by their Millman Salver semi-final win as they put on a superb team performance.
Yeomans did get the better of Callum Donaldson in the opening game, but the Corby side then took eight of the last nine games with only a second win for Yeomans halting Lincoln’s progress.
Ken Murie dropped just one end as he beat Yeomans, Taylor and Fleming, whilst Callum Donaldson hit a brace and Ann Woolston returned to form with excellent wins against Taylor and Fleming.
Results: Harborough D 8 (McGowan 3, Palfrey 2, Pearson 2, McGowan/Palfrey) Westfield E 2 (Elliott, Wright), Rothborough Comets 4 (Lewis 2, Rowbotham, Mordecai) Harborough D 6 (McGowan 2, Pearson 2, Verrall, McGowan/Verrall), Westfield E 4 (Elliott 2, Wright, Elliott/Wright) Corby Smash E 6 (Knitter 3, Marlow 2, Reygan), Corby Harrogate 3 (Abraham 2, Solomon/Abraham) Burton Baptist C 7 (Marshall 3, Biggs 2, Andrews 2), Rothborough Dakotas 3 (Taylor 2, Fleming) Corby Smash E 7 (Knitter 3, M Wilson 2, Reygan, Knitter/Reygan), Corby Harrogate 3 (Abraham 3) Rothborough Dakotas 7 (Sturges 2, Yeomans 2, Taylor 2, Yeomans/Taylor), Corby Lincoln 8 (Murie 3, Woolston 2, Donaldson 2, Murie/Donaldson) Rothborough Dakotas 2 (Yeomans 2)
Player of the Week: Piotr Knitter
Team of the Week: Harborough D