Helen Watts hit a superb hat trick as relegation-threatened Rothborough Arrows drew 5-5 with Corby B in the Premier Division of the Kettering & District Table Tennis League.
It was only the second time this season that Arrows avoided defeat and they did it the hard way, coming back from 4-2 and 5-3 down.
Watts opened her night with a narrow 11-8 deciding game victory over Henry Arthur before making light work of Aaron Moore and Chris Robertson.
Martin Watts picked up Rothborough’s fourth point with a fantastic win over an out of sorts Arthur before Helen and Tom Ravenscroft secured the draw in the doubles.
Westfield A regained control at the top of the table with a crushing 9-1 win over Westfield B.
Richie Bailey picked up the lower-ranked side’s solitary point with a tense deciding game win over Bogdan Capusa, his second against the same player this season.
Steve Silk and Nicole Bird were relatively untroubled as they picked up three wins apiece before claiming the doubles.
Shandor Czuczor’s maximum proved decisive as Kettering Town A won 6-4 at Burton Baptist A.
He was taken the distance by both Chris Ross and Darisuz Gulbicki before pulling through, with Ross pulling off a fantastic result over John Fuller for the hosts as he bagged a brace.
Gulbicki and Alex Aston both claimed single wins over a luckless Nigel Metcalfe, Gulbicki saving match points to beat his higher-ranked opponent.
Higham moved into third place as they beat Burton Baptist B 8-2.
Jacek Koltuniuk scored both of Baptist’s points with upsets over Pete Bannister and Richard Bashford, with Richard Elliott the only player to win all three matches.
Results: Rothborough Arrows 5 (H Watts 3, M Watts, H Watts/Ravenscroft) Corby B 5 (Moore 2, Robertson 2, Arthur), Westfield A 9 (N Bird 3, Silk 3, Capusa 2, Bird/Silk) Westfield B 1 (Bailey), Burton Baptist B 4 (Ross 2, Aston, Gulbicki) Kettering Town A 6 (Czuczor 3, Fuller 2, Fuller/Metcalfe), Higham 8 (Elliott 3, Bannister 2, Bashford 2, Elliott/Bannister) Burton Baptist B 2 (Koltuniuk)
Player of the week: Helen Watts
Team of the week: Rothborough Arrows
Thrapston Eagles have slightly increased their lead at the top of Division One from three to four points following an 8-2 victory over fourth-placed Thrapston Falcons, who were without their leading player Ian Baldock.
Stewart Williams, playing in his second match of the night, scored Falcons two points with an easy 3-0 win over Ian Donaldson and a shock win in five games against Mark Stockley who is the leading player in terms of number of wins this season and third in the averages, but he couldn't beat Chris Warliker who scored the only treble.
Westfield C stayed in contention in second place with a 7-3 win over Burton Baptist C.
This week it was Ben Freeman's turn to play up in his first ever match in Division One and he found the trio of Bhavika Mistry, Nitin Patel and Paul Malpass too hot to handle but will have benefitted from the experience.
Paul Goodman scored a brace for Burton beating both Malpass and in five games but lost the battle of the pimples convincingly 3-0 to treble-winner Patel.
Kelvin Marshall was unlucky not to win a singles narrowly losing 13-11 in the fifth to Malpass but at least got some revenge in the doubles with Goodman.
Third-placed Harborough B narrowed the gap to two points below Westfield C although their 10-0 victory of bottom of the table Rothborough Comets was expected as the trio of Liam Burnham, Mike Brocklebank and Steve Crook won 30 games and lost two against Pete Sturges, Kelvin Linnett and Lauren Ainsworth, with Comets now almost certain to finish bottom.
Fifth-placed Thrapston Kites justified their superior position in the table to seventh-placed Burton Baptist D and their star player Peter Briggs was on form.
In his treble the only game he lost was to Harry Lade with Stewart Williams and Bob Hickson both scoring a brace.
Registered in Burton Baptist Team Jim in Division Two, Lade has now represented four out of the five Burton Baptist teams this season and the only one he is yet to win any sets in is for the A team in the Premier Division.
His 3-0 win over Hickson was relatively comfortable.
Steve Smith picked up a win over Williams before teaming up with Muggleton whose usual two five game defeats were compensated by a doubles win.
The match between ninth placed Corby C and eighth placed Harborough C was the only one to go against the positions in the table with Corby C winning 7-3.
It was a good team performance as all three of Stephen Woolston, Keith McLaren and Dan Bottrill achieved a brace.
It was also a good comeback as Harborough were leading 3-1.
The unpredictable Bottrill beat both Burgess brothers with Sam Burgess being the highest ranked player in the match but also lost to the lowest ranked player in the match, Mark Pearson.
Woolston was unlucky not to get the only treble losing 11-9 in the fifth to Sam after leading 2-0 in games.
In a potential relegation battle Rothborough Buccaneers beat Harborough D 6-4, increasing their lead from four to six points with Buccaneers third to bottom and Harborough D second to bottom.
Crucial to this victory was Ivor Jones with his first treble of the season so far, ably assisted by Sean Smith with a brace beating Vaughan Allington and a winless Dave Coombs, but he lost out to Phil Dixon who also got a brace.
Allington got a single win against Gareth Lewis before winning a close doubles with Dixon 11-9 in the fifth.
Results: Thrapston Falcons 2 (Williams 2) Thrapston Eagles 8 (Warliker 3, Donaldson 2, Stockley 2, Donaldson/Warliker), Westfield C 7 (Patel 3, Malpass 2, Mistry 2) Burton Baptist C 3 (Goodman 2, Goodman/Marshall), Harborough B 10 (Burnham 3, Brocklebank 3, Crook 3, Woolston/Bottril) Rothborough Comets 0, Burton Baptist D 3 (Smith, Lade, Smith/Muggleton) Thrapston Kites 7 (Briggs 3, Williams 2, Hickson 2), Corby C 7 (Woolston 2, McLaren 2, Bottrill 2, Woolston/Bottrill) Harborough C 3 (Burgess 2, Pearson), Rothborough Buccaneers 6 (Jones 3, Smith 2, Lewis) Harborough D 4 (Dixon 2, Allington, Allington/Dixon)
Team of the week: Corby C
Player of the week: Ivor Jones
The first two matches between Corby D and Old in Division Two finished 7-3 to the Kingswood team, but that was completely overturned this week with Old comfortably beating Corby 8-2.
The defeat was compounded by the longest match of the night when Mike Burrows and Beth Tyler came from two down to add gloss to their hat tricks.
It was always going to be a long night for Corby when Old won the first four games, so beating their previous results already.
A strong finish in winning the last three ensured the impressive result and left the door ajar for Team Jim and Dakotas to move away at the top.
Burton’s Team Jim were able to make the most of that result with a good win against fourth placed Harborough E, in the process inflicting John McGowan’s least successful week as both Harry Lade and Jacob Tattersall beat him on their way to their maximums, Tattersall’s second of the season and Lade’s seventh.
Team Jim also won the battle of the two most successful doubles teams with McGowan and Ben Baker losing for only the third time as a pair in eleven games, to Tattersall and Harry Lade, who improved Team Jim’s doubles wins to 80%.
This takes them back up to second.
Rothborough Dakotas also won but with a reduced margin over Kettering Town B.
Both teams were the same as the last meeting but Barry Davis and Jim Chatburn improved their personal tallies, Chatburn particularly impressive beating David Steele – ranked 15 places higher – for only his fourth defeat all season.
Town won three of the first four games, all in the last end, and the only games to go the distance, but then Steele and maximum man Pete Rowbotham asserted themselves in winning five of the last six between them.
Westfield D improved their result against Rothborough Exocets with the same players on show, with Sidney Wright and Evie Elliott gaining three points compared to one previously.
Lee Mordecai was the immovable object in winning all of his games the short way and Sally Taylor got a brace, losing out to Wright who gained revenge for her earlier defeat.
Pete Ainsworth also got on the scoresheet for the first time in his fourth match.
Results: Burton Baptist Team Jim 8 (H Lade 3, Tattersall 3, B Lade, H Lade/Tattersall) Harborough E 2 (Baker, McGowan), Corby D 2 (Hunt, Murie) Old Village 8 (Burrows 3, Tyler 3, Bryant, Burrows/Tyler), Rothborough Dakotas 6 (Rowbotham 3, Steele 2, Rowbotham/Steele) Kettering Town B 4 (Chatburn 2, Davis, Woolston), Westfield D 3 (Wright 2, Elliott) Rothborough Exocets 7 (Mordecai 3, Taylor 2, Ainsworth, Mordecai/Taylor)
Player of the week: Jim Chatburn
Team of the week: Old Village