Dark Knights hauled themselves bang into the Spalding and District Table Tennis League Division Two title mix with a crushing 5-0 win over long-term leaders Castle to leapfrog them at the summit.
Having had to replace their captain because of illness, the new Knights pairing looked very strong – and the result reflected that.
They took the match for the loss of just one end, and they are now two points clear.
Although Castle have a game in hand, only the top two now have a mathematical chance of winning the title.
Third place also looks to be sewn up by Insidious, but they nearly came a cropper against bottom team Casey’s Pingers in what was one of the longest matches of the night.
Mick Nurse spoiled Insidious’ evening in taking his first double of the season – and with James Coote forcing an end in each of his games, Insidious were grateful for a straight ends win in the doubles to take the match.
Another closely-fought match saw Nomads defeat Tornados by the same 3-2 score. Rod Bain scored a double for Nomads and paired up with Jonathan Brady for the match-deciding doubles, while Phil Knowles and young Dylan Taylor took one each for the losers.
The longest match of the night was in Division One, as South Holland took a 4-1 win over Haz Beans in a really tight tussle.
Beans’ Tony Cooper lost to Richard Hammond by three deuce ends in one game, while John Gilbert only beat Colin Vertigan with a deuce in the fifth. Reverse those and the score would have been 2-3.
The other two singles also had two deuce ends each.
Elsewhere in the top flight, Defenders’ pairing of Alan Fear and Martyn Green defeated Outsiders 5-0 – though Green had to come from behind to take a point off Keith Davey.
Leaders Bladerunners had a busy night. At the start of the evening they completed their Marylands Round Two match with a win in the doubles over three legs to go into the next round.
They followed that with a 4-1 win over JAG which keeps them clear at the top of the table...before then playing their third round Marylands tie against the juniors of Casey’s Pingers.
Casey Nurse and James Coote, on the good end of the handicapping, put up stout resistance before succumbing 3–1. They forced three of the games to a third end and had one end in each game go all the way.