EBA Section Four (Spalding area) Club Championship: WHAPLODE Drove’s charge for the Group B title was halted by a surprise defeat at a rejuvenated Royal Mail Cart B outfit.
Promotion favourites Drove arrived with a record of eight wins out of nine, but were on the wrong end of a 9-1 beating against Mail Cart – who toasted only a second success of the season so far.
The strugglers won two of the three rinks, with one drawn, as R Callaby, D Exton, J Chamberlain and P Treagus led the charge with an impressive 26-10 triumph.
There was also a vital 17-15 victory for P Allen, N Levesley, D Thomas and R Scott leaving Drove nine points clear at the top.
Second-placed Billingborough took advantage of their slip-up with an 8-2 win over Long Sutton.
Two of their sets enjoyed rink wins, with a 31-12 return from D Greenhough, D Wesley, E Atter and D Robinson the best on offer.
Bourne Town stay third after taking the honours in their derby clash with Market Deeping 8-2.
In what was a pretty tight tussle, M Thompson, J Banks, T Burton and P Dimbleby delivered a big 26-11 return to secure the lion’s share of the spoils for promotion-hunting Bourne.
Meanwhile, Group A leaders Carter’s Park stretched their advantage to ten points with an 8-2 victory at basement boys Gosberton.
The scoreline did no justice to Gosberton, who were edged out 48-45 on aggregate. The main reason for that was a big 21-10 rink return from R Dunham, D Burgess, N Dunham and A Dunham.
Royal Mail Cart A remain firmly in the hunt, having seen off Castle 6-4.
Lowly Castle threatened to cause a shock by taking two of the three rinks, only for Michael Cole, Martin Spencer, P Spencer and S Callaby to save the day with a 21-8 win.
Spalding Town A capitalised on that scoreline by thrashing Moulton Harrox 10-0 to go level with Mail Cart in second spot.
In an incredibly close contest, a 17-14 triumph from D Gedney, G Deaton, R Wing and W Phoenix was the biggest winning margin.
Also in the hunt are Donington, who made it seven victories out of ten by knocking off Consti 6-4.
They were indebted to a big 25-9 victory from D Woods, A Bristow, T Slanley and O Timm.
One of the shocks of the week came in Triples A, with leaders Carter’s Park A whitewashed for the second week on the spin.
Having reeled off ten wins on the spin, the Holbeach side are still 20 points clear of the rest – but they won’t have enjoyed a 10-0 humbling at lowly Long Sutton.
All three Sutton rinks won well, but Bob Everitt, Arthur Jealous and Richard Hayden (25-13) were the most impressive trio.
Rivals Royal Mail Cart did take full advantage with a 10-0 victory at Spalding Town A, while Consti A could also be dark horses in third.
Consti won their all-club affair with Consti B 6-4, leaving themselves 21 points off the pace with three games in hand on the runaway leaders.
A big 24-10 return from A Sculthorpe, M Watson and T Wright was key for the A team.
Meanwhile, Billingborough’s charge to the Triples B crown shows little sign of relenting.
They brushed third-placed Ayscoughfee aside 8-2, with D Greenhough, C Clayton and J Pittkin (22-11) the most emphatic winners.
Castle B are their nearest rivals, some 21 points back. They breezed to a routine 10-0 (76-23) win against Gosberton, as all three rinks scored 21 shots or more.
Of the winning trio, L Cooke, L Burns and D Lunn (28-6) scored won by the biggest margin.