The semi-finals have come a week early in the Lithgow Table Tennis Association Winter Competition following the results of Round Nine.
The only certainty is that Grippers will claim a play-off spot because they have the bye in the last round. Charolais and Loopers will fight for the minor premiership while the loser of the the Wrecksavers - Spinners clash will finish last.
Grippers needed a victory over Charolais to keep their season alive but after three rubbers the teams were locked at 4-all. The teams traded blows and at the completion of the singles Grippers held a 12-11 edge. Grippers took the first doubles 2-1 for a 14-12 lead, which meant Charolais had to win the second doubles 2-0 to force a tie. Grippers did enough to grab one game in losing 2-1 but it was sufficient for them to take the match, 15-14.
The in-form Mark McAulay (6-2) showed the way for Grippers, with good support from Lou Kappos (5-3), while Kate Churchill was unlucky to go 1-6.
For Charolais, Leon Rust (4-3) finished with a positive record, with Sean Jenkins (4-4) breaking even and Sharnie Roberts going 3-5.
Spinners were also in need of a win to stay in contention after successive losses, but faced a tough assignment against competition leaders Loopers. Spinners appeared in trouble after dropping the first rubber 2-1 but they rattled off the next four by a combined eight games to one to take control at 9-3. Loopers closed the gap to be 13-9 down after the singles but had to win both doubles 2-0 to force a tie. Loopers could only win the first 2-1 and then Spinners took the second by the same margin to make the final score 16-12 in favour of Spinners.
Carol Poole had best results for Spinners at 6-2, closely followed by Malcolm Jeffries (5-3), while Kelly Gurney returned 2-4.
Roy Barlow went 4-3 for Loopers and Cameron Churchill 4-4, while Michael Wood was well below his best with a 1-6 mark.
This week's draw: Round 10; Charolais v Loopers; Wrecksavers v Spinners.