The race for semi-final places in the Lithgow Table Tennis Association Winter Competition is on in earnest, with only three regular season rounds remaining.
Leaders Grippers have all but sealed a spot, while Loopers and KaPooLow, both with byes to come, together with Charolais, are favoured to fill the other three vacancies. Last-placed Spinners, also with a bye in hand, probably need to win both of their remaining matches to qualify.
Loopers faced off against a Charolais side coming off a bye and it looked like the break was beneficial when Charolais jumped out to early 4-1 and 8-4 leads.
Loopers found some form though, and ripped through the last four singles rubbers by eight games to one to go into the doubles with a 12-9 advantage.
Charolais kept the match alive when they took the first doubles 2-0 to bring the score back to 12-11 but Loopers claimed the second comfortably, also 2-0, to complete a 14-11 victory.
Pauline Wellfare and Riza Wiradi couldn't be separated, with both returning 5-2 results for Loopers, while Michael Wood was below his best at 2-5.
Mark Watchorn and Leon Rust finished with the same 4-3 result for Charolais, and Sharnie Roberts dropped several close games on her way to a 1-6 mark.
The battle between the bottom two sides in KaPooLow and Spinners saw KaPooLow take the upper hand when they won the opening two rubbers both 2-1 to be up 4-2.
Spinners took the next to tie it at 4-all only for KaPooLow to again go ahead 6-4. Four unanswered games to Spinners saw them with the lead for the first time at 8-6 and had KaPooLow, on a dismal four match losing streak, in danger of dropping to last place.
Some semblance of form returned just in time for KaPooLow, as they won the last six singles games and tacked on a 2-1 result in the first doubles to put the match out of reach at 14-9.
Spinners gained small consolation by winning the second doubles 2-0 to see the final score stand at KaPooLow 14, Spinners 11.
Matt Kappos led the way for KaPooLow with a round-high 6-1, followed by Megan Kappos at 4-3 and Maurie Poole 2-4.
Linda Kappos (4-2) was the only Spinner to produce a positive result, with Mark McAulay going 3-4 and Malcolm Jeffries a below par 1-6.
Grippers held on to top spot courtesy of the bye.
Pointscore: Grippers 38, Loopers 35, KaPooLow 32, Charolais 31, Spinners 26.
Draw for Round 13; Grippers v Loopers. Charolais v Spinners. KaPooLow bye.