Grippers and Charolais have secured the top two spots in the Lithgow Table Tennis Association Summer Competition entering the final regular season round.
(min cost $8)
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Title favourites Grippers took the first rubber against last-placed Choppers 2-0, but a 6-2 Choppers run gave them a whiff of an upset at 6-4.
Grippers showed why they are the team to beat though, ripping through the last five singles rubbers by a combined ten games to one to put the match out of reach at 14-7.
Choppers made the margin a bit more respectable by winning both doubles, 2-1 and 2-0, but still finished on the wrong side of the 15-11 scoreline.
Mick Wagner led the Grippers to victory with the night's best record of 6-1, and received good support from Linda (4-2) and Lou (4-4) Kappos.
None of the Choppers side could get going in the singles, as Pauline Wellfare returned 3-4, while Maurie Poole and Malcolm Jeffries both went 2-5.
The other match saw Smashes needing to defeat Charolais to keep their top-two hopes alive.
Smashes looked in good shape when they led 4-2 and 8-6 and then a commanding 12-7 with only the last singles and both doubles to play.
Charolais grabbed the last six games without an answer however, to break Smashes' hearts with a cruel 13-12 triumph.
Leon Rust (5-3) and Peter Jaccoud (4-3) did enough to get Charolais to the line, while Sharnie Roberts lost several close games for 0-6.
Smashes will end the season in third place, with Shane Eagle (5-2), Mark McAulay (5-3) and Matt Kappos (2-4) falling just short in this match.
Pointscore: Grippers 24, Charolais 23, Smashes 15, Choppers 10.
This Week's Matches: Round 9; Charolais v Choppers. Grippers v Smashes.
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