Division One leaders Sceptre are battling hard to clinch the Crown

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Hemel Hempstead Table Tennis League Division One leaders Crown & Sceptre I had to fight hard to beat Adeyfield A 7-3 as Akash Shah hit a maximum.

It was even harder work when Crown & Sceptre played their A team and just about managed a 5-5 draw with Gary Keers winning his three games.

Second-placed Adeyfield I took full advantage as they thrashed Northchurch I 10-0 and followed that up with a double whitewash of Crown & Sceptre B. John Fox hit three trebles, with Mark York and Mike Boardman also weighing in with two apiece.

Crown & Sceptre A beat Adeyfield 10-0 but lost 6-4 to Row despite the efforts of Ken Stonebridge.

Row had a 7-3 triumph over Flamstead I thanks to a Paul Jolly hat-trick, but Flamstead steadied the ship with a 6-4 victory over Crown & sceptre B as Tony Coomber hit a maximum.

They followed this with a 5-5 draw with Northchurch I, for whom Simon Whale made a maximum, before Northchurch lost 7-3 to a Mike Branscombe-inspired Adeyfield A side.

Meanwhile, Division Two champions elect St Michaels I continued to brush aside all in their path as they picked up 10-0 wins over Crown & Sceptre C and Flamstead B. They also beat KLCC I 8-2, with Mark Brent achieving a maximum.

Second-placed Flamstead A had 9-1 victories over Highfield and Adeyfield B, with Dave Geary helping himself to two maximums.

They then had a narrow 6-4 win against KLCC I thanks to a Jack Rayland treble, however they found Crown & Sceptre C too hot to handle as Leigh Hurkett bagged a maximum in Crown’s 8-2 win.

McAlpine I kept in touch with an 8-2 win against Adeyfield B and a 7-3 triumph over KLCC I, while Peter Bart led the way for Crown & Sceptre C as they beat Highfield 7-3.

Arun Cantra and Gerry Evens led Adeyfield B to an easy 9-1 win over Highfield, but they lost 6-4 to Flamstead B despite another Evens treble.

KLCC I saw off Flamstead B 9-1 thanks to Phil Hards and Richard Ballard.

In Division Three, leaders St Michaels A are also closing in on the title after back-to-back 10-0 wins over Flamstead C and Crown & Sceptre D, plus a 9-1 victory against Adeyfield C. Dave Ameryk and Kwee Chin both gained triple maximums.

Adeyfield C got back to winning ways with victories over Crown & sceptre D and Northchurch A, while McAlpines’ Xin Jun Wang was on top form in wins over KLCC A and Northchurch A.

Flamstead C did their cause no harm with an 8-2 win against Crown & Sceptre D and a hard-fought 6-4 triumph over St Georges as Daniel Penberthy made a double maximum.

Finally, Northchurch had a 7-3 victory over St Georges, with Dave Walker bagging a maximum.