Division Two of the Portsmouth & District Billiards League has come to an ideal end with two teams on 31 points going into the final week.
Craneswater Z and Cowplain face a make-or-break situation at Southsea to bring the up-and-down session to a climax.
The smart money is on star-studded Craneswater, who hammered Copnor Xcels 6-1 in their penultimate fixture.
Dave Gowing gave them early problems by beating Dave Carter easily.
However, it was back to the old routine as lady champion Emma Bonney and Ian Carter stepped up to see off Andy Chambers and Graham Farr.
Arthur Newland squeezed a three-point win against Gerry Godden and Nigel Ward ran in a 58 to make it 4-1.
The home side could only raise five men and conceded another.
Cowplain did well to beat Topspot 5-2 – but it could have been more.
Shaun Hounsome and Matt Johnson pinched the last two to keep the score down against stalwarts Dave Pitman and Rich Williams.
The Plain got off to a cracking start, as James Curtis, his father Dave, Will Garrett and Pete Gorvin cruised through.
The latter won by 90 points against virtual-spectator Colin Johnson.
Two weeks remain in the top flight and long-standing leaders Craneswater A could be caught by Portchester X.
The teams meet this week, and Jason Tame’s gang are on a roll.
The Castle Street boys smashed Copnor A 6-1 on their own patch to relegate Scott Compton’s side to the bottom rung.
Mark Kingswell pipped Jon Sunderland by five and Tame beat Steve Toms by 10.
Charlie Cripps and Matt James also had to hold their nerve, while the home skip was well-beaten by Ashley Bendell.
Lee Eden managed to stop the rot at the expense of Neil Turp.
The topdogs, meanwhile, were held up by Mark Raynor at Leigh Park.
They won four games but lost the bonus point by 50-odd.
Raynor was outstanding and Danny Lumsden also played a part.
Away skipper Tony Hansford was relieved to get past opposite number Neville Moyle 150-149, and Pedro Ferguson won by six against Bill Parsons.
Pedro’s father, Pete, was on the other side and Andy Boulton needed a 40 and 36 to edge him out.
Good breaks on tough tables are not easy. Mike Talmondt completed the scoring.
Copnor C were in charge of their tussle with the B team.
Steve Lawrence set up a 5-2 triumph.
Tony Simmons, Phil Ledington and Barry Mihell were also on the scoreboard, although Mihell just got the better of Pete Rook by six.
John Oldfield and Trev Sanders gave a good account of themselves for the Bs.
Craneswater R were happy to get the better of Gas.
It ended 4-3 thanks to Gary More’s visits of 44 and 39.
Andy Carter and Brian Garside were also on target for the home side but Mike Scott, Mick Mo and Mark Tillison pushed them hard.