HERTS Falcons shared the spoils with fierce rivals Essex Arrows as the sides battled it out in a double-header.
The clash illustrated just how competitive the NBL is this season, and showed that every team is capable of winning the title.
Going into the match, Herts boasted a record of eight wins and two losses so far this season, while Essex had drawn six and lost six.
And things looked to be going to form as Herts picked up a 12-7 win in the first game of the double-header.
Falcons’ Jordan Farkas missed the games against Croydon a week ago, but he was back as the starting pitcher and allowed only two earned runs, striking out five batsmen over six innings.
Two-run home runs by both Kevin Niedringhaus and Dave Tretheway spurred the Falcons on to five runs in the second and fifth innings, while a single by Ryan Bird in the sixth inning brought in another two runs.
Robbie Unsell relieved Farkas in the final inning to secure the win.
In game two, Essex raced to an early 4-0 lead after two Herts errors and three hits in the top of the first inning.
Three innings later, the Arrows had an even bigger lead of 10-2.
A solo home run by Ryan Bird in the bottom of the fourth was the wake-up call which the Falcons needed, and they followed that up with two runs in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
That burst by the Falcons included two singles by Dave House and two doubles by Cristobal Hiche.
The late surge by Herts closed the gap, but the table-toppers ran out of time, and Essex secured a 13-9 triumph.
The result means that the reigning champions, Harlow Nationals, overtake Herts at the top of the standings after they swept past Bracknell.