The juniors of Netts C have emerged as serious contenders for the Braintree Table Tennis League division three title after becoming the first team this season to beat Rayne H.

The league leaders were without the unbeaten Brian How, but a team of Peter Taylor, Tim Gowers and Dave Allinson is far from negligible.

But Netts took it in their stride. Joe Belsom remained unbeaten while Max Plumridge and Kierlan Richards won two each to make it 7-3. Belsom won two of his sets in four games and beat Gowers 11-4 in the fifth game.

Black Notley E missed a chance to keep pace at the top when they were beaten 6-4 by their own I team. Louis Jenkins, who celebrated his 14th birthday last week, again demonstrated his promise by winning his three singles, which included only the second defeat this season for Jamie Brooks.

With Derek Kennard and new signing Joe Meleschko in tandem, Netts D will be a handful for anyone, as Rayne I found to their cost. They won all seven between them in their side’s 7-3 win.

Keller Pritchard Green and Leon Hewitt remained unbeaten in Notley F’s 8-2 win over their own G team while Declan Baines’ evening was similarly unsullied in Notley H’s 6-4 win over Rayne J.

Notley C’s chances of promotion from division two took a nosedive when they could manage only one set against Rayne F. Dave Parker got that one, coming back from two games down against reserve Keith Flowers, but Dave Marsh and Dave Moles remained undefeated.

Leaders Rayne E were made to work hard to overcome Notley D 7-3 and were indebted to an unbeaten evening from Dave Miller. Adam Clift’s win over the experienced Dave Punt was probably the performance of the evening.

Dave Hardy, out of the game for some time since his move to Norwich, has returned to Liberal’s ranks and showed he has not forgotten how to play the game when he won twice on his comeback in Liberal C’s 7-3 win over Notley D.

Richard Kemp won his three singles as Nomads beat Felsted RBL B 8-2 while Rayne G had the misfortune to come up against Felsted A’s strongest team of the season and went down 7-3. Ashley Butler, in his first outing this season, remained unbeaten.

Rayne A established themselves firmly in second place in division one after a 9-1 win over their own C team.

Netts B ended Liberal A’s run of three successive 10-0 wins by taking three sets off them. James Hicks won two and Chris Buer one.

Netts A had their work cut out to beat Liberal B 6-4. Paul Davison, beaten only once this season, was stretched to the limit by Adrian Pitt before edging it 3-2 (10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10).

Andrew Huckson was in good form for Notley A but his three wins could not prevent a 6-4 win for Rayne B.