After 16 consecutive defeats since the start of the season in division three of the Braintree Table Tennis League, Black Notley H have at last experienced what it feels like to be on the winning side in a match.

It was their own G team who were on the receiving end and Alan Billing did all he could to prevent it happening.

Well, almost all.  He won his three singles in straight games but could not guide Nguyen Tran to a win in the doubles, which went to Mike Smith and Joshua Akparanta at 11-8 in the fifth game.

Tran won one singles for the G team but two each from Smith and Akparanta and a nailbiting win from Diane Pitt brought them the win.

Pitt was 2-1 down in games against debutant Chris Adkins and was taken to deuce in the fourth, but held on to win in five ends.

Despite their lack of success, Notley H are still within touching distance of Netts F, who improved their chances of avoiding the bottom spot by beating Rayne J 7-3. Peter Lewis won his three singles and the doubles with Tony Smith.

Rayne H and Notley F, the teams in second and third places, fought out a draw in which no one won all three or lost all three, five sets went the full five games and only one was won in three straight.

Brian How won two singles for Rayne while Takunda Nerutanga and Declan Baines did likewise for Notley.

In division one, there were unsurprising 10-0 wins for the top two, Liberal A over Rayne C and Rayne A against their own D team.

Netts A had an unbeaten Paul Davison and Robert Wood to thank for their 8-2 win over Netts B, although Davison was taken to 11-9 in the fifth by Maria Boulton after losing the first two games, and Wood was stretched to a similar score by James Hicks.

The Notley A-Netts C match featured three women, something not seen in the Braintree top division for many years.

Lucy Wang had the upper hand, beating both Nikki Davison and Hannah Pitt, as well as Alistair Hill.  Victor Chan also won three as Notley came away 8-2 winners.

In the battle of the B teams it was the lower placed Liberal B who triumphed over Rayne B.

Andrew Huckson, Mike Johnston and Adrian Pitt all won twice, Huckson and Johnston losing to John Andrews, while Pitt lost to Jon Hill in a rare set decided by two points in every game: 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9.