Liberal A’s 13-match winning run has come to an end in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
The league champions could only field two players against Netts B, who held them to a draw, Netts’ fifth draw in six matches.
Simon Webber lost to Colin Bennett by a surprisingly convincing 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-5), while Maria Boulton beat Scott Dowsett by the equally surprising 3-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-3).
But the other way round, the Liberal duo got it together, Dowsett beating Bennett 3-0 (11-2, 11-8, 11-6) and Webber getting the better of Boulton in four games. They both beat Graham Playle and combined to win the doubles to maintain their team’s unbeaten record.
Netts B also held second-placed Rayne A to a draw. Again it featured results that defied logic. Adam Buxton beat Boulton, who beat Steve Pennell, who beat Playle, who beat Buxton.
Netts’ A team also drew, in their case against Rayne B, for whom John Andrews made his first appearance of the season and won his three singles.
Liberal B and Rayne A had 9-1 wins against Notley’s A and B teams respectively, the most notable feature of which was a good win for Patrice Elonge over Pennell.
But Notley B slip to the bottom of the table after Rayne C picked up four points from Netts C, with Dean Andrews taking two and Dave Miller and Dave Punt one each.
In division two, Liberal C’s title quest hit another bump after last week’s 8-2 defeat by Netts D.
This time they were unexpectedly held to a draw by Notley E, who they beat 10-0 and 8-2 in their first two meetings.
Both teams had a reserve out and Liberal’s reserve Frank Neill beat Notley’s Peter Pond. But Pond in turn scored an excellent win over Gareth Davies.
Rayne D also slipped up, managing only a draw with their own E team despite three wins from Kelly Yuenyongpknan.
All of which was good news for Netts D, whose match was postponed but who are now four points ahead of Rayne D and only two points behind Liberal C with a match in hand.
Two good runs came to an end. Dan Anderson, who had not lost since November 6, went down to Ken Lewis in Notley C’s 6-4 win over Nomads, while Sean Clift, who had lost only one of his previous 16 sets – to Lewis – had an unexpected slump in Notley D’s draw with Felsted RBL B, where Ashley and Nick Butler both got the better of him.
The Butlers won two each for Felsted while Adam Clift and Bruce Wickham did the same for Notley D.
Division three leaders Notley F overcame the potentially difficult hurdle of Rayne F 6-4 thanks to Declan Baines’ unbeaten evening.
At the other end, having at last discovered what winning feels like, Rayne I have now done it three times in a row.
Their latest win came in a rearranged match against Rayne G, the team they had beaten 7-3 the week before. They succeeded 6-4 this time but again Tim Townsend reigned supreme.
Townsend was not available for Rayne G’s next match, which resulted in a 10-0 win for Jack Cains, Daniel Farquharson and Jimmy Calisin of Netts F.
Notley G drew twice in successive matches, first with Rayne F and then with Rayne H.