First Rayne A and now leaders Liberal A have come up against the wiles of former men’s singles champion Steve Kerns in the Braintree Table Tennis League.

Kerns, of Black Notley A, took all three singles off second-placed Rayne but could not quite manage to repeat the feat against the leaders.

He had his work cut out against old foe Terry Dowsett, who also knows what it’s like to hold the men’s singles trophy. Dowsett led by two games to one but Kerns managed to pull it round to win in five games.

Against Scott Dowsett, he hovered even closer to defeat. Again he was two games to one down and was stretched all the way to 12-10 before he could clinch the fourth game and go on to another five-game win.

He also went to five games against Simon Webber but that was the one hurdle he could not overcome. Webber won that one 11-4 in the fifth.

Victor Chan also beat Scott Dowsett in another set that went to five games, and that made it 7-3 to Liberal A.

Paul Davison, who like Terry Dowsett has won the men’s singles title six times, was in a more commanding mood for Netts A in their 7-3 win over Liberal B. He won his three singles in straight games.

Davison’s wife Nikki and James Mullane were unbeaten in Netts B’s 9-1 win over Notley B.

In division two Rayne E increased their lead at the top to 14 points with a 9-1 win over Felsted RBL while second-placed Liberal C won 7-3 at home to Notley E.

Ian Butler scored only his second win of the season for Felsted to avoid the 10-0 scoreline while Jon Fieldsend was unbeaten for Liberal C.

He was the only player to beat Takunda Nerutanga, who in turn became the first person to beat Liberal’s new recruit David Razzell.

Notley C moved up to fourth where they swapped places with Nomads. Notley C beat Netts D 6-4 whereas Nomads tumbled to a 7-3 defeat to Notley D. Kevin Saunders won twice for Nomads but could not get past Adam Clift.

Peter Pond was unbeaten in Notley F’s draw with Rayne D.