Black Notley B and Felsted RBL C have won the second and third division titles in the Braintree Table Tennis League – without lifting a bat.
In division two, Liberal C were the only team able to overhaul the leaders but their surprise 6-4 defeat by Felsted A means Notley are now out of reach.
The match was a personal triumph for 18-year-old Matthew Laws, who went through all three Liberal players, Jon Fieldsend, Gareth Davies and Garry Fryatt, second, fourth and fifth respectively in last season’s individual averages.
Richard Baxter won twice and Haydn Upson, with only two wins out of 15 behind him, also found a way past Fieldsend.
Elsewhere in division two, Rayne E remain in the hunt for the runners-up medals after a 6-4 win over Netts E, for whom Fred Evans was unbeaten.
But for Rayne G, events took a negative turn after their brief renaissance the previous week. They lost 7-3 to Notley D – only Notley D’s second win of the season – and in their final match of the season suffered 6-4 at the hands of Nomads to leave them second from bottom.
A minor consolation was that Steve Siggs stretched the unbeaten Ken Lewis to his closest win of the season, 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-13, 11-9).
Netts D’s Max Plumridge also gave Lewis plenty to think about the previous week, when he lost 11-7 in the fifth, the first time Lewis had been taken the full distance.
In this case it was more than a consolation, as Plumridge’s team stopped the rot of seven successive defeats to beat Nomads 6-4.
Dave Marsh was unbeaten as Rayne F beat Notley C 8-2, Tim Huxtable picking up the two for Notley.
In division three it was Notley E’s draw with their own F team that handed the trophy to Felsted C.
A freak set of results – Felsted C suffering a series of 10-0 defeats – could have given Notley E the title but not any longer.
It was an all-beat-all match between the E and F teams in which Jamie Brooks won twice for the E team and Takunda Nerutanga and Mel Cooch twice for the F team.
Rayne H look increasingly likely to take the runners-up spot as they did last season after their 9-1 win over Notley H where Joshua Akparanta’s win over Tim Gowers was the one to get away.
Notley G and Rayne J drew while Michael Goodchild won his three singles for only the second time in his career in Netts F’s 7-3 win over Rayne I.
In division one, leaders Liberal A beat Netts C 10-0 while second-placed Rayne A had an 8-2 win over Notley A where Adam Buxton inflicted a rare defeat on Lucy Wang.
Terry Dowsett’s three singles helped third-placed Netts A to a draw with Liberal B while their B team closed the gap with a 9-1 win over Rayne C. Keith Martin registered Rayne’s sole success with a victory over Maria Boulton.
Rayne B beat their own D team 10-0.