Netts C brought off the surprise result in the quarter finals of the Braintree Table Tennis League team knockout cup when they knocked out their own A team.
A Netts team have won the cup for the past three years – the A team in 2016 and the B team in 2015 and last year – and it is now the C team that their hopes will rest on to continue the tradition this year.
The A team included the B team’s Steve Buer for this encounter and he scored one of their successes in the 5-2 defeat. Derek Kennard won both his singles for the C team while James Mullane produced an excellent performance to beat Andy Holmes. They also won both doubles that were played.
League leaders Liberal A included two reserves to face Rayne B and just scraped through by winning the final doubles. Adrian Pitt won both his singles and joined with Peter Hayden to win the vital doubles.
Rayne A, whose match was conceded, and Black Notley A join them in the last four. Notley had a relatively comfortable passage in beating Liberal C 7-1. Garry Fryatt notched Liberal’s consolation with a win over Chris Parr.
Netts also have a chance of getting their name on the restricted cup after their E team were given a walkover and their D team beat Notley C 5-1. Netts D lost the first doubles but then won the next five sets, including a good win for Kierlan Richards over Tim Huxtable.
The Netts teams will be joined in the semi-finals by Rayne E and Notley D, who both won 8-1.
Laurie Sapiano and Richard Whiteside were unbeaten in Rayne E’s win over their own G team while Sean Clift, Adam Clift and Peter Foster all won two singles in Notley D’s win over Rayne H.
In the league division two, Rayne E lost further ground in their pursuit of the leaders when they were surprisingly beaten in an incredibly tight match by Felsted RBL A.
This was a strong Felsted side, but it was a full-strength Rayne E side as well. What made the match stand out was that no fewer than seven of the ten sets went to five games – and Felsted won six of those.
Matthew Laws beat both Dean Andrews and Richard Whiteside at deuce in the fifth, while Richard Upson beat Nick Hasler at 11-9 in the fifth and Richard Baxter beat Whiteside by the same score.
Mick Richardson made only his fourth appearance of the season and his three singles helped league leaders Notley B to a 7-3 win over Rayne F.
At the other end of the table Notley C continued their journey upwards, but it was at the expense of their own D team. Glen Laing was not stretched beyond seven points in any of his games as the C team won 8-2.
Rayne G managed to salvage five points from their match with Netts E thanks to an unbeaten evening from Steve Siggs, but Netts D are looking in increasing difficulty. Their 9-1 defeat by Liberal C leaves them bottom of the pile.