Liberal B proved that their third place last season was no fluke when they held last year’s runners-up Rayne A to a draw in the second week of action in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
Unlike last week, when they had two reserves out, this was Rayne’s full team and they were indebted to three sets from men’s singles champion Lee McHugh that they managed to get five points.
McHugh was undefeated, although he was stretched to 11-9 in the fifth end by Mike Johnston.
Johnston also took Steve Pennell to 11-8 in the fifth but it was Andrew Huckson and new signing Wareem Qureshi who secured the draw. They took two singles each and combined to win the doubles.
Champions Liberal A also had a full team out – again unlike last week – and strode to a 9-1 win over Rayne C. Ian Whiteside’s straight-games win over Scott Dowsett was the one that eluded them.
Netts B finished above their A team last season and it could happen again after the B team came out on top when they met last week. NikkI Davison won her three singles for the B team for the second successive week.
Black Notley A had a healthy 7-3 win over Netts C, where the major surprise was the failure of Andy Holmes, the 2017 men’s singles runner-up, to win any sets. Chris Parr won three for Notley, backed by two from Victor Chan and one from Guy McKenzie.
Notley’s B team came close to sharing the points against Rayne C but Peter Hance’s win over Neil Freeman at 12-10 in the fifth in the final set of the evening gave Rayne a 6-4 win. Matthew Brown was undefeated for Rayne.
In division two, relegated Rayne D got their first win on the board when they beat Nomads 8-2. No Ken Lewis or Karl Baldwin in the Nomads side this week but Dave Miller and Keith Flowers can be happy with their unbeaten evenings.
Rayne E, who beat their D team in their first match, notched up a second 7-3 win, this time over Notley E. Dave Moles, Kelly Yeunyongpknan and Gauthier Chevallier all won twice.
After drawing with their own E team in the first week, Notley F got over the line successfully against their C team. They won 7-3 with two wins each from Elliot Game, Peter Pond and Gordon Fairchild. Glen Laing was unbeaten for the C team.
Last year’s runners-up Liberal C scored a 7-3 win over Netts D, with Jon Fieldsend and Garry Fryatt unbeaten, while three wins for Haydn Upson led Felsted to a 6-4 win over Notley D.
Rayne G, Notley G and Notley I all recorded their second wins in division three.
The wins were shared around in Rayne G’s win over their own H team. Dave Allinson won twice for the G team but was pipped at 14-12 in the fifth by Tim Townsend, while Townsend was denied at 11-9 in the fifth by Charles Wilkinson. Allison, Wilkinson and Tim Gowers all won twice in the G team’s 6-4 win.
Notley G followed up their 7-3 win over Netts E with a win by the same score against Notley H. Matt Brooks won his three singles.
Notley I had only two players to face Rayne F but Jonny Evans and James Gronland won all seven sets available.
New team Liberal D recorded their first win, 7-3 against Netts E, where Paul Martin and Lewis Armstrong-Kirton were unbeaten.
Last year’s bottom team Rayne J once again illustrated their improvement over the year by avoiding defeat for a second time. Scott Whiteside was unbeaten.