A number of individual performances stood out in the Braintree Table Tennis League.
Which was the most impressive was probably a toss-up between Gary Jackson and Ted Sims.
They faced last year’s top two players in division two, and both came away with a well-earned victory.
Jackson, in the second season of his comeback after a lay-off of some 30 years, has been gradually finding his feet in division two after starting off in the third division last season.
But against Dave Marsh, top of last year’s averages, and beaten only once – by Richard Jennings - this season, he hit his stride and romped home in three straight games.
It completed his hat-trick for the evening and helped Black Notley E to an 8-2 win over Rayne F.
Sims’s win over Liberal C’s Gareth Davies, second in last year’s averages, was of a different order.
He looked down and out after two games, which he lost 11-1, 11-5, but then he turned the set on its head and stormed through the next three games 11-4, 11-4, 11-4.
Marsh was back to form in this match although he had to work hard to overcome Davies after going two games to one behind. His three sets helped Rayne F to an unexpected 6-4 win.
Liberal C, second in the table last year, suffered in their previous match too. They could only field two players against Notley B and went down 8-2.
Garry Fryatt won twice but could not find a way past Gordon Fairchild.
Sible Hedingham continued on their quest to regain their division one spot with a convincing 9-1 win over Rayne E, in which Dave Miller’s win over Roy Hooper was the only one to get away.
Nomads’ Arthur Wilson was another player to make a mark. After winning only three out of 39 in his comeback season last year, he won twice against Hedingham Lions.
Newly promoted Lions are finding points hard to come by and had the heartbreak of losing all five sets that went to five games, including two defeats for Steve Willis at 11-9 in the fifth.
But Clare Johnson and Adam Purslow picked up a singles each and Willis and Purslow took the doubles to produce a 7-3 scoreline in Nomads’ favour.
Sean Clift and Warren Baines were separated by one place and 1.7 percentage points in last year’s averages so it was fitting that their encounter produced one of the week’s tightest sets.
Baines, ninth to Clift’s eighth last year, this time came out on top 7-11, 15-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9.
Divisions one and three will be covered next week.