Adam Purslow brought off perhaps the win of his career in division two of the Braintree Table Tennis League when he defeated the formidable ex-division one player Gordon Fairchild.
Fairchild, who won 24 sets in division one last season, was on a ten-set unbeaten run when he faced Purslow but the 24-year-old Hedingham Lions player, with only two wins behind him all season, had little interest in reputation.
He did it the hard way, winning the first two games and then seeing his advantage taken away as Fairchild appeared to step up a gear and took the next two comfortably. Purslow must have felt the odds were stacked against him as they went into the decider, but he stuck it out and came away with an 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 11-8 win.
Purslow also joined Steve Willis to win the doubles but Black Notley B took the rest to advance their cause for the divisional title.
Purslow’s win was not the only unexpected event in division two: the Rayne E – Rayne F clash provided two of them.
Dave Marsh, top of the division’s averages last season and second only to former first division singles winner Ken Lewis this season, found his clubmate Dave Miller in unstoppable form and lost in four games.
And Peter Taylor, with only four wins to his name before that evening, found a way past the redoubtable Dave Punt. He had to come from two games down and had tight battles in the third and fourth before winning 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-6.
The match ended in a draw.
Gary Jackson’s run of form continues. He won his three singles against the top-class Sible Hedingham line-up of Roy Hooper, Richard Jennings and Mark Brown.
But his Notley E teammates could not emulate him and Hedingham won the rest.
Notley D’s Sean Clift is also on a roll. Beaten only once in his previous nine sets, he went through all three Liberal C players. But he too finished on the losing side as Liberal won six of the remaining seven.
Matt Wallace is another player in form. He won his three singles for Notley C against Nomads – and he did end up on the winning side, by 6-4.
In division one, Netts A have added the Suffolk No.19 Andy Holmes to their roster, and he joined his new teammates in a 10-0 demolition of Liberal B.
Normally in the shadow of his teammates, Simon Webber starred for champions Liberal A in their 8-2 win over Netts B, Maria Boulton accounting for both Ian Hayden and Scott Dowsett.
Chris Parr won three as Notley A beat Rayne C 7-3, while Rayne D beat their own B team 8-2 and their A team took all ten from Felsted RBL A.
In division three, leaders Rayne G had little difficulty with Felsted C, although Arthur Geen can be pleased with his side’s one win, over Charles Wilkinson.
The other three matches in the division all finished 6-4, Rayne H against Notley G, Notley F against Rayne I and Notley H against Netts C.